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Quanzhou

Quanzhou Daoist Statue

Quanzhou (Quánzhōu 泉州) is a prefecture-level city in southern Fujian province, People's Republic of China. It borders all other prefecture-level cities in Fujian but two Ningde (Níngdé 宁德) and Nanping (Nánpíng 南平) and faces the Taiwan (Táiwān 台湾) Strait. 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 (Qīngjìngsì 清净寺), the Islamic Saint Mausoleums, Kaiyuan Temple (Kāiyúansì 开元寺), Heavenly Empress Palace and other architectural classics such as Luoyang Bridge, Quanzhou was once a great trading port and an important stop on the maritime silk route. Back in the 13th century,Marco Polo informed his readers that it is one of the two ports in the world with the biggest flow of merchandise. The city reached its zenith as an international port during the Song and Yuan dynasties, drawing merchants from all over the world to its shores. By the Qing, however, it was starting to decline and droves of residents began fleeing to southeast Asia to escape the constant political turmoil.


The prefecture-level city of Quanzhou has an area of 11,245 square kilometres and as of theQuanzhou Overview 2010 Cens.Its extended metropolitan is home to 6,070,617inhabitants. Quanzhou is now the 12th largest Chinese extended metropolitan area as of 2010.Quanzhou is a coastal prefecture bordered by Xiamen, a sub-provincial city to the southwest. It also borders the Zhangzhou (Zhāngzhōu 漳州) and Longyan (Lóngyán 龙岩) prefecture-level city towards the west. Putian (Pútián 莆田) and Fuzhou (Fúzhōu 福州) form Quanzhou's northeast border and Sanming forms the northwest one. Quanzhou is mountainous and has many rivers and tributaries originating from the interior.


Quanzhou Brief Introduction
Mazu TempleHistory Of Quanzhou
China’s first major international port was Guangzhou, to the south of Amoy, but merchants soon had enough of the corruption and wars, and moved to the more stable Quanzhou .  And it boasted one of the world’s best natural harbors. Better yet, it was closer to Hangzhou (Hángzhōu 杭州), the silk capital of China .Over 1,000 years before Christ, the West valued Chinese silk more highly than gold. The poet Horace wrote of the silks from the legendary land of Seres (the Roman name for China).Once Romans and Greeks got a glimpse of Cleopatra’s undies the demand for silk mushroomed. So did the silk supply, thanks to mythical Quanzhou, the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, since one ship could carry as much silk as 700 cantankerous camels on the not-so-silky Silk Road of the Desert.  By the mid 1300s, Quanzhou had 500,000 people of every race, creed and color imaginable. Historians wrote that “100 large ships and numerous small ones” anchored in the harbour. Marco Polo, who sailed for home from Quanzhou, claimed it rival Alexandria Egypt as the planet’s largest and busiest port.

Local Delicious Cuisine
Quanzhou has a large variety of local dining including snacks such as fried oysters,Prepare someLocal Cuisine Fried Oysters fresh crabmeat, cut Chinese chives into half an inch long, add some sweet potato powder, and mix them properly. Fry it with a frying pan. When the food is almost done, add some eggs. This snack is fragrant soft and very delicious.  Frozen siphon worms, noodles in meat soup and fish pellets. If you are interested in Chinese tea, do not miss Wulong Tea (Wūlóngchá 乌龙茶) in Anxi County. Clever in art, Quanzhou people have created many folk operas including Nanyin, Gaojia Xi, Liyuan Xi and Marionette Show.
 
Local NightviewLocal Nightlife Really Wonderful Enough
Nightlife in Quanzhou 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. Office workers choose beauty parlors or gymnasiums for relaxation.

