The Fujian tulou, from where I live in Hefei, are a 6 hour high speed train, a 1 hour local train, then a 2 hour drive up winding mountain roads under repair. I had concluded I was completely lost when suddenly they appeared as we dropped into a wide, forested mountain valley just before sunset. Large forts, both round and square, 3 or 4 stories high, lots of small windows, intimidating and isolated, although, surprisingly, most are inhabited.
They are homes, and I stayed in one converted to a hotel – admittedly not even 1 star but a cool experience.
First thing in the morning, I wandered through the village I found myself in.
And then I tentatively entered a tulou – someone’s home! I was welcomed and shown around, and there was no one there but me and this elderly gentleman.
The village stretched along a lovely stream that captivated artists and occupied fishermen.
The entrance to the village was shops and vendors
The “tourist tulou” were on the other side of the stream.
And that’s where I “crashed” a funeral unexpectedly. I was just welcomed in and fascinated by the spectacle unfolding.
My time was too short so I must return. Some favorite images stay in my mind.
I may steal the name of the local bar for my next venture.