Hakka History in Shenzhen
As covered in previous blogs there are some interesting historical sights in Shenzhen if you know where to look. These include Nantou ancient town, Dapeng Fortress and Chiwan Emperor’s Tomb. My most recent visit was to another that falls into this category, Crane Lake Hakka House. Odds are if you’ve been in Shenzhen or South China long enough, you would have seen one of these Hakka style villages. However this particular one is remarkably well preserved and gives a unique snapshot into what life must have been like in the not so distant past.
So what is a Hakka House?
A Hakka walled village is a large multi-family communal living structure that is designed to be easily defensible. This building style is unique to the Hakka people found in southern China. Walled villages are typically designed for defensive purposes and consist of one entrance and no windows at the ground level. The usually consist of brick and have thick external walls for fortification and protection. They can be quite large inside with many buildings and courtyards. There are many examples of these with Fujian province having maybe the most well known ones. Some can be found in Jiangxi, Huizhou and even in Pinghshan.
Crane Lake Hakka House
Located deep in Longgang, this isn’t the easiest of places to get to and requires a bit of effort. But I feel that it is absolutely worth it! You will be immediately greeted by an iconic and beautiful thick, long stone wall. If you see this, you’ve arrived in the right place! Upon entering you’ll see a long line of Photos of famous hakka born people who have gone on to achieve great things. This is a nice read. Crane Lake is more of a museum than anything else, with each room giving a different insight into various aspect of hakka life/culture and the way that they lived in the past. There are recreations of bedrooms and kitchens, and you get to see the simple lives that they must have lived. There are waxwork dummies, which while being a bit scary, help to give an understanding of the customs and activities of the day. Information about Dragon Boat festival, Marriage ceremonies, and death are all included. You will most certainly walk away from here having learned something new.
The building structure here is quite beautiful and very photogenic. With stunning rooftops, large thick walls, narrow alleyways and flashes of red this is both eye catching and subtle. There are spring flowers which add vibrancy to the grey walls, and the courtyard is like taking a walk back through time. You can just imagine what this place was like 100 years ago, buzzing with activity. You can walk around at your own pace and see the various and discover the charm and character of this place for yourself.
Want to go?
Nanlian metro station (line 3) exit C1. Keep walking in a straight line past the shopping mall until you see a large Chinese style archway. Turn down here and walk forward along a ‘walking street’. Then entrance to the wall village will be at the end.
Luoruihe Village, Longgang District, Shenzhen 518000, China
Ticket costs 10 RMB