Welcome to the Official site of Fujian Tulou(Yongding)

Travel Guide

How to get there ?

 

Flight Travel To Tulou

 

No airports at Yongding County and Nanjing County, you are supposed to fly for Xiamen, then travel overland from Xiamen to the Tulou Clusters in Yongding and Nanjing counties.

 



























































Train Travel to Tulou Clusters


Fujian Tulou Clusters are largely scattered in the mountainous areas in Yongding County and Nanjing County. Yongding County has a small train station with a few daily passing by trains. At the time of my writing, the Nanjing County Train Station is still under construction.
If you would like to take a train to visit Tulou Cluster, you are advised to book your trains for Xiamen, Longyan, Fuhzou or Meizhou in Guangdong, then jump from these cities overland to the Tulou Clusters in Yongding or Nanjing.
The Passing by Trains stop at Yongding
Fuzhou - Shenzhen Train K638 8:01am at Yongding; Shenzhen - Fuzhou K636 04:48 at Yongding
Xiamen - Guangzhou East Train K298 22:53 at Yongding; Guangzou East - Xiamen Train 297 03:52 at Yongding
Xiamen - Kunming Train K230 22:25 at yongding; Kunming - Xiamen Train K232 2:50 at Yongding

 

 















Overland Travel to Tulou

 

Fujian Tulou are mainly composed of Nanjing Tulou and Yongding Tulou. To visit Nanjing Tulou overland from Xiamen, you take the long distance buses from Hubin Nan Bus Station (厦门湖滨南长途汽车站) starting 7:00am 8:30am and 12:10. It will take 2 and half hours.
To visit Yongding Tulou, you take the long distance buses from Songbai Bus Station (厦门松柏长途汽车站) starting from 06:35, 07:20, and 13:00,Enquiry: 0592-5060606, 5077737, 6111666; or take the buses from Jimei Bus Station Xiamen (厦门集美长途汽车站) starting from 07:05,07:50, 11:30 and 13:30 Enquiry: 0592-6068319;or Hubin Bus Station Xiamen (厦门湖滨长途汽车) starting from 06:15, 07:00, 11:00 and 12:40,Enquiry: 0592-506 0592 - 8111777, 6111777.
Also you can take buses from Longyan to Yongding and see the bus schedule below:

 









 

Get Around in Tulou Areas

Yongding Tulou are mainly composed of three tulou clusters - Hongkeng Tulou Cluster in Hukeng Town, Baobei Tulou Cluster in Gaotou Town and Chuxi Tulou Cluster in Chuxi Village of Xiayang Town. There are daily buses running from Yongding to the three towns - Hukeng Town, Gaotou Town and Xiayang Town.
At present, there are no shuttle buses operating among the three tulou clusters in Yongding. For most cases, you have to use the local private cars, vans or mini buses, or even motorbikes.

Maps

Orverview

Fujian Tulou Map

Welcome to Fujian Tulou (Yongding), China

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Distribution

Fujian Tulou Map

 

Welcome to Fujian Tulou (Yongding), China

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Gaobei Tulou

Gaobei Tulou Cluster Map

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Chuxi Tulou

Chuxi Tulou Cluster Map

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Nanxi Tulou

Nanxi Tulou Cluster Map

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Zhongchuan

Zhongchuan ancient village Map

 

Fujian Tulou (simplified Chinese: 福建土楼; traditional Chinese: 福建土樓; pinyin: Fújiàn Tǔlóu, "Fujian earthen structures") is a type of Chinese rural dwellings of the Hakka and Minnan (Fulao[) people in the mountainous areas in southeastern Fujian,

Travel Tips

Emergencies

In the event an emergency in mainland China, the police telephone number is 110, fire is 119 and ambulance is 120.

 

In Hong Kong and Macau, dialing 999 will contact emergency services.

 

Telephone

Sample Phone Dialing Codes in China

 

Telephone/Fax. eg: 8610 (86=China,10=Beijing) 6582 3886

 

                       eg: 86571 (86=China,571=Hangzhou) 8795 1358

 

Mobile Phones. eg: 86 1390 126 1185 (Mobiles start with 13, 15, 18..........)

 

Some phone numbers are printed without the initial China/Province/Municipality codes.





















RENTAL PHONES & CHARGES

 

Purchase a prepaid SIM card with nationalwide low rates from China Mobile or its agencies before your China trip (search: China Sim Card, and you'll find a list of reliable agencies online). This card can be "topped up" if you find that you are running low on credit. There are numerous China Mobile outlets or convenience stores where you can find a China Mobile refill card in most China cities. It would be wise to bring along an inexpensive cell phone (GSM 900 and 1800) because it can be easily misplaced, lost or stolen; but local agencies also provide one-stop rental service. If you do not have a compatible cell phone, Cellular Abroad and others also rent and sell them A note of interest. In the process of purchasing the sim card, you are allowed to choose auspicious numbers (eg: 3388 6633 9988 etc) from a long list. However you have to pay extra for that privilege. Rates are considerable lower than roaming with your current carrier.

