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“Amazing glimpse of Hakka culture”

Fujian Tianluo Tulou (Nanjing Wooden building)
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Private Day Tour of Yongding Chuxi and Nanxi Tulou Clusters From Xiamen Without...
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Private Full-Day Fujian Hakka Tulou and Cultural Trip from Xiamen
Nishinomiya, Japan
Level 6 Contributor
402 reviews
78 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 130 helpful votes
“Amazing glimpse of Hakka culture”
Reviewed December 21, 2013

We went by one day tour from Xiamen to see HeGui Luo cluster.

Cost was 376 RMB for two people. This included all entrance fees, lunch and you joined a Chinese guided tour.

Our tour included 1 round building, 1 square building as well as an gathering space by the river. This was a walking 3 KM tour over cobble stones and uneven paths.

Bus picked us up at our hotel at 8 AM in Xiamen and we returned to our hotel at 6 PM.

Ground floor of the Tuluo buildings and on the route between the main sites, there are hawkers selling their wares. The Hakka people are tea planters so they do tend to push their teas. Our guide also had a tea stand where he "encouraged" his tourist to purchase their teas.

These buildings are pretty cool. The new building was `only' 100 plus years old but the others were much older. If you wanted to go up to the higher levels of the building, you needed to pay 5 RMB per person entrance fee.

When we saw the inside of these mini fortresses, it reminded me of various kung-fu movies where the fighters jump from level to level. It just look like that.

At the end of the tour, we had the option to walk back the 3 KM to where our bus was parked or we could pay 10 RMB for a ride on an electric cart. Most opted for the cart.

Our tour organizer was very good. She asked us what our objective was. There are many areas to see however she said that for Westerners the HeGui Luo was just enough to get a taste of what TuLuo was about. This tour was just long enough to satisfy our curiosity without getting us too tired out.

If your objective is to see all the buildings, you need to spend a night in the area.

We were amazed at what we saw. Would recommend it to others as a day trip.

Visited December 2013
3 Thank CanuckJames
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Lausanne, Switzerland
Level 1 Contributor
3 reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 3 helpful votes
“Preparing a trip to the tulous... feedback!”
Reviewed November 30, 2013

After having stayed a few days in Xiamen, we wanted to enjoy the nature and discover the hakka villages in Fujian. We had planned to stay 3-4 days in the area of Yongding (which seemed, in our traveling guides, the best place to be).
It is necessary to plan this trip in advance: look for accomodation, write down address and phone number in chinese...because people outside of big towns do not speak english!!! And also many do not speak madarin, even between chinese people they have trouble understanding each other!
The people in the youth hotel in Xiamen had recommended us to visit Nanjing (tulou) so we decided it would be our first stop and took the bus to Nanjing (2.5 hours from Xiamen Hu Bin Nan station, 28 rmb). Once arrived, we tried to go to the youth hostel we had been recommanded in Nanjing (sunshine international youth hostel) and there began some misunderstanding. The adress mentionned yungshan so we took a minibus that seemed to be heading in this direction. The driver tried to sell us group tours that we refused! And once in Shuyang (1 hour from Nanjing, 20rmb) someone read our address and realised we should go to Taxia. Luckily it was the next stop!
Twice, the driver tried to sell us tickets that we did not want. At a gate the bus stopped. We did not know that to go to the hostel we had to pay the entrance (scenic area) fee to Taxia, that was 100 rmb. We called the hostel to have someone translating the driver talk and in the end we got the explanation in english.
The ticket is for the 3 main places in the area and we used it the 2 days we stayed: taxia village, very nice and peaceful, tianluokeng (7 km from Taxia, we walked there in 1,5h with photo breaks!), very nice, and xiaban (on the way between taxia and tianluokeng), the oldest and very big tulou.
These places are getting more and more touristic, food is expensive and not especially tasty, we were very disappointed to see lots of shops in the tulous... But walking around the village and entering authentic tulous where people live, not touristic ones, is great!
From here we went to Gaotou ( that seems like another great place to visit tulous, very near Taxia) to Yongding (13 rmb and 1,5h) and a night train to Guangzhou.
In Yongding, we ate in a restaurant where the food was delicious and people very welcoming, despite the language bareer. From the train station, cross the river and there are yellow signs on the left side of the bridge. The restaurant is on the first floor. A big room. No menu, but delicious beef and vegetables!!!

So going to the hakkas is a trip to recommend, with good organisation:
- tickets to enter the scenic areas are 50 to 100 rmb for one to three places
- having booked a hostel with english speaking guests is a must!
We stayed at Sunshine Yha and it was really nice, we had diner and breakfast with the people staying there (20 and 10 rmb), they helped us a lot ...
- renting a vehicle would be perfect. In Taxia we did not manage to get a bicycle or motorbike unfortunately and we were dependant on local people motorbike to get out of the village (40 rmb)
- the official / famous tulous are not necessarily the most interesting ones, have a look around the village!

nov. 2013

Visited November 2013
3 Thank nma20132013
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Honolulu, Hawaii
Level 6 Contributor
111 reviews
44 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 139 helpful votes
“Must-see in Fujian”
Reviewed September 6, 2013

I highly recommend taking an overnight tour to Tulous. We hired a private car from Xiamen for a two-day tour. It was expensive (RMB1300 inclusive of 1 night accommodation in Taxia Village). But otherwise there isn't really a convenient way to go there. It takes about 3 hours from Xiamen to reach the entrance to Nanjing Tulous (there are two main clusters - Yongding and Nanjing). From the main entrance there is still a long drive up the hill to reach the most famous "Four dishes and 1 soup" cluster of Tulous. On the winding road leading up to the mountain there are already many tulous! Guide said there are almost 30 thousands of them in Fujian.
We spent the night in Taxia Village after seeing the most impressive tulous. It is a tiny village with a small river running in the middle - very quiet and peaceful. Room arranged was in a private home but reasonable.
On the next day we continued to visit more tulous in various shapes and Yunshuiyao village - the village was the backdrop in a Chinese movie so became famous. There are also accommodation options here.

