China Fuzhou City:
Population: 5.75 million
Urban Population: 1.43 million
Neighboring Areas: Guangdong, Jiangxi, Zhejiang, and Taiwan provinces
Physical Features: consist of 3 mountains and 2 towers (Wu Tower, Bai Tower), with a plenty of hot springs
Area: 11,968 sq km
Nationalities: Han, She, Hui, Miao, Manchu and Gaoshan
Climatic Features: subtropical humid monsoon climate with frost-free period of 280 days
Average Temperature: 16 to 23C annually, 6 to 14C in January, 21 to 31C in July
Rainfall: annual precipitation of 1000 mm, concentrated on May and June, usually with typhoon and rainstorm between summer and autumn
Mountains: Mt. Gushan (Drum Hill), Mt. Pingshan, Mt. Yushan and Mt. Wushan
Rivers: Baima River, Min River, Jin'an River and Xi Lake
Products: paddy rice, tea, sugarcane, cotton, hemp, tobacco, canola, earthnu tropical or subtropical
Fruits: longan, cirtrus, lichee, pineapple, shaddock
Local Highlights: Earth Towers of the Hakkas in Fujian, Min Drama; Jasmine Tea, Fuzhou Orange, delicious sea food
Fujian mussel traditional handcraft: Rongcheng 3 Treasures - Fuzhou lacquer ware without cast, umbrella, horn comb
Fuzhou is the capital city of Fujian Province, located on China¡¯s southeastern coast. With a long tradition as a coastal port and shipbuilding center, Fuzhou is the major coastal city between Hong Kong and Shanghai. It is known as ¡°Banyan Town¡± after the subtropical banyan trees planted there since the Song dynasty. As the central city of a province with many ethnic and linguistic links to Taiwan, Fuzhou has benefited from cross-strait investment and is today a major commercial and manufacturing center.
Fuzhou lies on the Min River, in the east of Fujian Province, some 50 km (30 miles) from the sea. The city is on a subtropical plain close to the Fu Mountains. It is 700 km (435 miles) northeast of Hong Kong, and 1,500 km (930 miles) southeast of Beijing.
Fuzhou¡¯s history dates back to the 3rd century AD, when it became a center of ore smelting. Thereafter it was capital, known as Minzhou, of the coastal kingdom of Minyue. When it was absorbed into the Tang dynasty, Fuzhou acquired its present name, which mean ¡°prosperous city¡± or ¡°fortunate city.¡± It grew wealthy as a coastal port for the export of tea.
Marco Polo is supposed to have passed through Fuzhou at the end of the 13th century. He described it as a great center of international commerce with special links to the Indian trade, prosperous, with great gardens and an abundance of fruit. He also noted the presence of a large Christian community there, with roots going back several hundred years. These were possibly descendants of Nestorian Christians, a Syrian sect that had come to China via the Silk Road.
Fuzhou¡¯s international links continued in the Ming dynasty, when it was the homeport for the international voyages of the eunuch-admiral Zheng He in the early 15th century. In 1842, following the Opium Wars, Fuzhou became one of the five ports declared open to foreign trade. It also became a center of both Catholic and Protestant missionary activity after that time.
Because of Fuzhou¡¯s proximity to Taiwan, and the ethnic and linguistic closeness of the two regions, cross-strait investment has made Fuzhou one of China¡¯s most prosperous cities.
Transport in Fuzhou:
Fuzhou is the hub of transportation by land and water in Fujian Province. Its home to Changle International Airport with direct flightsto several large cities including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Wuhan, Nanchang, Xiamen and Hong Kong. Its railway network is well developed and is connected with other main lines all over the country. Highway and external marine transportation are convenient. Everyday, there are regular tourist buses bound for Shenzhen city. Foreign passenger ships can berth at Mawei Harbor.
As for cuisine, Min dishes are one of the famous eight styles in China. They're noted for well-chosen ingredients, beautiful color, fresh seasoning and strict operation during cooking. The most famous one is "Fo Tiao Qiang" (Buddha jumps over the wall). It contains dainties of more than 30 kinds: Shark's fin, sea slug, chicken breast, duck, pig's trotters, dried scallop, mushroom, abalone, pigeon egg. with other condiments. It's said that after the dish is cooked, the air is heavy with a strong fragrance, even Buddha can not resist the temptation and jumps over the wall to try to taste it. That's the origin of its name. Juchunyuan Restaurant in Dongjiekou is famous for the dish.
