10 Reasons to Visit Kaiping

By on October 17, 2016

I’ve been there many times and the list should number more than 10, but here is my top 10 list for reasons to visit Kaiping.

Top 10 Reasons to visit Kaiping:

10: Tanjiang River

The Old and the New of Kaiping

The Old and the New of Kaiping

There is so much history attached to this river that flows through Kaiping and none more so than the intriguing houseboats that line the edges.If you walk along any number of boulevards you’re bound to see these houseboats up front. On the other side of the river you’ll probably see apartments. The old and the new. The Tanjiang River is a perfect symbol of China’s ability toaccomodate the past with an expanding future.

9: Night Lights on the Tanjiang


The river picks up at night time. Even on an ordinary day, the lights on the river in the city area are beautiful. But if there’s even half a mind towards a festival, then the lights are given extra importance and the neon and laser spectacular is a wonder to witness.

8: The Restaurants


I was critical of the restaurants the first time I went to Kaiping but that was more out of ignorance than anything else. The last time I was there I was treated to the finest of Cantonese cuisine and I can’t recommend the restaurants more highly. It’s a matter of knowing your way around. Get a local to find the best spots.

7: The Loud Voices


It’s so funny. Every retail outlet has loud music blaring from speakers outside their shop. I find it annoying. Shuk tells me it’s to attract attention and everyone needs to be louder than everyone else. They got my attention alright. But I’m not buying…

6: The Villages


The villages surrounding Kaiping are picturesque visions of rice fields lazily swinging in the breeze, punctuated by a bicycle rider going past. Life is simple. The inhabitants welcoming and humble. It is the quintessential essence of life itself.

5: Xiang Fan at Xiang Long


This place. It’s the first thing I do when I get to Kaiping: go and have the best xiang fan in the country. The conditions are humble but the food is top shelf, the service excellent and I’ve finally taught them that it’s ok for me to leave a tip. They always give me way too much to eat and my tea cup is always topped up every time I take a sip. If they had a name for the business I could give them a high mark on Trip Adviser…

4: Chikan


I haven’t yet had the opportunity to spend some quality time in this historic location. It’s about 10 minutes drive from Kaiping city and it really is a step back into the past. China does not do enough to preserve and promote this wonderful relic. It was once an economic stronghold. Now it is in decay. It ought to be a tourist mecca.

3: The Markets


There is no one particular market. Every suburb has a market and they are all unique, yet all the same. The produce is bright and colourful and the meats and fish are well presented and tantalisingly fresh. Even alive and butchered to order if needed.

2: Of Course the Diaolou!


World Heritage listed in 2007, these unique structures are probably what Kaiping is most famous for. I love how they are all so different, yet all have similar features. And every village has one except for Niu Lu Tao…

1: The People!


It’s a cliche I know, but it goes without saying that the people of Kaiping are outstanding. Friendly, curious, LOUD! Always up for a good time, incredibly generous and humble. Some of the nicest┬ápeople on the planet.

There it is. The top 10 reasons to visit Kaiping. I can’t wait to return!

Niu Lu Tao
Game of Throne

June 5, 2017

Diaolou of Kaiping
The Diaolou of Kaiping

July 1, 2016

Ma On Shan

April 27, 2016

Xiang Long
Exploring Kaiping

February 15, 2016

The Qingming Tractor
Qingming Gallery 2015

October 26, 2015

Weeping Willows by Xi Hu in Hangzhou
Enchanting Hangzhou

September 21, 2015

Pearl River
The Mighty Pearl River

September 19, 2015

  1. Reply

    Rachael Mills

    January 14, 2017

    I think it might be worth it to pay a visit to Kaiping, I would love to see the Diaolous, but the loudness of the place the way you described it is a turnoff for me, I don’t like noisy environments.

  2. Reply


    January 10, 2017

    You’ve made Kaiping sound like an awesome place, especially the food. The Diaolous look amazing — I had never even heard of Kaiping or Diaolous before reading your blog, and now I’m really intrigued. So how do you actually get to Xiang Long?

    • Rob Harvey

      Rob Harvey

      January 10, 2017

      Two and a half hours on a rickety bus from Shenzen, turn left at the town with the tap factory and you’re in Kaiping. Xiang Long is an island suburb of Kaiping in the middle of the Tanjiang River. It is a rather bizarre place but Xiang Long is my home away from home in Kaiping.



I quit my marketing job 20 years ago to become a writer, only I ended up writing html instead of words. Now I'm just writing words. I have a passion for China, through my partner Shuk, a passion for cooking and a passion for history. Oh, and a keen eye for the absurd! Have some fun on these pages and I look forward to your feedback. Rob.

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