A legacy that builds on home comforts
Circular and square earthen buildings huddle together, blending in with their natural surroundings. [PHOTO BY SHEN ZHIJIAN/FOR CHINA DAILY]
Traditional ethnic-style construction fascinates tourists as they get to experience its unique appearance and functionality, Yang Feiyue reports.
Amid idyllic surroundings featuring cobblestone paths, deep ruts left by ox carts, lush farmland and a clear gushing river, a group of historical buildings stand out like jewels in the crown at Yunshuiyao ancient town.
Known as tulou, or earthen buildings, those circular and rectangular buildings are mostly set among rice, tea and tobacco fields and some can house up to 800 people.
Built around a central open courtyard with only one entrance and windows to the outside only above the first floor, these earthen buildings feature faded yellow clay walls and dark-brown timber roofs that look out of this world, yet have a strange way of blending in with their surroundings. They provide visitors with breathtaking views and a sense of peace and quiet.
"We've seen an increasing number of visitors, most of whom have had their curiosity piqued by tulou," says Zhang Mintai, who grew up in a local tulou neighborhood and has witnessed the rising popularity of the town in Nanjing county, Zhangzhou city of Southeast China's Fujian province.