Fuzhou, the capital of Fujian province in southeastern China, is an expansive industrial and transportation center. Its downtown features the “3 Lanes and 7 Alleys” quarter with preserved Ming and Qing dynasty buildings.
The city is renowned for its traditional carving and lacquer crafts, such as bodiless lacquerware and cork carvings. Surrounded by mountains and the Min River, it makes an ideal spot to go hiking or simply take in the sights. Take one of the Cathay Pacific options when you fly into Fuzhou and you will enjoy attractions like below.
1. Fujian Museum
The Fujian Museum is one of China’s best-curated museums, boasting nearly 170,000 cultural relics and natural specimens – including 30,000 valuable ones. Additionally, they have dedicated significant effort to digital preservation by making their collections available online so visitors can view high-resolution photographs alongside descriptive captions.
It also houses an impressive collection of historical documents and records, covering more than 5000 years in China’s history. Its main exhibition, Splendid Civilization of Ancient Fujian, provides a captivating insight into the region’s development from Neolithic times through to the Ming and Qing dynasties.
Visit to the Fujian Museum is a must-do for anyone visiting Fuzhou. It offers an immersive glimpse into China’s 5000 years of history, with expansive exhibits and informative descriptions in both Chinese and English.
Fuzhou boasts many interesting tourist attractions, such as Yongquan Temple on Gushan (Drum Mountain) and Xichan Temple, situated atop Gushan Mountain. Furthermore, local gardens provide an opportunity to take in the local culture while taking photos.
For those with some extra time, Pingtan Island should not be missed. This picturesque island boasts numerous beaches and offers plenty of biking opportunities.
Fuzhou Island is the perfect spot for relaxation in the shade, taking a dip in the water, and admiring nature’s splendor. During the day you can do tours around the island taking in its breathtaking sights while enjoying delicious snacks along the way. This makes an ideal family vacation or romantic getaway with your significant other; with plenty of beaches and gorgeous scenery to take in, this spot makes for an idyllic setting where you can soak up some sun and admire the ocean breezes.
2. Pingtan Island
Pingtan Island, a small island off the coast of Fuzhou, is home to numerous geological wonders. Its coastline consists of twists and turns with some stunning beaches featuring fine sands and crystal-clear blue sea water.
Banyangshifan Rock, for instance, is an excellent spot to observe marine erosion landsforms such as Banyangshifan Rock which looks like a ship sailing in the sea. Made of granite, these rocks have been eroded over time by waves into interesting shapes.
Fuzhou residents are encouraged to visit this area. Not only is it an idyllic spot for viewing stunning nature, but also helps detoxify both mind and body.
From Shanghai, there are a variety of ways to reach Pingtan Island. Buses or ferries can be booked, as well as guided tours with knowledgeable local guides.
Start your trip to Pingtan Island off right by taking a boat ride around the bay. This is an ideal way to appreciate both its natural splendor and learn about its intriguing history.
Another option is Pingtan Island National Forest Park, offering plenty of hiking and scenic spots like waterfalls, caves and snaking bridges over gorges.
If you’re interested in discovering ancient culture, a classic Fuzhou tour includes visits to Three Lanes and Seven Alleys street as well as Yongquan Temple. For those with more time on their hands, West Lake Park can also be added onto your itinerary; it boasts over 200 historical residences.
For something less touristy, Drum Mountain (Gu Shan) and Qi Shan are nearby destinations with excellent hiking and temple architecture. Additionally, you can explore Quanzhou’s historic port further south for some historical sightseeing.
3. West Lake Park
West Lake Park, situated in the city center of Fuzhou, is one of the city’s top attractions. With a history spanning over 1,700 years and one of the best preserved classical gardens in Fuzhou, it has become an icon for locals and visitors alike.
In addition to its natural splendor, the park also provides plenty of activities for guests. It boasts a basketball park, tennis and racquetball courts, nature trail, playground, and picnic area.
