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Fujian Tulou

Fujian Tulou

The Fujian Tulou are unique Chinese residential buildings constructed by the Hakka people from Fujian Province.

The Tulou are enclosed by a thick, defenisve earth wall and are communal buildings housing up to 80 families. They were mostly built between the 12th to the 20th centuries.

Map of Fujian Tulou


  • Cultural

Community Reviews

Ludvan USA - 26-Aug-18 -

I visited Fujian Tulou in 2005, when there was only limited road access for tourists.  It is important to note that these villages are defensive in nature for the Hakka people.  The Hakka people migrated from north central China to flee wars in Henan Province in four major waves from the 7th to the 9th Century, and are resettled chiefly in four southern provinces, Fujian, Guangdong, Hunan and Sichuan.  Hakka in their language means Guest People.  As outsiders, they were subject to persecution and attacks, hence the circular shaped building where all activities are enclosed in the middle.  Homes are attached, with the defensive wall facing the outside.  The ground floor is for livestock, second floor for living and third floor sometimes used for storage.  There is a Hakka Museum in one of the buildings, giving a history of the Hakka people, including many prominent people in history, including political leaders of various stripes.  Included are the rebel leader Hong Xioquan (God's Chinese Son), who lead the civil war from c. 1840-60 that killed 30-40 million people, Mao, Deng, Singapore founder Lee, etc.

Interesting anecdote from the Cold War.  The US satellites took pictures of the Tulou back in the 60's and the Pentagon thought they were missile silos.

DL - 26-Feb-18 -

The sky finally took a turn for the better as we approached Hekeng Tulou Cluster. A short hike to a hilltop lookout gave us a far-reaching view of the below valley occupied by tulou in different shapes and sizes. Our mood finally experienced a slight uptick – the view was fantastic, and the village appeared lively enough to hopefully allow us to spend some quality time there without immediately thinking ahead on what’s next.

Hekeng doesn’t have a single tulou that can match the fame of Yuchang Lou. Actually the entire village didn't appear much like a tourist destination, with children chasing each other along the narrow corridors and children freely searching for food in the communal area. Invitation to sit down for tea, which we initially were unsure of and turned down, is the local's customary display of hospitality towards visitor. Feeling more at ease, we followed a young mother back to her home. Originally from Hangzhou, Xiao Zhang had brought with her a two year-old daughter to temporary stay in Hekeng to care for her husband's ailing uncle.

Read more from DL here.

Geoff Carey Hong Kong - 28-Apr-11

Recently went to Tu Lou sites in Yongding County and elsewhere in a more rural setting.

These buildings are certainly interesting, though to a certain extent it's a case of 'seen one, seen them all'. Only to a certain extent, however, and as long you choose buildings in different areas (rural v town edge, for example, or different styles (Hakka v Fujian), then they remain of interest.

For me, however, the big downside was the sale of cheap tourist souvenirs and other stuff everywhere. Every unit on the ground floors of most of the tulou we visited was flogging this stuff, and the internal courtyard was marred by large, brightly coloured umbrellas, there to keep the sun off the stallholders.

In addition, although tea is offered 'free' to drink, you are pushed to buy. That's fine, but there appears to be a lot of cheating going on via bait and switch. The tea you drink is nice, but the tea you buy is not. I found this particularly distasteful in a World Heritage Site.

I would suggest that consideration is given to ways of taking the sale of souvenirs out of the tulou in order to retain an element of their original feel and splendour. At present, they are marred.

Boj Philippines - 14-Oct-08

Went with a friend last week of August 2008 for a short weekend trip. Shanghai to Xiamen flights can be cheap, so check regularly. Regular buses from Xiamen to Yongding county; takes three to four hours. Haggle with the local drivers for a private coach to see several tulou locations.

The best tulou clusters are in Chuxi - quite far (almost close to the border of Guangdong) but it offers the best view from the nearby hill. The family in Yanxianglou (Mr. Su) are extremely friendly.

YS Chee Malaysia - 08-Jul-08

I went to vist this beautiful village of Yongding in 2005 with some friends. We went there from Xiamen by a van and on the way to Yongding we stop at several villages and the food was indeed home cooked type of the Hakka people. The village people are mainly Hakkas and speak their hakka dialet which sound a little bit Cantonese and Mandarin. I was surprise to see that all those Tulou were quite well maintained and liveable.

I think goverments with large population should learn from the Hakkas on this type of housing programme. Would condsider another visit soon.

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Community Rating

Community Rating 3.79. Based on 7 votes.

Site Info

Full name: Fujian Tulou

Unesco ID: 1113

Inscribed: 2008

Type: Cultural

Criteria: 3   4   5  

Link: By Name By ID

Site History

  • 2008 - Inscribed 


The site has 10 locations.

  • Fujian Tulou: Chuxi Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Dadi Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Gaobei Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Hegui Lou
  • Fujian Tulou: Hekeng Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Hokgkeng Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Huaiyuan Lou
  • Fujian Tulou: Tianloukeng Tulou Cluster
  • Fujian Tulou: Yanxiang Lou
  • Fujian Tulou: Zhenfu Lou


The site has 10 connections.


  • Cold War: Due to their unorthodox and strange appearance from the outside they were once mistaken for missile silos by the Americans during the cold war. (WIKI)

Human Activity

  • Tobacco: They are set among the terraced tea and tobacco plantations. Zhenfu Lou tulou was built by a businessman in 1913 to house workers for the tobacco industry. Part of the internal space was used for storing tobacco products (AB ev)

Religion and Belief

  • Confucianism: "The Confucian tradition has been retained inside the tulou and integrated with local customs and features. As a result, a unique dialect, folk art, religious ideas, and lifestyle came into being. Tulou provides important evidence in the study of anthropology and folkways." - AB Document


  • Built in the 15th century: "Fujian Tulou is a property of 46 buildings constructed between the 15th and 20th centuries over 120 km in south-west of Fujian province, inland from the Taiwan Strait." - Nomination File


  • Customary ownership: "According to the regulations in Land Administration Law of the People's Republic of China, the lands within the area of nominated property are owned by the peasant collectives. The Tulou buildings are privately owned by the inhabitants, and the public structures inside Tulou are owned by them collectively." (Nom File).

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