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Home Tour Options Guangzhou Walking Tours Urban Village Tours

Urban Village Tour

Guangzhou Urban Vllage Tour

There're 138 Urban villages in Guangzhou, they are rural villages in decades ago that have been surrounded by the rapid outward expansion of China's cities.  As their farmland was converted to new urban uses, the cores of these villages remained intact, as often did their systems of collective ownership and government. To survive in the city these farmers lacking farmland used their remaining land for housing rental and industry. In many Chinese cities, these informal housing rentals have come to provide a home away from home and space of operation for migrants from other regions, especially given the challenges of China's hukou household registration system, which regulates migrant's access to more formal markets.

Urban villages are commonly inhabited by the poor and transient, and as such they are associated with squalor, overcrowding and social problems. However, they are also among the liveliest areas in some cities and are notable for affording economic opportunity to newcomers to the city.

With respect to the representation and ideological construction of a stereotypical urban villager, urban village residents are identified as migrants, who have come to pursue the Guangzhou dream of a better life. There are different people, different dialects, different living styles, you can see a vibrant scene with hustle and bustle. Thousands of workers from other small cities or remote villages live here because the lower rent.

A series of portraits literalizes this understanding as young workers pose next to a sign in which they have written their job, salary, length of time in Guangzhou, and dream. These scenes of everyday life relentlessly publicize what in middle class homes are kept private. We see, for example, people sleeping and eating, children playing and urinating, friends playing cards, local security apprehending someone, and prostitutes resting.

Duration: Approx. 45 minutes
Walking Distance: 1.9 km

Note: This tour do not operate independently, it's as a supplement to half day tour if there is extra time.