Chikan 赤坎 Home to the Grandmaster and Qilou Buildings

Chikan

Kaiping, Guangdong Province

 Home to the Grandmaster and Qilou Buildings

Rows of historic Qilou buildings and old world charm await the traveler in the Guangdong Village of Chikan

Chikan 赤坎 River Front  Qilou Buildings
Chikan 赤坎 River Front Qilou Buildings

Arrival in Chikan 赤坎 is quite spectacular. The town’s unique riverine setting, and it’s unbroken line of Qilou style buildings strung out along the entire Tanjiang River front, is one of Southern China’s most impressive sights.

Qilou Buildings Chikan
Qilou Buildings Chikan

The town invites exploration, but at the same time there are the small, appealing restaurants under the Qilou arcades. This poses a dilemma for the traveler; exploration first, or a cold beer; we chose the latter, but both options are great. Chikan is a place to linger.

Qilou Buildings Chikan
Qilou Buildings Chikan

Qilou buildings are a construction style that developed in the late 19th and early 20th Century in Guangdong Province. As city streets were widened, Qilou buildings began to spring up. They combined 18th Century Western architectural styles with traditional Cantonese styles.

Qilou Buildings with Wooden Shutters and Coloured Glass
Qilou Buildings with Wooden Shutters and Coloured Glass

The most prominent features are the pillared columns that provide shoppers and shopkeepers’ alike with shelter from the merciless sun and the torrential downpours. The upper floors, usually three or four, are characterized by their European influenced wooden shutters or stained glass windows.

Chikan Backstreets
Chikan Backstreets

While some of the river front houses have been turned into Continue reading “Chikan 赤坎 Home to the Grandmaster and Qilou Buildings”