Kaiping, on the Pearl River Delta near the former Portuguese colony of Macau, is famous for the 1,800 or so castle-like towers scattered across its surrounding rice fields. Originally built in the Ming era to protect settlements from bandits, these quirky structures were later erected by local emigré families to show off their wealth. Many can be climbed for delightful views over the adjacent farming villages. If you’re in the area in the summer, your guide may well encourage you to sample a popular local snack, ‘grass jelly’, made of bitter herbs and honey.

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