Local flavors are: Taiji smashed potato, fish balls, Fuzhou thread noodles, etc.
Fuzhou Attractive points:
Forest Park, one of the nine forest parks in the country, lies in Red Bridge Village Xing Dian Town, a northern suburb of the city. It is 7 km away from the urban district with a total area of 859 ha. Its surrounded on three sides by mountains while the other faces the river. The entire park is divided into five parts: Mid-Asian tropical evergreen broadleaf tree region, South-Asian tropical jungle region, Banyan tree region, region of wild fruit trees in hilly country and off-shore r wood region. It also includes a rare botanical garden and a rose & camellia garden. This park has been collecting and cultivating more than 2,500 kinds of plants from home and abroad, thus becoming a distinctive forest museum. The "Banyan King" of Fuzhou stands tall and upright on the bank of Bayi Reservoir in this park.
Gushan Mountain, the most famous sight in Fuzhou, is a classic scenic spot. It has been famous for sightseeing for over 1,000 years.. Yongquan Temple is its center with more than 100 sights scattered around it, among which main sights are Yongquan Temple, the Eighteen Sights of Damo and White Cloud Cave. Three routes can be taken to climb along the Gushan Mountain: the traditional one climbs along the ancient stone path from the foot of the mountain, approximately 3.5 km long, or take a bus directly to the gate of the Buddhist Temple(8 km long.; Visitors may also take the cable car from the foot of the mountain to the Eighteen Sights of Damo.
Yongquan Temple is located at the foot of the White Cloud Peak of Gushan Mountain, 455 m. above sea level. Built in the Five Dynasties (908), it comes first on the list of the five Buddhist temples in Fuzhou and still preserves large and middle-sized palaces and temple halls today. As an ancient Buddhist temple in a famous mountain, it is home to many places worth visiting. First, the conception of its construction is unique. By considering the entire mountain, it's built in the chin of the peak where experts call the "Swallow Nest". The temple seems to be hidden and visitors can not see it whether they are walking, taking a bus or a cable car. Even after entering the gate of the temple, they still can not see the large-scale Yongquan Temple. The saying goes that" Once you enter the mountain, you can not see the temple, while entering the temple, you can not see the mountain." Secondly, there are three invaluable state treasures being housed in the temple--. the pottery pagodas with a thousand Buddhas, the ocean-bed wooden altar table and the Buddhist scripture printed with an ancient printing plate. There are "three irons" (iron tree or sago cycas, iron pot and iron wire wood) which are in the temple as well.
The "pottery pagodas" refer to the pair of pottery pagodas standing before the temple on both sides. The pagodas were made in 1082 (the Song Dynasty) and are 7 meters high. They're octagonal in style with nine stories. A total of 1038 statues of Buddha were molded in them, 72 of them are found on the eaves with 72 pottery bells hanging. This kind of creation is seldom seen in China and therefore, considered very valuable. They are the pride of the temple and protected as state treasures. The attic, for storing canons, preserves nearly 10,000 Buddhist classic printing plates from the Ming Dynasty onward. This is the second treasure found in the temple. The third being 657 copies of classics written by brilliant monks through the ages. The monks pricked their own fingers and wrote the classics with their blood. As for the "three irons", the first one is the sacrificial table made of iron wire wood in the Great Hall of the Buddha Temple. It is said that the table can not be burned by fire nor rotted by water and will become moist when it's overcast. The second one is the three iron trees before the temple . They are more than a thousand years old and still bloom every year. The third refers to the big iron pot,0.8m deep and 1.67m in diameter in the kitchen of the temple. It can serve nearly one thousand people.
The Eighteen Sights of Damo is situated west of Yongquan Temple. It's main landscape is the natural scenery. In the period of Emperor Dao Guang of the Qing Dynasty, Wei Jie, a poet, carved the eighteen sights in the crag outside the Damo Cave. These sights are based on the natural scenery and folk legend, such as Damo facing the wall, picture of Fuzhou (blessing and longevity) Quan, lion playing with ball, Nanji (an immortal) going up to Heaven and Fish light illuminating.
