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Quanzhou: The Ancient Mosque Walk

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to you After a beautiful surprise goodbye visit I headed to the bus station and grabbed a ticket to Quanzhou. I met a Chinese Uni student named Richard who explained that we weren't actually departing from the long distance bus station and that first we would have to change buses at the 'Long Distance Bus Station'. Strange I explained that Quanzhou is only an hour and a half away and Yongding is five hours away and the Yongding bus left from the 'Non Long Distance Bus Station'. Richard just laughed and didn't bother trying to explain. He just said what I already know, China is a strange place! The bus trip to Quanzhou was very very loud. What happens a lot on Chinese long distance buses is that friends will have tickets all over the bus and not actually next to each other. So instead of doing what 'we' think is logical and simply asking those next to us if it is ok for them to move so we 'friends' can sit together, many Chinese don't actually do this. Instead they will yell at each other the entire journey. Add to this other peoples mobile calls and you have what sounds like a Market Place on a luxury bus. Quanzhou, the city of Temples, electric scooters and bicycles. If you like any or all of these things then Quanzhou is the place for you. If you fear one or all, stay in Xiamen. I absolutely love all three so I fell in love with this city pretty much on arrival. You can't compare it to Xiamen at all in beauty but it has its own awesome vibe to it. In a way this vibe has totally disappeared from Xiamen altogether. When I arrived I grabbed a map (in Chinese! Bugger!) found out where I was on it and then asked where the 'nice' but cheap hotels were. The newspaper girl pointed directly up the road which I found was Wenling Nanlin. I checked out a few hotels and decided on Huahong Hotel. Others were cheaper but I wouldn't call them clean at all. The Huahong Hotel even has carpet which was being steam cleaned as I checked in. You can find it near the corner of Wenling Nanlin and Tumen Street right next to the overpass walkway on the right hand side of the road. After throwing my bags onto the bed which disgusts every Chinese person no matter who they are. It's a Western habit I guess and one I find hard to break. My first task was to find the second of the three Ancient Mosques here Fujian. The first found was in my home town of Shaowu, the second here in Quanzhou and the third I can't remember where it is. I promised my buddy in Singapore I'd track down all three and take some photos for him. Those who read my blog often will know him as ZPZ or CTP43 from the comments pages. He is a total wealth of information when it comes to China so hunting a simple mosque down is such a small thing to do in return for all his help. Believe it or not, I found the mosque a lot quicker than I thought. I simply showed the girl at reception the word mosque in my phrase book and she produced a Chinese/English city map and pointed. She then gave me the map and sent me on my way with a giggle. The mosque itself was only about a five minutes walk away on Tumen Street. It was built in 1009 and is listed in the '10 most famous temples in China'. I've added two photos of descriptions if anyone wants more information on the mosque. That way I don't have to type it! Whilst walking around the grounds the daughter of site guard followed me around on her little three wheeler bike giggling and saying Orange over and over again. It was such a funny time. I also found out later that the mosque was actually in the LP all along. I guess it pays to read it prior to arriving or setting out! In the Good Book it's called Qingjing Si as it is called on the 3 Yuan ticket. On my map it's called Ashae Mosque. Beside the mosque is a very popular temple, maybe it's the Guandi Miao thing in the LP. My map has it in Chinese only so I hereby name it 'The Noodle Temple beside Qingjing Si'. From there I followed my feet with no plan in mind. They took me through a heap of alleyways, found a few market places and then led me back to my hotel. It's now 9pm, the neon's are on and flashing, hunger set in and I now find myself in a big eatery called 'The Food Chain Store'. A point and eat joint and the food is delicious. After this I'll head out to find a Wong Bar (Net Bar) and type up a few days Travelpod so I don't have to do it when I return to Shaowu. I'm trying to decide what to do tomorrow from the huge list of things to do when you arrive in a new city. One thing that does stand out is the huge amount of temple pictures on my map. So what I've done is marked a trail of blue dots and I guess I will zigg zagg my way around the city. Not so much to see the temples but for the walk and to see as much of the city as possible. Beers N Noodles to you...shane The soundtracks to this entry are 1: an awesome release by Skid Row. The album 'Subhuman Race' And the second had me moving in my seat as I typed this entry. I got a few giggles from the Chinese sitting at the computers either side of me. Groove Armada mate, the album 'Northern Star'

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Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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