Monday, October 06, 2008

Into the Tulou

We stayed in a cheap hotel in Shuyang (书洋), which wasn't the best decision, but we didn't know before heading out. We should've stayed in a guesthouse or converted tulou in Taxia (塔下) village. Taxia is probably the largest village in the area and is quite picturesque (it looked like at least one restaurant even had a menu). Overlooking the village is the Zhang ancestral temple, which is surrounded by dragon poles built to honor successful family members and provide aspirations for the younger generations.
I probably could've spent a couple days in Taxia, staring at the architecture and the mountains, but we had the day planned for visiting all the sites. There are quite a few tulou that tourist stop at for one reason or other--the largest, the oldest, slightly different architecture, etc. There were a few that were definitely worth stopping in, like the oldest at Yuchang.
Of course, after visiting so many tulou in Fujian in a day, it's easy to get tired. It's a good idea to take some time and wander off on the paths through the villages that aren't inhabited by tourists and watch the residents harvest rice and tea crops. And occasionally, a few water buffalo will stroll nearby.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello, I really would like to visit these Tulou or Hakka Tulou. From what I understand most Tulou are located in Fujian and neighbouring Guangdong and Jiangxi provinces. I found this: http://www.hereischina.com/Features/tulou/index.htm But they only seem to arrange trips to Fujian?
Could you recommend any other tour operators?

Matthew said...

Sorry, we didn't use a tour operator. My wife found a 3rd-party travel agent who set us up with bus tickets from Xiamen and a private car through the countryside. It is probably possible to find private cars with English-speaking guides, but it'll cost more than we spent.

If I come across anything, I'll post it here.