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Crane Lake Dwelling Hakka House Museum

This article was originally published on May 24, 2010, in the Shenzhen Daily.
The information was accurate at that time, and may be outdated now. Use with caution.

The front gate at the Crane Lake Dwelling Hakka House Museum
The Hakka people, a sub-culture of the Han Chinese, have long been an integral part of the Shenzhen scene. Because they settled here later than the earlier Han populations, the group's name means "Guest People."

Looking through the gate to the first building at Crane Lake House
As latecomers, they had to struggle to be welcome. Evidence of this remains in the numerous fortified villages they built. Unlike the famous tulou "roundhouses" built elsewhere, the roughly 100 Hakka houses in Shenzhen's Longgang District are square, generally with guard towers at each corner.

A view of the house's layout from Google Maps. Note the half-moon pond in front.
The most outstanding of these is the Hehu (Crane Lake) Dwelling in the very heart of Longgang Town. Like most, it has a half-moon-shaped pond in front (for both feng shui and more practical purposes, like firefighting); a central ancestral temple; and numerous courtyards, buildings, wells, and walkways, in addition to the fortifications.

A fortified building at one corner of the compound
Hehu was started by Luo Ruifeng, a pioneering patriarch from Meizhou, around 1768. The first generation built what is now an inner set of walls; later inhabitants built the current outer walls surrounding a total of 300 rooms, completing the work in 1817. At its height it housed around 1,000 people; by the late 20th century it was completely abandoned. In 1996, it was decided to make the house into a museum of Hakka folk customs. Because it is uninhabited, we can peek into places that would be off-limits in settled villages.

A courtyard between the buildings
Take bus 309 from Luohu or 329 from Nanshan to Longgang Jiedao Ban(龙岗街道办) stop, on Shenhui Highway. Walk one kilometer northwest to the village.

You can learn more about Longgang's Hakka dwellings in my articles on Hakka Houses in Longgang and Maosheng Residence, Henggang.

There's more about Crane Lake Dwelling in another article in the Shenzhen Daily, "Hehu New Residence in Longgang."

GPS Info:
  • 22.729081, 114.266156


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