On a lookout for daytrips from Hong Kong that would take me to strange new worlds and new civilizations I discovered Kaiping. A ferry ride from Hong Kong to Zhuhai and another hour or two on the bus and you arrive at a UNESCO heritage site preserving the Diaolou culture – a curious style of architecture of the former wealthy overseas Chinese combining east and west into an odd mixture.
I ventured into several of those Diaolou villages, but started off with Chikan Old Town, a base for some of the recent Hong Kong based movie blockbusters like the glorious Yip Man movie series (must watch!).
You can get a sense of the architecture in the first photo, with Qilou towers overlooking the Tanjing River. This particular part of the Dialou tour is a bit of a tourist trap, but still – there are things to see… and eat…
Yummy local food. Kaiping area has quite a few famous local snacks.
Once you’re done with the food, you can venture into the movie town to reunite with Yipman and other Wing Chun and Kong Fu masters that flew around these walls waving their fists and throwing their kicks.
The Grandmaster, the third (or forth?) of the endless Yipman story now in theaters – was most recently shot here.
Wanna see where Donnie Yen trained and lived as Yip Man? Have a look at his house…
and his famous Wing Chun training wooden doll…
The rest of the town is a bit run down, but still interesting to walk around. I must warn you, though, that there are some really poor people living in these parts. Though I’ve been traveling to China for quite some time, it was my first time to see a fully naked man sleeping in the street.
Not a must visit, but if you’re into movies and wanna grab a couple of local snacks that might be a good opening to your Dialou adventure.