 

Rates are a low $0.05 per minute to make calls within China or back to the USA or Canada

 

Please note that approximately 50% of all USA carriers' handsets will not work in China. Check with your provider to confirm.

 

INTERNATIONAL/LOCAL CALLING CARDS

 

Most locals make their phone calls from a "call centre" which is usually a simple kiosk selling anything from newspapers, everyday needs, to fruits. Always look out for a phone or phones sitting on the counter. You can make local or international calls on these phones. You normally hand the proprietor the phone number. He dials for you and then hands you the phone. There is a gadget fixed to the phone which times your call. You pay accordingly. The cost of the calls from these phones can be very reasonable. Sometimes these "call centres" can be just 2 phones sitting on a window sill as in so many hutongs in Beijing. There is one such centre in Wangfujing with just the simple word "Telephone" on the doorway. When you enter, it is just a small table on which are sitting two phones attended usually by a young lady. You can also purchase phone cards from these places too. If you are travelling in far flung regions in China, these phones are most useful. These phones are usually bright red or bright blue in colour.

 

MAKING CALLS FROM CHINA POST

 

Alternatively, you can make calls from any CHINA POST establishment. Go to the counter where the phones are. (Do not attempt to queue. Do like the locals do. Otherwise you will find that you will never make that call! Apologies to any Mainland Chinese, but you can be pushed aside by the locals who all seemed to be in a hurry to make their phone calls. This was at the CHINA POST centre at the Beijing Railway Station. Things might be different in other places.) You have to pay a deposit of 100 Yuan and you will then be told to pick up phone No....(the phones are numbered). Your call is timed in pretty much the same way as the local "call centres". After your call, the cost will be deducted and you will be given your change together with a receipt. The overseas call charges from China Post can be more expensive than expected.

 

RATES FOR INTERNATIONAL CALLS

 

International direct dial:

landline: 0.80 yuan / 6 seconds

mobile: 8.00 yuan / min

 

Phone card: from 0.30 yuan / min to 4.80 yuan / min

 

Local Mobile: from 0.30 yuan / min to 8.00 yuan / min

 

It's quite difficult to list all the rates of calling from China to overseas. More details at this place www.callfromchina.com

 

001 ( zero zero one ) is the International Access Code to dial out from "within" Hong Kong.

852 ( eight five two ) is the International Telephone Country Code for Hong Kong.

00 ( zero zero ) is the International Access Code to dial out from "within" Mainland China.

86 ( eight six ) is the International Telephone Country Code for Mainland China.

 

Important Phrases

 




















 

Hello           Ni hao (KNEE how)

 

Good-bye           Zai jian (ZYE jeeyen)

 

Thank you           Xie xie (SHE-ay she-ay)

 

Sorry           Dui bu qi (DWAY boo chee)

 

Where is the washroom? Xi shou jian zai nar? (SHE show jeeyen zye nar?)

 

It's too expensive!           Tai gui! (TIE gway)

 

Learn Chinese from Confucius

 

by Confucius (Linguistic Consultant to Lonely Planet Thorn Tree and Virtual Tourist)

 

Lesson 1: Ordering food at a restaurant

Hello! Confucius has translated a menu from English into Mandarin complete with simplified Confucian romanization to assist you in China.

*

Rice = "Mee Fan"

Corn = "You Mee"

Fish Head = "You Toe!"

Fish Skin = "You Pee!"

Pork = "Jew Row"

Pig's Ears = "Jew 'R' Dwoe"

Peking Duck = "Cow Ya"

Sea Cucumber = "High Shun"

Steak = "New Pie"

Spareribs = "Pie Goo"

Mushrooms = "Mo' Goo"v

Carrots = "Who Lobo?"

Potato = "Two Doe"

Vegetables = "Shoe Sigh"

French Fries = "Shoe T'yao"

Salt = "Yen"

Egg = 'G' Dawn

Grapes = Pooh Tao"

Cheese = "Gone Lao"

Yogurt = "Swan Nigh"

Popsicle = "Bing Gooner"

Ice Cream = "Bing Chee Lean"

Jasmine Tea = "Moly Whaw Chaw!"

Beer = "Pee Joe"

Pepsi Cola = "Buy Shir Colla' "

 

Lesson 2 Use Cantonese in Hong Kong and Guangzhou

Cantonese is useful when visiting Hong Kong and Guangzhou. If you try to use Cantonese with the local people, then you will be treated to more smiles and cheaper prices. This easy lesson once again uses English words to facilitate fluent Chinese pronunciation:

 

Hello! = "Nay ho!"