Visited July 2013
1 Thank echoytx
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
66 reviews
14 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 16 helpful votes
“Chinese heritage historical landmark, a very unique historic site in the land of the kakis (lotus or persimmon fruit) and tea (c”
Reviewed October 27, 2012 via mobile

Hidden in the hills of Fujian province, surrounded by hills that have been elegantly 'combed' for the production of Tea leaves (Chá) and decorated by the abundant leafless trees with colorful persimmon fruits you will find the most unusual constructions that human being have build. Got here by bus from Xiamen (approximately, a 3-hr drive). The road is not too bad, though you should be prepared dealing with lots of curves built on the green and red ground hills, and unique driving skills of car and bus drivers passing each other in the most unexpected way and abusing use of noisy sounds... The landscape changes from banana trees, to bamboo and tea farming. Lot of motorcycles loaded with bananas can be observed throughout the ride. The sweet smell of tea is peculiar of this region. Tulous are rural constructions made for families and their business. They are proudly considered highly as one of the symbols of Chinese tradition and family roots. Most visitors are indeed Chinese. The touring is well organized. Pay ticket to access the historical village.
Shapes include circular and squared quarters, up to 4-5 story buildings. Usually one main door gets you to the open area in the center. On the first floor are kitchen, business; upstairs storage and up above the residential area. Many families live in each one. Sold here are tea leaves for degustation, with the traditional ritual, dry persimmon fruits and other local produces. Food is also interesting, maily based on poultry, pork, rabbit, and local veggies, including tea leaves. I highly recommend visiting this historical and unique site.

2 Thank Antonello P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Shanghai, China
Level 5 Contributor
90 reviews
59 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 62 helpful votes
“Tulou of Fujian: Must See!”
Reviewed August 25, 2012

The tulou are an amazing, unique piece of China’s diverse history, built by the Hakka people over the past 1000+ years. I strongly recommend getting away from Guangzhou & Shanghai to see these unique buildings nestled in gorgeous tea and rice terraces.

The tulou in Fujian are not easy to get to from any larger city. By car, Xiamen is 2.5-3 hrs away. Even when you are in the tulou area, they are quite spread out. Tourists really must hire a driver (either car or motorbike) because the public bus system runs so infrequently.

In 2010 or 2011, the Nanjing county government opened a giant tourist reception/ticket center in Shuyang village where tourists have to stop in order to get tickets. (even though we hada guide, we had to stop there, too.) All the prices for the tulou are posted in English & Chinese. Most tickets provide entry into 2-4 different tulou or village areas. Our ticket provided entry into Taxia, Yucheng, & Tianluokeng for RMB 90. Most of the roads are very new and do appear to have gate checks to see if tourists are carrying tickets. If you happen to make it to Shuyang on your own, there will be plenty of locals waiting there to offer their transportation & home-stay services.

Taxia village is quaint and has its own unique architecture. Had I known better we probably would have lingered there a bit longer. One tulou we saw in that area was only a half: the earthen wall was complete but the inside wooden frame rooms only went half way. This was very cool in order to see how the inside was built. Yucheng lou is gigantic and somewhat awe inspiring given its age & size. It also has some pleasant scenery around the back. Tianluokeng really is amazing, especially when seen from both viewing decks (there is one below and one above). Although there are 5 tulou in Tianloukeng and people mostly just come to see those, the village atmosphere is quite alive. All the work to make paths among the tulou (which are on a hill) is done by hand as local workers haul rock & make mortar. There are chickens running everywhere and people are constantly going to & from their vegetable patches and rice paddies, which surround the village. The scenery around Tianluokeng is lovely with all of its rice paddies and tea terraces, even in the mist that seems to hang over the mountain all the time. The weather is humid, but even in July/August was much cooler than at lower elevations. If you don’t mind mud and can find the paths, walking around the village’s farmlands is fabulous. The diversity of crops and their placement really demonstrates how precious land is. One other side jaunt in Tianluokeng was the village’s daoist temple, built slightly down the hill, off to the side. In it is a rendering of the Huang family patriarch and his 3 wives who established Tianluokeng. The temple itself is clearly not in use, although it seems to have been built in the 1990s by a Huang relative who had gone to Taiwan. In any case, it is an interesting display of family history.

Staying in Tianluokeng is easy. We slept in Wenchang lou and we hired one of the local women cook dinner & breakfast. Very good, fresh food, local food. If you are squimish about seeing your dinner alive before eating it then I recommend sticking with the toufu and vegetables. The room was clean and basic, with toilet and wash facilities outside the tulou. (Locals used these, too.) Room for 1 night and 2 meals averaged to RMB 100/person. Very reasonable.

We were coming from Shanghai and, after a lot of research and map-reading, we knew we needed a driver some point. We eventually discovered www.52tulou.com and Alice Huang (tara@163.com) who provided a ton of helpful advice about getting to the area. We eventually hired a car thru Alice to pick us up at the airport in Xiamen and drive us around to the different tulou. She arranged for us to stay the night in Tianluokeng (after visiting several tulou), and then we were driven directly to our hotel in Xiamen the next day after exploring the area a little more. Alice’s company provided excellent service at a very, very reasonable price and I strongly recommend them for anyone wanting to visit the tulou. Hers is a local family-owned business and the obvious care they provide to their customers shows.

Visited August 2012
11 Thank Mumslie
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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