Yongding County, famous for the unique Hakka earthen buildings, is situated in the borderland of China's two special economic zones, Xiamen and Shantou. It borders Zhangzhou City of the "Minnan golden triangle" to the east and Meizhou City of Guangdong Province to the west. The county is 452 kilometers (half and five hours by car) from Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian Province. It covers an area of 2216 square kilometers, with a population of 13,473,100, among which only 92,600 are non-agricultural population.
Currently, Yongding is one of the eight overseas Chinese hometowns in China. There are over 800,000 overseas Chinese around the world whose hometown is Yongding. For example Hu Wenhu (胡文虎), a renowned patriotic oversea Chinese, was a newspaper tycoon and Tiger Balm tycoon in 1930s and 1940s.
Yongding County is beautiful in natural scenery and abundant in tourist resources. Currently it is a key tourism destination and an opening up tourism economic zone in Fujian Province. The representative attractions in Yongding are Yongding Hakka roundhouses , which by its distinct architecture style and rich cultural connotations has been honored the "unique mythical residential building in the world" and listed in the World Cultural Heritage.
Yongding is about 307 kilometers (about 4-hour drive) from Xiamen (check out the transportation information between Xiamen and Yongding), and it would be a nice itinerary to visit Yongding when you have seen the sights in Xiamen. Because the famous Hakka earthen buildings in Yongding are dispersive, the best way of visiting is joining a tour group, and you'd better as least stay a night in Yongding (if not, you might be really hurry and tired). Several Hakka earthen buildings have been developed into inns, and you can live in these inns to enjoy a unique experience. However, the accommodation condition of these inns is clean and simple, but not as good as hotels.
The local food in Yongding is mainly in the style of Hakka cuisine, and the most popular and famous dish is "Meicai Kourou": steamed pork with salted dried mustard cabbage, the most famous local dish. Food served at Yongding is very cheap, 15 yuan being enough for a person to have a feast. Besides, it is an old tradition for local residents to sip Kung Fu tea every day. Whenever thus you are invited by a local family, the Kung Fu tea is a must to taste.
Meicai Kourou (/may-tseye koh-roh/) is pork steamed with in soya sauce. Hakka people are good at making salted dried mustard cabbage (aka Meicai), which is really convenient for keeping and carrying. These "Meicai" with cabbage fragrance is nice ingredient for cooking pork and fish. The pork for cooking "Meicai Kourou" should be with marble pattern, which is formed by fatty meat and lean meat together. This dish is really fragrant with soft meat, smooth but not greasy, salty with light sweet.
Yuzi Ba (/ju:-zee ba/) is a cone-shape snack mainly made of the mixture of sticky rice powder and taro powder. Inside is wrapped with crispy dry bamboo shoots, braised pork, mushroom and fresh soup. The Yuzi Ba has the fragrance of taro, rice, bamboo shoots and meat, tasted soft and glutinous. It is really a unique and delicious snack worthy to have a try.
Paojiao Yazhua (/paoww-jyoww yah-jwah/) is made of duck claws (which have been removed the smell of meat) and pickled pepper, tasting light sour and crispy.
Yongding has a subtropical maritime monsoon climate, featuring a short winter without extreme coldness, and a long summer without extreme heat. Generally the weather is agreeable all year round. The annual average temperature reaches 20.1 °C, and the annual average rainfall is about 1647 millimeters. The county enjoys a long frost-free period of 300 days and an annual average sunshine of 2024 hours. The best seasons for travel are June and December each year.