Once home to snake-headed barbarians and elusive immortals, Fújiàn is a region of steep mountains, river valleys and a lush subtropical coastline. While the coastal cities have been engaging in trade for hundreds of years, its mountainous interior remained inaccessible until as late as the 1960s, when the communists built roads through the dense jungle. Rumour has it that the legendary South China tiger still lurks in the most remote mountain regions.
Modern-day Fújiàn’s coastline is flourishing, just like it has for centuries. The capital, Fúzhōu, is a 21st-century boomtown, with soaring skyscrapers and never-ending development. The historical port of Xiàmén is much quieter, and unlike Fúzhōu it has managed to keep much of its character over the years. Off its coast, the former foreign enclave of Gǔlàng Yǔ boasts wonderfully preserved colonial buildings and traffic-free streets, making it a refreshing breather from the frenzy of modern China. The enclave is only a stone’s throw from the Taiwan-claimed island of Jīnmén (Kinmen, once the site of ferocious battles between mainland communists and the Nationalist party. The old trading centre of Quánzhōu, with its ancient mosque and maritime museum, are potent reminders of the city’s once illustrious past, when it was one of the most international ports in the world.
Fújiàn’s rugged inland remains relatively unknown, with the exception of the tourist resort of Wǔyí Shān in the northwest and Taimu Mountain near the border of Zhèjiāng province. Both mountains offer fantastic hiking opportunities. Southwest Fújiàn, near Yǒngdìng, is the place to see the unique earthhouses of the Hakka people, one of Fújiàn’s many ethnic groups.
Fújiàn destination guides
South China Getaway
Enter a world of both natural wonder and big city glamour. From the friendly people and their passion for food to the historic sights and national traditions, this is an all-encompassing south China expedition. Meet rural people and city folk, chow down on local delicacies and world-class fare, and explore the wealth of history and modern developments of this mighty nation.
Beijing to Hong Kong
China really does have it all: tranquil countrysides offering jaw-dropping natural scenery and calf-burning hikes, neon cities boasting incredible food and scintillating nightlife, plus points of historical, artistic and cultural interest at every turn.