Droning on Christmas Day (over Fujian Tulou)

I always like to blog or vlog on the actual day so I can extract the most from my memory. It is also mentally exhausting for me to go through 2-3 days of content.

However, after 3 late nights of video editing and blogging, I fell sick on Christmas Day. I was down with a very bad painful sore throat and fever. I totally lost my voice. My parents and wife were worried about me and I promised them that I will rest more. So, no blogging or video-editing until the end of the trip.

On Christmas Day, Leon and Qiaoqiao made special transport arrangement for me to visit an UNESCO World Heritage Site, the legendary Fujian Tulou. Built between the 12th-20th century, the Tulou is famed for its large, circular fortified earth structure. It is like a Royal castle with thick defensive outer walls and upper-deck gun holes (to fight against armed bandits), except these unique buildings were built for a large family or clan. Despite using very basic materials, the oldest Tulou stands for over 700 years. Each Tulou comes equipped with its own water wells, ceremonial hall, bedrooms and bathrooms.

Due to its unique shape and uncanny outlook, the Tulou were once mistaken for missile silos by the Americans during the Cold War.

We took an hour train from Xiamen to Longyan City (龙岩市) and from there, we travelled for another 40 minutes to Hongkeng village. There are a total of 46 Tulou listed by the UNESCO and the driver took us to the “Prince of Tulou”, 振成楼. Completed in 1912, the Prince of Tulou is a double-ring structure, consists of 184 rooms.

The weather was bad. It was foggy and gloomy. It wasn’t the ideal condition for photography. Nevertheless, Leon and I took the drone out and prepared for flight. Drone pilots often attracted many curious onlookers. Even before the flight, there were already a couple of onlookers waiting beside us. The drone flight was delayed by damn DJI as its app alerted us that we have to upgrade the new firmware which I did a few days ago. Anyway, we wasted a good-10-minute battery life for the completion of upgrading. It was kind of worrying as it is never good to do remote upgrading just minutes before flight time.

The drone took off successfully and the view from above was spectacular! A few local villagers stood beside me to peep at the screen. They were excited as this was the first time they saw their homeland from above. They were surprised how beautiful and big it looked.

Leon and Elkan took turns to operate their first solo flight. Leon was impressed how user-friendly and powerful the drone was. (I was trying to persuade him to join the drone club!) Elkan was super excited and happy that he managed the landing unassisted.

I wished we have more time to drone over more Tulou. However, we have a farewell dinner to attend and we have to rush back to Xiamen. Well, I got what I came here for. All good and beautiful. Time to pack and head back to Xiamen.

4 Responses to Droning on Christmas Day (over Fujian Tulou)

  1. sam chan says:

    Joe, have a question – 1) after you arrive at Longyan station – is there readily transportation to the tulou? 2) if there is, how much approximately per person? 3) is the toilet quite modern??

    Me and wife is flying int0 Xiamen from HK next month. Might want to take a day to Tulou.
    Many thanks for your reply.

    • Wahbiang says:

      Hi Sam, love to help you but I don’t have the right answers for you. My cousin got their company car for me. However, fear not, there are a lot of taxis waiting right outside Longyan Train Station and you can hire one of them to bring you there (about 45-60min one way). Negotiate for a return-trip as it is difficult to get transport back. Do buy the train tickets in advance! Get your hotel in Xiamen to buy it for you or you can queue it at the station.

      Do make more research online to check out the other Tulous around Longyan area.

      Another alternative is to find a 1-day tour directly from Xiamen city. Avoid those tours that offer low price with lots of “discovery trips” to the tea farms or pottery craft factories (those are exorbitant shopping tours that no one likes).

      • sam chan says:


        Thanks very much for such detail explanation. I will probably take the 1day trip via Xiamen. The connection point from Longyan to the Tulou can be a hassle.

        Again, thanks again for taking the time to reply my question.

    • Wahbiang says:

      Oh yes…. Toilet is okay at the place we visited. 🙂

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