Visiting the Hakka Houses in China

In 2008, I visited my aunt in southeastern China. During my stay I also toured the Hakka houses, which are located about three hours from her home in Xiamen. To give you a short history lesson, the Hakka were immigrants from northern China who moved south in the 17th century. Conflicts arose with their surrounding neighbors as they fought for limited resources in the area, and warfare ensued as a result. The Hakka people began to build communal living structures that were easily defensible. The exterior walls were very thick for protection from their angry rivals and these structures, many of which are still standing today, were generally round in shape and several stories tall.

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The Hakka houses are divided into spaces to live in as well as sections for storage, temple and more. It’s amazing to me that entire generations of families lived in the houses!

These round Hakka houses have become a popular tourist attraction and my photographs do not do them justice. Some people feel that the addition of stores and gift shops in the Hakka houses has commercialized them too much, but I still think they are simply amazing and definitely worth visiting if you ever travel to China. You could spend hours and hours touring the villages of round houses.

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