 

Kaiyuan MonasteryKaiyuan Monastery
Kaiyuan Monastery is located at Quanzhou City, Fujian Province. It was built in the second year of Cuigong, Tang Dynasty (AC 686). The main hall of the Monastery is called "The Great Hall of Purple Clouds" with 9 rooms in width, 6 rooms in depth and 20 odd meters in height. The stone pagodas are national treasures and worth seeing. For protection of the structure and safety reasons, they are not open though. In the main prayer hall, there are Buddhas with a Kuan Yin (Goddess of Mercy) behind them. The temple complex is well landscaped and has basic toilet facilities. On entering the Kaiyuan Monastery, the very sight is the gallant Precious Hall of the Great Hero. It has three characteristics: Firstly, there stand 5 huge Sakyamuni statues in a row inside the hall, symbolizing the brilliance of Sakyamuni illuminating east, west, north, south and middle; Secondly, there are 24 paintings of colorful" Flying Apsaras" on the ceiling, whose molding is different from that of the famous stone sculpture in Dunhuang Caves. The "Flying Apsaras " in the Kaiyuan Monastery have wings instead of ribbons; Thirdly,there are 100 stone pillars in the hall which are in such great numbers that are rare indeed.In between the front and rear halls of the Precious Hall of the Great Hero, there grow two tall and sturdy pipal trees with exuberant branches and leaves.There is also a queer mulberry tree, which is more than 1300 years old, perhaps the most longevous tree of its kind in the world.


Qingyuan MountainQingyuan Mountain
The Laozi (Lǎozǐ 老子) Statue, the largest statue of Laozi is in Qingyuan Mountain scenic spot in the northern suburb of Quanzhou, a relic under national level protection.Originally it was called the Rock of Immortals and got its name as Laozi Rock with the creation of the statue. In Song Dynasty (960 - 1279), there were much Taoist architecture set up in the area and the rock statue of Laozi, the revered philosopher, was worshiped in one of the halls of the building complex.


Heavenly Empress Palace (Tianhou Palace)Heavenly Empress Palace
The Heavenly Empress Palace (Tiānhòugōng 天后宫) covers an area of nearly 9,000 square meters (about two acres). It was constructed in 1196 during Song Dynasty. As the years passed, many of the buildings in the palace complex such as Mountain Gate, Opera Stage, Bell and Drum Towers, Western and Eastern Gallery fell into disrepair. However, they have been restored in recent years. It is the earliest Mazu Temple . The temple complex covers a large area and is of the highest architectural standard. It is the first A-Ma Temple to be listed as one of China's National Key Cultural Relics Protection Sites.
 

Quanzhou Maritime MuseumQuanzhou Maritime Museum (Quánzhōu Hǎijiāobówùguǎn) 泉州海交博物馆)
The museum was created in 1959, and in 1991 some exhibits were moved to a new location. The original location was at the Kaiyuan Temple, and its new location is east of the picturesque East Lake Park. Displays are housed in a structure shaped like a brig (a ship equipped with two full masts), and cover an area of 7,000 sq kilometers (2,703 sq miles). The museum has four exhibition halls: Quanzhou Overseas Communications, Quanzhou Religious Sculpture, Ancient Chinese Sailboats Models, and Quanzhou Customs and Culture. At present, the first three are open to the public. The Overseas Communications History Exhibition Center showcases a large number of cultural relics and models. The relics well illustrate the vicissitude of the ancient seaport of Quanzhou. The exhibits are divided into four categories, according to the historical events represented, and are displayed in exhibition areas respectively. The exhibits paint a vivid portrait of Quanzhou's overseas trade throughout the past 2,000 years. Highlights include the portrayal of Zhenghe's successful travels to the Indian Ocean, which reflects the prosperity of China's overseas ventures during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The history of Quanzhou is an important part of China's overseas communications legacy, and the Quanzhou Maritime Museum gives an excellent portrayal of the city's sea-faring vicissitude throughout the ages.


Travel Tips
Transportation
In Quanzhou, 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. Quanzhou also has many commercial streets for shopping, such as the Back City Street, Zhuangyuan Street, Zhongshan Road and Daxi Street.

Weather
A line from a poem describes the characteristic climate of Quanzhou vividly. It says, " there are flowers all the year round with frequent rains; however, there is sometimes thunder without snow" . The best months to visit Quanzhou are September, October and November every year.

Nearby Spots Recommend
Taimu Mountain
The Taimu Mountain is one of the most famous tourist spots. It has lots of high mountains, clear rivers and amazing parks. It is known as the "Paradise at Sea" for its steep mountains, spectacular rock formations, secluded caves and foggy climate. Located in Fuding (Fǔdǐng 福鼎) in northeastern Fujian Province, Taimu Mountain National Scenic Area stands on the bank of the East Sea, nestled at the foot of the mountain.

Last Updated on Monday, 23 July 2012 18:23
 

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