The three most important cities (North to South along the coast) are:
- Fuzhou, the provincial capital. Population 1.2 million in the city itself, 6.6 million for the prefecture
- Quanzhou, a historic port, 330,000 / 6.5 million
- Xiamen, port city and special economic zone, 700,000 / 1.3 million
Other cities include:
- Longyan in the West of Fujian, 192,000 / 2.8 million
- Nanping up the Min river from Fuzhou, 236,000 / 3 million
- Ningde on the coast, North of Fuzhou, 125,000 / 3.2 million
- Putian between Fuzhou and Quanzhou, 170,000 / 3.2 million
- Sanming up in the mountains, 207.000 / 2.7 million
- Zhangzhou inland, Southwest of Xiamen, 250,000 / 4.5 million
The province's main tourist attractions are:
- Wu Yi Mountain, a scenic area famous for its tea. Its beautiful mountains, vigorous rocks and limpid waters are legendary.
- the Hakka earth round houses in Yougding County, fascinating, centuries-old buildings that are home to a whole clan
- Gulang Yu, an island across a narrow strait from downtown Xiamen — no cars or motorcycles, lots of pianos, colonial-era buildings, and tourist shops
Quanzhou is off the beaten path but worth visiting. Smaller towns nearby include:
- Anxi provided the tea for the Boston Tea Party, and has a beautiful temple at Qingshui rock.
- Dehua makes fine white pottery, famous as 'blanc de chine' in the West.
- Chongwu is a lovely old walled town, with excellent beaches nearby
Putian has the primary temple of the sea goddess Mazu on Meizhou Island. Her annual festival, in spring, brings in hundreds of thousands of visitors, mainly fishermen or sailors from Taiwan and Southeast Asia. The island is also being developed as a more general tourist resort.
One could plan a tour of Fujian devoted to exploring its amazing variety of religious structures. Quanzhou has Qing Yuan Shan, a major Taoist site that attracts visitors from all over China, one of China's oldest mosques, and the world's last Manichean temple. Putian has the Mazu temple. Xiamen, Fuzhou and Quanzhou all have major Buddhist temples, and dozens of smaller temples are scattered around the countryside. Fujian was also a major area of missionary activity in the 19th century and Christian churches abound; mainland China's oldest church is in Xiamen.
Historically, Fujian has been one of the more prosperous and outward-looking provinces of China. In the 1900s, two of China's five treaty ports - Xiamen and Fuzhou - were in Fujian. After the Second World war, however, Fujian's traditional trade with Japan was reduced and her other main customer, Taiwan, was the enemy. Recently, however, Fujian is recovering. Like other coastal provinces, it is now one of the more modern and prosperous areas of China.
Fujian has a higher proportion of Muslims than most areas of Southern China due to the history of trade via the Maritime Silk Road, and quite a few Christians since it was a focus of 19th century missionary activity.
The handicraft of Fuzhou have are: Shoushan stone carving (the stone is translucent and prized as material for seals) is in various postures. Bodiless lacquer wares, Long'an wood carving, ivory carving, jade carving, cord painting, paper umbrellas and combs made of ox horn are all renowned at home and abroad.
Today, all educated people in Fujian speak Mandarin. It has been the language of education throughout China since the 1950s and is now the lingua franca in Fujian as everywhere else.
However, Fujian also has dozens of its own dialects. The terrain is mountainous; at one time nearly every valley had its own language. These dialects are usually described with the prefix "Min", where Min is another name for Fujian. They include Minnan (Southern Min), Mindong (Eastern Min), Minbei (Northern Min), Minzhong (Central Min) and Puxian (named for Putian city and Xian county). These dialects are not mutually intelligible, though they do share certain common features. Generally speaking, the "Min" group of Chinese dialects is the most different from standard Mandarin of all the dialects in China. Minnan has fewer similarities with Mandarin than English has with Dutch.
Among the most important is Minnan, (Southern Min), spoken in Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou and surrounding areas. Many people in Taiwan speak the same dialect, though they may call it Taiwanese. In Malaysia and Singapore, the same language is called Hokkien (the Minnan word for Fujian).
The Mindong (Eastern Min) or Fuzhou Hua (Fuzhou speech) dialect is spoken in Fuzhou and also has a large number of speakers in the northern coastal areas. In Malaysia and Singapore, it is known as Hokchiu (the Mindong word for Fuzhou).
