Hekeng Village, general view. As usual, all images are clickable.

[Previous: Kinmen ferries] - 2012-03-01 - [Next: To the Tulou Great Wall]

Hekeng Village (河坑村), or Hekeng Tulou Cluster, is one of the 10 sites collectively inscribed as the "Fujian Tulou" on the UNESCO World Heritage List. It is indeed a complete village, with a dozen or so full-size tulou, plus some smaller adobe buildings. Now, there are probably a lot more than ten villages in Fujian's "Tulou Country" (primarily, Nanjing, Yongding, and Pinghe Counties) where one can find a dozen tulous, but Hekeng is remarkable for its absence of out-of-style "modern" (concrete) buildings - neither in the village itself, nor anywhere in site. So the entire village got inscribed as a heritage site, unlike, for example, Gaobei Village, where the "official" heritage site only includes the famous Chengqi Lou and a few neighbors.

The village temple. I suppose a feng shui expert was retained to site it correctly, with the hill behind and a water feature in front.
Same temple, with ducklings enjoying the water feature. (Plenty of ducks in the area, in general)
The ducklings

Unlike Gaobei or Hongkeng, surrounded by parking lots and full of vendors and other accoutrements of tourist trade, Hekeng apparently still is not on the tourist circuit. There are a few information plaques here and there, but that's about it. Probably, tourist buses stop here occasionally (this, after all, is just off the newly redone X562 - the main road from Xiamen and Shuyang to Gaobei and Yongding), but there were none during my visit. The place looks like a perfectly normal living and working village, and most tulous are still lived in.

Hekeng's Yuchang Lou. (The name is used elsewhere as well). With some seating in front of the main entry, motorcycle parking space, and space for laundry, the ancient tulou has many of the important features one expects of a 1970s Soviet apartment building.

Look-into-a-tulou (Yuchang Lou)

Inside Yongsheng Lou - one tulou that seems to be mostly deserted. Whenever you enter a tulou, there is this immediate feeling of a contrast between a hot sunny day outside, and a cooler, shady environment inside, as evidenced by the mossy floor.


Bus stop at Qujiang, with half a dozen buses a day to Xiamen.

As one goes west, Qujiang is the next village after Hekeng. It is less than a quarter mile away, but you can't see it from Hekeng (or vice versa), because they are separated by the shoulder of a small mountain, with a short tunnel taking the new road through it. (In the past, it must have been a longer drive or walk between the two villages). Qujiang is rather bigger than Hekeng; it may have as many tulous as Hekeng does, but they are now interspersed with modern buildings, such as the local school complex (which probably serves several nearby villages, including Hekeng).

Link: more pictures of Hekeng and Qujiang.

[Previous: Kinmen ferries] - 2012-03-01 - [Next: To the Tulou Great Wall]

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