The Watch Towers (Diaolou)

Kaiping Diaolou in Guangdong is a history book of an era. They were built by overseas Chinese from South Asia, Australasia and North America in the 19th and early 20th century. These people immigrated, or being sold to work overseas in gold mines and railroad constructions. Some were able to accumulate wealth and came back to their home town and built these houses, combining Chinese and Western architectural and structural forms. There are fortified communal towers, residential towers and watch towers. Most of these structures are built of stone or brick or concrete. Such Diaolou structure is awarded UNESCO World Heritage status in 2007, and attracted a number of movie makers to come and make movies, including the famous “Let the Bullets Fly” starred by Chow Yun Fat.

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