Kaiping City lies in the southern part of central Guangdong Province, west of the Pearl River Delta. It is 110 kilometres from Guangzhou [Canton] City. The Tanjiang River, part of the West River system, flows through the area, with many tributaries flowing through the district to join it. The area lies within the tropical climate zone and is influenced by the oceanic monsoon winds. The climate is warm with adequate rainfall and is ideal for crop-farming and the rearing of animals. The area has two riceharvests a year, and the percentage of tillableland is comparatively high.
Zili Village and the Fang Clan Watch Tower
Zili Villagelies in Tangkou Township, Kaiping City, about 25 kilometres east of downtown Kaiping.It is situated on the west bank of the Zhenhai River, a tributary of the Tanjiang River, in the middle of a flat, irrigated plain. The village consists of three separate sub-village areas. There are 82 village houses, occupying (with their intervening areas of open space, lanes, etc) 83,224 square metres. Of these, the first Heanli has 19 houses, occupying 17,550 square metres, the second Heanli has 50 houses occupying 56,730 square metres, and Yong’anli has 13 houses occupying 8,944 square metres. The present resident population is 179, in 63 households, with 248 villagers currently living overseas, mostly in the U.S.A, Canada, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, and Indonesia. Most of today’s farming households in Zili Village have relatives living overseas. Remittances from abroad are an important economic element in the life of the residential household. The life-style of the villagers is simple, honest, dignified, optimistic, open-minded, and unsophisticated.
The Majianglong Village Cluster
The Majianglong Village Cluster lies in Baihe Township in Kaiping City, some 25 kilometres north-east of downtown Kaiping. It stands on the east bank of the Tanjiang River in the flat plains of the river valley. There are five separate villages which unite to form the village cluster: Yong’an, Nan’an, Hedong, Qinglin, and Longjiang. There are 176 village houses, occupying 181,494 square metres with intervening lanes and open spaces. Of these Yong’an has 57 houses (83,300 square metres), Nan’an 26 (20,750 square metres), Hedong 10 (25,730 square metres), Qinglin 40 (52,664 square metres), and Longjiang 43 (49,050 square metres). Today there are 171 resident households, with 506 people living in them. A further 800 and more villagers live overseas, mostly in the U.S.A, Canada, and Australia. 80% of the resident farming households have overseas relatives who still keep in close contact with them.
Located in the central part of the Jiti Island, Sanmenli Village is 15 kms from downtown Kaiping. It is surrounded by many villages since it is one of the oldest villages of the Guan clan which has a history of more than 450 years. This village keeps the old village shape. It is different from the other nominated villages built at the turn of the 20th century by Overseas Chinese. The modern lanes are usually wide, straight, and parallel, with transverse lanes, while the lanes in Sanmenli village are narrow, winding and without transverse lanes.
The tradition of building this kind of village lanes follows the Chinese Feng Shui culture. Sanmenli Village stands in a flat plain, according to Feng Shui principals.Ttheir village lanes are winding like a crab’s claws, to avoid the bad luck from the front of the village.
The plain that Sanmenli Village stood on first was a reed-covered marsh full of water-birds. When the village was established, they began to build Diaolou for safety when floods and bandits came. The village used to have two Diaolou, Ruiyun Lou, and Yinglong Lou. The Ruiyun Lou over time became ruinous, and it was demolished in 1962. However, the Yinglong Lou was, kept in good repair. It is today the oldest surviving building of the Guan clan of Sanmenli village and a witness to the long and vigorous development of this family. It reflects the status, history, and culture of the Guan clan in a special way.
Jinjiangli Village lies in Xiangang Township of Kaiping City, about 35 kilometres from Kaiping City. The village occupies 4,645 square metres, and comprises 66 village houses with gabled roofs arranged along ten lanes. There are 48 households in Jinjiangli, with a total of 147 resident villagers. The villagers living abroad are more in number than those living in the village. Most live in the U.S.A. or Canada. Most village families receive substantial sums each year in remittances.