Good morning! = "Joe sawn!"

Taxi! = "Dik see!"

Let's getting off the bus (or subway) now! = "Loke chay!" (nudge nudge)

How much does this cost? = "Gay doe cheen?"

This is delicious! = "Ho Ho sick!" (For beverages say "ho yum")

Let's eat! = "Sick fawn!"

steamed rice = "bock fawn"

fried rice = "chow fawn"

Don't have any = "Mo" (Often used by shopkeepers and the 3 Stooges)

You're crazy! = "Cheeee sing!"

No problem! = "Mo mun tie"

Foreign devil = "Say gwigh low" (Point at your nose when using this word)

Check, please! = "Migh dawn!"

Cantonese is very difficult to speak = "Gwong doe'ng wa hoe naan gong"

 

You know that's not right, don't you? = Nay yawmo GOW choe waaah!*

(emphasis on the GOW, which rhymes with "cow")

 

* Use this phrase liberally in almost any situation with anybody that you encounter. Add a "cheeee sing" immediately afterwards for added effect (guaranteed uncontrollable laughter from all Cantonese speaking folks in your vicinity) "Nay yawmo GOW choe waaah; ... cheeee sing!"

 

(From tripadvisor.com)

 

Crossing the Border

 

To travel into China you need a visa stuck into your passport. As of August 2009, most nationalties can obtain a Chinese visa in Hong Kong from the visa office in Wanchai. There is a 'blacklist' of 33 countries including India, Indonesia and South Africa for which passport holders might have to apply in their own country. To save time while travelling, it is wise to go to an embassy or consulate in your own country to apply for a Chinese visa in advance. In the UK you have to use the services of a visa agency connected to the embassy in London and the Manchester consulate, while if you live in Scotland you can still apply in person at the Edinburgh consulate. There is some info on applying (Oct 2010) for UK citizens in this thread: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-... In the USA, the consulate in Houston has received good reports, while the New York Consulate is one to avoid. The consulate in LA is mostly used by agencies. However, you can drop off your visa request in person in the morning and come back in the afternoon for same day service. This was tested on a Tourist visa. Note though that the consulate in LA is right next to Skid Row and not a generally nice area. Generally it is wise to use an agency in the USA such as MyChina Visa as you are more likely to get a longer visa and more enteries. To apply for a visa you will need a completed visa application form and one recent passport sized photo. Regulations from 2008 that asked for return flight tickets and accommodation bookings are generally not enforced in 2009.

 

It is usually recommended that you apply for your visa 1 - 2 months before your intended travel. Tourist visas are normally valid for 3 months from the issue date for your first entry into China. After entering China you are then permitted to stay for the length of time indicated on your visa. If you apply too early, and even if you state clearly when your confirmed travel dates are, you may find that your visa has already expired. It is very important that you have a correct and valid visa. If you do not, it is likely that you will be refused entry at the border even if you are (mistakenly) permitted to board any transport to China. See this traveller's unfortunate experience: http://www.tripadvisor.com/ShowTopic-...

 

When completing the itinerary section of the visa appication form do not mention Tibet. For a longer visa, it is a good idea to write a long itinerary visiting many provinces. For tourist L visas, length of entries are usually 30 or 60 days and occasionally 90 days or longer. You can extend a visa once and sometimes twice when in China at the local PSB office for a fee, or if you have a double or multi entry, you can leave China by crossing the border at Hong Kong for example, and then retruning to start a new entry.

 

For a business/working visa you also need to have an invitation letter from a Chinese Company or business counterpart which clearly states that the trip to China is business-related. Alternatively a letter of introduction from the company in which you are working can be accepted as well. Normally it will take 3-4 working days to process however you can have a second day pick-up or third day pick-up if you want to pay extra Or you can have it sent to by mail. Make sure your passport has a minimum validity of 6 months before the travel date. If you are going to be travelling between Hong Kong and China you will need to get a double entry visas.

 

You used to be able to obtain visas at Hong Kong Airport fairly quickly and easily. See: Hong Kong Airport China Visa .

 

NOTE (1): Visa on arrival at Shenzhen / Zhuhai is possible for most nationalities - the main exception is American passport holders. Cost is 160 Rmb for most passport holders, but around 450 Rmb for British passport holders.

 

NOTE (2): Different visa issuing offices are interpreting these regulations in different ways. For example, for Australians and Americans applying in their home country one year multi entry visas are quite common. For som other nationalities, single or double entry appear to be the maximum possible.

