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Hakka Earth Buiding & Quanzhou Ancient Town
   
Tour Code: STS-CN-021 Price per person from: RMB 6,980
Departure Date: Daily Departure Click for Price Details
   
 
Summary:

The new site of UNESCO's World Heritage for this year. Get there soon and someday you'll be able to say, "I went there before it was touristy."

Dotted among the dark green mountains and blue waters in the south west Province of Fujian in South China are densely concentrated blocks of oddly shaped buildings. American researchers once described these building complexes as like "like something from another planet", Japanese scholars called them "black UFOs", while architectural experts praises them as "the Potala Palace in Fujian". The CIA sent intelligence agents to spy on this "suspicious Chinese nuclear base" in the 1960s but found out that this "nuclear base" was just tulou, or literally earth buildings, where the Fujian Hakka people have lived for over a thousand years!

There's a lot in store for travelers wanting explore this often-overlooked destination in the South-East of China. Discover historic Xiamen and ingenious round Hakka buildings. Tour the famous Gulangyu island and take a peak at the splendid temples and gardens that instill visitors with tranquility.

Summary Itinetary Prices Features Notes Customize This Trip

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Tour Dates Destinations Today's Activities Meals Include

Hakka Earth Building & Quanzhou Ancient Town
7 days/6 nights
Departure date: Daily

Tour Itinerary-
Day01 Beijing- Xiamen
Fly to Xiamen. Upon arrival, meet your tour guide and transfer to the hotel.
Overnight in Xiamen.

Day02 Xiamen- Yongding Hakka Building (B,L,D)
After breakfast, drive to Yongding County(it will take about 2.5 hours). Spend your time exploring Yongding earthen buildings of the Hakkas, considered a wonder of oriental architecture. After a traditional Hakka style lunch, visit Jiqing buildings, the most complete and oldest tu lou in Yongding county.
Overnight at Yongding

Day03 Yongding- Nanjing (B,L,D)

Nanjing Tianluokeng Hakka House- Quanzhou
After breakfast, drive to Nanjing County, home to the distinctive compact earth buildings of the Hakka people. Visit Shangban Village’s Tianluokeng Hakka House, a cluster of four round buildings arrayed around one square house.
Situated on a hillside, the Tianluokeng buildings are classic examples of the architecture of southern China. The storehouses, wells and bedrooms used to be located inside the stout, reinforced walls, thus creating a fortress-like communal dwelling that offered protection against bandits and wild animals. These astounding buildings were well-lit, well-ventilated, windproof, and quakeproof.
Overnight at Yongding

Day04 Yongding- Quanzhou (B,L,D)
Chongwu Ancient Town, Stone Carving Park, Old Street
After breakfast, journey for about 3-4 hours to visit Chongwu Ancient Town and the Stone Carving Park. Upon arrival at Quanzhou, explore the Old Street. Time at leisure for the rest of the day.
Overnight at Quanzhou

Day05 Quanzhou ( B,L)

Ximen: Kaiyuan Temple, Laojun Rock, Qingjing Temple, Quanzhou Museum

“I tell you that for one shipload of pepper which may go to Alexandria or to other places, to be carried into Christian lands, there come more than one hundred of them to this port.” Thus wrote Marco Polo when he visited Quanzhou, then called Zaytoun (from the Arabic word for olive, symbol of peace and prosperity), in the late thirteenth century. Your first stop, the 1300-year-old Kaiyuan Temple, is famous for its two stone pagodas decorated with bas-reliefs in both Chinese and Indian styles. Legend has it the temple first gained its name, “Lotus Temple” from a mulberry tree that bore lotus flowers. Before returning to Xiamen, visit the Quanzhou Museum to learn more about Quanzhou’s vibrant past as a crossroad of cultures.
Overnight at Xiamen

Day06 Xiamen ( B, L, D)

Begin your tour of Xiamen with a visit to the lovely island of Gulangyu and Nan (South) Putuo Temple. From the moment you step onto the “Garden on the Sea”, you'll be enchanted by its serene atmosphere, fresh air and idyllic scenery.
Enjoy the music floating in the air as you stroll through the gardens of the “Piano Islet”. Admire the intriguing combination of Chinese and Western architecture, or climb to the top of Sunlight Rock for a panorama of Gulangyu. The active temple complex of Nan Putuo sprawls beneath the Five Old Gentlemen Peaks.
Overnight at Xiamen

Day07 Xiamen- Beijing ( B )
After breakfast in the morning, free and relax, till transfer to the airport for flight back to Beijing.

