Meizhou and Hakka Houses at Yong Ding

We left Hong Kong through Lo Wu, one of the busiest borders of the world. The crossing was fast and efficient and also the bus tickets to Meizhou were quickly organized (thanks to the Chinese language skills of Hazel and a friendly officer).

After a five hour bus ride on a new and quite deserted highway we arrived in Meizhou. A first “highlight” of China was when we saw a mother letting her kid pee into a trash bin on at a highway rest stop. Welcome to China!

Meizhou as a city didn’t have much to offer but we enjoyed the super comfortable beds at our hotel and tried to get rid of our flu before moving on.

Thanks to Hazel language skills we were even able to avoid the various dog meat restaurants – lucky us (and poor doggy ;)). In addition Kevin felt like a local attraction as he probably was the only western in the whole town and got starred at quite a bit (but then for sure he liked the attention).

Our next stop was Yongding where we wanted to see the Hakka Round Houses. The friendly staff at our hotel helped us to reserve the accommodation and bus tickets to Yongding where we arrived in the afternoon.

The Hakkas are one of the many ethnic groups in China and their dialect is spoken in different parts of China and you even can find it in Singapore. Our accommodation for the next two days was actually in one of their traditional Earth Houses – definitely one the most remarkable buildings we had stayed in so far. We ended the day with a nice home made dinner by our hosts.

The next day it was time to have a look around the Hong Keng Village with its traditional houses. The whole area is quite unique and has been designated a World Heritage Site a few years ago.

The most impressive buildings were the round Hakka Houses which are four to six stories high and houses several families. To easily defend them they have a round and windowless design.

Almost as interesting as the houses was to watch the numerous Chinese tourist groups with their very loud tour leaders and flags. One realizes soon that one is seldom alone in China.

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