Plan your Guangzhou tour? A side trip to Kaiping County, 130km southwest of Guangzhou is highly recommended. Kaiping is world famous for its Diaolou (fortified village houses ), pristine villages and old townships. Kaiping Diaolous and villages were named as World Cultural Heritage in 2007 for their harmonious fusion between Chinese and Western structures.
Kaiping Diaolous were originally built in the early Qing Dynasty and fully developed in 1920s and 1930s. There are mainly three kinds of fortified village towers: Watch Towers, Communal Towers and Dwelling Towers. Watch towers were built to guide against any possible forays by bandits; communal towers were built collectivly with the fund raised by all the villagers.
They would hide themselves in case of bandits’ attack. These kinds of communal towers were often built behind villages while watch towers were built at the entrance of a village. Dwelling Towers were built as a combination of a residential house and a watch tower. Today, approximately 1,833 diaolou towers remain standing in Kaiping County.
All the diaolou towers are now scattered around the villages in Kaiping County. Some villages have been chosed by the local tourism bureau to be open to the public. These selected villages have been turned into a large “Diaolou Tourist Site” with tourism administration.
A combo ticket allows you to visit three villages where the most representitive diaolou towers stand. The three villages are Zili Village (自立村) in Tangkou Township, Majianglong Village (马降龙村) in Baihe Township and Jinjiangli (锦江里) in Jiangang Township.
Most of the tall and impressive diaolou towers were funded and built by oversea Chinese returning home from South Asia, Australasia, and North America. The Kaiping diaolou towers were built in a variety of architectural styles featuring a perfect combination of traditional Chinese watchtowers and classical European architecture.
The combo ticket also allows you to visit Li Garden ( 立园) in Beiyi Xiang,which was built in 1936 by Mr. Xie Weili, a Chinese emigrant to the United States. On your village trip in Kaiping, you can visit Chikan (赤坎), the charming old town with the featuring Qilou structures.
How to go to the selected villages in Kaiping from Guangzhou？
1) Take buses: you may take buses to Kaiping Yici Bus Station from Guangzhou Bus Station ( by the Guangzhou Railway Station) : 145-149 Huanshi West Road, Guangzhou Tel: (020)86661297. When you reach Yici Bus Station in Kaiping, you may connect local buses to your selected villages.
2) Hire a private vehicle with a driver or self-drive. It is highly advised to hire a private car or van to tour freely around these villages.
Now follow me to have a glimpse of the diaolou towers, Li Garden and Chikan in the villages and townships in Kaiping.
Dialou Towers in Zili Village of Tangkou Township
The two Diaolou Towers behind the small Zili Village
The two Diaolou Towers stand amid the paddy fields
Diailou Towers in Majianglong Village of Jiangan Township
The diaolou tower is harmoniously nestled in the greenery of the village.
The walled Diaolou towers in Jiangan Village
The three magnificent diaolou towers in Jinjiangli Village of Baihe Township.
Ruishi Lou,the highest tower in Kaiping
Shengfeng Lou, one of the most beautiful towers in Kaiping
The charming old town of Chikan
The the streets of shophouses with an arcade on the ground floor, the fusion of Chinese and western styles.
The streets are viewd from the bridge over Tanjiang River in the town
Guangzhou Day Trip to Kaiping from US$95 p/p
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