In contrast to leaning towers built in the countryside by villagers, Chikan was a rich and refined town built with the money of Cantonese merchants who made their fortune in North America and came back to resettle in native Kaiping. Emigrants invested in roads, ferry station and public buildings: they fully paid for their own town. There were movie theaters, libraries and an opera house. Convenient river access allowed for the business to continue and prosper. Burghers of Chikan wore western dress and peppered their speech with English words.
They came in the 1920's and left for Hong Kong and the US in the end of the 1930's. The town was later repopulated somewhat, but to this day, half the buildings are empty.
UPDATE: As I recently found out, this was not Ektachrome, but different movie film, Vision-2 250D 5205. So I accidentally cross-processed the negative roll in E-6. I'm happy that Ektachrome is rehabilitated!