Having exhausted most of what Hong Kong, Macau and Shenzhen have to offer I was looking for an interesting weekend escape that wouldn’t be too far but still very different, exciting and new. I must admit that I haven’t heard much of Kaiping prior, but the UNESCO heritage site title badge seemed like a sign of quality and it was only 3-4 hours away into Guangdong province with a ferry+bus combo. One lovely clear skies weekend I took off to explore the unique culture and architecture of the Kaiping Diaolou villages.
I mainly visited four Diaolou attractions in Kaiping :
I was able to pack the whole visit into 2 days, and still enjoy a bit of Kaiping town. If you’re into hotsprings, there are several hotsprings options within an hour distance from Kaiping town, good for a winter escape (I went in the hot summer).
To get to Kaiping from HK by bus (Wikitravel):
From Hong Kong, you can take a ‘limousine’ bus from Portland street (on your left when you exit Prince Edward metro station on exit C2). As of January 2010, these comfy buses leave at 8:30, 14:00, 15:30 and 19:00. You will pass through Shenzhen boarder station, where you need to get off the bus and walk across customs with you luggage (save time by asking the bus attendant for the silly health form you have to submit there, so you can fill it out in advance). Total journey to Yicizhan should take about 4 hours and cost ¥130.
If by ferry (from Geoexpat) :
It all boils down to this, which is the way we ended up going to Kaiping:
– Ferry to Zhong Shan (1.5 hr), then disembark and take free shuttle bus to Kaiping (1.5-2 hr). $180
On the return from Kaiping:
– bus from Kaiping to Zhuhai (RMB65)
– find the Zhuhai Port Plaza mall across the road
– navigate through the crazy mob (it makes Mongkok seem Civilized) to the public transport (taxi) area
– take metered taxi to "jiu Zhou gang" (???), for the ferries to HK. About 10-15 mins, ~35RMB
– ferries every half hour either to China Ferry Terminal in TST or to Macao Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan. (RMB165). Takes 70 mins.
I just went to the Macau Ferry Terminal in Sheung Wan and bought a ferry+bus package from one of the travel agencies. Was there in 3.5 hours.
Go visit, it’s a wonderful getaway.