White Cloud Cave lies in the western part of Fengchishan Mountain, northwest of Gushan Mountain over 700m above sea level. The white clouds frequently float into the cave and people can not distinguish each other within a short distance. That's why they call it "White Cloud Cave." After the scholar Yu Dafu visited the cave, the rocks were odd and the path was dangerous. This isolated place had a well-deserved reputation. "Once you have been there, the experience will never be forgotten. It is wonderful because it dangerously steep". The best route to visit it by is to set out from Yong Dexing Mountain villa in the Buocing Village Gushan Town, by way of Jicui Hut, Wotan Bridge, Fang Sheng Temple, Longji Road and Foutou Cliff to White Cloud Cave. On this route, visitors may pass Kong Gu Chuang Yin, visit Turtle Stone then come down the mountain to Yongquan Temple.
Hot Spring Park is found in the southeast section of Wu Si Road, the hot spring zone, covering an area of 150 mu. Here you will find carpets of green grass, fresh flowers, fountains, zigzagging paths and verandas. Hot Spring Park is a european-style park and a nice place for recreation.
The park can be divided into 10 parts with a glass pyramid standing in the center: Several parts include the Gate Area, Camellia Garden and the Sweet-scented Osmanthus Garden. Every sight is reasonably large and has its own special flavor. Both the West Gate and North Gate have ancient Rome style columns and squares. This scenic spot as a very exotic atmosphere.
This has been an important military town since ancient times. In the tenth year during the period of Emperor Guang Xu of the Qing Dynasty, the Majing ruler Sea Warfare between China and France broke here. Mawei is only about 15 km away from Fuzhou city and traffic is very convenient. Visitors can travel there by bus. Climbing the Luoxing Tower, visitors may look far into where Minjiang River pours into the sea or visit the Zhao Zhong Ancestral Hall. Time permitting, they may also pay a visit to Luoxing Park.
Luoxing Park is situated in the Luoxing Mountain of Mawei district with an area of 2,033 ha. At the foot of the mountain, a revetment with railings has been built along the Mingjiang River. Many rockeries are piled up and lots of grass and trees have been planted. On the top of the mountain, the Luoxing Tower stands tall and upright. It was built in the Song Dynasty, damaged during the period of Emperor Wan Li of the Ming Dynasty and rebuilt during the period of Emperor Tian Qi of the Ming Dynasty (1621-1627). The seven-layer tower is octagonal and made of stone. It stands 31.5 m high at the Majiang River port. . It's necessary to mention that its name and location had been marked on the chart of Zheng He's navigation back to the Ming Dynasty. Since the five ports had trade relations in the late Qing Dynasty, Luoxing Tower has been regarded as the famous mark of the port in the world navigation chart, called "China Tower".
There are many West Lakes in China. Among them, Fuzhou West Lake is one of the most famous lagging behind Hanzhou West Lake on scale and fame yet is regarded typical in China.
Fuzhou West Lake is located in the northwestern part of the city covering an area of 45 ha. In the third year of Emperor Tai Kang in Jin Dynasty (282AD), Governor Yan Gao channelled water here from the northwestern mountain areas to irrigate the fields. In the late Tang Dynasty, it was changed into a tourist area, thus the scenic spot of West Lake came into being and has remained a park ever since.
Upon entering the gate of the park. you will see a dyke lined by willow trees over the water leading directly to the Kaihua islet and along the shore of the lake, two pavilions on the water with winding corridors. Kaihua Temple, at the center of Kaihua islet, is now mainly used for the exhibition of flowers and plants in gardens. To the west of Kaihua Islet is the Flying Rainbow Bridge leading to the Xie Ping children' Entertainment Park. To the south is the Stepping on Cloud Bridge, leading to the zoo, which was quite famous in the past. Passing the Stepping on Clouds Bridge, you may also go to the Lotus Pavilion with a square lotus pond at the foot. Beside the Lotus Pavilion stands the Laurel Building which includes the site of Li Gang Memorial Temple, the reading site of Lin Zexu and the Banning on Opium Pavilion,. North of Kaihua Temple, passing the Jade Belt Bridge, you'll reach Jiaojiao Islet where the Fujian Museum, Art Gallery and West Lake Theater are located.
You must visit the Panda Hall on your trip to Fuzhou West Lake, for it seems much more renowned than the latter. It's located at the Dameng (Big Dream) foothills, southwest of West Lake and covers an area of 1.5 ha. The hall is well known for its successful rearing and breeding of pandas ranking first among the nation. The panda performances are so interesting that it's worth having a look. Under the trainer's guidance, the charmingly naive pandas eat watermelon, feed dolls, ride bicycles and seesaws, play basketball and stand on a running ball,. all especially attractive to tourists with children.