The southern region of China was once known as 'Nanfang'; its precise extend varies with context but Fujian and Guangdong have routinely been part of it. South China has always been outward-looking with many overseas Chinese able to trace their ancestry to one of the communities that still inhabit these lands today. The most diasporic among these migrants are the Hakka, often victimised in the annals of Chinese history yet they left a distinct stamp on the region's history, architecture, language and cuisine. Join us in our way south, as we traverse the Hakka lands to retrace their story.
FUJIAN | FACING THE SEA
Communal Stronghold | travel to a quiet hamlet deep into tulou country for an overnight stay in one of these mud and brick roundhouses. Hike through tea plantations to the next village over, known nationwide to have the second largest tulou in the world, though the locals prefer to showcase their long tradition of rice wine distillery.
Empire's Edge | once a major coastal defense area against piracy and encroaching Europeans, the subtropical island is now more appreciated for its picturesque coastal landscape and expansive bays. Take it easy and spend your time scouting for the best beaches, engaging with authentic fishing communities or looking for hillside trails leading to panoramic island views.
GUANGDONG | HOME OF THE HAKKA
River Trade Town | stop by a well-preserved commercial river town, for centuries the gathering point for inland Hakka who wished to leave China and try their luck abroad. The town’s overseas connections are reflected in its foreign inspired architecture and is therefore often dubbed ‘Little Hong Kong’.
Hakka Dragon Houses | visit the (self-declared) ‘capital of Hakka culture’ with its rather unique version of the communal stronghold. While most Hakka structures are known for their fortress like designs and defensive qualities, the local weilongwu (or dragon houses) have a semi-circular shape, which is mirrored by a pond. As the area was subject to much less attacks, Feng Shui principles rather than defensive purposes were the determining factors of the design.
A WORD ON ACCOMMODATION
Our programs include a selection of charming guesthouses, boutique hotels and cosy homestays. You can sleep on both ears, as each type of lodging comes equipped with all necessities for a restful night, has family-friendly amenities, and is managed by helpful owners and staff we know personally.
As of 15 March 2023, China resumes all visa services so all international travellers can visit the Middle Kingdom again.