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All reviews walk up public transportation places to visit cultural village fujian province laksa tickets bus carvings benefit motorbike pm hours chinese xiamen china shape
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Reviewed 15 January 2018 via mobile

The Fujian Tulou (in Chinese: 土樓) are Chinese Hakka rural “castles” built in the mountain areas in Fujian Province of China. The Hakka Tulou in Fujian are usually a fortified buildings in circular shape.

One of my Hong Kong friends is fluent in Fujian dialect, and he organized a trip for a group of 9 adults and 5 children in the last week of December 2017. It was a pleasant, joyful tour that I enjoyed it a lot. We left Xiamen at the early morning by taking a private tour bus. And it took us 4.5 hours to arrive the rural mountains. So my tips are:

A. Book a private tour bus if budget allows
B. Get up early so you would have plenty of time to take photographs under the natural light with sunshine.

We were given the opportunity to walk up to one of the Tulou by paying RMB5 per person (same price for children). I strongly recommend you to spend a few bucks to take a look at the local community. Overall, it was a great experience for a city person like me to explore the unique local Hakka culture.

Thank May W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 28 December 2017

I didn’t want to join a 1 day Chinese group tour from Xiamen. Such tours are typically rushed, with wasted time on shopping, lunch and end up seeing minimal places hurriedly. Being solo, it is not cost effective to hire a private car and guide. As such, I ventured on my own with some prior research and handling on the ground surprises.
To benefit like minded travelers, let me share with you my 2D1N trip to Yongding Tulou starting from Xiamen:

Transportation
First of all, the bus station leaving Xiamen to Yongding Tulou is NOT at Hubin Bus Station, as mentioned by many English websites. When I took a cab to go Hubin station, fortunately the driver informed me Hubin was not operational more than 2 years already. Long distance bus station is now at Fanghu Passenger Transport Centre (枋湖客运中心). I went there to reserve the 8:30am bus departing 3 days later. When purchasing ticket, inform counter staff you want to go to Yongding Tulou Bus Station (永定土楼汽车站).

It is always recommended to reserve a bus (especially train) seat for assurance as well as confirming departure times, which I couldn’t find from the web. This was one lesson I learnt touring in China. Fare is 58 rmb, journey is 3.5 hours, with 1 toilet break stop.

To purchase the return trip back to Xiamen, look out for the shop with the display Tulou Bus Station (土楼汽车站)). There are three direct buses from departing daily at 7:45 am, 12:50 pm, and 14:50 pm. Fare is 45 rmb. My return journey took about 4 hours due to peak period traffic at Xiamen.

Accomodation
Through baidu map and then correlating to google map, I manage to find the Yongding Tulou bus stop. Hence, I chose a hotel within walking distance from bus stop, Yongding Mengtian Inn, which is inside HongKeng Cultural Village (洪坑村). Please see separate review of inn.

Purchasing Entrance Tickets
This is my first surprise. At Yongding Tulou bus stop, I could not walk directly to my inn as it was the exit gate. I needed the Tulou ticket to enter, which I had not purchase yet. I was told by the officer to walk 800m to the ticketing office at entrance gate. Dragging my luggage, I walked for a few minutes and asked an elderly man along the way. He told me distance is more than 1 km away. Without asking, he was kind to send me to the entrance gate using his motorbike. I was thankful and tipped him 10 rmb.

On hindsight, there are 2 options. First option is when taking bus from Xiamen, inform driver to alight at the entrance gate instead of Yongding Tulou bus stop. Second option is alight at Yongding Tulou bus stop, where the happenings are - hotels, eateries, exit gate, etc. Then arrange hotel owner or tout to send you to entrance gate.

At the ticketing office, I decided to purchase a combo ticket for Yongding and Chengqilou (承启楼) at 100 rmb. Fyi, individual ticket will be 90 rmb and 50 rmb respectively. Ticket is valid for 2 days.

Transportation to tulou clusters in other villages
Unfortunately, there is no public transportation to visit tulous in other villages (such as ChengQiLou & ChuXiLou). One has to hire a motorbike or a car, depending on number of travelers. As expected, agree on the places to visit and bargain on the cost.

Exploring Yongding tulous
At the entrance gate, I met a female guide and decided to hire her for the afternoon. After some bargaining, we agreed on 100 rmb to cover Yongding tulous as well as ChengQiLou.

For the remaining afternoon, the guide brought me to explore the Yongding tulous, which is inside the HongKeng Cultural Village (洪坑村). The main attraction is ZhenChengLou (振成楼), as well as other smaller tulous. The village is rather small, can be covered within 2 hours. After covering Yongding tulous, guide drove me with her motorbike to ChengQiLou, which is about 10 mins ride.

On hindsight, hire a guide if you are willing to pay to understand the history and details of the tulous’ architectures, carvings etc. Else it is possible to explore yourself.

For day 2 morning, I decided to visit ChuXiLou (初溪土楼). After breakfast, I headed to the exit and sure enough there were touts around. I got a motorbike driver to bring me to ChuXiLou and back, including waiting for me. We agreed on 100 rmb, after some bargaining. The ride was about 50 mins one way. Need to purchase separate entrance ticket 50 rmb. I spent about 2 hours at ChuXiLou exploring myself. Back in Yongding, I had my lunch before catching the 14:50 pm bus back to Xiamen.

Overall, it was a fulfilling adventure and I am glad I finally manage to visit the Hakka tulous. If you find this post helpful in planning your trip, kindly click "Helpful". Thanks so much.

9  Thank LG_Kay
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 14 November 2017 via mobile

Visited this as part of the tour as my mother is Hakka and she wanted to see these buildings.

Interesting large communal house of the Hakkas and very well maintained. There are several round and square houses here but most people will visit this building.

Good photo opportunity and recommended to come with an English speaking guide if you don’t speak Mandarin.

Thank JoeCool_KL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 18 April 2017

Very interesting place to visit, good to walk around the building and see the different areas. The building looks great from the outside in the round architecture and has nice decoration in the inside. Plenty of history

Thank Lauren W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 17 November 2016

Beautiful and impressive earthern buildings with some build hundred of years ago. Went with a tour guide who was very knowledgeable about the history, the construction and the culture and tradition of the people and family who live here. With written English materials not available, recommended to go with someone who could explain and provide more information about the place. But otherwise, it is simply good enough to spend more time to marvel at the various features of the buildings e.g the carvings, the cobblestone floor, the tiles used, the thick exterior wall and the many rooms inside of the building.
With the benefit of our tour guide who pointed out to us that the Fujian government has officially declared that the Hakka Tulou must be called Fujian Tulou because 70% of the residents of the tulous are MinNan speaking people, even though the building architecture was first designed and built by the Hakka.

1  Thank ongaiai
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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