Review: Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao

Introduction: Too Low for a Tulou
Cathay Dragon 602 A320 Economy Class Hong Kong to Xiamen
Barkla Concept Hotel Xiamen
Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao
Hakka Capital Hot Springs Resort
Cathay Dragon 603 A320 Economy Class Xiamen to Hong Kong


A tulou is a type of dwelling that the Hakka people have used for a couple of millennia, so it was an honor to be able to stay in one. We made the three-hour drive from Xiamen to Yunshuiyao on Monday afternoon, and made it there right before the sun started to set.

The exterior of the hotel looks like a tulou – the windows are purposely designed to be small in order to block out gun attacks in the past,

img_3465Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Exterior

We walked in through the big door at the front and met ourselves in the middle of an atrium-like area, with all the rooms facing inside. This was to get a sense of community, as each tulou lived as a family – while everyone had their separate lifestyles, they had big dinners together, attended each other’s weddings, etc.

img_3230Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

The place sure was charming, and featured a few doors leading to the guesthouses (which are actually owned by people we talked to during the trip), and as far as I know the upper floors were dedicated to the people that actually lived there.

img_3231Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

img_3232Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

There was signage to signify the tulou’s name, though I believe it was made out of a tarpaulin, and not legit signage.

img_3609Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

This is what the tulou looks like from the second floor at night. Charming, right?

15110506_1269538639785281_3299879501696536521_oFuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

img_3463Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Lobby/Atrium

We were checked in by one of the owners, Xiao Jian, and were promptly admitted to rooms. I’ll be talking more about the owners later, but for now I’ll focus on the actual facilities. While they certainly didn’t indicate how much I enjoyed my time there, it is what the blog’s about.

img_3233 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Entrance

img_3234 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Entrance

Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao
Check-in: Monday, November 14, 2016
Room Type: N/A
Room Number: 111
Stay duration: 3 nights
Check-out: Thursday, November 17, 2016

I was pleasantly surprised to find decently made beds in the room, and an actual desk and chair (as well as curtains by the side to block out anyone who was interested in what we were doing). Sure, it wasn’t glam, but it was what I expected to see in a place like this.

img_3235 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room 

The room featured a double bed, a single bed (Jenkin and I sure did argue over who would take the single bed like two Chinese ladies would argue over a bill), a desk and chair, a TV (which went unused) as well as a table containing TV remotes, etc.

img_3236 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Bed

img_3237 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Bed

As with the previous hotel we stayed in, there was wall art that largely made no sense.

img_3241 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Wall Art

The chair was actually much more comfortable than I was expecting – that material is unbelievably malleable, especially for bamboo. I did enjoy working on the bed, though, even though I had paperwork – yeah, the beds were hard.

img_3238 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Desk and Chair

img_3239 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Table

Slippers were provided in the room, and they were great – really appreciated and I’m grateful to the two hosts that gladly provided all rooms with them. It was definitely apparent that they took a lot of pride in this guesthouse despite how shabby it was and did what they could to make us happy.

img_3242 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Slippers

Our bathroom was one of the few that featured a real toilet instead of a squat, but it wasn’t great either. It featured a bathroom-shower combo, in the sense that the toilet in itself acts as a walk-in shower. Yeah, not ideal, but that’s the way it is.

img_3243 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Bathroom

There were no toiletries or anything provided (again, as you’d expect), though I wasn’t happy at the loss of toilet paper. Good thing Jenkin stocked up, or I’d be wiping my butt with used undergarments.

img_3244 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Sink

The heater was also pretty old-fasioned, and water pressure wasn’t great, but I did appreciate that there was hot water (it was cold!).

img_3245 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Guest Room Hot Water System

Overall, I did enjoy the room for what it was. I wasn’t satisfied, but it did meet my (extremely low) expectations, so I don’t have much to complain about.

The first night we were served dinner, and I was surprised that Xiao Jian was actually behind the cooking process. The food itself was quite a feast, and everything was delicious.

img_3246 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

img_3247 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

img_3248 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

img_3249 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

img_3250 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

img_3251 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Dinner

Similarly, breakfast was made by the family, and was also delicious (apart from the packaged cornflakes, which were only decent, but this is as good as hospitality gets anywhere).

img_3459 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Breakfast

img_3460 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Breakfast

img_3461 Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Breakfast

img_3458Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao Breakfast

My friend Dickson was with us, and his mom cooks amazing Shanghainese food, and he had good things to say about the food with roots in Shanghai, so…

While we only had dinner a couple of times, breakfast was served every morning and was pretty much similar with little differences. I was interested in the packaging of the cutlery, which was consistent throughout my experiences in rural Fujian. It was basically a bowl, chopsticks, spoons, etc. all packaged together with the same company’s name on top.

Regarding the owners, Xiao Jian’s husband’s name was A De, and he worked a teashop close to the tulou. We did have a visit of both the process of making tea and the actual fields during a hike on Thursday, and it sure was interesting. I can cover that in a future post if anyone wants, but it is an excruciating process that made the CNY 100 of tea I paid for very worth it.

A De was a very nice guy, and even discounted our tea for us. He was very avant garde and seemed to have a rather modern perspective of life – he was also a complete introvert. Xiao Jian was a little more open, though I didn’t really get to talk to her much, so I hope we cross paths in the future.

Bottom Line

From an objective standard, which I have to make as a writer of this blog, the guestroom was not good. It featured two hard, uncomfortable beds, limited hardware, and crappy toilets.

But the actual service was amazing. Not only did we get served, A De and Xiao Jian also looked at us as family and took care of us as best as they could. I’d highly recommend getting yourself an experience at this tulou, and upon the chance would certainly return in the future – though I’d do so alone to get to know the owners a little better.

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2 thoughts on “Review: Fuxinglou Tulou Yunshuiyao

  1. Hey guys ! Thanks for the review, i would like to know the price for the room ?
    The breackfast look amazing and makes me hungry eheh
    Even if you say the bed is pretty hard, i’m very interested to go there for a night
    Is 1 night enough to visit around ? Thanks 🙂

    Like

    1. @ Circuit Chine – The room rate was below HKD 200, so well worth the price, though I’m not sure how my school booked (check introductory post in the above trip report index). As for one night, it’s definitely enough to do some jogs, though not enough to explore the entire area.

      Like

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