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All Inclusive Kaiping Diaolou Heritage Private Day Trip from Guangzhou

star-55 Reviews
Guangzhou, China
All Inclusive Kaiping Diaolou Heritage Private Day Trip from Guangzhou

From $269.00

Price varies by group size

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Free cancellation
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icon10 hours  (approx.)
Hotel pickup offered
Mobile ticket
iconOffered in: English
Good for avoiding crowds


If you have time for one day trip from Guangzhou, make it the watchtowers of Kaiping. These multi-story towers (diaolous) were built as flood refuges, forts and residences from medieval to modern times, with the later ones incorporating Western architectural styles. On this private 10-hour trip, visit these castle-like buildings at Zili village, explore ornamental Liuyuan Garden, and see Chikan Old Town’s east-meets-west architecture. Includes lunch, entrance fees, and hotel pickup and drop-off.
  • Private 10-hour Kaiping, Zili, and Chikan Old Town tour from Guangzhou
  • See Kaiping’s multi-story watchtowers (diaolous) in the fields and villages
  • Stop at Zili village to visit some of the towers
  • Explore the Liyuan Garden and Chikan Old Town, with its 1920s Western-inspired houses
  • Lunch and entrance fees, plus private transport and hotel pickup and drop-off included
  • Personalized attention from a private guide
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Local guide
Hotel pickup and drop-off
Transport by private vehicle
Bottled water
  • W Guangzhou , No.26 Xian Cun Road, Pearl River New Town, Tianhe District Pearl River New Town, Tianhe District, Guangzhou 510623 China
  • Hilton Guangzhou Tianhe , No.215 Linhe Xiheng Road, Tianhe, Guangzhou 510500 China
  • Xcellent Shifu Hotel , No.188 Di Shu Fu Road, Liwan District, Guangzhou 510140 China
  • 8:00 AM
    We pick you up from your centrally located Guangzhou hotel
    Meet your private guide at your Guangzhou hotel and journey south by private, air-conditioned vehicle into rural Guangdong province. Pass bustling towns and emerald rice fields, and hear intriguing anecdotes about Kaiping’s famous, multi-story watchtowers (diaolous).

    The oldest of these unique, castle-like towers date from the Ming dynasty era between the 14th and 17th centuries, and take three forms: communal refuges built by several families, residential fortresses constructed by individual families, and watchtowers for alerting locals to encroaching bandits.

    After about two hours on the road, arrive in the village of Zili, home to some of the most striking watchtowers, including some built by returning Chinese migrants who incorporated Western-inspired features in their design. Inspect the different styles of the towers close up, and head inside to absorb the interiors and bird’s-eye views from the rooftops.

    Explore Kaiping’s elegant Liyuan Garden, also known as Li Garden: a stately blend of Chinese and Western architectural and landscaping influences. Meander around the exquisite gardens, seeing highlights like the birdcage-shaped pavilion, watchtowers, bridges and canals.

    Break for lunch at a local restaurant, and then continue to the Old Town at Chikan, famous for its faded Western-style watchtowers and buildings designed by local migrants who returned here in the 1920s. Admire the imposing riverfront houses adorned with Western features like columns and balconies, and learn how the unusual, east-meets-west architecture has drawn many movie producers to film here.

