Chinese Mud Castles (Nov 17-19)


Let’s go… spend the night in ancient Chinese Castles!!! This trip will be about exploring (and sleeping in) the amazing UNESCO World Heritage mud buildings built in the 12th century called Tulou, which can house communities of 500 people, an awesome trek through tea plantation, tea tasting, checking out the best preserved colonial island in China, learning how to make our own dumplings, creating our own fireworks show, eating delicious food, and more!!!

We will be exploring - and spending the night in - some of the coolest buildings in the world…

...doing a trek through a tea plantation…

…checking out an amazing colonial island…

…creating our own fireworks show…

…learning how to make local “Tulou-style” dumplings…

…and more!!!

Dates: November 17-19 (Friday to Sunday)


Day 1 – Friday,  November 17

07:37 – Hop on a bullet train and relax on the way   

16: 04 – Arrive at Nanjing Station 南靖 (not the Nanjing you know) and hop on our bus

17:30 – Arrive in Tulou country and check in - We will be spending the night in an amazing ancient mud building!

18:00 – Dinner in the yard of a typical Tulou with the Tulou chief and learn how to make our own local “Tulou-style” dumplings

20:00 – Night walk for our first glimpse of the magnificent Tulou area


Day 2 – Saturday, November 18

07:00 – Western breakfast

08:00 – Start our exploration of the Tulous

10:00 – Tea plantation trek

12:00 – Local specialty lunch with Fujian province delicacies

13:00 – Continue our Tulou adventure

18:00 – Local specialty dinner

19:00 – Hop on the bus and head to Xiamen

22:30 – Check in our hotel


Day 3 – Sunday, November 19

07:00 – Western breakfast

08:00 – Take the ferry to the beautiful colonial island of Gulangyu

09:30 – Reach the island, free time, enjoy the island laid back atmosphere

13:30 – Meet up and hop on the ferry

14:00 – Head to the railway station to catch our train back

16:15 – Catch our train

The Story Behind This Trip:

We first heard of the Tulous a few years back and decided to take a trip down… during a busy holiday. To our surprise, the place was not packed with people, like most of China’s destinations... Knowing this secret, we decided to organize a trip to check out these spectacular monuments and spend the night there. How many UNESCO monuments have you spent the night in?



Included – Onsite ground transportation - Private Bus with A/C, insured

Not included – Train tickets


Recommended Trains:

Shanghai Hongqiao – Nanjing 南靖: D3131

Nov 17, 7:37-16:02, Estd price- 413 RMB (sales open 30 days prior to departure)

  • Note - this is not the last stop on the train so please set an alarm for the arrival time


Xiamen North - Shanghai Hongqiao: G1658

Nov 19, 16:15-22:47, Estd price- 462 RMB (sales open 30 days prior to departure)


*Please book your train. It’s really easy with! They even have an app. (If you need us to book your flights, a booking fee of 100 RMB per ticket will apply, paid directly to the booking agent. Our agent will contact you within 24 hours of registration.)


*You must arrive at the arrival time of the suggested train or slightly earlier and meet us at the station, and leave on the suggested train or slightly after the departure time.  If your travel arrangements do not allow for this, you will have to arrange for your own transportation.



Included - All meals as listed. - Western breakfast (eggs, toast, jam, butter, peanut butter, seasonal fruit, coffee, and tea) and local specialty lunch/dinner.

Not included -  Lunch in Gulangyu



Included - Clean double occupancy rooms included in the price (1 night in a 200 yr old Tulou, a UNESCO Heritage Site), 1 night in a 4 star hotel in Xiamen). These will be booked on a first come first served basis.  If you wish to room alone, the single occupancy fee is an extra 300 RMB per person per night. Please note that single occupancy availability may be limited. (If needed, we can help you find someone to share. Pairings in this case are distributed in order of request submission. If there is an uneven number of travelers, the extra nightly single occupancy fee may apply.)

Price: Book now to get the early bird price of 1,999 RMB or 2,299 RMB if deposit paid after October 19


Deposit: 1000 RMB (included in price)

*Full payment must be made by October 31. (Registration is still open after this date.)



3 days ground transportation starting in the Tulou area, accommodate (1 night in a Tulou, 1 night in Xiamen) driver allowance, all admission fees to all Tulou and Gulangyu, all meals (except for lunch during your free time in Gulangyu), dumpling making class, scouting, organizational and preparation fees, ferry ticket to/from Gulangyu, English/Chinese facilitator, local guides, meeting with the Tulou chief, insurance, lots of fun and a trip of a lifetime!!!


Does not include:

Train to Nanjing/from Xiamen, lunch in Gulangyu, drinks, other personal expenses


What you need to bring:

PASSPORT, camera/GoPro, sunscreen, hat, small day pack, flip flops, towel, sunglasses, mosquito repellent, good walking shoes, toiletries, pillow for train ride


Cancellation & Disclaimer:

If the traveler decides to cancel, s/he can get refund of the deposit (a small cancellation fee may apply) up to October 19 and no refund after that. The schedule may be adjusted due to weather conditions, unforeseeable events etc. For complete information please refer to


Payment methods:

1) ICBC Bank Transfer

2) Alipay / Wechat Pay

3) Secure online payment

PayPal/UnionPay Credit/Debit Card/International Credit Cards

4) Cash on Delivery

Please scroll down to the end of this article and press "Read More" to pay and register.   You must complete both the payment and the registration form for each traveler for your place(s) on the trip to be reserved.   Please wait for your booking to be confirmed before booking any flight/train tickets.

Have a question?

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Undecided? Check out a video of some of our previous trips :)