This sort of eclectic house is called a Dialou in Cantonese and is typical of the homes built by expatriot Cantonese men who went overseas to earn their fortunes. They are universally known as "sojourners" as they fully intended to return to China after they had made their fortune. Except the Japanese invasion of China intervened and then Mao came down from the North with a bit of a thing about wealth landowners! Without exception, these men never returned home and the houses and the land was subsumed by the communist government and generally let out or made available to family or squatters.
In a recent enlightened move the Provincial Governments around Toisan and Kaiping have returned ownership of the properties and some land to descendants of the builders, where they can be found. My wife's two brothers are in effect joint owners of this lovely but decrepit house beside a pond in the middle of an agricultural province in the middle of a small part of a huge country.
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Photo taken in Taishan, Jiangmen, Guangdong, China
Misplaced? Suggest new location