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.
The main attraction at the top of Gu Shan is the Gu Shan Temple. It costs 40 rmb (price in December 2018) per person to enter. Once inside you will see traditional Chinese temples, places to burn incense, a lot of monks, and a pond saturated with turtles. This sanctuary also contains a delightful vegetarian restaurant.
Eating at Gu Shan:
An early lunch on a sunny day at Gu Shan temple can be quite an enjoyment. The atmosphere, location, tea , and delicious food make this temple diner perhaps the best in Fuzhou.
At the top of the main stairs going up Gu Shan, you will find places for snacks that sell Fuzhou’s famous fish balls, noodles, and a few other nibbles.
A little further up the mountain, if you walk up the road a ways after the stairs end, you can also find some restaurants serving all kinds of meat and vegetable dishes. The atmosphere here is great, but the food may be a little pricey.
Other Notes: Bottled water is sold for 3 rmb or more per bottle, you can buy it at the bottom, top or along the way if you take the main stairs. Sometimes, when weather is good, you can find all sorts of street food such as baked sweet potatoes, corn, and fruit on a stick.
Other options for getting to the top:
If you are not much into climbing, or not able to for some reason, you may also take cable cars up to the top. It costs 50 rmb return or 35 rmb one way (price of 2018) to take cable cars but it is enjoyable and you will have a nice view.
There is a road that winds up around Gu Shan. If you have car, you can drive up and find parking places near Gu Shan’s top. There are even some picnic places alongside the road as well easily accessible by car, but quite a long walk if you are on foot.
You also can walk a ways up the road, 10 minutes maybe, and you’ll see that there are other, less popular, paths up the mountain. These back passage up the mountain are more peaceful, more scenic and less crowded than the main paths. Though the back paths have stairs like the main paths, the back paths are not lit at night like the main paths.