Travel Diary – China’s Fujian Province

Travel Diary – China’s Fujian Province: The Tulou Region & Xiamen Well Worth a Visit 旅行日記 – 中國福建省:值得一遊的土樓區和廈門 by MARIO CAVOLO APR 10 2023

Hey Friends, just back from a rather short but nice 4 day holiday landing at Xiamen airport with 2 days up in the countryside historic Tulou region….a trip well worth taking. Here’s some details for your reference…we really acted like classic “tourists” on this trip and it was nice.

Where to stay on Xiamen island….5 star Pan Pacific was a classic 5 star hotel and less than 700rmb per night incl two buffet breakfasts….and only a ten minute walk to the Ferry Terminal for the boat to Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu island – surprisingly nice, charming, well manicured island…I had no idea that from pre 1900s there was a former US consulate on the island….well worth a visit, nice beaches, gardens, touristy as hell but really nice, well worth being a tourist.

The Historic Tulou Region – When we landed at noon on the 1st day, we immediately drive the two hours to the famou Tulou region of Fujian. Cannot recommend this trip highly enough including how we arranged it and where we stayed.

The Tulou community are basically private villages, built in a giant round 3 story mud built structure. Believe it or not, this is a time when you actually should NOT go out on your own. Be a tourist and follow the 40km road which winds through the region stopping at the various spots. The way to do it we highly recommend is this:

Stay at Changdi Inn at the FuyuLou village. The owner is Steven, speaks good English, its his family’s historic building, 7000sqm, over 160 rooms, built by three brothers six generations earlier….absolutely wonderful charming property anywhere from 200 to 500rmb per night depending on the room you choose. Every meal prepared was crazy delicious and fresh. Most importantly, let them arrange your private car. It was a midsized MG sedan, very comfortable, 700rmb per day. The driver picked us up at the airport, drove us up and all around the tourist zone for 2 days then drove us into Xiamen and dropped us at the doorstep of the Pan Pacific.

For around $100/day for a nice private car and knowledgeable, friendly drive, that was a great deal, seamlessly with the hotel and very reasonably priced. It really could not have been better. The driver knows everywhere to go, where to buy the entry tickets, etc so you don’t have to think about anything, just enjoy touring and walking around. We asked him to take us to a local restaurant and the place he brought us to was owned by a nice local couple, the food was so tasty, especially the local fresh bamboo. Buy the local souvenirs and various tea leave varietals, which are delicious and reasonably priced, too.

Xiamen Island – as I said, from the Pan Pacific hotel, just walk ten minutes and enjoy a full day or two on Gulangyu island. On Xiamen island itself, within 3-5 km you find the lovely Nan Putou temple, University area and can go further down along very nice beaches ringing the south / southwest side of the island. That’s it. Enjoy yourself and then another great point to consider, the ride back to the airport is less than 30 minutes on the northern side of Xiamen island when you head back home.

One last point, referencing all the names & places above, you can find plenty of traveler info online at

If you have any further questions, anything I missed, feel free to ask down below. Cheers, Mario

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