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Haikou Clock Tower to be fully opened to tourists
UpdateTime:2019-11-14 author:Ding Xin, Chen Shumin and Yi Fan source:HiHainan

The Haikou Clock Tower nowadays.(Photo by Chen Weidong/Nanguo Dushibao)

On November 12, according to the authority, Haikou Clock Tower located at Changdi Road, as one of the landmarks in Haikou, will be opened to the public. At present, relative experts have been invited to render on-site research and make plans for the opening.

As one of the famous attractions in Haikou, the Clock Tower with a Western style has almost one-hundred-year history. On the morning of November 12, not a few tourists took photos in front of the Clock Tower, with the door of the first floor open. The staff members were guiding the tourists to learn about the long history of Haikou Clock Tower through electronic screens or pamphlets. "At present, we just have the first floor opened to the public, while many tourists want to ascend to the other parts of the tower which are not opened yet," the staff introduced that the Clock Tower has attracted a number of tourists since the first floor was opened since February this year, with a continued rise of reception. In order to meet more needs of tourists, the opening hours is from 8:00 10:00 p.m. every day (excluding holidays).

The opening plan is under discussion

Chen Honghui, deputy director of the Qiongya's 1st Communist Party Congress Conference Site Management Office, said that the full opening of the Clock Tower to the public visitors will not only make them more aware of the history but also satisfy the tourists' visiting needs." We are considering restoring the appearance of the four-sided clocks to the very shape of the German clock in 1929, highly referring to the historic design, so the visitors may have a better visual experience of that history." Chen Honghui said that the Clock Tower has a total of 6 floors, and each floor is only 12 square meters. The stairs are only 60cm wide which can only allow one person to go through. The gradient of the stairs leading to the roof, which cannot allow two or more people to go up and down, is nearly 70 degree°. From the perspective of safety, the specific way to open to visitors is still under discussion.

The history of the Haikou Clock Tower

The Haikou Clock Tower in the 1930s.

As a timer for the port and shipping in the past, the Haikou Clock Tower is also can be seen as a historical witness to the development of Haikou. The present Clock Tower is not the one that was originally established in 1929 when Haikou had the prosperous trade and business activities.

But at that time, Haikou did not have a unified standard timer facility. Businessman Mr. Zhou Chengmei raised funds from overseas Chinese to imitate the coastal cities like Guangzhou and Shanghai and built the Haikou Clock Tower at Changdi Road Pier in 1929 to unify the time.

At that time, with hybrid structure,the Clock Tower was five stories high and covered an area of 16 square meters. Its wall was made of red brick and white lime. The big clock was set on the fifth floor, telling time every 30 minutes. Then, to adapt to the development needs for the opening of Hainan Special Economic Zone, the Haikou Municipal People's Government reconstructed the old Haikou Clock Tower into a modern one with the advanced electronic clock in 1987.