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Home Informations Introduction Of Guangzhou "Sai Kwan Lady" and "Tung San Childe"

"Sai Kwan Lady" and "Tung San Childe"


There is an old Canton saying: “The wealthy’s live in Sai Kwan, the powerful’s live in Tung San.” Sai Kwan was the earliest area for foreign trading in China that located in the west part of Guangzhou. For example, the well-known “Thirteen Factories” was in the Sai Kwan area. At that time, Thirteen Factories had almost cornered the tea and ceramic markets, which were the foreigners’ favourite goods for trading. At the same time, the Thirteen Factories was an intermediary agent for importing goods from foreign countries. Thus from the 17th century, “The world’s wealthiest man” appeared in Sai Kwan, who were Zhencheng Pan and Bingjian Wu.


The scale of foreign trade grew larger and larger in Sai Kwan, and there were four leading families, which were the Pan’s, Wu’s, Lu’s and Ye’s. Many luxury villas were built at that time, and the wealthy businessmen and families were centralised in the neighbourhood. They were dealing with foreigners most of the time, which gave them the opportunity to learn and speak English, got in touch with the foreign culture and became more open-minded. The families’ daughters were involuntary affected by the environment, they dressed in Western style, and looked very fashionable. They were the first and the most obvious group of Chinese that were effected by the Western culture. Specially the ones who were Western educated or studied aboard. So that these group of ladies were given a name of “Sai Kwan Lady”.




Tung San is a small area located in the east part of Guangzhou. Because of the US and UK churches, institutions, hospitals, and etc were set up in the early period in this area, the foreign priests, nuns, teachers and doctors built up Western style buildings with two stories or more for them to live. And the Western environment in Tung San had attracted the oversea Chinese that came back from North America and Australia built up their own Western style buildings in this area too. At the same time, it also attracted the wealthy families or businessmen to set up their career and business in this area. In the 1920's, Guangzhou was the centre of revolution, many senior  officers from Kuo Min Tang government started living in Tung San. At the same time, the well-known Western doctor Panshi Kuang established a private hospital in Tung San, which most of the wealthy and powerful families from the government and business people in Guangzhou chose this hospital. Thus, Tung San became the centre of the powerful people and families, and the sons from these families was given a name of "Tung San Childe”.


Base of the old Canton stories that was widely-circulated, most of the Tung San Childes wanted to get married with Sai Kwan Ladies. And of course, the Childes from Sai Kwan weren't happy about it and there were quite a lot of jealousy storms between the Childes from both areas. Under this situation, Sai Kwan Childes bribed Sai Kwan Ladies' servant girls for information, the information was mainly about the meeting time and location of Sai Kwan Ladies and Tung San Childes. And this is why Tung San Childes always got discouraged from meeting Sai Kwan Ladies by Sai Kwan Childes.