Lonely Planet review

The pretty village of Zìlì, 11km west of Kāipíng, has the largest collection of diāolóu . Fifteen towers rise beautifully amid the paddy fields but only a few are open to the public. The most stunning is Míngshí Lóu (铭石楼) which has a verandah with Ionic columns and baroque embellishments, and a hexagonal pavilion supported by European columns on its roof. It appeared in the 2010 film Let the Bullets Fly . Yúnhuàn Lóu (云幻楼) has four towers known as ‘swallow nests’, each with embrasures, cobblestones and a water cannon.

Next to the village is Fang Clan’s Dēng Lóu (方氏灯楼), aka Light Tower, because of its powerful searchlight.