The Hakka and the Mǐnnán (Fujianese) people have lived in the fabled earthen structures known as tǔlóu (土楼) for centuries. Spread across a southwestern section of the province, many are still inhabited and welcome visitors for the day or night. The circular edifices are remarkable for their ingenuity, but the idyllic rural setting lends an ethereal quality hard to find in modern China. Sleeping here and sharing a meal with local families can be life-affirming.
Take note: since Unesco rubber-stamped the region in 2008, tour buses have rumbled in on freshly paved highways. But it’s hardly reason to stay away. With more than 30,000 tǔlóu still intact, you can find one to take your fancy.