Dixi Road in Chikan, Kaiping
Location of Kaiping City (red) in Kaiping (pink), Guangdong province, and the PRC
|Country||People's Republic of China|
|County seat||Changsha Subdistrict (?)|
|o Total||1,659 km2 (641 sq mi)|
|o Density||410/km2 (1,100/sq mi)|
|Time zone||UTC+8 (China Standard)|
Kaiping (Chinese: ), alternately romanized in Cantonese as Hoiping,[a] is a county-level city in Guangdong Province, China. It is located west of the Pearl River Delta and administered as part of the prefecture-level city of Jiangmen. The surrounding area, especially Sze Yup (Chinese: ), is the ancestral homeland of many overseas Chinese, particularly in the United States. Kaiping has a population of 688,242 as of 2017 and an area of 1,659 square kilometres (641 sq mi). The locals speak a variant of the Toishan (Hoisan) dialect.
During the Northern Song dynasty, Kaiping was under the administration of Xin'an county ()[full ] Under the Qing (1649), made up part of the commandery of Zhaoqing. It was promoted to county-level city status in 1993.
|Name||Chinese (S)||Hanyu Pinyin||Population (2010)|
|Sanbu Subdistrict||?||S?nbù Ji?dào||173,100|
|Changsha Subdistrict||?||Chángsh? Ji?dào||124,829|
|Shatang town||Sh?táng Zhèn||24,667|
|Chacheng town||C?ngchéng Zhèn||26,750|
|Longsheng town||Lóngshèng Zhèn||26,161|
|Dasha town||Dàsh? Zhèn||22,298|
|Magang town||M?g?ng Zhèn||30,728|
|Tangkou town||Tángk?u Zhèn||22,626|
|Chikan town||Chìk?n Zhèn||37,260|
|Baihe town||B?ihé Zhèn||17,621|
|Xiangang town||Xi?ng?ng Zhèn||13,280|
|Jinji town||J?nj? Zhèn||16,493|
|Yueshan town||Yuèsh?n Zhèn||46,700|
|Chishui town||Chìshu? Zhèn||25,894|
|Shuikou town||Shu?k?u Zhèn||90,835|
Kaiping city centre is located on the Tanjiang River, 140 kilometres (87 mi) away from Guangzhou, on the edge of the county Kaiping west of the Pearl River Delta. Kaiping consists of broken terrain, mostly either rocky or swampy, with only a third of the land arable. The county is shaped like a giant question mark (see map, in pink) and includes rural areas as well as three port cities: Changsha, Xinchang, and Dihai.
Kaiping Diaolous () are fortified multi-storey towers constructed in the village countryside of mainly the Kaiping area. They were built from the early Qing Dynasty to the early 20th century, reaching a peak in the 1920s and 1930s, with the financial aid of overseas Chinese, when there were more than three thousand of these structures. Today, approximately 1,800 diaolou are still standing, with the most in the towns of Tangkou (), Baihe (), Chikan (), and Xiangang (), in that order (see map in article by Batto).
In the late 19th and early 20th century, Kaiping was a region of major emigration abroad, and a melting pot of ideas and trends brought back by overseas Chinese, Huaqiao, made good. As a consequence, many watchtowers incorporated architectural features from China and the West. These were examples of the Qiaoxiang () architecture. The diaolou were built by villagers during a time of chaos and served two purposes: housing and protecting against forays by bandits.
In 2007, the Kaiping diaolou and villages were added to the list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites and consist of four separate restored village areas: Zilicun village () in Tangkou, Sanmenli village () in Chikan, Jinjiangli village () in Xiangang, and Majianglong village cluster () in Baihe township.
Examples of diaolous include:
Chikan () is officially designated as a National Historic and Cultural Town of China (). The old town of Chikan has many historical sites that are about one hundred years old. For example, it has over 600 late-Qing and early-Republic historic Tong laus or Qilous (/ ) continuous, spanning over a length of 3 kilometers, including the riverside stretch along Dixi Lu (), sometimes referred to as 'European Styled Street'. Part of old Chikan town has been designated Chikan Studio City () for filming of historical scenes.
Chikan township also has two restored diaolous: Yinglonglou, built by the Guan () lineage in the Ming dynasty, and Nanlou, memorialized by the martyrdom of seven Situ clan () members in the early 20th century.
Historically, Chikan has been shaped by these two competing clans. One example is the existence of two libraries: the Situ's library, opened in 1926, and, not to be outdone, the Guan's library, opened in 1931; both libraries funded by overseas Chinese and incorporated architecture features from overseas.
It is a famous and well-known location for braised pork in noodles to locals.
Chikan is to become a tourist destination and the closing of local stores, dining posts, and streets are scheduled for the summer of 2017.
Kaiping was a major source of emigrants at the turn of the 20th century. As a result, a large number of early Chinese Canadian and Chinese American communities had people who originated from Kaiping and its neighboring counties of Taishan, Enping and Xinhui, which is known collectively as Sze Yup. It is said that there are more Kaipingnese people living abroad today than there are Kaipingnese in Kaiping. In a 2016 report, Deloitte estimated that there are 750,000 Kaiping-born overseas Chinese.
|Climate data for Kaiping (1981-2010)|
|Record high °C (°F)||28.5
|Average high °C (°F)||19.0
|Daily mean °C (°F)||15.0
|Average low °C (°F)||12.1
|Record low °C (°F)||3.3
|Average precipitation mm (inches)||36.4
|Average relative humidity (%)||71||77||81||82||80||83||80||81||76||69||65||65||76|
|Source: China Meteorological Data Service Center|
...the diaolou were built in the countryside, in villages and on the initiative of the peasants themselves. Contrary to normal expectations, thanks to emigration we can see a certain "cosmopolitanism" among the peasants in Kaiping... the diaolou are the epitome of overseas Chinese culture, embodied in stone.
Guangdong Zheng Guangzhou shi fishan di qu shaoguan di qu yuan he di Li ( history of geographical alterations of Guangzhou, Foshan and Shaoguan (?) Author: Zhu, peng Xur Lin publishing limited 1984