Xiamen: the round houses of the Hakka


Xiamen is one of China’s gateways and is a metropolitan city on the coast. The oldest part of Xiamen is around the harbour area. The closeby island Gulangyu is well worth a visit with its colonial houses, beautiful boutique hotels and green winding lanes. Highly recommended comes a visit to the round earth houses built by the Hakka people. In Chinese they are called ‘tulou’. Tulou are large enclosed rectangular or circular buildings with a very thick weight supporting earth wall. They are three to five storeys high and can house up to 80 families. The Hakka round houses earth buildings usually have only one main gate and the top level have gun holes for defense against intruders. The Hakka round houses are a few hours drive away from Xiamen so you can do it as a daytrip but for a more in depth experience you better stay overnight, for example in an earthen round house tulou hotel.

Special interest

You can take a boat from Xiamen to the Taiwanese island of Jinmen (the old ‘Formosa’), where some of the beautiful old colonial houses have been rebuilt into boutique hotels. From Jinmen it’s a short flight to Taiwan.

Other trips

China highlight trip
Shanghai or Hangzhou, Chengdu
Beijing
Yunnan 7 days
South China 14 days
Guizhou 5-12 days
Tibet
West china/ Tibet