It’s a true blessing that the city planners of Fuzhou seem to consistently care about green spaces in this relatively densely populated city. Noticeably there have been new or enlarged parks emerging on the map of Fuzhou, but no others could tender the heart of the locals or arouse their childhood memories like Westlake (or Xihu) Lake does. It was the go-to destination for all the school trips and family weekend get-away until 2000’s, as well as one of the first things coming through their mind when they wanted to take their date out – in the park or out in one of the bars lining the lake front. (more…)
Fuzhou National Forest Park is one of 10 largest forest parks in China and covers an area of 860 hectares. It’s located in the northern suburbs of the city and nestled in a valley surrounded on three sides by green hills and one side by the clear Bayi Reservoir. Although being around for almost six decades (founded in 1960) as an established research park, many special gardens in there featuring flowers (e.g. plum/peach/cherry blossoms) are actually new and there’re efforts to introduce more entertaining programs in addition to the ones already in use such as barbecue, boat rental and a kids fun fair. The park is home to more than 2,500 species of rare plants. (more…)
Inspired by Alexandra Arch & Forest Walk in Singapore, Fuzhou government decided to build something similar, but in greater scale and length, to our dear city of banyan trees. The man-made wonder was named Fudao, meaning ‘trail of fortunes’. Legend had it that a donkey caravan, instead of all the heavy machinery, was employed to transport building materials in order to minimize the impact to the nature during its construction from 2015 to the end of 2017. Since its opening to the public, Fudao has been gaining popularity among locals and visitors alike due to its treetop experience unlike any before. (more…)
By Amy Priestes
Gu Shan, which is also known as Mount Gu and Drum Mountain –note: Gu means drum and Shan means mountain- is without question the most popular mountain in Fuzhou. Gu Shan is a great place to escape the city, get some fresh air and exercise, but what makes Mount Gu so popular is its convenient location near the city. Just hope on the bus (Bus 7, 29, 58, 69, 70, 808, 812, 815, 957 etc ) for about 30-45 minutes depending on where you are in downtown and that’s it! Some early risers go there for a speedy morning hike while others enjoy a late evening trip to see distant city lights and avoid the heat.
Once at Gu Shan, you will find two main sets of stairs going up the mountain. Both lead to the same place, so choose whichever you like. Stairs, which are well lit by night, go all the way to the top, though you may find a few small trails leading off in other directions. At the top there is a lookout tower where you can see the entire city of Fuzhou. (more…)
By Amanda Sinclair
In a time and a city that is so intent on moving forward, developing and modernizing, it is so refreshing to be able to slip down a side road and escape into history. The most famous place to do so in Fuzhou, is of course SanFangQiXiang – also known as Three Lanes and Seven Alleys.
Nestled within the centre of the city, it is a magical reprieve that dates back to the Jin and Tang Dynasty (618-907 AD). Over all this time, it has retained and maintained its traditional urban fabric of lanes and alleys shaped in the Jin and Tang dynasties’ style.
Throughout the history of China there have been foreigners within the borders, exploring, settling, trading and living. However it wasn’t until after the first opium wars that this fair city of Fuzhou was forced, rather literally and brutally at gun point to open her borders to foreigners, who they fondly referred to as Foreign Devils. It is little wonder therefore that they were not very welcoming and hospitable to these new comers. They placed them in run down houses made out of boards that afforded them little comfort, and only just the minimum shelter. It didn’t help either, that these ‘houses’ were placed over a river, and therefore they flooded twice daily with the tides.
MeiZhouDao is a small island off of the coast of Putian, not far from Fuzhou. It is known to some of the locals as a Holy Land for Mazu, and has on the island a large temple dedicated to Mazu and for her worship. Mazu, also spelt Matsu, is the goddess of the sea, and is said to protect sailors and fisherman. MeiZhou was her birthplace in 960, and as such MeiZhouDao has become one of the foremost places to worship her. However, she is also worshipped in Hainan, Guangdong, Zhejiang, Taiwan and Fujian, as well as some other countries such as Finland. (more…)
by Amanda Sinclair
Quanzhou has an ancient history, dating back to the 13th century when it was a trading port and a stop on the maritime silk route. Now, still a vibrant city, it is smaller than Fuzhou and Xiamen, but is full of variety and culture. In Quanzhou there is much evidence of its Muslim population, which can be seen by local dress and buildings. It adds a true beauty to the town, which is not found in many other places.
Chongwu is about 50 km east of Quanzhou and home to the ancient ‘stone city’, which has one of the best-preserved city walls in China. The town was initially used to help defend against marauding Japanese pirates, hence the large stone walls. (more…)
“On that night, Christ was born in a stable..’ is heard in the last Sunday worship before Christmas, in the brightly-lit Flower Lane Church (7 Flower Lane, N. Bayiqi Road), all seats being occupied, the elders holding the Bible and softly reading the texts, young couples sitting closely, kids making occasional noises – soon to be motioned to stop by the volunteering staff.
The congregation were attending the sermon delivered by Priest Ming Chen. It was Away in a Manger for the evening, and of course Christmas was coming around.
It will be a special Christmas for the church goers this year.
The new Flower Lane Church is going to be officially launched after a major renovation project, which is symbolized by the install of a gigantic pipe organ running across the entire front wall inside the chapel. It is roughly estimated that 10 percent of the whole population of Fuzhou are Christians, and half of them come from Flower Lane. (more…)
By Amanda Sinclair
Behind and to the side of the beautiful West Lake, almost hidden away from the public eye, lies Panda World. If it were not for the sign by the street pointing direction vaguely you could easily be forgiven for not knowing that it was there.
After paying the admission fee to the center, you walk up a moderate slope, and then enter the main entrance of Panda World. There is a building, informing you of the history of Panda World, and a glass enclosure on either side of it, housing a Giant Panda each. These magnificent creatures are iconic of China, and so beautiful to behold.
Panda’s rarely seem to do anything energetic, apart from eating, so if you would like to see a Panda at it’s best, most energetic, go around feeding times – so early in the morning, or at lunch time.
These Pandas offer you a first glimpse at the beautiful creatures, though you instantly feel slightly sorry for them, in what you may perceive to be inadequately sized enclosures. You then proceed to walk around the complex, which takes roughly 60 – 90 minutes at a leisurely pace. (more…)