You occasionally see something that makes you re-examine your views on society and human interaction. The “tulou” or “Hakka roundhouses” of Fujian are an example of such a thing.
These unusual structures were built by the Hakka people – a people who were displaced from their homes in Northern China and migrated to the south, creating fortified towns, and other ways of living, such as the “tulou”, in order to defend/protect themselves.
The tulou are spread over quite a wide are in Fujian – and once again using the Chinese high-speed rail network is an easy way to reach them from Hong Kong. You could combine this trip with a weekend in Xiamen – one of the 5 ports that were opened by China to foreign trade in the 19th century. Gulangyu is a well-preserved and very tourist island, just off the coast by Xiamen, which can also be a very interesting and historical day trip.
A typical weekend adventure might consist of taking a bus or MTR from Hong Kong to Shenzhen North High-Speed railway station – and catching a late night train to Xiamen (e.g. the D942 train leaves Shenzhen North at 20:20 and gets into Xiamen at 23:30 on a Friday evening). You would then have the next day to go see the tulou as part of a day trip. And then see Xiamen and Gulangyu the following day, before making your way back to Hong Kong. The 17:03 train from Xiamen North gets you into Shenzhen North at 20:46 on Sunday evening, leaving you lots of time to get back to Hong Kong.
Please click through to this link if you need it => Buying tickets for Chinese trains
Actually the combinations with this trip are endless. There are so many tulou dotted around this region, that you could spend days visiting the interesting ones.
I’ll give some details on some of the ones I visited during my trip, with explanations of how I did it. But would, of course, welcome suggestions and ideas from other that could be incorporated into making your own “tulou” weekend adventure!