Fuzhou is the capital and biggest city of Fujian province. Fuzhou has a well developed high-speed train network and an International Airport. Many times it becomes the first place that international tourists visit.
There are many buses outside the airport so it is important to check which bus is the best option. It takes around one hour to get from the airport to the train station.
One of the most unique places in Fuzhou is Sanfang Qixiang, for more details check the “Attractions” section
Xihugongyuan (West Lake Park), situated in the northwest of the city is a good option if we want to relax and have a walk in a nice and calm area. It is also a good place for watching dragon boat races during Dragon Boat Festival in May or June, depending on the lunar calendar.
Xichan Temple is another interesting place to visit. It is one of five Buddhist temples in the city. It has a beautiful garden with many old, majestic Litchi trees.
In the evening it is recommended to have a walk along the river admiring the beautiful night panorama.
It has well developed high-speed train network unfortunately there is no airport
The biggest attractions:
The South Shaolin Temple
You can go there by bus number 10. There is one bus stop not far away from the Wanda Shopping Mall. You go by bus almost to the last station, it is outside the city. Next you walk along the main street, near the end of the road there is a minibus stop, next to a small grocery store. The minibus passes every half hour. It takes passangers to the top of the mountain. You can also get there by taxi or by motor taxi. The cost is around 50Y from the minibus stop.
The Temple is quite small but very unique. There are many posters about the history of kung fu, unfortunately they are only written in Chinese. If you are lucky and arrive on time for a kung fu training you can see young kung fu adepts practicing some essential movements.
From Putian’s train station we can take the number 36 bus which takes us to the ferry departure point. We can observe two groups of people which travel to Meizhou Island. There are pilgrims who want to visit Guanghua Temple and groups of people looking for a short relaxing break on the beautiful beaches of the island.
It is believed that Mazu, the Goddess of the Sea, was born and lived on Meizhou Island. She is a patron of seafarers, including fishermen and sailors and is worshipped throughout China and other countries in Asia.
After arriving to the island we can see many golf car’s drivers. If we are travelling in a big group we can negotiate a good price and use them to get around the island. If we are traveling by ourselves it is more convenient to go by bus. The Guanghua Temple is not far away, we could even walk there. The walk would take us around 15 minutes.
There are many things we can do around the island but the most important ones are visiting Guanghua Temple and having rest on the beach.
All the photos in Putian section were taken on Meizhou Island.
Quanzhou city was founded during Tang dynasty and very fast it became the most important port for foreign traders. In 1292 Marco Polo started his trip back to Europe from the port in Quanzhou. Quanzhou was also the beginning of the Maritime Silk Road.
Till today the city is cosmopolitan center with Buddhist and Hindu Temples, Islamic mosques, and Catholic churches.
The monument of Lao Zi presented on the principal photo is located at the foot of Qingyuan Mountain, about 20 minutes by bus from the train station. Lao Zi was one of the most important phylosophers in China. He is the reputed author of the Tao Te Ching, the founder of philosophical Taoism.
There are many intresting places you can visit in Quanzhou for example, Kaiyuan Temple, Qingjing Temple, Luoyang bridge or South Shaolin temple.
Sanming is a fast growing new city. There are two train stations. The old one is situated in the center, the new one is in Shaxian called Sanming Bei (Sanming North) There is a new, small airport next to the Sanming bei station.
It is easy to get from Sanming bei to the center of Sanming. There are two buses, K101 and K102, it takes about 20 minutes and costs 5Y.
The prefecture-level city of Sanming administers 2 districts, 1 county-level city, 9 counties (Mingxi, Qingliu, Ninghua, Datian, Youxi, Sha, Jiangle, Taining, Jianning). Every county has many attractions some of them are described in sections Active holidays and Attractions.
In Sanming the area along the river is quite unique and full of life especially in the morning. It’s a great place to observe how the city wakes up. There are many people practicing Tai Chi, dancing or jogging. We can also see old people playing traditional instruments, playing cards or fishing.
If you like hiking we should visit the Greenway. It is just 20 minutes from Liedong Street, and has many entries. Walking on the Greenway you can observe beautiful flowers, butterflies, waterfalls and a picturesque panorama of Sanming. You can walk to Qilin Mountain, the symbol of the city. Qilin is a mythical creature known in Chinese mythology. It has a head like a dragon, skin like a fish, tail like a lion and hooves like an ox. A representation of the creature can be found on the top of Qilin Mountain and is a symbol of “’Heaven’s Mercy”’.
Xiamen, meaning the gate of China, is a modern and very attractive city. Every year thousands of tourists visit Xiamen. It has a nice climate with good weather all year round expect the typhoon months.
The International Airport in Xiamen is a mayor travel hub, with connections to many places in Asia and direct flights to Europe. Travelling to Xiamen we have to be aware that there are two train stations. Xiamen bei (Xiamen North) is quite far from the center but it is close to the majority of collegues. The other train station, Xiamen is situated in the city center.
Nan Putuo Temple (picture number 2) is one of my favorite places in Xiamen. The temple is a big and picturesque place at the foot of Wulaofeng (Mountain of Five Old Men), situated next to The University of Xiamen. You can hike to the top of the hill and enjoy some extremely beautiful panorama of Xiamen.
History lovers should definitely visit Hulishan Fortress (photos 3 y 4), a key historical and cultural site. It was constructed in the 19th century and has a big collection of arms mostely cannons from different decades. The 280 mm Krupp Cannon is listed in the Guiness Book of Records as the world’s oldest and largest coastal artillery cannon of the 19th century.
To appreciate the modern part of the city we should go to the center, for example a Golden Street, so called because of the big amount of shops that sell gold. We cannot only buy jewelry there, but also traditional Chinese products such as tea and qipao dresses.
The biggest attraction of Xiamen is Gulangyu Island listed as a world heritage site by UNESCO. For more information check section “Attractions”.