Xiamen trip- 厦门

During our studying in China, as we follow a  French system, we have quite a few breaks during the academic year. Last time we got one week off from the classes and we decided to go somewhere. We didn’t know what to choose but finally we chose something that is not so far from Shanghai (only 8 hours by train) and is more or less in the South- East of China so it should be warm there. Thus, we went to Xiamen! We means one Indonesian guy- Putu, 3 French- Loic, JB, Audrey and the author of this text.

From Xiamen, I know mostly nothing as we only visited local bars and long way through the beach. But, we visited quite lots of places near Xiamen which had its own unique atmosphere.

Let’s start from Yongding- Tulou.

I knew about this place from the book of Polish traveler (Anna Jaklewicz) and as soon as I saw that it’s new Xiamen, we decided to go there. You have to know that Tulou are  traditional Chinese houses which are situated in Fujian province. Tulou is usually a circular house with about 40 rooms and 4 floors .The people who live in the tulou are people from the subgroup called Hakka who have their own dialect also called Hakka.

Why is the shape of tulou like this? It was mostly built like this for the defence purposes, there is only one door and windows to the outside are only above the first floor. What’s more, tulou was having the function of the communal living, there were all clans who were having one tulou for themselves. Tulou was called as well as ‘a little kingdom for the family’.

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traditional Tulou

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inside the Tulou
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from left: Audrey, Loic, Putu et JB

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We have been sleeping in one of the tulou. The rooms are very very basic ones. They do not have toilets inside, only bed, window and door. So, if you wanted to go to the toilet you had to go out of the tulou to the public toilets or you could pee to the bucket that was on the common terrace.

Unfortunately, the tulou that we have been staying for one night wasn’t as beautiful as the others…

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Our tulou
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charming JB with his future wife…

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circled and squared tulou

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Actually life in these villages that we visited is very simple and relaxed. There are no bars, disco or even KARAOKE. So, people go to sleep between 9-10pm and they wake up in the early morning. Tulou are not only for visitors, there are common, old Chinese people who live there. If you are a foreigner and you want to visit tulou, the Chinese people living there will ask you to pay, even if there is no ticket for you. It’s now all commercialized I would say, they all made businesses from this and for sure they ripped us off quite a few times. But still, it’s totally worth to visit it!

One morning I wanted to see the sunrise but I think I missed it a bit however, I took some pics of the village during the early morning. Have a look 😉

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In the villages it’s all women who do the hard work!

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sellers of meat

More photos from tulou:

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Inside one of the tulou

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One night in tulou …be careful if you go there in february, it can be quite cold 😉

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Apparently JB turned out to be quite a good bus driver… 😉

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师傅 – Our Shifu …

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Author: Izabela Handerek

Obecnie mieszkam w Peru, gdzie prowadzę biuro podróży Alpinca. Przez parę lat mieszkałam oraz studiowałam we Francji oraz Chinach, które stały się moim drugim domem. W Peru uwielbiam ceviche oraz Andy. We Francji wino, sery i język francuski. A W Chinach wszystko :D

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