Fujian Province in East China is a place of both natural and cultural beauty. Wuyi Mountain is a scenic area that features oddly shaped mountains, tranquil streams and ancient suspended coffins. Gulangyu, an island full of stories and delicacies, also has delicious tea, natural hot springs and a collection of ancient Chinese construction.
Fujian tourism authorities are carrying out a nationwide promotion of the province. With cooperation from online travel agencies, the bureau is now promoting virtually free tour packages for tourists.
The Nanping City Tourism Administration is promoting a one-yuan (16 US cents) tour package. In September, tourists can buy the package on Ctrip.com, China’s leading online travel service company.
The package includes admission to all the A-level scenic areas in Nanping, including Wuyi Mountain. The usual price for entry into the areas is 610 yuan, said the administration.
Summer and fall are the two best seasons to visit the mountain. The climate is cool and humid. Visitors can spend an afternoon on a bamboo raft drifting on the Jiuqu Stream, challenge their strength by climbing through the “one-line sky,” — a narrow space between two peaks — or enjoy the sea of clouds at dawn.
Taoist temples are the main cultural relics on the mountain, among which the Wuyi Palace is the most well-known. First built in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), the palace was the holy shrine in which ancient Chinese empires worshipped Wuyijun, the mountain god of the Wuyi. The palace burned down several times, and the present one was rebuilt during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). The two cherry bay trees are older than the present palace, as they have beautified the palace for nearly 900 years.
The mountain is also the cradle of Da Hong Pao, a prestigious type of oolong tea. The “mother tree” of the tea, which is about 350 years old, grows on a cliff. In 2007, the last 20 grams of Da Hong Pao tea made from the “mother tree” went to the China National Museum. The mother tree “retired” after that, but visitors can still see its posture at the Dahongpao Area of the mountain.
More highlights in Fujian
Tulou (土楼) is the traditional mountain construction of Hakka people, distributed in Yong’an, Nanjing and Hua’an. The tulou dwellings in Yong’an have gained a World Heritage listing.
The round-shaped tulou, which have windows in all directions, are constructed from sand, mud, stone and bamboo.
Yong’an has both the oldest and the youngest tulou in the world — 600 years old and 30 years old. The Jiqing Tulou, the oldest one, which is 66 meters tall, epitomizes tulou architecture.
Xiamen and Gulangyu
The coastal city of Xiamen is a popular destination for relaxation. Visitors can enjoy beaches, seafood, leisurely walks and potential flings among single tourists.
The city is a place where Eastern and Western culture meet. The South Putuo Buddha Temple, Xiamen University and Jimei School Complex demonstrate the meshing of cultures.
Meanwhile Gulangyu, an island of the city, has become a must-visit place of “literary and artistic” youth in the country. It once had embassies and consulates of 13 countries, and now the historic constructions are still there, but have been modified into family restaurants, cafes and bars.