As one of the historic cities of China, Quanzhou boasts many ancient cultural and religion relics. It is also blessed with beautiful scenic spots because of its special geographic location. Here, we just mention a few of the most important tourist destinations.
Places of Historic Interest
Qingjing Mosque, located on Tumen Street in the Licheng District, is the oldest example of Moslem architecture in China. It was built in the year 1009 and since then has been repaired several times. Now the gate, the main prayer hall--Fengtian Tan--and the second prayer hall--Mingshan Tang--are still well kept, presenting the traditional architectural style of Arabic Islam. The stone inscription of the Koran written in Arabic is also preserved in the main prayer hall. This temple bears witness to the friendship and cultural exchange between China and Arabic countries.
Heavenly Empress Palace is located on Tianhou Street near the south gate of the city. Heavenly Empress (Tianhou in Chinese)--also called Mazu--is a goddess who is believed to watch over sailors at sea and provide for their safely. In southern China, there are many temples built solely for making sacrifices to her. This palace is the oldest and largest one. The magnificent main hall and back hall have stood for thousands of years and are still in good condition. In the main hall, you can see vividly carved patterns in the windows and various reliefs showing the culture of Taoism. There is also a newly opened museum showing the development of ties between the mainland and Taiwan.
Luoyang Bridge, China's earliest stone bridge built in the seaport, spans the Luoyang River in the east of the Quanzhou city. It was built in 1053 and is one of the most famous ancient bridges in China; even Marco Polo described it in his journey notes. Built from light grey granite, the bridge resembles a silver dragon lying above the green water. The method of reinforcing the foundation of the bridge is very unusual. Thousands of oysters were bred around the footstones and piers so that their secretions would act as kind of cement. This was the world's first example of the use of biology in bridge building and shows the great wisdom of the ancient Chinese people.
Water Rock Temple is a Buddhist temple built high on Penglai Mountain in Anxi County. The architecture is a three-layer tower style built with blue bricks and red tiles. Hiding in the emerald bamboos, green pines, hazy mist, and clouds the temple looks grand and imposing. Around the temple, there are many unusual natural wonders as well as cultural relics, such as the ancient tree with all its branches growing northwards, the four stone bamboo shoots towering to the sky, and the precious Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) stone tablets showing the map of the mountain.
Mt. Xiangong is another well-known tourist spot which is located in the northern part of the city. The mountain is characterized by its majestic features which include perilous cliffs and secluded forests. Many beautiful legends surround the mountain. On the mountain, nearly every temple or pavilion tells you a fairytale. Modern tourist facilities including cable cars, winding blacktops, and other amenities will make your travel more convenient and interesting.
Quanzhou is also a modern city that has lots of leisure and entertainment facilities. The Golf Club near the south gate of the city is a good place for you to relax. Encircled by a beautiful natural environment, it has a playground, a meeting hall, a swimming pool, European-style villas, and other entertainments. Additionally, you can go to the Above-Water Paradise outside of the north gate of the city. Just like a Disneyland, it has different facilities for people of different ages. The Outer Space Film City, the Ferris wheel, the Kating Automobile Racing Arena, the Children's Paradise, together with the colorful music fountain, will please you to no end.