This is perhaps one of the greatest sites on earth second to the pyramids at Gaza. Combine Confucianism, Taoism and the concept of living in harmony with nature and this is what you will get. The Tulou are circular or rectangular enclosed living structures with a common entrance where people lived in harmony. Located in Nanjing County, 3hrs drive from Xianmen, the Tulou are in clusters of 3 or 4.
They tend to be vast, well-fortified structures, capable of housing up to 800 people. In fact, they originally functioned as village units offering safety, shelter and a sense of community. In 2008, the tulous were named as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the thousands of Tulou buildings, the Zhengcheng Tulou is one of the most famous. Popularly, it is known as “The Prince of the Tulous”
Due to its fame, the Fujian Tulou get a large number 0f visitors from around the world. The journey can be grueling since these structures were well away from civilization. But the recent paving of a road to the location has increased tourists numbers who in Spring season come in drones.
When planning to visit this site carry alot of water and wear water proof shoes. The interior of the Tulou is quite moist especially after a light shower so small streams will be visible. The view is breathtaking and with a good tour guide you will surely enjoy.
This piece from CNTV is worth a read: The Fujian tulou was first built in the Song and Yuan dynasties, and gradually became established in the late Ming Dynasty, Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China period after the early and medium development in the Ming Dynasty and was handed down from generation to generation. The Fujian tulou is the largest unique residential building in the world, which is located in the mountainous areas and constructed of rammed earth.
Furthermore, it is a creative masterpiece construed by raw soil. The Fujian tulou is nestled among the mountains and streams, and reasonably distributed. It also combines traditional Chinese construction planning and meets the needs of living together and defense. In addition, it skillfully uses the flat ground among the mountains and local raw soil, wood and cobbles. The Fujian tulou is a raw-soil high building, which has comprised one system itself and has the advantage of being thrifty, solid and strong defensively, as well as beautiful.
he Fujian tulou, which includes the Gaobei tulou complex, Hongkeng tulou complex, Chuxi tulou complex, Yanxiang Building and Zhenfu Building in Yongding County, Tianluokeng tulou complex, Hekeng tulou complex, Guilou Building as well as the Huaiyuan Building in Nanjing County and Dadi tulou complex in Hua’an County, is mainly distributed in the western and southern mountains in Fujian Province.
That was quite a fascinating day. I would highly recomend this location for anybody visiting Fujian province and have like a day to spare. Its quite cheap and despite the long journey the view is long lasting. Be sure to check the local weather since a heavy shower can mess up your day. Now back to Xianmen…3hrs on China’s highways…
Excerpts from: English.cntv.cn