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Discover Guangzhou Self Guided Book is written by Janvi Tours, formerly Guangzhou Private Tour Guide Janvi or Guangzhou Tour Guide Janvi


Written by Janvi Chow
Published August 2018

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Home Travel Guide Around Guangzhou Mingshi Garden

Mingshi Garden

Shunde Mingshi Garden

Mingshi Garden used to be a splendid private and most luxurious garden in the late Qing dynasty. It has a history of more than 130 years and is the home of He Mingshi (1886-1936), the richest man in Shunde of the late Qing Dynasty. He Mingshi was born into a merchant's family in Shunde in 1886. His father went to Malaysia to make a living in the early years and partnered with friends to make gold ornament business.

In 1898, 12-year-old He Mingshi went to Malaysia from Shunde studied business with his father, and later he continued his father's business, served as a goldsmith store manager of Ho Kwong Cheong Goldsmiths Company in Ipoh Malaysia and set up businesses of gold goldsmiths, satins and rice machines in Southeast Asia, Hong Kong and Mainland China. He also founded Shunde Perak Guild Hall.

He Mingshi was even considered the richest person in Shunde at that time. He had a keen interest in Western-style architecture, and in addition to his strong financial resources, he invited the designer in Southeast Asia to blend with Baroque-style buildings to the original old house to create a Chinese-Western combination. The Ho home is roughly divided into three areas: Lingnan-style architectures living areas, gardens and Western-style building of two stories. It is said that glazed tiles and floor tiles used in gardens are all imported from overseas.

Ho Kwong Cheong Goldsmiths Company in Ipoh

In 1936, due to acute cerebral hemorrhage, He Mingshi died of illness in Malaysia at the age of 50. His son, He Yaowen (1924-1996), followed in his father's footsteps and inherited the property from Mingshi Garden. The family moved to Malaysia before the founding of New China, only left his 4th concubine with a few servants, she died in 1970.