KAIPING

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On the threshold to conquer the world

Hong Kong is  small place. Riding a motorbike makes it feel even smaller. It’s also an enclosed space, water to the south and China to the north. China does not allow for Hong Kong registered motorcycles, so one option to broaden ones horizon besides flying is to take a cross border bus into Guangdong province.Since these bus’ main registration is Hong Kong, the tight seat pitch seriously limits the exploration depth into Guangdong. One place within manageable (knee survivable) travel distance are the Diaolou villages and towers near Kaiping, west of Macau.
Diaolou, build in the late 19th century, are the fortified watch towers overlooking villages to protect them from plunder while the emigres left to make, in true Cantonese spirit, money. The tower’s architecture is a fusion of Chinese and Westen architectural elements, mixing Chinese style with western elements. Which makes them interesting. But makes one wish that China would border on Sichuan or Xinjiang province, not Guangdong…

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Jinjiangli village: building density exported to Hong Kong
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Jinjiangli village with watch towers in the background
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Village houses
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View from the towers: building density to enhance efficiency and protection
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View from tower
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Garden Zili Village
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Piknik in Zili village
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Kaiping, watching street life
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Reading in the doorway
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Waiting for customers
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Sitting on the street
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Men
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Pink plastic chair
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Boy cutting wood
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Kaiping is a sleepy town despite architectural attempts to add excitement

 

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