The inside of the tulou weren’t exactly the most luxurious. Inside the packed earth walls were struts and floors made of timber planks. Each room into the circular courtyard and all rooms in use were open to let in the light. Above each door hung a lantern now for purely decorative purposes as the tulou had electricity at night.
I especially liked the contrast of dark wood and red lantern but didn’t like it enough to stay the night in one. I opted for a modern guesthouse nearby instead as it had running water and airconditioning. Paying a small amount extra was worth it considering water was gotten from a well and there was no toilet inside!
Things were very much back to basics here. Some areas had to be accessed by ladder instead of wooden steps because of lack of space.
In the side alleys along the walls lay mud and starch bricks in stacks ready for repair work.
And along the walls inside the tulou, the baskets and pots of everyday life seemed unchanged from a hundred years ago.
Only the gas cylinder and the modern Chinese characters told of modern times…
… as did new electric gadgets and the Mao poster.
[Next up: Life in the Tulou]