On our ongoing reports on backpacking in Fujian Province, we concentrate next on the Chengqi Building which is the King of Tulou. Arrival at the Chengqi Building was just before noon for us and this area is known as the Gaotou Village in Yongding County. The sun was beating down hard. Panny and I had already decided to stay here for ages to annoy our rude driver (who had previously rushed us!) to see this wonderful building here – the Chengqi Building. A World Heritage Spot. Tickets are 50 RMB (CNY).
Unlike some of the other Tulou in Fujian Province, the Chengqi is very touristy and was the busiest part of the day tour. We got our tickets off Sau Jan (our horrible tour guide!) for the entrance – everything was included in our tour cost.
The Chengqi Building is located in Gaobei Hamlet in Gaotou Village. It’s an impressive work of art and probably the coolest looking building of the Tulou. It was started during the Chongzhen Period (1627 – 1644) during the Ming Dynasty but it wasn’t finished until 1709 – a whopping three generations later! It sits in a glorious setting next to a main road and with a backdrop of mountains and trees, perfect for a decent bit of relaxing and/or photography.
I couldn’t read the writing of course as it’s all in Chinese but it probably says The Chengqi Building. This building is regarded as the “King of Tulou”, basically the most important Earthen Tulou Building of the lot on the tour.
Of all the places I have travelled before not just in China but all over, Fujian is the only place I have seen buildings that look like this. Opposite the entrance was also a series of small stalls and markets. The more modern part of the Gaobei Hamlet is right next to the entrance to the Chengqi Building.
The view up to the mountains in behind the Chengqi Building was worth the walk. We did a walk to the top and had lunch in a small restaurant overlooking the Chengqi Building.
Inside the actual Chengqi Building, we took it floor at a time, starting with the bottom. Panny also noticed that you were only allowed on the bottom floor and that entrance to the upper levels was not allowed, so we decided to pretend we didn’t know that when it came to advancing higher and we got to see each floor.
While you might have thought a community like this has a wide open space for getting together, socialising or playing sports, you were wrong. In the centre of the building are smaller buildings and they have all sorts of uses. Some of them are religious, some for education, some for just meeting up. But then again as the place is used as a tourist spot these days, the activities within will have changed from back in the 17th and 18th Century when vintage China carried on here.
Overall the Chengqi Building is worth a visit as it is the King of Tulou after all and yet another backpacking highlight from the Fujian Province.
What – Chengqi Building, King of Tulou Buildings in Fujian
Where – Chengqi Building, King of Tulou Buildings in Fujian, Gaobei Hamlet, Gaotou Village, Jiaotang, Fujian Province, China
LIVE CHICKEN KILLING IN CHENGQI BUILDING: