As covered in previous articles there are some interesting historical sights in Shenzhen if you know where to look. These include 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.

Outer wall of Crane Lake Hakka village / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
This is a totally different type of place than you normally see in Shenzhen / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson

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.

Colours and style of Hakka like / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
Throwback to another time period / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
narrow walkways and multiple rooms make for an interesting view experience / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson

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.

Hakka style bedroom / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
Hakka style living room / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson

Architecture

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.

beautiful courtyard to walk around / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
interesting architecture to see and photograph / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson
Make sure to explore all the back alleys too / image courtesy of Joe Macpherson

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

鹤湖新居 & 龙岗客家民俗博物馆

广东省深圳市龙岗区龙岗街道南联社区罗瑞合北街1号

Open 9am-5pm

Ticket costs 10 RMB

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