Datian County in Fujian’s Sanming City has numerous earth castles built in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. These buildings are large in scale, beautifully designed, and well preserved. Due to lack of public transportation, these castles are less known and most are kept in their original condition.
Different from the famous Fujian Tulou, which are 260 kilometers away from Datian County, Datian earth castles (大田古堡) are more varied in shape and sophisticated in their decoration. Aside from their elegant appearance, they also have very practical functions for living and were designed to provide robust defenses against attack.
The most characteristic earth castles here are Anzhen Castle and Pipa Castle.
Anzhen Castle 安贞堡
Built in 1885, Anzhen Castle covers an area of 10,000 square meters, with a construction area of 5,800 square meters. It’s a large-scale residential building of a kind rarely seen in Fujian. The building has 350 rooms including halls, bedrooms, studies, warehouses, kitchens, and toilets.
Pipa Castle 琵琶堡
The historical building is named after its shape, which resembles a Pipa, the Chinese lute. The structure was first built in the Ming Dynasty and reconstructed in 1885 during the Qing Dynasty. It’s a fortress rather than a residential building, as its outer wall has 40 gun ports and the inner wall is equipped with a bridle path.
8 a.m. Depart from Xiamen to Datian County in Sanming City
11:30 a.m. Visit Anzhen Castle
1 to 2 p.m. Have lunch at a local farm house
2 p.m. Drive to visit Pipa Castle
4 p.m. Drive back to Xiamen
7:30 p.m. Arrive in Xiamen
||3P||4P||5P||6P||7P||8P||9P or more|
|Cost per person
*All transfers with private vehicles (seven-seat Buick for groups of less than five people, 14-seat mini bus for groups of six people and above)
*Chinese/English-speaking tour guide