With the same precision as a Swiss clock, Haikou’s Clock Tower stands proud, testament to the history and development of Hainan island’s capital city.
If you are keen to have a glimpse of how European style blends so well with Chinese architecture, you can’t miss heading to the south side of the Haidian River. You’ll surely be overwhelmed with the unique silhouette of the gothic-styled red brick monument.
The 27.3-metre-high tower, overlooking the Renmin Bridge, is nestled in exotic palm trees and is a shining star among Haikou’s exclusive club of “Top 8 sights.”
It was originally built by 1929, thanks to the enterprising spirit of Zhou Chengmei. At the time, the trade union leader wanted to create a unique standard time facility, to guide increasing port and coastal activities. As a driving force of the project, he is still remembered today for his legacy.
If you visit the picture-perfect monument, you’ll hear not only about Zhou Chengmei but also about how the jaw-dropping structure was partially destroyed during the Cultural Revolution.
You’ll also learn that it was rebuilt by the end of the 1980s, near its original base because of a wider road project along the river. The fifth-floor old clock was replaced with a 21st century version, which still chimes the time every 30 minutes, signalled with a new bell.
At night, the clock is illuminated with LED lights. A magical moment which is even greater if you have the chance to see the annual light show that drenches the Clock Tower in colours.
No.20 Changdi Road, Longhua District, Haikou (海口龙华区长堤路20号)
If you’re planning to visit Haikou’s Clock Tower, get ready for a crowd of tourists. Should you have to wait to enter, you can always use the time to captures some photos with your family and friends or enjoy the warm breeze coming off the surrounding Haidian river.
Make sure you plan a good amount of time here, so you can absorb all the history of the monument. You can start your visit at 08:00 local time. Due to the increasing number of tourists, the tower stays open every day (except holidays), until 22:00.