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Living by the water
Overseas Chinese Town, innovating Gulou Waterfront with a creative idea
With a total investment of RMB 5 billion, Gulou Waterfront will be developed into the most beautiful water town in Lingnan, China
Benchmark of Eco-Cultural Tourism Resortin Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area
Overseas Chinese Town (hereinafter as OCT) Gulou Waterfront Eco-Cultural Tourism Resort is an innovative integration project, new-type urbanization + beautiful countryside, launched by OCT Group. It is one of the prime cultural tourism construction projects in Guangdong Province in 2020, and also an important starting point for Jiangmen to “endeavor to build a hundred billion cultural tourism industry and focus on the leading project construction”. With a planned investment of RMB 5 billion and the theme of “living by the water”, Gulou Waterfront is projected for the most beautiful Lingnan Waterfront in China and the benchmark of eco-cultural tourism in the Guangdong-Hong Kong-Macao Greater Bay Area. The overall planning project covers an area of about 10 square kilometers, of which the main scenic area is about 3 square kilometers, including the core scenic area with a coverage of three parks, and agricultural and Wing Chun cultural heritage revitalization areas. Upon coming to fruition, it is expected to receive 3 million to 5 million tourists per year.
The first phase of OCT Gulou Waterfront Resort, opened to the public on the National Day & Mid-Autumn Festival, mainly includes Gulou Waterfront Visitor Center, boat tour and recreational events. Besides the first opening area, the rest of the projects will be completed and open in succession since 2021.
Visitor Center, swaying water style
In the distance the main building of Visitor Center looks like a lotus leaf swaying in the wind, captivating and graceful, moving along with stillness. The shading structure and natural light offer fresh and natural atmosphere. When the tourists are in the Center, the multi-functional shops are all available, like the visitor service center, exhibition center, food & dining, souvenir shop, etc. presented incisively and vividly with unique water and rural leisure. Utterly fulfilling the enquiry of tourist information, the Center adequately integrates the features and folk customs of Gulou Waterfront, promising that it is not only an open urban space, but also a point for tourists to experience the culture of Waterfront and touch the pulse of it.
"Drifting in Dream" Boat Tour, living by the water for one day
Six km Boat Tour is unique and exciting. Different from standard boat boats, our boat is characterized with the local cultural elements for adornment. For example, such traditional local ornaments as hemp fiber, gauze shade, fence, bamboo weaving handicraft, etc. are exhibited on the awning, triggering tourists’ memory of Waterfront’s primitive simplicity and purity, and allowing their savoring the charm of the Waterfront. Additionally, the windows of the stern are in a style of classical Chinese garden, charmingly dotting among pavilions and corridor bridges to combine the natural beauty of the outside and human landscape of the inside. Here, the visitors are absorbed into the beauty of pure and fresh Gulou Waterfront to taste the affinity and warmth of nature.
Boat tour is mainly designed with the concept of “boat culture” of the Waterfront, allowing tourists to take a boat trip from Visitor Center and to enjoy the fun of “living by the water for one day” through experiencing the themed scenic spots one after another. The tour is dreamy to achieve an artistic conception with a combination of fantasy and reality. Tourists are in the floating boat while listening to the tune, in the blue waves rippling, lotus fragrance moonlight. When you take the tour, you seem to have a sweet dream. Passing through tens of thousands of golden weeping willows, the tourists transcend the real world and enter into a dream of tranquility and seclusions as the boats sail smoothly across the river. On its way, pavilions, viewing decks and various landscape ornaments along the way come into view one after another, delighting the traveler’s eye.
Recreation in the Waterfront, backing to living by the water
Besides, the recreational events in Gulou Waterfront are colorful and refreshing. The fixed-site performing arts, “Gulou Psalm”, and the marching performances in the Boat, “Go to the market, go fishing and farming, and visit the exhibition”, show tourists the 700-year free flowing water life. The former, “Gulou Psalm”, conveys the appeal with Gulou traditional cultural songs and dances as the media. The latter, “Go to the market, go fishing and farming, and visit the art exhibition”, reverts the aboriginal comforts of the Waterfront of “go to the fair on water, farm on pond basis, drink in tea pavilion, and dance in lotus bush” in the history by means of semi-performing arts, so that tourists are no longer onlookers, but as if you are the locals of the Waterfront with personal experience of the slow and relaxing life.
The first phase of OCT Gulou Waterfront project is open. Welcome to the freshly new Waterfront with much beauty and fun.
Retain aborigines, and maintain the original life of Gulou Waterfront
Realize the co-prosperity and symbiosis between the cultural tourism development area and the villagers
Gulou Waterfront, as a rarely pristine Waterfront in southern Lingnan, is dotted with fish ponds, a network of rivers, villages, running water, stone bridges, encircling piers, banyan trees scattered among them, and the attractive scenery of small bridges, running water and houses can be seen everywhere, which are also unique features of the Waterfront. In contradistinction to Jiangnan and other Waterfronts’ development strategy of “clear first, develop later, with closed management and operation”, OCT boldly adopts the strategy of “keeping aborigines, sharing and co-building with opening-up operation” to present the original life flavor and retain the most touching scene of Gulou Waterfront. Old people playing chess in the shade of banyan trees, fishermen fishing in fish ponds, villagers irrigating the fields on the wharf, and their cooking smoke curling up on encircling piers...All these are the root of Gulou Waterfront. Only by keeping aboriginal people can we really maintain the spirit of Gulou Waterfront. All the projects are to preserve the living memory of the 700-year-old village, to connect the rural life with contemporary aesthetic pace, to revitalize local culture, and to realize the co-integration and symbiosis between the areas and the villagers.