Jinjiangli stands on a small rise in the middle of the Tanjiang River plains, close to the western bank of the river. It faces southeast. The clear and sparkling waters of the Tanjiang loop across the front of the village from southeast to northwest, making access to drinking and irrigation water easy for the villagers. The village is also convenient for fishing and the rearing of ducks and geese. The Tanjiang River can thus be called the source of Jinjiangli’s prosperity [the village name, Jinjiangli, in fact means “Village by the Embroidered/Beautiful River”]. To this day, the Jinjiangli villagers raise geese and fish in the river. There are two entrances to the village — to the east and west, guarded by gatehouses. A dense wood of bamboo screens the village and provides a beautiful back-drop to it. The handful of village houses thus live enclosed by the woods, in a harmonious relationship with nature. Outside the village paddy-fields stretch out into the distance, with foot-paths and narrow roads passing through them.
Garden was a built by an Overseas Chinese American,Mr.Xie Wei Li,around 1926 and finished in 1936.The garden blends harmoniously the elements of Chinese traditional gardening,Southern China water-town style landscaping and Western architecture.The garden is arranged in three main areas:grand garden,mansions and small garden .Each area is carefully separated by man-made canals while connected elegantly by footbridges and pathways.The design of the garden reflects the idea of isolation and integration.
The entrance of the grand garden has a stone arched-gate which declares the residency of the Xie family in two large,handwritten characters, “Li Garden”.The grand garden incorporates a walk-in size birdcage,a small pond and a flower pavilion along with various trees and plants.Standing in the grand garden are two steel poles called the “tiger whip”which were built to scare away evil spirits.
The Historic Thown of Chikan
Chikan is ancient town established during the Qing Dynasty under the governance of Emperor Shunzhi . with 350 years of history chikan evolved from a country market place into the business competition between the Guan and situ families . Memorial family libraries were built by each family and both libraries became landmarks of chikan.
The streets and buildings in chikan, as they currently exist, were mostly built during the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th cenruty and by Overseas Chinese returning to their villages. The overseas Chinese incorporated elements of Western architecture into their new homes . The buildings were three-story structures with a store front on the street level and two residential upper floors. Although the buildings did not have much decorative details,each building was built with a balcony facing the Tanjiang River which flowed along and divided the town . the balcony called Qilou in local dialect became a prominent architectural feature in chikan .
How can I go to Kaiping from Guanzhou ?
When you get off from Baiyun airport, take subway to Guangdong Province bus station or Fengcun bus station at Kengkou Metro station. The bus to Kaiping bus station or Yici bus station is frequent. The ride takes about 2 hours and should cost 56-59 yuan.
Here is the list of Guangdong Province Bus Station to Kaiping:
|Kaiping||big bus with air conditioner||6:20~20:20 30 minute a time||Kaiping||136|
Here is the list of Fengcun Bus Station:
|Kaiping Yici||luxury bus||7: 20~21:00,20 minute a time||Kaiping||136|
A. Bus lines are around Kaiping urban area, and charge you 1 yuan within 10 stations in down town, 1.5 yuan beyond.
B. kaiping has four taxi companies: Mass Taxi Limited company, JieAn Taxi Limited company, Sanbu Port Taxi Limited company, and Kaiping 206 Taxi Limited company, with about 200 taxi in all. The taxi charge begins from 5 yuan (2 kilometres) , and 0.5 yuan per 250 metres. It is easy to call taxi at the main streets in down town, or hotel entrance. Besides, you also can call the Taxi servise hotline for taxi. Here is the servise hotline of each taxi company: Mass 0750-2228222, JieAn 0750-2227666, Sanbu Port 0750-2266666, Kaiping 206 0750-2366222.
C. The bus lines that pass each famous diaolous and Attractions are frequent. The line from Yici(义祠) to Magang(马岗) pass through Yinglong Tower, Canada village, Li Garden, night-watch Tower, diaolou cluster of Zili village. And the line from Yici to Jingji pass through Yinglong Tower, Canada village, The historic town of Chikan, Majianglong villages, Shilu, Yanping lou, Reishi Lou in Jingjiangli village.