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08/07/2013

Things to do for your travel in Quanzhou

When visiting Quanzhou for your Maritine Silk Road tour, you can consider the following things.

1. Kaiyuan Temple

This temple is old and very interesting and has a nice serene atmosphere to it. I don't think the style is typical in fact it looked a little more "western" than other temples we have visited. The walls of the pagodas are faced in murals which reminded me a bit of India or of Angkor Wat. The gardens are lovely and peaceful,with old people playing cards and ma jong.and the whole place has a relaxed feel to it. There are two large pagodas,and some huge imposing statues as you enter the place,and there is also a large rather emaciated looking Buddha statue in one of the halls.





A very old and famous pair of giant stone pagodas surrounded by temples and wonderful gardens and trees. Very big territory so you can walk here a long time. Unfortunately it is not possible to go inside of towers.
Closed at 17 o'clock.

2. Guandi Miao Temple

I don't know why this temple is not so famous as the Kaiyuan Si because we found it to be very interesting.The temple is very old and has an ornate roof in the typical style of South Fujian with colourful animals and dragons. Outside are many people selling incense and praying. There are also a great many beggars whom we found rather pushy,more so than in other places in China that we have visited. Nevertheless the Temple is worth a quick look.

3. Qingjing Mosque

We had heard that Arab traders used to live in Quanzhou (an optional destination for last minute China travel deals) in Marco Polo's time and hailing from the Middle East we were curious to see a Chinese Mosque. It was not quite as ornate or fascinating as the Buddhist temples we have seen but it was interesting and dates from over 1,000 years ago. Many parts have been rebuilt.


4. Interesting and FREE museum

We went round the little Overseas Chinese Museum which was free of charge and in my view rather interesting (maybe not for everyone)
It describes the history of the Chinese who left Fujian Province to escape slave labour conditions as "coolies" for the Westerners and traveled to other parts of South East Asia such as Philippines,Vietnam and Malaysia to seek their fortune.Many of them became successful businessmen but didn't lose their ties to their Country of Origin and some came back to use their wealth in the service of the community. The museum is not very big but we found it to be enlightening and a pleasant experience.

5. Qingyuan Mountain

Qingyuan Mountain is main attraction in Quanzhou, it is one of the national park in China. It covers area more than 56 sq.m. The mountain situated at the north part of Quanzhou.
Here you can see the biggest statue in China of philosopher Lao Tse (Laozi). There is a legend that if you can touch his nose you will be the happiest person (his nose is very high ))

Also you can find here Islamic Holy Tombs from the Tang dynasty (618-907), "Maritime Silk Route" (the grouped stone inscriptions on Jiuri Hill),Tibetan Buddhist stone "Three Lives Buddha".

6. Taiwan Museum

To be more exact, it's called the China Museum for Fujian-Taiwan Kinship, in Chinese it's the Min3 Tai2 Yuan2 Bo2 Wu4 Guan3. This's the only museum in mainland China that focuses on Taiwan. It opened in end-May 2006 and there's also a new Quanzhou Museum beside it. Admission is free for your China tours.

There're interesting exhibits on folk customs (traditional musical instruments used in Fujian nanyin music, elaborate puppets and such) and the history of Fujian-Taiwan Kinship -- with loads of the obligatory proclaimations of "Taiwan's bond to the Motherland is everlasting" and etc.
Extremely unique and huge painting of a tree in the front atrium which was made partly by exploding gunpowder.


Shallow water-filled area in square in front of the museum where locals gather to dip their feet in the cool water on a hot summer's day.
The museum opens daily at 0900. The last admission is at 1600, guards start chasing people out at 1630, and the museum closes at 1700.

7. Qingyuanshan Mountains

If you like sacred mountains, Qingyuanshan is an interesting option. Of course it not as spectacular as Huangshan (top destination for top 10 China tours) or Taishan, but the atmosphere is quieter: no crowd, no harrassing steet vendors, a kind of spirituality. You have also good views on Quanzhou. By climbing, you cross some Buddhist temples, Daoist shrines and Islamic tombs. At the top you find a lake (dam) with a restaurant. The climb is a bit tough.
At the bottom of the mountains there a big statue of Lao Tse (Laozi), worth to see.

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