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Hakka Round House in Shizhai, Meizhou
Latest Updated by 2006-07-04 15:33:18
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After passing many turns in the mountain, you would finally arrive this left-alone village where the Guo's clans reside. The vernacular residential buildings are all typical Hakka enclosed houses in square shape. Walking among these fortified castle-like houses is quite an impressive experience.

"Jiufanglou" and "Shudelou" are the only two Hakka earthen houses in the village, built in The Ming Dynasty and The Qing Dynasty respectively. The buildings both have 3 floors and a history of more than 400 years.

At the northeast and southeast outer walls, two higher fortified castle-like watch towers were built as stairs and for defense against bandits or wild animals. The two square residential buildings have 3 floors at 13 metres high. The inner walls made of rammed earth are solid and fortified.

Shudelou built in The Qing Dynasty has five doors which symbolize gold, wood, water, earth and fire. For the Chinese, these five substances bring fortune to the family. On the main gate, there are four loopholes from where boiling water were poured down to bandits approaching at the gate. The thick heavy wooden door was reinforced with an iron sheet. Furthermore, three heavy and thick rods were put behind wooden door as support.

A water will situates in the centre of the enclosed housing complex, with kitchen on the first floor, bedrooms on the second floor, food warehouse and ammunition depots on the third floor. Available flat fields are used to dry shoes under sun.

Qingyun Tower situates on top of the mountain. Visitors have to walk further from Shizhai, pass a Leshan bridge and an aged pine and walk another 30 minutes to reach to mountain top. This is the ideal place to have a bird's eye-view of the whole village. It is said that for those who climbed up the 28-metre and 7-floor Qingyun Tower will be blessed and protected.

Take bus from Meizhou to Jiaoling and then transfer by taxi.

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