Fujian Province, located on the southeast coast of China, is famous for its beautiful seaside scenery, rich geologial diversity and typical folk houses. Enjoying the sunshine on the beach or hiking in the mountains will create the perfect holiday experience for any traveler. Except for the most popular spots of Gulangyu Island and Mount Wuyi, there are numerous other impressive attractions throughout the area.
The following are the top 10 attractions in Fujian.
1. Gulangyu Island（鼓浪屿）
Located 600 meters to the southwest of Xiamen City, Gulangyu Island, or Drum Wave Islet, is an extremely beautiful island, nicknamed the "garden on the sea." Covering an area of 1.87 square kilometers (187 hectares), this small island is flooded by green trees and lovely flowers. Among the many scenic spots on the island, the most attractive ones are the Sunlight Rock and the Shuzhuang Garden.
The island is home to about 20,000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a comfortable and relaxed lifestyle. Only electric-powered vehicles are permitted on the island, so the environment is free from the noise and pollution of car engines.
The island was previously called Yuanshazhou Island and got its present name during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), because when the tide comes in, the waves pound the reef which sounds like the beating of a drum.
With the best of classical and romantic European-style architecture, the island truly deserves to be called a "museum of architecture." It is also known as the 'Cradle of Musicians' and 'Island of Music' because of its appreciation for music and the popularity of the piano.
Admission: 100 yuan(US$15.73)/person
2. Mount Wuyi（武夷山）
Located on the junction of Fujian and Jiangxi, Mount Wuyi is a famous scenic spot bearing red cliffs, lofty peaks, a deep and secluded valley, caves and fantastic rock peaks. Covering an area of 60 square kilometers (6,000 hectares), it is the most outstanding biodiversity conservation zone in the southeastern part of China.
Most of the hills here are made of red sandstones, rise steeply but are flat on the top. The peaks and rocks of grotesque shapes are girded by clear streams and embraced by green trees and bamboo plants. The Nine-bend River, 60 kilometers (37.28 miles) long, meanders among the hills, presenting the most charming tourist route within this scenic zone.
Mount Wuyi has a long cultural history. The site of the Wuyi Palace, built in the seventh century for emperors to conduct sacrificial activities, remains until this day. It had been an important center of China's Taoism and was listed as one of the top nine Taoist Temples in the 10th century. The mountain also boasts many other cultural relics, including stone inscriptions.
In 1999, Mount Wuyi entered the UNESCO list of World Heritage Sites, both on a natural and cultural level.
Admission: 140 yuan(US$22.02)/person
3. Fujian Tulou（福建土楼）
Fujian Tulou, or "earth building," is a type of Chinese rural dwelling of the Hakka and Minnan people in Fujian. Because the Hakka people originally liked to live together in remote mountainous and forested regions, they built fortified houses to defend themselves against fierce animals and thieves.
Built on a stone base, the Tulou's thick walls were packed with dirt and internally fortified with wood. A tulou is usually between three and five stories high and houses up to 80 families.
The first Tulou appeared during the Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), and the building style developed over the following dynasties until reaching its current form during the Republic of China (1912-1949). Its design incorporates the traditions of Feng shui (favorable sitting within the environment) and shows the perfect combination of unique traditional architecture and picturesque scenery.
In 2008. UNESCO branded a total of 46 Fujian Tulou sites as World Heritage Sites-the "exceptional examples of a building tradition and function exemplifying a particular type of communal living and defensive organization in harmony with their environment."
Taining Global Geopark is located in Taining County, in the northwestern part of Fujian Province. Covering an area of 492.5 square kilometers (49,250 hectares), the geopark comprises four major scenic areas, Shiwang, Big Golden Lake, Baxian Cliff and Jinrao Mountain, plus a tour to ancient Taining City.
The park has a number of geological formations and is characterized by the Danxia landform, boasting rough granite, volcanic, and tectonic landscapes. Its unique scenery also attracts a large number of foreign visitors. Some man-made features have made the geopark appear even more impressive, for example that of Shangshudi, the most well-preserved Ming Dynasty folk house in southern China.
Taining Global Geopark was listed as a World Geopark by UNESCO in 2005.
Meizhou Island is a small island close to the shore of Putian, Fujian Province. It is known for being the birthplace of Matsu, or Mazu, who is the indigenous goddess of the sea and is said to protect fishermen and sailors. She is the patron deity of all southern Chinese and East Asians. The Ming Dynasty witnessed the construction of many temples dedicated to her across China. These temples later also spread to other countries with large numbers of Southern Chinese inhabitants.
Pilgrimage and beach vacation are two reasons to visit Meizhou Island. Jiubaolan beach located in the southwest of Meizhou Island is a must-see for tourists. Its soft sand and clean sea have earned the beach the l nickname "China's Hawaii." Erwei Stone Park, a cluster of amazing stone landscapes, is also worth seeing.
