Guangzhou Travel Guide

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

Written by J. C.
Published August 2018

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Home Travel Guide Around Guangzhou Kaiping Diaolous

Kaiping Diaolous

Kaiping Blockhouses

Kaiping Diaolous are a peculiar type of residential building in the Kaiping region, Guangdong Province with a combination of Chinese and western styles. They were built by returned overseas Chinese through blending western architectural type with traditional Chinese style.

Kaiping City was frequently plagued by floods and poor public security in the past. For this reason, large quantities of local dwellers left their hometown for America and Canada to make a living since the late Qing Dynasty. The city is hereby widely known as "the Hometown of Overseas Chinese". There still exist over 1833 Diaolous (mainly of clay, blue brick, and reinforced concrete type) in Chikan, Tangkou and other towns.

With a square plane, Diaolous are a sort of building characterized by strong defending functions. They were designed for anti-robbery and preventing flood at first, and later for inhabitation. Several parts of a Diaolous such as walls, floor slab, and stair are built of concrete transported from overseas and are firm and fire-resistant. The Diaolous are fitted with loopholes on every floor and lookout pavilions on the top floor. Most of the pavilions are of western classical type yet different in details, all vying with each other for glamour and presenting unique charm. The most distinct feature of a Diaolous is the decorative art applied in the roof which is associated with Chinese building tradition and architectural elements of different countries. Other than traditional Chinese flush gable roof and overhanging gable roof, the Diaolous are provided with foreign architectural types and styles in different periods. They include Grecian, Roman, Byzantine, and baroque style, all presenting diversified features and a sense of rhythm.

Liyuan Building Complex is the most famous architecture among these Diaolous. It is comprised of a villa, Diaolous, and garden. The garden is endowed with both the lingering charm of the Chinese garden and the western enchantment of European and American architectures. With its combination with sumptuous Chinese and western styles, the garden deserves its fame as a model of gardens built by overseas Chinese. Other than Liyuan Building Complex, Kaiping City is provided with numerous renowned Diaolous including the dignified Ruishi Tower, long-standing Yinglong Tower, gorgeous Mingshi Tower, and Yunhuan Tower built by Malaysian Chinese.

Kaiping Blockhouses

Kaiping Diaolous serve as a historical testimony of the acceptance of foreign culture on the part of rural Chinese. Having a prime time in the early 20th century by virtue of the development of overseas-Chinese culture, Kaiping Diaolous is an embodiment of regional history and culture in architecture. It is famous for the concentration of global architectural art and may be rated as a miracle in the architectural history in China’s countryside. At the 31st World Heritage Conference held in 2007, Kaiping Diaolous and hamlets were elected by a unanimous vote as included in the World Cultural Heritage List.


Admission Fee: CNY ¥80; children below 3.9 feet (1.2 meters) are free of charge. Children of 3.9-4.9 feet (1.2-1.5 meters) enjoy half price tickets;

Opening Hours: 8:30 am ~ 5:30 pm

Address: Kaiping, Jiangmen City, Guangdong Province

Chinese Address:广东省江门市下辖的开平市

How to get there

  • Take subway line 2 or line 5 and get off at Guangzhou Railway Station. Walk to Inter-City Bus Station of Guangzhou and take the bus to Kaiping Ke Che (开平客车)