 

(From tripadvisor.com)

 

Banks & Money

 

The currency of China is the renminbi (RMB) or yuan (or colloquially known as 'kwai') though you will probably see Hong Kong dollars floating around southern China. ATMs are abundant in most areas of China, and credit cards are widely accepted in metropolitan areas like Hong Kong, Shanghai, and Beijing.

 

 

While ATMs have become increasingly common and are generally very convenient, traveller's checks remain a viable option in China. They can be exchanged at airports, banks, some large department stores, and many hotels at a rate slightly better than cash. Exchange rates are regulated, so rates are generally about the same anywhere.

 

When exchanging money in China, it is important to retain exchange receipts. These are needed to convert Renminbi back into foreign currency when leaving China. You may convert up to half of the amount of Renminbi shown on your receipts. Alternatively you can take currency out of China and convert abroad though exchange rates will mean losses! Note that this only relate to cash exchange receipts. Withdrawal receipts from ATM's will not allow you to convert your RMB's back to foreign currency in China.

 

Credit cards are becoming increasingly popular and and are accepted in most hotels, shops and restaurants as well as in many supermarkets. Cash is king in China though, and cards are generally not accepted for causal expenses. Carrying a reasonable amount of cash to pay for drinks, snacks, buses, taxis and small souvenirs or other small purchases is therefore a sensible precaution.

 

(From tripadvisor.com)

 

Travelogue

World Cultural Heritage

In 1960s, it was said that when American satellite pictured China’s territory from outer space, the working staff amazedly found there were many distributing unidentified large buildings, some were round and some were square. They thought them to be the missile-launch base; they had unexpectedly found China was so strong in military power! But that was misreading, even a fun. After the establishment of Sino-USA diplomatic relations, American focusers know these “missile launch base” actually was Tulou Building; a very typical civilian’s building in Fujian province, an east province in China.

 

These small Tulou windows look like gunpoints

 

Crowned as the gem of world folk residential architectures, Fujian Tulou is mainly dispatched in the south of Fujian province, nearby Guangdong province. China has broad territory and time-honored history, the diversity of folk residential buildings, such as Siheyuan(Beijing folk living house), Weilongwu( in English: the encircling-dragon houses), Shikumen (literally "stone gate" is a style of housing in Shanghai, China, which blended features of east and west),cave house(a northern-style house, widely found in Shaanxi and Shanxi Province, It is looks like a cave, and often made in the steep loess cliff, it is cool in summer and warm in winter, generally in Yanan, as the holyland of China Communist Party, this kind of house could be found), bamboo house, a house widely built in southern China for humidity-resistance; as well as Mongolian yurts, a moveable house for stock raising, are world-widely famous, While the Tulou building in Fujian Province in the mountainous area is unknown in the world. Among Chinese traditional residences, Tulou building in Yongding is particular with the forms of square, round, octagon and ellipse. There are more than 8000 Tulou buildings over there. It is marvelous for its both functionaries in aesthetics and usage.

 

The civilians of Tulou building is closely linked with the history of Hakka. Hakka people originally came from the middle or north of China, to avoid the annoyance and danger of wars and famine, they were forced to move to the southern China. (Historically, China has the tradition of immigration with the different motives. After Emperor Qin Shi Huang united China, and moved roughly millions of people to the territorial border and also migrated many people to the southern place, at that time an uncivilized area. In Han Dynasty, three major local administrative officials were established, and many central people moved there. During the Southern and Northern dynasties, due to the instability and wars, many people moved to southern area, which greatly enhance the productivity of southern China. In later North Song Dynasty, due to the south invasion of northern minorities, many people had to move to southern China, so did Tang Dynasty. ) These people live together under the thumb of caste, or they live together for their same family names. Since Southern Song Dynasty, they moved from north place to this unfamiliar area. They deeply knew they should work together to solve different problem in this unfamiliar place.    They live in the mountains to avoid the wars, but in mountains they so suffered from the annoyance and threat from local disputes and bustups, therefore, they established the huge tulou building to safeguard their family and farmland. Wherever they arrive, they were always living together, and then the particular building Tulou appeared.

 
















the inner of a Tulou building

 

There were more than 8000 round and square tulou buildings in Yongding County. The round tulou buildings had 360. The diameter of the round building is 82 meters. The small is the Rushenglou in Hongcun village with the diameter of 17 meters. The oldest one is Chengqikou in Gaoding Village established in 1790. In building at most lived more than 80 families with the population of 360. The most magnificent and representative building is Zhengchenglou in Hongkeng Village

 

The initial style of tulou building was square. It had the palace style, mansion style and so on. People lived together in such a big building. There are many families in it. Generally it has many stories. The ground floor is used for kitchen, the second floor for food store and third floor for bedroom. Because in the southern china, it is often humid, especially in summer and spring, or during the time of plum rain season, so it is very scientific to make such an acute arrangement to avoid the humidity. Commonly, they also raise the domestic animals in buildings, there are also the wells. If enemy-resistance is necessary, they only need to close the gate and assign some young and masculine male to guard the gate. The tulou building is as powerful as the stronghold. People living in it are fully safe. The establishment of tulou building also considered the element of Fengshui theory, and such an old and mysterious principle is strictly used in tulou building. For example the lighting, location and landform are all carefully considered in the building.

