Quanzhou, also called Licheng and Citong Cheng in Pinyin, is one of the most famous historical and cultural cities in China. It is an important seaport located in southeast Fujian Province and is the economic and political center of the province. To its east is Taiwan separated from Quanzhou by the East Sea, making the city the famous mother town of Chinese compatriots in Taiwan and overseas. The climate is warm and humid, comfortable for year-round travel, making it a popular tourist destination.
Due to its special location, Quanzhou has been China's marine door to exotic cultures since ancient times. During the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, Quanzhou port became one of the largest world ports. As the starting point of the Sea Silk Road, it accepted diverse religions including Christianity, Islam and Manichaeism. Today it is called 'World Religions Museum'.
Here exotic cultures have been mixed with traditional ones for thousands of years, leaving many historic sites, such as Qingjing Mosque, the Islamic Saint Mausoleums, Kaiyuan Temple, Heavenly Empress (Tianhou) Palace and other architectural classics such as Luoyang Bridge, Anping Bridge and Chongwu Ancient Town. Zheng Chenggong (1624-1662), the national hero who helped the government regain Taiwan from Holland in the 17th century, was also born here. His mausoleum in Nan'an city has become a precious historical site in this city.
In addition to places of historical interest, this city also abounds in natural beauties including various mountains, river valleys and basins. The famous mountains include Mt. Qingyuan, Mt. Zimao, Mt. Xiangong, Mt. Lingxiu and Mt. Penglai, where the Water Rock Temple is situated. Recreational parks near the mountains and along the sea add modern atmosphere to the city's glamour.
It has a large variety of local dining including snacks such as fried oysters, frozen siphon worms, noodles in meat soup and fish pellets. If you are interested in Chinese tea, do not miss Wulong Tea in Anxi County.
There are hotels of different standards as well as small hostels. If you are a backpacker, the hostels near the new long distance bus station along Wenling Road are very good choices. It also has many commercial streets for shopping, such as the Back City Street (Houcheng Street), Zhuangyuan Street, Zhongshan Road and Daxi Street.
Nightlife in this city is colorful. Local people often enjoy the delicious food in the night market; fly kites in the squares or boat in park lakes. Young people usually go to the cafés, bars and clubs, chattering, singing and dancing; while seniors often go to cinemas or theaters to see local operas. Clever in art, local people have created many folk operas including Nanyin, Gaojia Xi, Liyuan Xi and Marionette Show. Office workers choose beauty parlors or gymnasiums for relaxation