With so many fabulous cities in China, problems can arise trying to fit them all into your schedual. However, when touring through Fujian Province, there is one city that you should not miss the opportunity of visiting – Fuzhou. For a truly dramatic entrance, come via way of boat ride down the Min River where you can explore the traditional waterways and the life surrounding it.
With a history stretching as far back as the third century, Fuzhou began to gain importance as a tea trading centre. Even the great Dalmatian explorer, Marco Polo, was said to have visited Fuzhou calling it a ‘veritable marvel’, a term that definitely still fits even in the 21st century.
There are many places to visit in this lovely town. Start with a trip to the White Pagoda (Bai Ta). It is the highlight of any trip to the Jade Hill Scenic Area and dates back to 904 CE. Once you climb up to the top of the pagoda stunning views for miles all around await you as a reward. Nearby, there is an exhibition where you can learn all about two Song Dynasty mummies who were carefully wrapped up in silk.
With white comes black, so the Black Pagoda (Wu Ta) is the next stop. Not far from Jade hill it was built during the 8th century and is said to be the home of several guardian spirits. During the Lunar New Year both pagodas are decorated with red lanterns and visited by thousands of worshippers.
If stunning scenery appeals to you then you may want to visit the beautiful West Lake Park. Yes, it is artificial but it is simply gorgeous and a popular place to go to on the weekends. The Fujian Provincial Museum is close by and the galleries of artefacts will take you on a journey down Fuzhou’s long history. A 3,345 year old boat coffin uncovered from a cliff in Wuyishan is the showstopper of the museum.
If you come into Fuzhou by bus, then it is highly likely you will be dropped off at the north long distance bus station or the south long distance bus station. The airport is located 50km away and the train station is situated in the northeast part of the city.
Hotels generally fall into the mid-range and top end scale of the price range, but if you want budget accommodation then you should definitely try the Fuzhou Hotel which is comfortable and affordable. The three star Juchunyuan Hotel and the Jin Ye Hotel are also solid options.
Although Fuzhou does not have the high numbers of key attractions that other bigger cities can boast of, she is a city that is very proud of what she has got. In the past the hill once overlooked the city but now modern sky-scrapers and shopping centres take the limelight. Nevertheless, Fuzhou shines with a light that cannot be eclipsed.