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The Min River & The Opposing Pagodas

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day toya,

Unless you are en route to Wuyi Shan, Fuzhou city can be safely skirted (LP).

With over two thousand years of history which includes me for a single day so far I can honestly say that I am more than sure that I will happily prove the Lonely Planet writer wrong once again. When I say this I mean no disrespect, I just find that when there are other destinations such as Wuyi Shan and Xiamen close by to a city/hub such as Fuzhou then most guide book writers usually tend to do what most travellers do, stay one or two nights en route to the more popular destination.

But hey, I have plenty of time to spare and I love Fujian cuisine so I’ll stay awhile! So I guess most of you are asking the same question. Where in the world is Fuzhou city?

Situated in the lower reaches of the Min River can be found the very vibrant city of Fuzhou which is also the capital of Fujian Province. Fuzhou is Fujian’s economic center as well as its center for politics, culture and transportation and was named after Mt Fu which is found to the north of the city. It is known locally as Rong Cheng City which means Banyan City as during the Song Dynasty (960-1279) many banyan trees were planted which now provide shade for most of the city’s inhabitants during the long humid summer months.

During the winter months it is renowned for the best hot springs Fujian has to offer.

After talking to many locals I was surprised with their honesty that the city’s cultural sites are not as overwhelming as many of the other top attractions and cities in China, but the one thing they do agree on and are proud of is the dazzling array of local dishes and snacks that are available on along every street and on every street corner which is something that the Lonely Planet seems to totally disagree with.

Fuzhou is both an historic and cultural city with over two thousand years of history.

From the Tang Dynasty (618-907) through to the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911) there were thousands of Jinshi (successful candidates in the highest imperial examinations) from Fuzhou. Many celebrated figures through Chinese history have also hailed from the land of Fuzhou and due to its long and flourishing history there are many arts related industries to be found here which include the Three Treasures of Fuzhou (lacquer work, stone sculpting and cork cutting) along with a featured dining culture and also traditional arts such as the famous Min Opera.

<u>The Journey Here & What I’ve Found So Far</u>

When I arrived at the Shaowu bus station yesterday morning I found Beer Man waiting for me and after a five and a half hour journey we said our good byes at the north bus station and I caught a taxi down to the south bus station area where I have been told the more vibrant part of the city is to be found. After checking out several over priced hotels I met an elderly gentleman who took me to his friends hotel which ended up being the Small Hilton Hotel found in the Lonely Planet Guide where I got a great room rate for the next four nights.

In fact there are actually two Small Hilton Hotels found directly opposite each other. Both offer the same rates and small yet very comfortable rooms.

Today I spent my day checking out the cities internal sites and around the time the sun was departing my world I slowly made my way down Bayiqi Road to see what the Min River had to offer and what I found was a nice surprise. Most of the walk was pretty lame but at the river I found a huge and bustling shopping district that offered a large variety of stores along with plenty of eateries and small lanes filled with snacks.

Here I also luckily found a camera store! Today my main battery for my Nokia N95 phone/camera died.

Yes all the photos found on my blog since 2007 have been taken with a simple five megapixel phone camera. Now I think it is time to leave the Nokia in my pocket and use it only for calls and texts and fork out some money on what is known as a real camera. I want to go 'all the way’ and get one of those cameras you see hanging around most Japanese and Chinese tourists necks with a huge one billion foot long camera lens.

But I know I’d never use it as I’d have no way of putting it into my pocket.

I’ve been talking to Loss’s father Stephen off and on about what to buy and I’d love to purchase his favourite Happy Snapper the Lumix LX5 but I even find this one a little too bulky for my liking so I’m sure I am going to end up with a CoolPix, a Powershot or something along the more thinner side of things. What I’d really be happy with is a camera phone such as the Nokia N95 that has a good zoom lens that is built in or that can be attached then I’d still have my phone, camera and MP3 all in one.

But life is not that easy when it comes to expenditure and commodities. Keep them separate as then the rich continue to get richer and we keep spending to allow.

<u>The Opposing Pagodas</u>

The White (Bai Ta) and Black Pagodas (Wu Ta) are the main known features of Fuzhou.

The White pagoda (built in 904) stands on the western slope of the Jade Hill Scenic Area (Yu Hill) and has been an attraction since the Tang Dynasty (618-907). Its original name was Ding Guang Ta (Pagoda of Eternal Brightness) and it is forty one meters high, seven tiered, octagonal and white in color, hence its name.

At the foot of Jade Hill can be found the remains of the city wall (which once boasted seven gates) along with a huge statue of everybody’s favourite center piece, Chairman Mao.

Found a short walk to the west is what was once known as Chong Miao Bao Sheng Nian Lao Ta (Pagoda of Wisdom, Sacredness and Solidity) is thankfully now known simply as The Black Pagoda, so named because it stands on the southern slope of Black Rock Hill (Wu Shan) and is the little brother to the White Pagoda as it as it stands at thirty one meters in height, is also seven tiered and octagonal in shape.

If you have time for only one of the above I’d choose a walk on Black Rock Hill.

<u>River Min, </u>

Being the largest river in Fujian, the Min River is also the emblem of the province. Starting from the Wuyi Mountains, it is almost three thousand kilometers in length and flow’s over sixty thousand eight hundred square kilometers which is almost half of the entire province. It passes through the western part of Fuzhou where it cuts through a large valley near Min'an before feeding into the East Sea and for most of its journey it is lined by lush green hills and is famous for scenic beauty.

Beers N Noodles toya…..shane _________________________________________

The soundtrack to this entry was by Enigma The album was &#8216;a shuffle of Enigma 1,2,3 & 4’ _________________________________________

The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure


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The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure


The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure


The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

The Black &#38;amp; White Pagodas Adventure

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

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