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Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
The first World Cultural Heritage in Guangdong

Dialou Cluster in Zili Village

Located in Tangkou Town, Kaiping City, Zili village consists of 3 sub-villages constructed between 1821 and 1920. There is a cluster of 9 Diaolou and a group of 6 western style villas along with single story houses. The single story houses are built with blue brick and tiled roof amongst the paddy field. Most of the houses have a layout known as "three sections - two gates".

The Diaolou are Anlu, Juanlou, Longshenglou, Mingshilou, Quianjulou, Yinonglou, Yunhualou, Zhenanlou and Zhulinglou. They were built around the same time in the 1920s. Their owners were prosperous emigrants overseas and returned to their hometown. Although they were different in decoration, the Dialou are all built of reinforced concrete and are similar concept of:

At Mingshilou, the upper floors are particularly ornate withthe ancestral room carved and gilded with images representating traditional cultural values, while the architectural detail incorporates half-enclosed turrets and pavilions decorated with lonic columns and green glass.

Several of the Dialou contain well preserved original furniture and fittings as well as ephemera dating from the time of their construction, altogether presenting a complete picture of the success and aspirations of returning Kaiping emigrants.

Dialou Cluster in Majianglong

It is situated on the flatland along the eastern coast of Tanjiang River, the Majianglong Villages are under the Jurisdiction of Baihe Township which are composed of 5 villages: Yang'an and Nan'an Villages of the Huang family and Qinglin, Hedong and Longjiang Villages of the Guan family. Yong'an Villages was established during the Qianlong period (1736-1795). In the early years, it was known as "Fengshuilang", which bears the symbolic meaning of "good harvest year after year". After 1949, the township renamed the place "Majianglong". A large number of the villagers emigrated to the United States, Canada, Mexico and Australia. The 7 Dialou and 8 villas in the village were constructed in the early 20th century. In June 2001, the Majinglong Dialou was designated by the State Council as a National Cultural Heritage preservation site. In June 2007, the World Heritage Committee of the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) inscribed Majinglong Villages on its World Cultural Heritage List.

Li Garden

Li Garden was 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 3 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 mansion area consists of 6 estates and 2 Dialou. The interior design of the estates is decorated with Western fixtures and Chinese red-wood furniture. At the northwest corner of the mansion area is the Yupei estate which was built as a memorial to Mr Xie's beloved second wife, Tan Yu-ying, who passed away at a young age while he was away.

The small garden is a naturalistic garden built at the foot of Tiger Hill and filled with the rich foliage of trees and plants. The small garden is used for relaxation and as a family playground for children.

The State Council placed Li Garden on the list of the National Cultural Relics, Li Garden was rated an AAAA grade tourist site by the National Tourist Bureau.




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