 

The materials of building are all from the local. Incidentally the round tulou building has the ability of anti-earthquake. In 1940, a severe earthquake happened, many square tulou were collapsed or broken, except these round tulou buildings. The round tulou building could resist the hurricane, in case the building fell in the trouble of fire accident, it can not spread. Tulou could defend the robber, if the gangsters enter the building, they will be hard to exit when the eight-diagram gate is closed. There are eight sides, and the top of each side, there was a watch room used for building defense.

 

Among so many famous tulou buildings, Zhenchenglou building is most famous, and it was the 19th descendants of Lin Family in Hongkeng Village. His name is Lin Zaiting. At that time, Lin led a poor life and he raised three sons, during the late Qing dynasty, he led his three sons to learn the skill, producing the tobacco knife. Early in North Song Dynasty, tobacco was introduced into inland from Philippines, at that time; tobacco became one important part of national income. These three sons grasped the opportunity of tobacco is welcomed in mainland and came back managed the tobacco business by themselves. They began their business from three Yinyuan (in English, Silver coin ) and built up a tobacco-knife factory entitled Risheng(日升,means the sunrise). Three years later, they built up over 10 factories in neighboring villages. Due to their professional work and the uniqueness of such skill, they finally became the millionaires

 

These three brothers did many great deeds for villagers after they became rich. They built bridges, constructed roads, established the pavilions for cool in summer and built up the schools. Latterly, three brothers spent 200,000 in building the mansion-style square tulou building—Fuyulou(福裕楼,means auspicious and rich building ). In 1903, they built up an school with the style of tradition and westernization---Rixinxuetang,( 日新学堂, means school or college of changing per day). In 1912, Zhenchenglou building was completed, it was spent 5-year time due to the inconvenient transportation in mountainous areas at the cost of 80,000 silver coins.

 

In July 2008, Tulou building was successfully inscribed on the World Cultural Heritage List.

 

Fujian Hakka Tulou

UNESCO'S World Heritage Committee added Hakka Tulou earthen houses to its heritage list in July 2008. The Hakka dwellings are known as Tulou 土楼, literally meaning “mud buildings”. The border where the three provinces of Guangdong, Fujian and Jiangxi meet is littered with tulou’s. Tulou come in different shapes and sizes- there are rectangular, circular, pentagonal (5-sided), imperial style, oval etc. The most common tulou standing today are of rectangular and circular shapes. Most of them are found within the county of Yongding (永定). Yongding County; of which about 360 are circular shaped.

 

The rectangular tulou is an earlier design whereas the circular ones are newer. Rectangular tulou is direction-oriented and has different lighting and ventilation characteristics often resulting in damp and dark corners. Hence these are slowly replaced by the circular design. Both designs are built around a central courtyard that allows in light and ventilation and to house livestock (some of the circular tulou’s also has an inner circular single level building within the compound). They also have wells and complex drainage systems. The outer walls are normally a meter thick with slits for rifles. The entrance is bolted with heavy door.

 

A tulou can be as high as six storeys; the ground level is for livestock and kitchen; grains and other food stuff are stored on the second level while the higher floors are for living. A big tulou can accommodate 80 families with 600 inhabitants. The walls are constructed of local materials- mainly mud with straw, reinforced by bamboo strips. The floors are constructed from thick wood panels. Tulou are defensive design- Hakka often settled in remote hills and faced local hostilities and banditries. Once the doors are bolted and with ample stock of grains, tulou is like a fortress and can be completely self-sufficient for long period of time.

 

The largest circular tulou and also the oldest, built in 1790 is ChengQiLou 承启楼 (in Gaotou township高头乡) has a diameter of 82 meters, the smallest is RuShengLou如升楼 (in HongKengCun 洪坑村) with a diameter of 17 meters. The grandest and generally accepted as the finest example of circular tulou is ZhenChengLou振成楼 (also in HongKengCun 洪坑村). There is only one tulou that is oval shaped, WenChangLou文昌楼 (in TianLuoKhengCun田螺坑村 of Nanjing county南靖县).

