Explore a different destination UNESCO World Heritage Site Kaiping Diaolou and Villages, China

Kaiping is a city in Guangdong province, China. It is also called Hoi Ping. The city has a population of 680,000 as of 2003.

Kaiping is famous for the multi-storey towers called diaolou. These towers were built for two purposes: for housing as well as for protection against bandits. The diaolou were constructed in the early Qing Dynasty, with the most being built in the 1920's and 1930's. Today, about 1,800 diaolou are still standing.

The architecture of the diaolou appears to be a fusion of Chinese and Western architectural styles. Yet they appear to blend into the surrounding landscape, attesting to the final flowering of local building tradition to combat local banditry.

The Kaiping Diaolou and Villages were inscribed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites during the 31st session of the World Heritage Committee in Christchurch, New Zealand, from 23 June to 2 July, 2007. The core zone covers an area of 371.948 hectares surrounded by a buffer zone of 2738.052 hectares.

Photos of Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

Diaolou of Kaiping, China
Diaolou of Kaiping, China
Author: Pacual 1er (public domain)

Diaolou of Majianlong Village, Kaiping, China
Diaolou of Majianlong Village, Kaiping, China
Author: Kounosu (Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported)

Diaolou of Kaiping, China
Diaolou of Kaiping, China
Author: Earthengine (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5 Generic)

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 22 17 7.87 E 112 33 57.1
Inscription Year: 2007
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, III, IV

Location Map

View Kaiping Diaolou in a larger map

Visiting Kaiping Diaolou and Villages

A journey by bus from Guangzhou to Kaiping takes 2 hours and costs ¥45. The diaolou can be seen in the small villages around Kaiping, including Liyuan (an hour away), Zilicun (3 km away) and Chikan. You should arrange with a taxi to take you around, or with a travel agent for a tour.

Local Tours of China

At times, it is faster, safer and cheaper to join a local tour than to go there yourself. This is especially true for many places in China. However, you need to be wary of the tour operators, especially those in China.

Here are a few local tours of China that you may wish to add to your itinerary. These tours are arranged by Viator, one of the most reputable tour agencies in the market.

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