Hekeng village belongs to one of the 10 Tulou clusters which have been inscribed by UNESCO as a world heritage sites. These 10 clusters together sum-up to a total of 46 earth buildings, and are distributed throughout Yongding-, Hua’an- and Nanjing country, all in Fujian province. The Hekeng cluster (village) is located in Nanjing county together with the Tianloukeng cluster, the latter one having seen quite some commercialization due to it’s easy accessibility. Hekeng village has mostly been spared this development due to it’s less convenient accessibility (although recent infrastructure improvements might result in changes) .
Another big reason why Hekeng has been spared over-commercialization is due to the government which is doing it’s best to lure most tourists to the more famous village like ‘YunShuiYao’(云水谣） or the TianLuoKeng Tulou cluster （田螺坑土楼群）hence keeping the less well known villages more in tact. The villagers in Hekeng are obviously not a fan of this policy, although some do see the benefits of not having extreme tourism disturb their natural way of living.
There are 13 Tulous buildings in Hekeng village. 6 square earth buildings, 6 circular earth buildings and 1 pentagon earth building. Among them, the oldest one is the "Chao Shui Building" which was built in the Jiajing period of the Ming Dynasty, having a history of over 400 years and was built by the big family "Zhang Shi" who moved from Guangdong to Hekeng. After the "Zhang Family" settled, and the family grew the “Chaoshui Building” reached it’s capacity. New Tulou’s needed to be built, eventually resulting in the total of 13 structure you can see today. Despite the growth of the village, the family Zhang remained the main family name, resulting in Hekeng village being called “Family Zhang village”.
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