The Shangping Tulou cluster scenic zone, part of the Hua’An Tulou World Heritage Site near the city of Xiamen in China’s Fujian province, has opened to tourists.
Native to the mountainous region of southeast Fujian, a Tulou is a large multi-storey building built for large-community living and defense. It consists of a weight-bearing, rammed-earth wall and a wood-frame structure.
The Hua’An Tulou area was declared a World Heritage Site in 2008 by UNESCO, which said the Tulou was an exceptional example of a building with tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization in a harmonious relationship with the environment,. The Tulou is known for its unique shape, large scale, and ingenious structure.
The Shangping Tulou cluster is the earliest Tulou group on record, and it includes the Qiyun, Shengping and Rixin Buildings. All three are historically highly significant: Qiyun was built in 1371 and is the oldest surviving round Tulou building in China; Shengping is the only Tulou building built in stone and the site’s tourism operator, China Yida Holding Company, compares it in size and magnificence to Rome’s Coliseum; and Rixin is the earliest castle-style Tulou building in China.
As part of the effort to raise the profile of the Shangping Tulou cluster scenic zone to attract visitors, China Yida designed many interactive tourism activities and developed the ruins to restore the buildings. The company expects to attract 160,000 visitors in 2010 to the site, charging an admission price of RMB60 (US$8.80) per person.
“Located close to Xiamen City in Fujian province, we expect this destination will appeal to local as well as overseas tourists visiting China,” says Dr. Minhua Chen, China Yida’s chairman and CEO.
Headquartered in Fuzhou city in Fujian province, China Yida operates China’s Great Golden Lake tourist destination, which is a Global Geopark that boasts the Golden Lake, the Shangqing River, Zhuanyuan Rock, Luohan Mountain and Taining Old Town; the Hua’An Tulou tourist destination, a World Culture Heritage site that includes the Dadi Tulou cluster and the Shangping Tulou cluster; and the China Yunding tourist destination, which is a national park that encompasses Colorful Rock Valley, Yunding Paradise, Yunding Waterfall, South Heavenly Mountain, and Seven Star Lake. Together, these Fujian scenic sites total more than 300 square kilometers in area.