The Hakka (客家 Kèjiā) people in the West of Fujian, and in several other areas of Southern China, came as refugees from one of Northern China's wars some centuries back. Hakka means "guest people". They have their own Hakka language (客家话; Kèjiāhuà), related to Northern dialects rather than to any other Fujian language.
Fujian is well connected via China's domestic airline, bus, highway and train networks.
The main airports are at Xiamen and Fuzhou; both have flights to Hong Kong as well as many mainland cities. Xiamen also has cheap international connections to Manila, Singapore and Bangkok; see Discount airlines in Asia for details. The scenic Wu Yi Mountain area also has an airport with good domestic connections. Often package deals are available - flights and accommodation, and perhaps a guide, for a fixed price.
Highway and external marine transportation are convenient. Everyday, there are regular tourist buses bound for Shenzhen city. Foreign passenger ships can berth at Mawei Harbor.
The main mode of intercity travel is by bus. There are trains, but some routes are not convenient because of mountainous terrain. New lines for high speed trains, on a more direct route along the coast, are under construction but will not be in service until at least late 2009. Flying within the province is relatively expensive.
Fujian has its own cuisine, largely based on seafood.
- Fish Ball. also known as the "Yu Yuan," was chopped dried fish, add egg white, mixing flour, some of them add pork or shrimp. Then cooked in boiling water.
- Wind duck paste. Wind duck paste, is to use sweet potato powder (sweet potato flour) and hacked to pieces of the wind duck, winter bamboo shoots and silk, the film mushrooms, meat, garlic paste mixed with boiled.
- Tai Chi Taro. is to cook taro nut and pressed into mud, adding sugar, eggs, water and oil. After the taro cool down, people sometimes add chopped kernels, cherry on the surface.It is one of the traditional Fujian’s desserts.
- Light Cake. It is make with raw material of flour, salt, sesame seeds. The shape of light cake is similar like Donuts. It doesn’t have much taste. In Fuzhou, people usually do not face sesame cake is called "light cake", with the sesame, they called "Fuqing cake.
- Wonton. is the most common snack in Fujian. The wonton skin is thin, it cooks in a short time. The boiled dumplings would be required in the process of adding cold water 2 times. After cooked, it looks half transparent.
- Fo Tiao Qiang. means(Buddha jumps over the wall). which is the most famous food in Fujian. It contains dainties of more than 30 kinds: Shark's fin, sea slug, chicken breast, duck, pig's trotters, dried scallop, mushroom, abalone, pigeon egg. with other condiments. It's said that after the dish is cooked, the air is heavy with a strong fragrance. Legend has it that it smelt so good that a monk forgot his vegetarian vows and leapt over the wall to have some, giving rise to its name.
Fujian is famous for tea (in the 19th century, Fuzhou was China's busiest tea port) and you can get good tea almost anywhere. In fact, the English word "tea" was derived from its Minnan name. Try the tea eggs (茶葉蛋 cháyèdàn), hard boiled eggs cooked in tea, available on streets everywhere.
Like most of China, Fujian has quite a few locations for several large coffee chains, including UBC Coffee (上岛咖啡 shàngdǎo kāfēi), Ming Tien and SPR. It also has some good smaller chains, Blenz, Dawin and King Buck; these are usually cheaper.
As anywhere in China, beer is widely available. Hui Quan is a Fujian brand, a light palatable lager.
A chain of bars called Scotland (some complete with a statue of a kilted piper outside) have locations in Fuzhou and Xiamen. They have Filipino bands and are popular with expats, expensive by Chinese standards (¥30 beer) but perhaps worth it.
- Tieguanyin Tea. (Name of a Godness)This tea is grown in Songlintou and Yaoyang in the Fujian Province. It is one of the cherished teas grown in Fujian.
- White Tea:. The white tea is grown in various regions of Fujian including the ShuiJie and Zhenghe counties. The white tea leaves have a unique shape. White tea is a little bit fermented tea with a mild flavor but leaves a sweet taste later.
Like other areas on the Southern coastal, Fujian is prone to typhoons, which occur mostly from July to September. The province is also located on several small fault lines, and so is occasionally hit by earthquakes, though these tend to be minor.
This page was last edited at 08:33, on 19 March 2009 by Wikitravel user Pashley. Based on work by Aine Hickey, HuiLin, Patrick Hanlon and David, Wikitravel user(s) Episteme, Anonymous user(s) of Wikitravel and others.