The park recently added a disc golf course, which offers challenges to players of all abilities. Despite its short distance, this course offers plenty of excitement.
There is plenty to see at the park, but some of its most popular areas include Willow Bank (Chinese: Xian Qiao Liu Se), Kaihua Island and Xiaping Island.
At Willow Bank, there are plenty of willow trees and peach trees along the lake bank that give off a pleasant scent in springtime.
It also features two pavilions on the water with winding corridors. These pavilions are a popular spot for tourists to relax and take in the stunning views.
Kaihua Island’s picturesque dyke, lined by willow trees over the lake, leads directly to Kaihua islet. Measuring 18 meters wide and 139 meters long, it features native willows, flowering shrubs and peach trees planted throughout its length.
For a wonderful picnic spot on the west side of the lake, check out the pavilions. They provide an idyllic view and are ideal for families.
Kaihua Island, at the center of the park, houses a temple and museum. Visitors here can admire various sights such as a Leechee tree; vibrant precious flowers; root carvings; and miniascapes.
4. Yongquan Temple
Yongquan Temple is one of China’s most revered and important Buddhist temples, situated atop Gushan (Drum Mountain). A must-visit when in Fuzhou, this unique structure was constructed during Jiajing period (1522-1566) during Ming dynasty (1365-1644).
Gushan Mountain is a key attraction of the Gushan Mountain scenic area, situated 925 meters high east of Fuzhou and named for its drum-shaped summit that makes noise when wind or rain blows. With over 100 scenic spots and pavilions located atop this mountain, it makes an ideal day trip destination.
Take a cable car up the mountain for an incredible aerial view of Fuzhou cityscape, or opt for a leisurely walk up its ancient long steps lined with stone carvings and inscriptions. Either way, you’re sure to come away inspired!
Another must-visit is Xichan Temple, which has been producing monks since the Tang Dynasty. Situated in an idyllic 7.7 hectare park, this stunning temple boasts a bronze thousand hand Bodhisattva, 36 halls and groves of Litchi trees.
The monastery houses an impressive collection of over 10,000 Buddhist classic printing plates from the Ming and Qing dynasties. Some were even handwritten in blood by monks – a unique practice in Chinese Buddhism.
Yongquan Temple offers an insightful look into China’s history and culture. It also draws in pilgrims who come to pay their respects to Buddha and enlightenment master.
The Fujian Museum is a must-stop for tourists interested in discovering the province’s culture, history and nature. This spacious museum boasts impressive exhibits and an expertly designed layout.
5. Shaoyuan Street
Shaoyuan Street, situated in the former French Concession, is a bustling hub of shopping, restaurants and entertainment. It also houses the Chinese National Exhibition Hall and Museum of Contemporary Art.
This street is one of the main commercial thoroughfares of the city and it offers a diverse selection of shops and eateries to suit every budget. Plus, there are plenty of cafes and bars where visitors can unwind after a day of sightseeing with a drink or meal.
Visitors to Chinatown can take a leisurely walk along the street before visiting the Bridge of Nine Turnings, whose turnings are believed to help people release evil spirits. Nearby attractions include Hu Xin Ting Teahouse and Yu Yuan Garden.
The bridge is a major tourist destination, as are the buildings surrounding it. Restored to perfection by Boston architect Ben Wood in 1921, these shikumen dwellings pay homage to Shanghai’s secret First Congress of the Chinese Communist Party.
Visitors to the area can also explore a number of museums. A diorama depicting an elegant soiree from the early twentieth century is just one among many impressive displays.
For a more refined evening, there are several hotels to consider. Oriental Riverside (part of Shanghai International Convention Center) and Pudong Shangri-La (a block away) both provide excellent options.
Dongcheng’s hutong neighborhoods are a popular tourist attraction for foreigners. During the Qing and Ming dynasties, these narrow alleyways were lined with trees, low-rise courtyard residences, and small shops. Some, like Gaoxiao Hutong, are only 2 feet wide while others like Yichi Dajie Hutong are just one foot long.