A new UNESCO World heritage: Fujian Tulou

Discussion in 'Leica and Rangefinders' started by mtc photography, Jul 7, 2008.

  1. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

    UNESCO held a session on July 7, 2008 in Quebec city, Fujian Tulou was added to the UNESCO World Heritage Site list.
    http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/1113 [​IMG]
    Zhen Cheng Building in Yongding county, Longyan city, Fujian province
    Snail Pit tulou quintet, Nanjing county, Zhangzhou city, Fujian
    Interior of a 1308 5 storey community earth building, in Nanjing county, probably the earliest high rise community apartment concept building in the world. Zhangzhou city, Fujian.
    Residents of tulou playing cards
  2. Martin - thanks for the news. Some interesting photos, what camera/lens/film did you use? And when did you go there and
    where did you stay? Any tips/thoughts on visiting there?
  3. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

    Richard, I visited Zhangzhou and Yongding near the end of October of 2007. I shot with R5+ Elmarit 19/2.8, Kodak
    ASA 200 color film and Lumix FZ30 digital camera.<P>

    I flew from Shanghai to Xiamen on Eastern Airlines, you can book airline ticket from www.elong.net
    or www.ctrip.com with good discount from abroad, paid by MC or Visa. But it is preferable to
    book ticket 2 to 3 days before flight, you get more discount that way. We booked our tickets from travel agent
    stationed in a Shanghai hotel<P>

    We stayed in Xiamen for one day visiting various local attraction. Then on the next day went to the long distance
    bus terminal at Hubinlu ( lake shore road)
    to enquire private bus to visit Zhangzhou tulou and Yongding tulou. If you go there, that is the the prefereable
    transportation, don't take the publi bus, they stop only at the city of Zhangzhou or Yongding,
    there will be at least another 2 hour car ride to the tulous sites<P>

    I can't remember what the rate was, but it was quite reasonable. Don't expect private taxi for two, although the
    agent told us so, but we end up sharing a small van with 3 other people, it was ok.
    There are good highway from Xiamen to Zhangzhou, it took 2 hours, then turned into winding mountain roads for
    rocky ride for another 2 hour, and arrived a small hotel at distination. The one night hotel plus
    dinner and breakfast for two were included in the package. <P>

    The country hotel was small but neat, with a hot water sink and a toilet. The Hakka style meal was ok.
    Or you can choose to stay overnight at the hostess's tulou across the street, but with in inconvenience of using
    public washrooms.<P>

    The tour started after lunch and ended at evening dinner time. The next days we had another half day sightseeing
    trip, back to hotel, had lunch and board a van back to Xiamen.

    There are day trips from Xiamen to Yongding tulou, but I strongly suggest against this, as it took
    4 hour one way, 8 hours to and fro, people end up with only a hour or 1.5 hr for site seeing, you are going to miss a
    lot of important tulou sites<P>

    Stay over one or more days is preferable. We stayed one night, and was able to see nearly all the most famous
    tulous, such as the king Chengqilou, the prince Zhengchenglou, the Snail Pit tulou quintet, the oldest
    tulou built in Yuan dynast 1308, and Chuxi tulou group etc<P>

    We still misssed Eryilou, if I could stay one more night......<P>

    You must bring your widest lens with you, my Elmarit 19mm not wide enough, not able to capture the
    complete circular sky<P> You also need a digital SLR to save you from constant changing film<p>

    The hostess arrange different vans to take us to various sites. At the sites, usually the owner of the
    earth building served as tour guide, you are pretty free to go around inside outside upstairs downstairs
    to explore the architecture, the defense system, the secret passage ways, gunholes etc on your own<P>

    Mosquito, yes, we brought a small bottle of Deep Wood insect repellent with use and a Sunbean ultrasound
    mosquito repeller, it worked.<P>

    The entrance fee for each tulou was not included in the travel package, but the fee was minimu.

    The tulou is a unique architecture, with strong defense capability, it was also a habitat for equals, all rooms were
    built the same size and style, no special treatment for patriarch or upper class, no penthouse for the affluent, every
    family owned a compete set, from ground floor to "penthouse", they even shared farmlands--- that was habitat of

    If you have any questions, feel free to ask, regards, martin
  4. martin, thanks for sharing your experience. there was a bbc documentary called wild china last month. i never knew parts of china was so breathtakingly beautiful. they also covered this building in some detail. so it was nice to see your shots. do you have all the shots in some special gallery somewhere?
    best regards
  5. MTC  Photography

    MTC Photography Moderator

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