 

During the old days, when the Hakka moved from one place to another, they often faced hostilities from the local communities. They also tend to congregate together in close proximity, relying on each other as they are not familiar with local culture and practices. Therefore wherever they went those of the same family and surname tend to stay close to each other for support. As a result, many of the Hakka villages’ residents share one surname- eg. all the residents of HongKhengCun 洪坑村 has the surname of Li.

 

Recommendations

 

There is entrance fee to most of the well-known tulou’s, ranging from 5 RMB for YuChangLuo 裕昌楼 to a hefty 50 RMB for the HongKhengCun 洪坑村and ChuXi group初溪土楼群 (if one is staying at HongKheng, one need to notify the ticket counter on purchasing the ticket to ensure that they record your ticket number so that it is valid for multiple entries during the duration of your stay). Most of the tulou’s are similar is layout, structure and feel; so visiting a couple of the major ones will be sufficient. However it is also worthwhile to go to a couple of lookouts to have a more panoramic view of the tulou groups and the surrounding- and yes, one have to pay to get to some of these lookouts.

 

If one planned to just visit a limited number of tulou’s and lookouts, the following are recommended:

· HongKhengCun 洪坑村: entrance is 50 RMB. This is one of the main attractions of this area. The entrance covers entrance to all the tulou’s inside the village which includes:

o FuYuLou福裕楼

o RuShengLou如升楼

o KuiJuLou奎聚楼

o GuangYuLou光裕楼

o ZhenChengLou振成楼

 

· ChuXi group at XiaYan下洋初溪土楼群: entrance is 50 RMB. Includes entrance to the few tulou’s within the village such as the excellent tulou-museum JiQingLou集庆楼 and a very panoramic lookout.

· TianLuoKhengCun of Nanjing county田螺坑村,南靖县: entrance is 20 RMB which include the lookout.

· HeKheng group lookout 河坑村观景台: the lookout is free while the entrance to the village is 30 RMB. It is sufficient just to visit the lookout without entering the village.

 


























Observations

Virtually all the tulou’s in this region, with the exception of two that has been converted to museums, are “alive” i.e. still inhabited by residents. Most of the dwellers are older folks- the younger ones had mainly moved out to newer and modern brick buildings which are cleaner, more comfortable and hygienic. In fact there have been many cases of tulou’s crumbling due to age and neglect. What will happen to these tulou’s when the older folks passed away will be an unknown. The bigger and nicer ones will have a place in tourism while the faith of the others is question marks.

 

Virtually all the residents around this region are Hakka. There are mainly farmers. As is the norm in rural China, the younger ones tend to be away, working in the major cities. The Hakka are a bunch of super-friendly people.

 

When to visit

The majority of the tulou’s are concentrated round Yongding county which is in southwestern Fujian, bordering Guangdong. Tulou can be visited anytime of the year though it is probably prettier in spring and autumn.

 

Getting There

The tulou’s are scattered in the countryside outside of Yongding. Most of them are concentrated around HuKheng town (湖坑镇) now renamed simply as Tulou 土楼. It is approximately 75 kilometers from Yongding county.

 

To LongYan (龙岩)

Longyan is easily accessed as roads and separate rail lines from Fuzhou, Quanzhou and Xiamen in Fujian converge here to head west to Meizhou in Guangdong. From Longyan there is a local rail link as well as several buses a day to Yongding, 60 kilometers away.

 

To Yongding (永定)

Yongding itself can be reached by few buses every day from major cities such as Xiamen, Quanzhou and Meizhou.

 

To Tulou (土楼)

There is a direct bus (12.00pm) every day from Xiamen to Tulou. Otherwise travelers from Xiamen can take the Yongding or LongYan bus but should alight at the junction of Yongding, Tulou and Fushi town (抚市镇). When boarding the bus from Xiamen, just tell the driver or conductor that you want to go to Tulou and like to get off at Fushi (抚市). At the junction catch any passing bus heading to Tulou. The last bus passing through is not later than 5.30pm. After that, one can still get to Tulou easily by hitching a ride on a truck as there are many such trucks ferrying coal from here to Guangdong.

 

Getting Around

There are no buses to get around from one tulou to another, scattered among the villages. One has to charter a van, together with fellow travelers to get around. Your accommodation hosts should be able to arrange for you. A chartered van for a day cost at least 450 RMB depending on the distance covered.

 

Another option is to ride a motorbike to get around the villages. This is the main mode of transport of locals and there are normally many motorbikes waiting to take passengers (including foreigners) at the various towns. Hiring a motorbike for a day would cost at least 60 RMB depending on the distance. Traveler is advised to clearly list out the tulou’s/places to visit to the motorist before negotiating the price with them.

