You can take one of many buses to the Wu Yi Guang Chang (五一广场) bus stop. Buses that go there include 2,64,7,62,306,103 and 20, 66, and 1 have changed their route to go there after subway construction began, but only in one direction, on the return route they don’t stop.
Here are two maps you can enlarge by clicking.
Yu Shan the Sea Turtle Mountain
After spending half a day at Wu Shan park (see our Wu Shan Guide), it’s just a short walk to Wuyi Square, where you’ll find Yu Shan, one of Fuzhou’s most memorable scenic spots, and one of Fuzhou’s three small inner-city mountains.
Yu Shan was named after the ancient Yu Yue Clan that settled there during China’s Warring States Period.
From above, or from a distance, you may notice that Yu Shan bears a striking resemblance to a giant turtle. Inside the mountain are many jagged rocks of various shapes and sizes, some with inscriptions carved into them, historical exhibitions, the ubiquitous banyan trees, and a variety of relaxing pavilions that provide a quick escape from the hustle and bustle of the Fuzhou city center only minutes away.
White Pagoda Temple (aka Bai Ta Temple)
The main attraction at Yu Shan is the beautifully restored White Pagoda (Bai Ta) Temple, which includes the iconic White Pagoda that used to dwarf everything around it but which has lost some of its majesty with all the high rises around it. After venturing up the mountain, take some time to relax and enjoy a vegetarian meal at the restaurant in the temple
*FEX tip: Try the eggplant, it’s supposed to be the best in Fuzhou.
Qi Jiguang and Qi Gong Temple
Further over on the mountain, not far from Bai Ta Temple, there is another temple called Qi Gong Temple. Qi Gong Temple was built on the spot where General Qi Jiguang was said to have celebrated his victory over Japanese pirates. According to temple records, “Qi Jiguang rescued tens of thousands of people in Zhejiang and Fujian from cruel Japanese pirates.” Here you can also learn about Guangbing Cake, which is a kind of bread that General Qi used to string together and then wear around his neck to feed his troops during battle. Other stories of his heroic acts and some other famous historical figures can be seen in the halls of the temple; with many of these stories having been translated to English.
Local Culture at Yu Shan
After visiting all the scenic spots on Yu Shan, of which there are many despite its apparent diminutive size, you’ll have a much better idea of true Fuzhou culture. There’s a lover’s corner where local singles have for ages posted paper notices looking for possible matches, a local dating service that’s been around for generations. The majority of the posts are women seeking men, and from the content some amusing insights into Fuzhou culture can be gleaned. Most posts had certain ‘requirements’ for possible matches, including a house, a college degree, a certain level of income, height/appearance and more – often by the parents behalf of their children. In addition to this ancient social media, local bands playing traditional instruments and music, cultural performances, and even Chinese opera, can often be seen in the park. You’ll also find people there exercising, reading, practicing Tai Qi , playing Chinese chess, and more.
Ao Ding Summit
Speaking of reading, one particular spot on Yu Shan worth singling out for special mention is Ao Ding Summit. This is a pavilion located at the highest point on Yu Shan. According to a plaque nearby, the famous Min County scholar Chen Chengzhi once studied at this very place. After studying here, he placed first in the imperial examinations and became a top scholar during the Song Dynasty (1131-1162). These days students can often be seen here studying for exams because of two significant omens – it seemed to help the scholar Chen Chengzi with his exams, and it is at the top of the hill, representing placing at the top of the class.
There Are Just Too Many Cool Spots to Name them All…
Make sure to check out,
- Drunken Rock Pavilion – This is where General Qi Jiguang got drunk after his victory over the pirates.
- Lion Rock – It got this name because it looks a lot like a squatting lion. (Chinese like to name stuff after their shapes.)
- Jiu Ri Tai Concert Hall – A very modern addition to the scenery, and somewhat out of place with so much classic architecture throughout the park. There are performances and exhibitions here from time to time.
- Yu Shan Buddha Hall – This place is like a mini-museum where you can learn all kinds of interesting facts about local and national history.
You won’t believe how much there is to find on this small mountain park -this list just covers the big stuff. So go visit Yu Shan and discover it for yourself!