Initiate # Wandering in Gulou # project
Spread the local cultural heritages of agriculture and Wing Chun
For the implementation of Gulou Waterfront project, Jiangmen OCT adheres to the development strategy of respecting, protecting, excavating and activating folk cultures, with culture coming first and initiating a series of activities “Wandering in Gulou”. In Visitor Center, tourists watch the three episodes of the documentary “Wandering in Gulou” and visit the special exhibition “Wandering in Gulou” collections and creations. “Wandering in Gulou”, as the first cultural project of Gulou Institute set up by OCT, shows the viewers the beauty of Gulou with cultural revitalization achievements by the joint efforts of three creators: the painter & architect under a pseudonym of Yushan Fankuan, the flavorist Jieni and the musician Xiaohe. Upon their experiencing the charm of Gulou from the perspective of the public, they convert their perception in the form of art, by means of the documentary, exhibition of collection and creation, and cultural and creative gifts.

OCT Gulou Institute is a long-term public non-profit project, aiming to carry forward and revitalize the unique agricultural heritage characterized with the aborigines inhabiting 10-square-kilometer mulberry fish ponds and encircling piers, as well as Wing Chun cultural heritage of the hometown of Wing Chun Master Liangzan. So far, besides the series of activities “Wandering in Gulou”, the Center has completed a 300-page interview record of Gulou culture mining with 200,000 words, and three volumes of “365 Anecdotes of Gulou Waterfront”. Currently, Gulou Waterfront also organizes the activities to recruit experience officers and collect short videos to actively interact with the public and show the charm of Gulou Waterfront from a multi-dimensional perspective.
OCT Gulou Waterfront Eco-cultural Tourism Resort
A museum without walls
It is known that the primary focus of OCT Gulou Waterfront project is on the study of local culture and its revitalization. In the process of project development, it takes the strategies of “revitalize culture, advance ecology, focus on circumstance, and conduct infinite innovation”, integrating and activating the features, like ecological wetland, mulberry fish ponds, ancient dwellings, folk culture and so forth, to deepen the tourists’ experience of the Waterfront. With grand curation which refers to purpose-oriented planning from the perspective of visitors, rooted in all aspects of Gulou’s daily life and culture, digging the local cultural interests, it takes sustained efforts to spread the fruit brought by excavation of cultural resources into every corner of the Waterfront through planning and scene setting to operate a “museum of Waterfront without walls”, and constantly it develops new on-site experiences to bring everlasting excitement to the tourists.

Eight regions, eight emotions of life by the water
The main scenic area is about 3 square kilometers. Focusing on the needs of the target customers and combining with the functional characteristics of the area, Gulao water village of OCT will construct eight major areas with eight kinds of emotional stories, so that tourists can experience the free flowing water village life. They will present the diversified image of Gulao, so that tourists can deeply experience a Gulao water town with content, temperature, emotion, memory and connection.
The main scenic area is about 3 square kilometers. Based on the needs of target tourists and the functions and characteristics of the area, OCT Gulou Waterfront designs eight areas with eight emotional stories to have tourists experience living by the water, embodying diverse images of Gulou, and manifesting Gulou’s content, temperature, emotion, memory and connection.
Xichen Guest Reception Area: with the theme of “Welcome You”, you can experience the enthusiastic Gulou in Visitor Center and Jiejia Garden;
Guxu View Area: with the theme of “Gathering Together”, you can experience the prosperous Gulou in the Upper and Lower Gulouxu Market;
Children’s Dream Area: with the theme of “Seeking Children’s Fun”, you can experience the plain Gulou of Children’s Fun in the Children’s Dream Paradise and the Children’s Dream Parent-Child Hotel;
Countryside Time Area: with the theme of “Self-observation”, you can experience the leisurable Gulou in Time Lawn and Leisure Manor;
Boat Tour Area: with the theme of “Feeling Heaven and Earth”, you can experience the mysterious and natural Gulou in Henghai Wave Watch and Barefoot Park;
Shisanfang Area: with the theme of “Washing Dust”, you can experience Gulou that benefits and nourishes your health.
Huiguan Street Area: with the theme of “Heroes Rendezvous”, you can experience Gulou where heroes’ names are handed down for later generations.
Pure Waterfront Area: with the theme of “Homecoming”, you can eTo fulfill the mission, to renown Lingnan Waterfront,
OCT retains the most touching charm of Gulou, and endows Gulou with a newly poetic idea in light of the forefront of The Times,
To construct a unique Eco-cultural Tourism Resort in China and even the world.
xperience Gulou living by the water.
Address: Navigate to "OCT Gulou Waterfront Visitor Center"
Customer Service Tel: 400 9300 033
WeChat Public Number: Gulou Waterfront