Zhuangshang Tulou of Pinghe County is so far the largest tulou in the world.
Situated in Daxi Town, Pinghe County, Zhuangshang Tulou (庄上土楼) is dubbed the world’s largest tulou in size and residential population.
Zhuangshang Tulou was built during the reign of Kangxi (康熙) Emperor in Qing Dynasty. It is irregular in shape. The hoof-shaped tulou is 220 metres long in diametric plane. Its north wall is 190 metres long and the south wall is 123 metres long. The whole tulou cluster covers 33,450 square metres.
The tulou was built encompassing a hill that is 10 metres tall. Such architectural form is rarely seen among tulous. Outside the Zhuangshang Tulou, there are smaller tulous that were built later.
Different from common tulous, which fortified outer structures are formed by compacting earth, mixed with stone, bamboo, wood and other readily-available materials, Zhuangshang Tulou is built with substantial cobble stones, even the paths are covered with cobble stones. In this way, tulou and paths are exempt from rain erosion.
According to a senior citizen living in the tulou, the tulou has gone through several natural disasters and survived two serious earthquakes and one flood.
Inside Zhuangshang Tulou, there are 4 ancestral halls, all of which are decorated with carved beams and painted rafters. Facing east, the tulou has 5 gates and 3 floors with 147 rooms. In architectural structure, it is fully enclosed.
According to locals, during the transitional period from the Ming Dynasty to Qing Dynasty, Zhuangshang Tulou was the residence of Ye Chonghan (叶冲汉), head of Heaven and Earth Society or Tiandihui (天地会), a fraternal organization that originated in China. Ye Chonghan used to collect tax there for Koxinga (郑成功). Nowadays, it is the habitation for the local family clans that are surnamed Ye. Over 180 families of more than 1300 people are living in the tulou. It is so far the largest tulou also in terms of residential population.
Tourists can see the tulou cluster from Lingtong Mountain.
Other places of attractions near Zhuangshang Tulou
Apart from the attraction at the tulou cluster, there are other places worth visiting. Namely, the Lingtong Mountain, Fairy Bathing Pool or Xiannv Yuchi, Lingtong Giant Stone Buddha and Qing Peak.
Click photos to enlarge.
1) Lingtong Mountain
Also called Dafeng Mountain, is also located in Daxi Town, Pinghe County, Zhangzhou. It belongs to Dianxia landform and was created from volcanic eruptions 120 million years ago. .It is a famous mountain in Fujian Province for its unique-shaped peaks, clouds, springs, temples and caves. Tourist can get a bird’s eye view of the tulou cluster from Lingtong Mountain. In 1992, the Fujian Provincial Government included it as a provincial level tourist resort.
Natural sceneries of Lingtong Mountain include 7 peaks, 10 temples and 18 attractions. Peaks, rocks, mist, spring, valleys and caves are the main features. Some peaks are shaped like lions, olecranon, python, and images of Buddha. They seem to be the “divine” workmanship of the nature.
2) Fairy Bathing Pool or Xiannv Yuchi (仙女浴池)
Fairy Bathing Pool or Xiannv Yuchi lies in the middle section of the mountain brook between Damao Peak and Xiaomao Peak. Due to years of dripping water, the pool was made into a natural pool that looks like a basin. It’s over 2 metres in diameter. The pool water, outflowing in circle round, is crystal clear.
3) Lingtong Giant Stone Buddha (灵通大佛)
Viewed from the south, Xiaomao Peak is like the head of Buddha. Forehead, eyes, nose, mouth, chin and cheeks are in accurate proportion. It’s naturally formed without artificial rock sculpting.
Lingtong Giant Stone Buddha
4) Qing Peak (擎峰)
The 1287-metre-tall peak is one of the main peaks of Lingtong Mountain. Viewed on the foot of the peak, the peak is a precipitous cliff that seems to have no standing room on the top. Actually, there is a plain platform, where a hundred people can stand on. Once reaching its top, tourists can see that the surrounding peaks become shorter and the sky is particularly vast. It seems that the land is submerged in the mist.
How to get there:
Click photos to enlarge
Route: Start from the Xiamen-Zhangzhou Freeway in Jimei and exit the freeway in Zhangzhou, take S 207 Road to Pinghe County, turn to S 309 to Daxi Town. The whole route is about 173 kilometres.
If you are looking for car rental service, please contact Apple Travel by following the contact offered below.
2) Use a travel agent:
Renting a van packaged with driver is the next best alternative. Call Apple Travel to organize a group tour.
Apple Travel Xiamen Office (Main Office)
Address: Shop 18-20,Guanren Rd (behind the Marco Polo Hotel) Xiamen, Fujian Province, China 361006