 

 

Package Cost:

RMB6,980 per person

 

Children's discount-
Yes, child's discount is available. All trips have different payment deadlines depending on the destination and dates of travel. We will contact you by email in the weeks before the trip to let you know the deadline.
Late booking will probably result in higher fees.

Children's Discounts
Yes, children's discount is available on this package, please kindly contact with our travel consultants for the details.
All trips have different payment deadlines depending on the destination and dates of travel. We will contact you by email in the weeks before the trip to let you know the deadline.
Late booking will probably result in higher fees. If there are less than 10 participants, Sunflower has the right to cancel the trip

  Price Inclusions and Exclusions

- Including Feature:
* Round trip economy class air ticket Beijing - Xiamen- Beijing
* Air tax & airport construction fee
* Return airport transfer by private car
* 5 night hotel accommodation based on TWIN Sharing
- 3 nights in Xiamen, at 4 star hotel
- 2 night in Yongding, at the best avaliablity hotel in Hakka Earth Building area
- 1 night in Quanzhou, at 4 star hotel
* Daily hotel breakfast
* Meals mentioned in the itinerary ( L- Lunch, D- Dinner)
* Transportation for sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary
* Admission fee for sightseeing mentioned in the itinerary
* English speaking tour guide in all the tourist sites mentioned above
* All hotel government tax and service charge

 

Yongding Hakka Building Gulangyu

Get around

The best way to see the different tulou is by private taxi or motorbike. Your guesthouse can help organise this for you, or else just walk around and some local will come up offering their service. Price ¥100 for half day tour.

See

  • Chuxi Tulou Cluster Scenic Spot.  
  • Hongkeng Tulou Cluster Scenic Spot, Hongkeng. This world heritage site contains some beautiful tulou of all different shapes - around, square, U-shapes. Zhencheng Lou is the highlight and Rusheng Lou is a mini tulou. ¥50, students half price.  
  • Gaobei Tulou Cluster Scenic Spot.  
  • Tianluokeng Tulou Cluster, Tianluokeng. On a slope of the Hudong Mountain, sits five tulou - three circular, one oval and in the middle a square tulou. These were built over 600 years between the end of the Yuan Dynasty and the 1960s. Fee includes entry to Yuchang Earth Building and a local village. ¥65, students half price.  
  • Yuchang Earth Building. Twenty Five generations have lived in this tulou, even though its leaning up to 15 degrees in places.  

Buy

Even wanted a mini tulou? Or a tulou in a snow globe? Everything tulou you could imagine is for sale here, keyrings, postcards, pictures, etc.

Eat

Each site has local restaurants so you will not go hungry.

  • Ke Lai Den Hotel, Hongkeng. This place has an English menu.

 

Get around

Cars and motorcycles are banned, but the island is small enough to walk around as long as one is physically able. There are golfcart-type battery-powered taxis that are now becoming more popular, It should be noted though that this newer form of transportation is said to take away from the island's charm. Since one can easily take a wrong turn walking it is important to be careful where you walk not to get lost, especially if one wanders into the local housing area since it can tend to get very confusing. If one does not speak the local language, which is a Amoy dialect of Hokkien, they should be particularly careful as to not get lost, since it will cause quite the chaos in trying to return to the tourist area.

See

A discount card can be bought on the island which gives entry to The Statue of Koxinga, the Piano Museum, Sunlight Rock (including cable car ride), the Aviary, the Organ Museum and the International Calligraphic Carving Art Gallery for ¥80.

*  Statue Of Koxinga (Haoyue Garden), (5 minutes walk south east of the ferry terimal). Zheng Chenggong, or Koxinga as he is generally known in the West, is a Chinese hero revered both in Taiwan and on the mainland,because he drove the Dutch out of Taiwan in the 1660s. He was the son of a Japanese mother and a merchant and pirate from the Quanzhou area. There's an enormous statue of him on horseback on a hilltop in Quanzhou. As the Manchu conquerers of the Qing dynasty moved South, the father surrendered and became a Qing official, but the son fought on. At one point, his armies got as far as menacing Nanjing. His headquarters were at the South end of Gulang Yu; a watchtower and some other fortifications remain. Eventually, he found himself defeated on the mainland, so he went off and took over Taiwan. This was the first major Chinese incursion into Taiwan and was followed by a surge of immigration, mainly from the Xiamen and Quanzhou areas. Modern Taiwanese is essentially the Minnan dialect of those cities. ¥15.  

