Traditional Hakka houses in Taiwan... where?

Hi all,

I’ve seen some beautiful rounded Hakka houses in photos, such as these ones:
but I’m not sure where I can see them. Does anyone know of a touristy, or non-touristy village to see the houses? I live in central Taiwan, but will travel anywhere to see them.
thanks in advance!

From what I have read they have alot located along the west coast of Taiwan. Plus I think there is a amusement park that has this theme.

i never saw any big, circular old style homes in taiwan. kinmen island has some beautiful old homes they are seemingly going to let rot away. kinmen, IMHO, had the best “old” houses in taiwan. alot of the old houses on the west coast are japanese style. they are nice. i used to live in one in meilun, hualien and that locale still has a nice concentration of them.

The houses in the photos you linked to are actually in Fujian Province, China. There are some more photos and information about them on my Fujian website. They are quite amazing and well worth visiting if you happen to go to China.

I don’t think you’ll find any round Hakka houses in Taiwan. But you will find quite a few Hakka farmhouses in rural Taoyuan, Hsinchu, and Miaoli.

There are even more in the deep south–especially in eastern Pingtung County. One really cool village is Wugoushui 五溝水 in Pingtong County’s Wanluan Township. This village is still largely made up of traditional Hakka houses that people still keep up and live in. The Liu Ancestral Shrine just outside Wugoushui is also worth visiting. There are lots more Hakka structures in Meinong Township in Kaohsiung County too. I could be wrong about this but the Hakka farmhouses in northern and southern Taiwan seem to have two distinct styles. The ones down south are whitewashed and have black characters written on either side of the door. Quite striking actually. I don’t think I’ve seen this in the north.

Wow, thank you so much for that info Feiren.
I have seen wix’s site before (great site, lots of info!), and I am planning on going there when I tour china in a few months.

I have been to Kinmen, and you’re right, it is absolutely beautiful. I’m so glad I went there.

The reason I thought there were some round hakka houses in Taiwan, is because I was flipping through that huge coffee table photo book on Taiwan (Eslite has it, with a ton of nice photos by a foreigner, y’know that one?), and one of the photos was of the round hakkha house- it looked exactly like the one on wex’s site from fujian province. And it was a living house- not just an amusement park house. So now I’m thinking that photo in the Taiwan photo book, was not actually from Taiwan. Hmmmm.

thanks again everyone!

I’ve asked a Taiwanese Hakka about the houses. He said there would be none in Taiwan and they existed only in Mainland.

I’ve studied in Xiamen for a while and I remember there was a Hakka round house not too far away. You could visit it on a day trip.

We were last in Jinmen in 2002 and there were several houses being renovated. One house that was being renovated and turned into an educational centre even had a bunch of period piece antiques on loan from the Louvre. Was very tastefully done.

I am in two minds about renovating all the houses on Jinmen. Whilst it would ‘look’ nice it would detract from the charm of the ilsand (I think anyway).

I was just in western Fujian province a couple of weeks ago and visited a lot of those tulou buildings (still in China, so I don’t have pics up yet.)

My advice is that if you want to see them, see them now. When I went, I hired this motorcycle driver/guide and he was telling me in barely comprehensible Mandarin about the development that’s been going on in the area. Starting from about last year, a lot of the tulou’s have been charging ridiculous entrance fees - somewhere around Y50 for two or three - and it’s just going to get worse. Considering that in a day trip you’ll see close to a dozen tulou’s, those entrance fees can add up really quickly.

Also, many of these tulou’s are being transformed from residential houses into museums. I have mixed opinions about this. On one hand, the 40 or so families that I saw still living in these tulou’s are living in filthy, sewer-less hovels and the new, cleaned-up tulou’s are much more photogenic. On the other hand, the renovated tulou’s feel a lot tackier and less “authentic.” When I visited the old tulou’s, I’d be greeted by old men inviting me to sit down for some tea. When I went to the newer tulou’s, I was accosted by young ticket collectors demanding I hand over Y50.

Anyhow, you can do it as a weekend trip from Xiamen. Take a bus in Friday night, hire a motorcycle driver for all of Saturday and Sunday morning, and then head back Sunday afternoon.