 

Accommodation

There are a few comfortable accommodation choices in both Yongding and LongYan. However there is really no reason to stay in any of these places unless you are stranded or having to be there to catch an early or late transport out.

 

vOne can stay in most of the frequently visited and bigger tulou’s. The residents will be happy to have you for a fee; however we do not recommend staying in any of them- unless one is really very keen for an overnight experience- for reasons of comfort and hygiene. It is more comfortable to stay in either HongKheng or ChuXi village. There are a couple of residences within the village that has been converted to guesthouses. Among them, we recommend staying at FuYuLou ChangDi KeZhan福裕楼常棣客栈inside HongKhengCun 洪坑村.

 

FuYuLou, a China nationally-protected mansion is a 5-storey rectangular tulou built in 1880. It has three separate courtyards and entrances. One of them is converted into a guesthouse with over 20 rooms. It has shared modern toilets, hot showers and free internet. A double room cost 60 RMB and maybe more during peak seasons. The owner of the tulou and guesthouse is a young chap by the name of Li Qinming 李勤明. If one contacts him earlier, he can arrange for free pickups from Yongding or closer towns. He can also advise on places to visit, transport as well as arranging transport. His contact is:

 

Li Qinming 李勤明

13860221798 (LongYan) or 13459201096 (Xiamen)

Email: tulou@126.com

fuyulou@163.com

fuyulouhotel@hotmail.com

 

Introduction 客家- the Hakka (in Cantonese) or Kejia (in Putonghua)

The majority of the Chinese population is Han. Hakka (in Cantonese) or Kejia (in Putonghua) is a unique subgroup of the Han. The name literally means guest family. In the 19th century, Europeans refer to them as Chinese gypsies.

 

Hakka are believed to have migrated from northern China around the Yangzi basin centuries ago and are progressively forced to move south by war, famine and revolution. Some studies claimed that about seven percent of Chinese traced their roots to a Hakka. Today the majority of the Hakka in China are found in the provinces of Guangdong, Fujian, Jiangxi and Guangxi.

 

Hakka do not have elaborate and colourful dresses, unlike minorities in China. Theirs is conservative and plain. However, they are well-known for their songs, the so-called “mountain songs”, 山歌. These songs can be heard often in the hills of the Hakka community in the old days. They are mainly songs about their surroundings and/or dialogue as well as songs sung during courtship. Today, the major visible heritage of the Hakka is their cuisine as well as their houses of unique architecture, Tulou.

 

Hakka cuisine

Among the unique and popular Hakka dishes which can be found easily in the Hakka-dominated areas of China and overseas Hakka communities are:

 

· Mei Chay Kou Rou (梅菜扣肉): a dish of soya-braised pork belly stewed with preserved vegetables.

· Suan Pan Zi (算盘子): a fry dish of disc-like Suan PanZi (literally means abacus counters) with minced pork, mushroom pieces and so on. SuanPanZi is made from yam and flour and shaped like the counters of abacus.

· Niang Dou Fu (娘豆腐): tofu (beancurds) cut into triangles and stuffed with vegetables and minced pork served either fried or steamed.

· A variety of tasty snacks (小吃) including BaoBin (薄饼), yam-pieces stuffed buns and so on.

 

(From chinabackpacker.info)

 

Pretty Chuxi Tulou

 

Jiqinglou, is one of the oldest earth buildings (Tulou Sites) in the Chuxi Tulou Cluster of Fujian Tulou. Tulou cluster here refers to a group of Hakka earth buildings in a village.

 

Chuxi Tulou Cluster is situated on the hillside, about 40km southeast of Yongding County and 230km southwest of Xiamen City. There are five circular Tulou buildings and over a dozen of rectangular in shape in Chuxi village.

 

The Jiqinglou is typical of the Hakka earth buildings in Chuxi Tulou Cluster. Jiqinglou was built in 1419 during the reign of Emperor Yongle in Ming Dynasty. It stands on the south and faces the north.

 

Jiqinglou is composed of two concentric rings – outer ring and inner ring with four storeys. Normally one Hakka earth building has two or four staircases leading to the the upper floors. But Jiqinglou has 72 staircases dividing the Tulou building into 72 independent Units. Each unit has five rooms.

 

The second ring is a one-storey building. In the center of the second ring is the clan temple.

 

Climbing up to the sightseeing platform on the hillside north of Chuxi Village.

 





















Have a bird’s-eye view of the Chuxi Tulou Cluster




















Again have a clear view of the Chuxi Tulou Cluster.

 

Have a close look at the group of Tulou buildings, circular or rectangular.

 





















We follow a local village guide to the Chuxi Tulou Cluster.





















