At eventide, we came to the foot of Tianluokeng tulou cluster. Our tour guide told us that standing on the mountain to see the earthen structures, and these earth buildings just like flying saucers down on earth. Layers of terraced fields, one square building was surrounded by four round buildings, the buildings were built on the mountain and looked so harmony with the surroundings, like the Potala Palace in Tibet, solemn, forming a harmonious scene between man and the natural environment. As the viewing angle changes, the landscape of Tianluokeng changed constantly and magically, the round buildings sometimes moved forward and sometimes moved backward, while square building sometimes hidden and sometimes exposed.
Tianluokeng tulou cluster is one of the well known Fujian Tulou cluster. It is located in Fujian province, Zhangzhou City, Nanjing County, Shuyang Township, Tian Luo Keng Village (literally “Snail Pit” Village) in southern China. The cluster consists of a square earth building, at the center of a quincunx, surrounded by four round earth buildings, figuratively nicknamed “four dishes with a soup (Si cai yi tang)”. The square earth building is named Buyun building, and the round earth building are Hechang building, Zhenchang building, Wenchang building and Ruiyun building. The locals are all Huang tribes and lived mainly by agriculture.
Poly-clan of the Fujian Tulou is a colorful small community. The fortified outer structures are formed by compacting earth, mixed with stone, bamboo, wood and other readily-available materials, to form walls up to 6 feet (1.8 m) thick. Branches, strips of wood and bamboo chips are often laid in the wall as additional reinforcement. The end result is a well-lit, well-ventilated, windproof and earthquake-proof building that is warm in winter and cool in summer. Tulous usually have only one main gate, guarded by 4–5-inch-thick (100–130 mm) wooden doors reinforced with an outer shell of iron plate. The top level of these earth buildings has gun holes for defensive purposes.
Tianluokeng tulou cluster got its name because the shape of it looks like a snail, surrounded by towering mountains, and low-lying terrain in the middle. After supper, we went to Observation Deck. Overlooked the Tianluokeng tulou cluster, under the brightly lights, one square building was surrounded by four round buildings, just like a plum blossom in full bloom, absolutely fabulous, bright, gives a strong visual impact to us, it was so amazing.
That night, we stayed at the Wenchang Building. General speaking, they did not let the visitors into the Tulou. As our accommodation rooms were on the third floor of Wenchang building, so we naturally could went up and down in the building as we like. There are three stories and 32 rooms on each floo in Wenchang building, the first storey is kitchen, the second floor is warehouse, and the third floor is bedroom, opening a long strip of small window to the outside. In fact, there is another story upside the third floor, but the space is small.
Tulou roofs are flat, roof tiles are tiles. Ridge and the outlet are fastened with a brick, both wind and decorative roof. Standing on the third floor of Wenchang building and look back, you could see Tulou present into hierarchy, and harmonious with the mountains behind the building, and is particularly spectacular.
Wenchang building is oval. The door is made of 10 cm of thick fir and metal, very strong. Access channel is a large foyer and family gathering place to rest, and now people place a variety of native products at both sides and sell to the visitors.
There is an open-air courtyard in the center of Tulou, and both the door and windows are open toward the courtyard. Within the courtyard, there is a well, rice pestle, grain grind, stone mill, windmills as well as other facilities. When in the Chinese New Year, the local people will make the Glutinous Rice Cake to worship their ancestor and the gods to pray for good harvest in the next year. Tulou people are very hospitable. After supper that day, Tulou people began to play music nstruments and warmly invited guests to sing song.
There is a figuratively nicknamed of Tianluokeng tulou cluster as “four dishes with a soup (Si cai yi tang)”. The whole Tianluokeng tulou cluster is surrounded by the green mountains and trees, and layers of terraced fields, buildings located in a quiet valley, it is quiet and harmonious.
Standing on the Observation Deck, we saw layers of terraced fields, one square building was surrounded by four round buildings, and the buildings were built on the mountain and looked so harmony with the surroundings, like the Potala Palace in Tibet.
Tianluokeng tulou cluster is located in Fujian province, Zhangzhou City, Nanjing County, Shuyang Township, Tian Luo Keng Village (literally “Snail Pit” Village) in southern China. The cluster consists of a square earth building, at the center of a quincunx, surrounded by four round earth buildings. The square earth building is named Buyun building, and the round earth building are Hechang building, Zhenchang building, Wenchang building and Ruiyun building.
The oval Tulou is Wenchang building, which was built in 1966, and it is the only one of oval Fujian Tulou.
Wenchang building is located in the southwest of Buyun building by the Huang tribe in 1966.
This oval Tulou covers an area of 1288 square meters, with 3 floors (11.8 m), 32 rooms each floor. Equipped with two staircases, a door, a well inside the building.
The top building, there are three wall Lookouts, four firing ports.
The materials of Tulou buildings are mud and fir.
The rooms inside the building are the same size and closely linked, hundreds of people live together in building, regardless of seniority, harmony, enjoyable, with rich simple life flavor, showing a magnificent garden poetic Tulou.
There are pots and pans under the eave of the ground floor.
After supper, we climb on the top of the observation deck, enjoying the evening in the ” four dishes with a soup” .
At dusk, Tulou began lighting.
The night Tulou were so mysterious and brilliant under the shining colored lights. We walked down from the hill road, which was clear to see by the lights from Tulou.
A small grocery store in Tulou .
We stayed in the Wenchang Building.
That day, the bright moon was particularly clear. I photographed the moon and the Tulou on the third floor.
Back to Wenchang Building, the local people had began to play the musical instrument, the sound was very melodious.
They warmly invited us to sing. So, we sang together.
The rooms upstairs were nearly the same size, furnished with two beds, one table, and plastic ceiling roofing. This was our living room, two beds were very clean, and there is even a slogan on the glass mirror.
The square building is the Buyun building, located in the middle of earth buildings, built in Kangxi period (1662-1722). In the Buyun building, courtyard is divided into three levels steps. There is no well in the building, only a ditch around the courtyard for drainage. One window of each four corners stay open, the rest do not open. Kitchen is also rather special, which has a closet, this is common in Tulou.
There are three storeys, first floor for the kitchen, the second layer of the barn, the third layer for the bedroom, each floor 26 rooms. There are four stairs in each corner. Top floor has four firing ports.
Hechang building is in the east of Buyun building, built in the Yuan and Ming, it was original square building, but was burned down by the bandits in 1953, in 1930s was reconstruction into round building by the Huang tribe. Covers an area of 1268 square meters, 3 storeys (12.3 m), diameter of 33 meters, 22 rooms on each floor, equipped with two staircases, a door, and a well. On the top floor there are four firing ports.
Ruiyun building is located in southeast of Buyun building, built by the Huang tribe in 1936.
Round Tulou, covers an area of 1 063 meters. 3 storeys (11.2 m), diameter of 35 meters, 26 rooms on each floor, equipped with two staircases, a door, and a water well.
Zhenchang building is in the west side of the Buyun building.
The hall of Zhenchang building does not asymmetry with the door, they are not in a straight line, but inclined to the left.
In the morning, we went to the summit, and enjoyed the morning of Tulou.
There are mountains in the east, north, west of the buildings, but a large terrace in the south.
Xiamen Mysterious Hakka Tulou 3 Days Tour:http://www.tourdechina.cn/ChinaTours/Xiamen_Mysterious_Hakka_Tulou_3_Days_Tour.html