Admission: 65 yuan(US$10.22)/person
6. Three Lanes and Seven Alleys（三坊七巷）
Three Lanes and Seven Alleys
Located in the downtown area of Fuzhou, Fujian's capital city, the Three Lanes and Seven Alleys (Sanfang-Qixiang) is a street district featuring a cluster of ancient residential buildings and is the largest well-preserved historical heritage site in China, covering an area of 40 hectares.
With the Southern Street acting as their central axis, the original three lanes were in the west and the seven alleys are in the east. The layout dates back to the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties, almost 1,000 years ago. The street is unique as it is the only existing street district in China bearing this pattern. Running from north to south, the lanes refer to Wenru Lane, Yijin Lane, and Guanglu Lane, whereas the alleys refer to Huang Alley, Gong Alley, Yangqiao Alley, Langguan Alley, Ta Alley, Anmin Alley, and Jipi Alley.
The lanes and alleys were home to hundreds of houses constructed by wealthy people of the Ming and Qing dynasties, and 159 buildings remain well-preserved to this day. As a result, the district has been nicknamed "an architectural museum of the Ming and Qing dynasties." The houses were built using huge old bricks and they carry seashell decorations-which were easy to get because of Fuzhou's coastal location. The ornaments, wood carvings and stone carvings all testify to the past glory of the area and its buildings .
The area has been home to many famous people, including politicians, military leaders, writers and poets. Some of their descendants still reside there today, keeping up the living fashions of their ancestors. Jiqi Alley, Yangqiao Alley and Guanglu Lane have now been converted into driveways. Only two lanes and five alleys remain.
7. Binhai Volcano National Geological Park（滨海火山国家地质公园）
Binhai Volcano National Geological Park
Located in Binhai, Qianting town, on the western bank of the Taiwan Strait, Fujian Province, the park is China's only coastal volcanic geological and geomorphic scenic area. It is also one of the first 11 national geoparks in the country.
Covering an area of 100 square kilometers (10,000 hectares), the park is an important part of the Pacific Cenozoic lava. The basalts erupted from the volcano 2.6 to 7 million years ago and formed the typical volcanic physiognomy view. There are two volcanic islands in the park: Linjin Islet and Nanding Island. Its columnar basalts, ancient craters, beaded fumaroles and watermelon rind structures of basalt, make the park a natural volcanic geological museum.
The three beaches in the park, famous for their fine sand, are also worth visiting.
Admission: 80 yuan(US$12.58)/person
8. Mount Tailao（太姥山）
Mount Tailao is located in the northeastern part of Fujian Province, about 45 kilometers (27.96 miles) south of Fuding City. Surrounded by the sea on three sides, the mountain is a popular site due to its gorgeous natural scenery and many cultural sites.
The mountain features steep peaks, caves, brooks, waterfalls and ancient temples. It consists of five sections: Tailao Shanyue, Jiuli Stream and Waterfall, Qingchuan Seaside Area, Sangyuan Green Lake and the Fuyao Islands. Aside from those, there are two other scenic spots on the mountain: Lengcheng Ancient Castle and Ruiyun Temple. The marvelous view of the mountain from afar has earned itself the beautiful name "immortal mountain on the sea."
Admission: 115 yuan(US$18.09)/person
9. Mount Guanzhai
Mount Guanzhai, located in Liancheng County, Longyan, is about 270 kilometers (167.77 miles) away from Xiamen. Covering an area of 123 square kilometers (12,300 hectares), the mountain is renowned for its majestic, attractive scenery featuring water, rocks, caves, springs, temples and gardens.
The mountain is named after its shape, which looks like an official's hat of ancient times when seen from afar. It is considered to be the Holy Mountain of Hakka. As a scenic spot on the Danxia landform, Mount Guanzhai is rich in rocks and stones of all shapes and sizes, such as cars and monkeys.
In the meantime, boating on the clean and calm Shimen Lake can also be a relaxing experience.
Admission: 60 yuan(US$9.44)/person
10. Chongwu Ancient Town（崇武古城）
Chongwu Ancient Town
Chongwu Ancient Town is located in Quanzhou, a historical city which was reputed for being "one of the largest ports in the world," said Marco Polo, in China's Yuan Dynasty (1279-1368).
Built in 1384 during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) to fight against the Japanese pirates, the town is the best-preserved T-shaped stone-walled city in China, a historical wonder in the country's coastal protection history. The architecture, featuring the heavy local granite, is a prominent feature of the town. A large sculpture park is located on the narrow strip south of the fortress, between the city wall and the beach. Many foreign visitors are very impressed by the remarkable stone carving artworks.
The town is also famous for its uniquely dressed up Hui'an maidens, who wear short cyan jackets and skintight black hip huggers which flare out the legs, but they carefully cover their heads with colorful scarves and conical hats. Hui'an maidens are well known for their work ethic and kindness.
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