The Diaolou area near Kaiping in Guangdong Province, China, is renowned for its unique blend of history, architecture, and cultural significance. These fortified multi-story towers, known as diaolou, were primarily constructed in the late 19th and early 20th centuries by returning overseas Chinese who had accumulated wealth abroad. The Kaiping Diaolou and Villages have been a UNESCO World Heritage Sitesince 2007.
Zili Village is one of the most prominent areas within the diaolou region, showcasing a collection of well-preserved towers amidst picturesque rice fields and waterways. The diaolou here are notable for their varied architectural influences, blending traditional Chinese design with elements of Western architecture, a testament to the global experiences of their builders.
Li Garden, another key site in the Kaiping Diaolou area, presents a more lavish and refined example of the diaolou heritage. Built in the 1920s by a wealthy Chinese emigrant, Li Garden is an exquisite fusion of Chinese and Western landscaping and architectural styles. The garden features elegant pavilions, intricate rockeries, and beautiful water features, reflecting the opulence and aesthetic sensibilities of its era.
Majianglong Village, often regarded as one of the most picturesque diaolou sites, is surrounded by lush bamboo groves and winding streams. The diaolou in Majianglong are harmoniously integrated into the natural landscape, creating a serene and idyllic setting. This village is particularly famous for its scenic beauty and the harmonious blend of nature and architecture, making it a favorite among photographers and nature lovers.
How to get to the Kaiping diaolou
The simplest way is to take the train from Guangzhou to Kaiping. From there it's about half an hour by car to Zili. The other sites of the area can be visited using Didi cars.
01 Entrance to Zili village 02 Zili village
03 Zili village 04 Zili village 05 Diaolou towers in Zili
06 Zili diaolou tower 07 Zili diaolou tower 08 Mingshi diaolou in Zili village 09 Diaolou in Zili 10 Diaolou in Zili 11 Diaolou towers in Zili
12 Diaolou in Zili 13 Diaolou in Zili 14 Diaolou in Zili 15 Diaolou towers in Zili 16 Anlu villa in Zili
17 Diaolou in Zili 18 Diaolou in Zili 19 Diaolou towers in Zili 20 Diaolou towers in Zili 21 Diaolou towers in Zili
22 Yunhuan diaolou in Zili 23 Diaolou towers in Zili 24 Diaolou towers in Zili
25 Diaolou towers in Zili 26 Entrance to Li garden
27 Li garden tourist centre 28 Li garden tourist centre 29 Glass cupola in Li garden 30 Li garden 31 Li garden
32 Li garden 33 Li garden 34 Li garden 35 Miniature diaolou in Li garden
36 Panlilou and Jiong villa in Li garden 37 Panlilou and Jiong villa in Li garden 38 Panwenlou in Li garden 39 Panwenlou in Li garden
40 Panwenlou in Li garden 41 Panwenlou in Li garden 42 Panwenlou and Panlilou in Li garden 43 Panlilou in Li garden 44 Panlilou in Li garden
45 Nest pavilion in Li garden 46 Nest pavilion in Li garden 47 Li garden 48 Li garden 49 Li garden
50 Li garden 51 Li garden 52 Panlilou in Li garden 53 Li garden 54 Majianglong 55 Majianglong diaolou
56 Majianglong 57 Majianglong diaolou 58 Majianglong diaolou 59 Majianglong 60 Majianglong
61 Majianglong 62 Majianglong 63 Majianglong 64 Majianglong diaolou 65 Majianglong diaolou
66 Kaiping south train station
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