    Afterward, relax on your journey back to Guangzhou, where a hotel drop-off brings your tour to a close.
    Pass By:  
    Silk Road Trips
    Day tours, activities around Guangzhou.
    Stop At:  
    Kaiping Diaolou and Villages
    These Diaolou are old houses built by overseas Chinese for their families. It is a cultural heritage site, and the attractions included for the tour are Zili Village, Li Garden and Ma-Xianglong Village. At 8:00am, your guide will meet you at your hotel lobby of the centrally located Guangzhou hotel. Then, you will take a private vehicle for about 2 hours to Kaiping. Upon arrival, you will visit Zili Village firstly. It is the best preserved Diaolou (Watch Towers) villages that are listed as cultural heritage by UNESCO in 2007. Zili Village is the most popular site for its scenery and numbers of Diaolous. You can walk up some of the towers to view the quiet countryside. Kaiping Diaolou and Villages were built by overseas Kaiping people during the late 19th and early 20th centuries. Liyuan Garden is the best one with its nice buildings and gardens, and it is nice to wander around the gardens. After lunch, you will head to the most beautiful village in China, Ma-Xianglong Village, where you will view the old houses spreading our in the green bamboos. Afterwards you will be transferred back to your hotel in Guangzhou where this day tour concludes.
    Duration: 3 hours 
    Admission Ticket Included
    • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
    • Infants must sit on laps
    • Not wheelchair accessible
    • Most travelers can participate
    • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
    • OPERATED BY SilkRoadTrips
    You can cancel up to 24 hours in advance of the experience for a full refund.
    • For a full refund, you must cancel at least 24 hours before the experience’s start time.
    • If you cancel less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time, the amount you paid will not be refunded.
    • Any changes made less than 24 hours before the experience’s start time will not be accepted.
    • Cut-off times are based on the experience’s local time.

    Learn more about cancellations.

    Traveler Photos

    Traveler Tips

    • "It is a longish drive from the city on highways, but the drive goes quickly and you get to see some rolling hills and greenery - the toughest part is getting out of Guangzhou and back in (city traffic)!" See review


    5 Reviews
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    Reviews by Viator travelers

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    Showing 1-4 of 5 reviews
    Day in the countryside visiting unique sites.
    , Jul 2020
    Very enjoyable day getting out of the city, learning about the history and cultural importance of these unique buildings. Atmospheric mixture of Chinese and old colonial style architecture. Climbed to the top of some of the towers - great views over the countryside! Also, as part of the package we visited Liuyuan Gardens (charming) and a quiet old village hidden away in greenery surrounded by fruit trees. Lunch was organised and was tasty and plentiful. The guide, Mango, was a knowledgeable and professional young lady. A lovely day out. Would highly recommend. 👍
    icon Response from Host , Jul 2020
    Thank you so much for the review ! It's our great pleasure to give our guests good experience in travel. Hope that you have good travel memory and love our country !!
    Liyuan Garden
    , Jun 2020
    Short day trip to a beautiful village area near Guangzhou with an interesting history. It makes for a nice escape out of the city.
    icon Response from Host , Jun 2020
    That is really nice to view the countryside with historical background in Kaiping. We are very happy to know you enjoyed this Kaiping Diaolou day tour.
    Great day trip from Guangzhou
    , Dec 2019
    I and nine business colleagues from the US, Canada, and Europe were in Guangzhou for a three-day association meeting. We all decided to come a day early to see the sights - we toured Guangzhou on our own, but wanted to see something interesting in the countryside so we booked this trip. It was great - the operator was very efficient, and our guide Mango was terrific - excellent and fluent English, a really nice person, and very knowledgeable about what we saw. We toured a number of unusual western-design fortified homes (typically built by very successful Chinese emigrants who returned to their roots in the early 1900s), plus an upscale family complex and gardens still supported by the family, plus an active agricultural family compound - all really interesting, with a good local lunch in the middle. It is a longish drive from the city on highways, but the drive goes quickly and you get to see some rolling hills and greenery - the toughest part is getting out of Guangzhou and back in (city traffic)! If you want a day off from the urban scene, you'd probably enjoy this.
    icon Response from Host , Dec 2019
    It is our great pleasure to arrange the Kaiping Heritage day tour for your group, and many thanks for your kind review that will help other travelers know this tour and our services.
    The drive to Kaiping was smooth, but...
    , Nov 2017
    The drive to Kaiping was smooth, but it takes approximately 2 hours per way. It was great that we commenced the day trip early before other tour groups arrived. The guide was very engaging and knowledgeable. Thanks to the awesome weather, it made the entire experience all the more better, especially when taking a walk around Li Garden. The return to Guangzhou city centre was a nightmare due to a massive traffic jam, but thankfully additional time was catered for the return drive. Overall a pleasant experience!

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