The village guide takes us to visit Jiqinglou, one of the Hakka Tulou buildings in Chuxi Tulou Cluster






















We are walking up to the earth building – Jiqing Tulou Building





















Our village tour guide is introducing Jiqinglou, one of the oldest Hakka earth building at the entrance.





















We are walking up to the earth building – Jiqing Tulou Building





















Our village tour guide is introducing Jiqinglou, one of the oldest Hakka earth building at the entrance.





















The only main entrance to Jiqinglou Hakka building.






















The outer ring has four storeys while the inner ring has just one story. The center is the clan temple.






















Between the four storeys outer ring and the one storey building in the second ring.






















The clan temple inside






















Jiqinglou Travel Tips

1. Opening tours: 07 – 19:00

2. Children under 1.2 meter is free of charge.

3. Entrance fee: RMB 50 including other 5 Tulou sites in Chuxi Tulou Cluster

4. Xiamen – Yongding Tulou by long distance bus:

Xiamen Hubin Nanlu – Xiayang (Jiqinglou) shuttle bus ( 5 hours )






















Again have a clear view of the Chuxi Tulou Cluster.

Hongkeng Tulou

Travel Hongkeng Tulou Cluster

 

Plan your Fujian Tulou Tour? Hongkeng Tulou Cluster is one of the five major tulou clusters in Fujian. Hongkeng Tulou Cluster is a group of Hakka earth rammed buildings in Hongkeng Village of Hukeng Township of Yongding County in Fujian Province. Hongkeng Tulou Cluster is about 36km east of Yongding County.

 

Hongkeng Tulou Cluster boasts of over 40 tulou buildings different in shape and size, circular, square, rectangular, crescent and with some variations. All the tulou buildings were built by the descendants of a family surnamed “Lin”, a rich tobacco merchant, starting to build the tulou buildings during later Song Dynasty (960 - 1279) and early Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The most outstanding representatives of Hongkeng Tulou Cluster are Zhengchenglou, Kuijulou, Fuyulou and Rushenglou.

 

Zhengchenglou ( Zhengcheng Tulou Building)

 

Zhengchenglou is well known as “the Prince of Tulou”. Its construction started in 1912 by the Lin’s family, which took 5 years. Zhengchenglou has two rings – outer ring and inner ring. The outer ring building has four storeys with 48 rooms on each floor. The inner ring is a two-storey building made of brick and wood with 32 rooms. Its center is the hall used as an ancestral hall, also a place for important events in the tulou building like marriage, mourning…

 

The exterior of Zhengchenglou






















The exterior of Zhengchenglou

 

 

Inside Zhengchenglou with 4 storeys outer building, 2 storey inner building and the ancestral hall in the center.






















 

Inside Zhengchenglou with 4 storeys outer building, 2 storey inner building and the ancestral hall in the center.

 

The outer building is divided into 8 units by the arch brick walls with connected corridor.






















 

The outer building is divided into 8 units by arch brick walls with connected corridor.

 






















 

On the floor, 8 courtyards are formed by the arch brick walls with connected corridor.

 

The ancestral hall in the center bears some Greek style columns with western enfluence.

 






















 

The ancestral in the center bears some Greek style columns with western enfluence.






















 

Look at the iron railing of the second floor corridor of the inner ring building

 






















 

One of the two wells inside Zhengchenglou

 






















 

The higher outer ring building and the lower inner ring building

 






















 

The wood corridor on the 4 level of the outer building

Kuijulou (Kuiju Tulou Building)

The construction of Kuijulou Building started in 1834. It is a square tulou building built on a hillside facing south with the rear building higher (4 levels) and the front building lower 92 levels). It is the only palace styled tulou building in Yongding County. It is also known as “Potala Palace” since it is simailar to the style of the Tibetan palace.

 






















 

The entrance to the square Kuijulou tulou building

 






















 

Kuijulou tulou building is a square building.

 






















 

Inside the Kuijulou building

 






















 

the only palace styled tulou building in Yongding County

 

Fuyulou (Fuyulou Building)

Fuyunlou Earth Building was built in 1880. It faces east and occupies and area of 4,000 square meters. It is a five-phoenix tulou building. It has three halls and four annexes on both sides.

 

 






















 

Fuyunlou is teemed with exquisite carvings

 






















 

Inside the Fuyunlou Building

 






















Some part of the Fuyun Building has been used as an interesting tulou inn hotel.

 

 

Fuyun Inn tel 0597 - 5532800

Rushenglou (Rusheng Tulou Building)

Rushenglou is one of the smallest tulou buildings in Yongding. It was built between 1875 and 1908. Rushenglou is a one-storey earth building of brick and rammed earth. It has three levels of storeys with a diameters of 23 meters.

 






















 

Rushenglou is one of the smallest tulou buildings in Yongding

(Form tour-beijing.com)