*  Shuzhuang Garden. Named after the original owner Lin Erjia (aka ShuZhuang), a wealthy Taiwanese businessman. Highlights include the 44 bridge, the Piano Museum (see below) and the rockery with hidden sculptures of all 12 zodiac animals. There is also a small private art museum to the right of the main entrance.  

*  The Piano Museum (Shuzhuang Garden). A museum of piano through the ages, including rare specimens from the 1800s. The entry fee to Shuzhuang Garden (normally ¥30) includes entrance to the museum. Guided tours several times a day include performances on a few of the instruments.  

*  Sunlight Rock. This is the highest point on the island with great views as far as Xiamen. Entry included into Buddhist temple, the Aviary and a cable car ride to the aviary on Yingxiong Hill. Warning: climbing to the top involves a lot of stairs, so probably not good for young children or the elderly. ¥60.  

*  The Aviary. Over 1000 birds from over 100 countries. Many peacocks, including a rare Albino, several types of cranes, lots of ducks/geese, and other large birds (e.g. emus). Watch for falling excrement. Aviary performances take place several times per day.  

*  The Organ Museum.  

*  International Calligraphic Carving Art Gallery. A small gallery of carved calligraphy from Chinese, Japanese, and Korean artists. Admission normally ¥10. Entrance near the main gate of Shuzhuang Garden.  

*  Underwater World, (from the ferry terminal, walk to the right and look for the big blue building). Admission is a steep ¥90 for adults, ¥50 for children/seniors, but you can just stand outside and take photos of the Jules Verne-esque octopus statue.  

Buy

Random vendors can be found throughout the island, but don't rush into buying something at the first one you see. Be sure to shop around since most of the vendors have the same items, but can be found cheaper from different people. Don't be afraid to barter and haggle like you would at a flea market! This can be a fun experience and also help save money. The most common souvenirs include various items made of seashells (e.g. animal figurines or windchimes), strings of pearls, brightly colored fabric products, and Gulangyu specialty food products such as "Amoy pies" with several different filling options (standards include red bean paste and pineapple, while more adventurous ones include longyan and pumpkin), dried fruits/fish, and tea.

*  New Four Seas ( ). This shop is a "trusted brand" vendor that sells all sorts of Gulangyu specialty foods. The salespeople are a little pushy, but they are also generous with the free samples. There are several locations around the island; the closest one to the ferry terminal is across from Naya Hostel/Cafe, behind the Consulate Inn.  

*  Red Dragon shop. This which sells wonderful pure clear crystal and about 2000 other types of crystal. To be found five minutes walk on the left hand side of the main road leading from the ferry terminal. Delightful owner employs four or five chatty, helpful and witty assistants. Worth half a days leisurely browse!  

*  Seei, (a few streets inland from the Ferry Terminal, in a busy shopping area), 592-2081299, Artsy shop that sells import design houseware and decor. Custom illustrations and a youthful atmosphere.  

Eat

The food on the island is not especially good, since it caters to tourists who rarely come back a second time. However, if you enjoy seafood, you may be pleasantly surprised, as Gulang Yu's local cuisine tends to emphasize seafood. The streets are lined with restaurants and food stalls that sell a variety of such dishes (look for red plastic tubs of fresh seafood). If you're more interested in a sweeter, snack there's a great ice cream place located right near the ferry's drop off point. Prices are more expensive than in Xiamen.

*  Yuanxiangkou Fish Balls ( ), four locations around Gulangyu; one is behind the ICBC near the ferry terminal, 0592-3997993, An award-winning shop that is most famous for its fish balls, which are stuffed with pork and cooked in a savory soup. Try the fish balls alone (6 RMB) or with noodles (8 RMB). Unless you're an adventurous foodie and/or read Chinese well enough to understand exactly what you're getting, however, skip the other "snacks" ( ) even though they're supposed to be famous Gulangyu specialties.  

*  Shirley Valentine, (on the far side of the island). Serves fresh fish and noodles. Recommended are the mussels with noodles and green tea. A seat under an umbrella on the sea shore is a must.  

*  Tea & Times, No. 30 Quan Zhou Road (a few streets inland from the Ferry Terminal, in a busy shopping area), 0592-2092 537, A tea/coffee shop run by a group of designers. Friendly owner and some of the best milk tea in all of China. Look for the charming black bird logo.