As part of the Kaiping Diaolou Tour in the Guangdong Province of China, we headed to MaJianglong, which is a cluster village within the Kaiping Diaolou range of World Heritage Sites. The Cluster village contains scattered towers and is situated deep in the countryside. The entire Kaiping Diaolou range are situated near the city of Kaiping in Guangdong Province of China.
To get to the center, you can hire a car and drive yourself, go as part of a bus tour or hire a driver. Majianglong is south west of the city of Kaiping firstly along the highway 325 and then on the smaller road which is the S275 and of course, bear in mind that all signposting is in Chinese.
Once you get there your entry cost includes a motorised cart which takes you through the village and stops off at different points for you to get out and look around.
Majianglong: The Most Beautiful Village in the World
The Majianglong Diaolou Cluster is situated along the eastern coast of the Tanjiang River and are under the jurisdiction of the Baihe Township. This is actually an area composed of five villages which were established during the Qianlong period (1736 – 1795). The village of Majianglong is often pronounced “Ma Long” for short. The original name of the village was actually Fengsuilang which means “good harvest every year”, however since 1949 it has been known as “Majianglong” and a lot of the villagers emigrated to USA, Canada, Mexico and Australia.
Majianglong has seven Diaolou (the tower blocks) and eight Villas (smaller housing with less floors) and they were all built in the start of the 20th Century.
In 2001 the Majianglong Diaolou was designated by the state council as being a National Cultural Heritage Site. Then in 2007 UNESCO added Majianglong to its World Cultural Heritage List.
The ticket costs 180 RMB/Chinese Yuan per person, which includes one visit to each of the five main sites, of which Majianglong is one.
1. Tianlu Lu Tower
An elaborate 7 storey tower this one seems to be the focus and centrepiece of the village. While there is some information in English, the translation needed a bit of tweaking: The Tianlu Lu is a classic example of a communal tower in Kaiping, the most perfect representation of this genre. 29 households donated funds to build it, in 1925.
It is built of reinforced concrete and is 7 storeys (21 metres) high. It occupies 105.5 square metres, and its built floor area is 488.12 square metres. On the lower five floors there are 29 tiny rooms, one for each household. In those days, men from all the donating households would go into the tower each night to keep a lookout for bandits. The sixth storey of the tower was left open for communal activity, and the top floor had a watch-turret.
2. Linlu Villa
This Villa was built by Guan Dinglin in 1936 when he returned to China from Mexico. e went inside – it’s a three storey building and offers good views of the countryside.
3. Junlu Villa
This villa was built by Guan Chongjun on his return to China from Canada.
There are other villas that you can visit which are now open to the public.
After seeing the villages of Chikan and Majianglong within the Kaiping Diaolou in China, we returned to the city of Kaiping for food and a night out and stayed in the Milan Hotel.
Here are some of my videos from Majianglong Cluster Village in Guangdong: