Fujian province: Eight parts mountain, one part water, and one part farmland

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Fujian province on the southeast coast of mainland China is bordered by Zhejiang to the north, Jiangxi to the west, Guangdong to the south, and the Taiwan Strait to the east.

The province is also known historically as Min, for the “seven Min tribes” that inhabited the area during the Zhou dynasty (1046–256 BCE).

Its capital is Fuzhou, while its largest city by population is Xiamen, both located near the coast of the Taiwan Strait in the east of the province. The name Fujian came from the combination of Fuzhou and Jianzhou (present Nanping), a city in Fujian, during the Tang dynasty.

Historically the dialects of the language group Min Chinese were most commonly spoken within the province, including the Hokkien dialects of southeastern Fujian. This is reflected in the abbreviation of the province’s name (閩). Hakka Chinese is also spoken, by the Hakka people in Fujian. Min and Hakka Chinese are unintelligible with Mandarin Chinese.

In the early Ming dynasty, Quanzhou was the staging area and supply depot of Zheng He’s naval expeditions.

The Land

Fujian has a submerged rocky coast that abounds in islands and islets, capes and peninsulas, and bays and havens.

The province is mostly mountainous and is traditionally said to be “Eight parts mountain, one part water, and one part farmland” (八山一水一分田). The northwest is higher in altitude, with the Wuyi Mountains forming the border between Fujian and Jiangxi. It is the most forested provincial-level administrative region in China, with a 62.96% forest coverage rate in 2009. Fujian’s highest point is Mount Huanggang in the Wuyi Mountains, with an altitude of 2,157 metres.

The province has subtropical, laurel-leafed forests, as well as many kinds of conifers.

Because of its mountainous nature and the numerous waves of migration from north and central China in the course of history, Fujian is one of the most culturally and linguistically diverse places in all Han Chinese areas of China.

Many minority ethnic groups live in this province: Hui, Miao and Manchu.

Tourism

Hekeng village, in Shuyang Town, is one of the many tulou villages of Fujian’s Nanjing County.

Fujian is home to a number of tourist attractions, including four UNESCO World Heritage Sites, one of the highest in China.

In the capital of Fuzhou is the Yongquan Temple, a Buddhist temple built during the Tang dynasty.

The Wuyi Mountains was the first location in Fujian to be listed by UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites in 1999. They are a mountain range in the prefecture of Nanping and contains the highest peak in Fujian, Mount Huanggang. It is famous as a natural landscape garden and a summer resort in China.

The Fujian Tulou are Chinese rural dwellings unique to the Hakka in southwest Fujian. They were listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites in 2008.

Gulangyu Island, Xiamen, is notable for its beaches, winding lanes and rich architecture. The island is on China’s list of National Scenic Spots and is classified as a 5A tourist attraction by the China National Tourism Administration (CNTA). It was listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Site in 2017. Also in Xiamen is the South Putuo Temple.

The Guanghua Temple is a Buddhist temple in Putian. It was built in the penultimate year of the Southern Chen Dynasty. Located in the northern half of the mouth of Meizhou Bay, it is about 1.8 nautical miles from the mainland and faces the Strait of Taiwan to the southeast. Covering an area of six square miles, the island is swathed in luxuriant green foliage. The coastline is indented with over 12 miles of beach area. Another buddhist temple, Nanshan Temple is located in Zhangzhou.

Around Meizhou Islands is the Matsu pilgrimage.

The Kaiyuan Temple, is a Buddhist temple in West Street, Quanzhou, China, the largest in Fujian province with an area of 78,000 square metres.[61] Although it is known as a both a Hindu and Buddhist temple, on account of added Tamil-Hindu influences, the main statue in the most important hall is that of Vairocana Buddha, the main Buddha according to Huayan Buddhism.

Mount Taimu is a mountain and a scenic resort in Fuding. It offers a grand view of mountain and sea, and is famous for its natural scenery including granite caves, odd-shaped stones, steep cliffs, clear streams, cascading waterfalls, and cultural attractions such as ancient temples and cliff Inscriptions.

The Danxia land-form in Taining was listed by the UNESCO as one of the World Heritage Sites in 2010. It is a unique type of petrographic geo-morphology found in China. Danxia land-form is formed from red-coloured sand-stones and conglomerates of largely Cretaceous age. The land forms look very much like karst topography that forms in areas underlain by lime-stones, but since the rocks that form danxia are sand-stones and conglomerates, they have been called “pseudo-karst” land forms. They were formed by endogenous forces (including uplift) and exogenous forces.

Highlights

Mount Wuyi may enlighten you with its wonderland tour. Its beautiful mountains, vigorous rocks and limpid waters are legendary. Gulangyu Island, also called “the Garden on the Sea” by people in Xiamen, is a world of sea breezes, sunshine and exotic architecture with a Mediterranean flavor. Nanputuo Temple, among the four well-known Buddhist shrines in the nation, has the longest and most prestigious history.

The mountain ranges tend to be more compressed in the interior and to broaden out toward the coast. Faults occur both along the axes of the mountains and across them, thus causing an extreme fragmentation of the land surface, so that local relief forms a complicated pattern.

Fujian Tulou in Yongding area are the much fabled mountain residences in this world of make believe. The industrious and facile Hui’an women in the south of Fujian add much to their folk customs. The Kaiyuan Temple looks splendid, glittering and grand despite its age. Fujian also is a place where famous national heroes like Lin Zexu and Zheng Chenggong lived and won their seats of honor in history books.

Oolong tea produced in Fujian is famous, so if you have a chance to visit this province, you must taste it there with relish.

Traditional Chinese culture reached a high level in Fujian during Song times. Certain unique traditional customs evolved that gave women a stronger social position than that of the women in North China. The province’s long literary tradition centres around the events of its local history that have been recorded during the past thousand years.

Edited by staff

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