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Kaiping Diaolou (碉樓/碉楼, Watchtowers)

Kaiping Building (开平雕楼)

The diaolou (碉樓/碉楼, watchtowers) are fortified multi-storey towers, generally made of reinforced concrete. These towers are located mainly in Kaiping County, Guangdong province, China. Kaiping together with its neighbouring counties of Enping, Taishan and Xinhui are collectively known as the "Four counties" (it was from the four counties that many of the Chinese labourers to North America, Australia, and Southeast Asia originated from).

Also known as the "Kaiping diaolou", the first towers were built during the early Qing Dynasty, reaching a peak in the 1920s and 1930s, when there were more than three thousand of these structures. Today, approximately 1,833 diaolou remain standing in Kaiping, and approximately 500 in Taishan. Although the diaolou served mainly as protection against forays by bandits, a few of them also served as living quarters.

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