Fuzhou, the capital city of Fujian
Province, is the political and economic center
and the largest industrial city in Fujian which
receives much of its investment from Taiwan. The
city boasts a history of around 2,000 years, dating
from the third century A.D. when it was known
as Yechang. It is also still substantially influenced
by Buddhism. There are altogether six state-listed
key temples in Fuzhou - Yongquan Temple, Xichan
Temple, Linyang Temple, Dizang Temple, Wanfu Temple
and Xuefeng Temple, which is the largest number
in China. The city is also known for its profuse
springs that cover a seventh of the urban area,
hence the nickname as the "City of Springs".
Nowadays, many of the hotels, most notably the
Hot Spring Hotel, claim hot spring water supplies.
Despite a rich Chinese tradition,
the people of Fujian are known for their nomadic
tendencies. For thousands of years the locals
have been upping their roots, untethering family
ties and setting sails. Today, over 2.5 million
overseas Chinese from some 50 countries claim
to have ancestors from Fujian.
Even in ancient times, when emperors
attached great importance to slightly myopic policies
of self reliance, Fuzhou used to be a major gateway
to the outside world. Every year thousands of
merchants would sail for months to and from Fuzhou
to trade in tea, china and silk, etc. Fuzhou is
nowadays reemerging as a crucial seaport city
and manufacturing center of southeast China.
Although not the best city for travelers,
Fuzhou does have a few redeeming factors. The
Yu Hill and West Lake Garden are half decent parks,
and the giant banyan trees are scattered about
the area. True Maoists should also head to Wuyi
Square to view the massive statue of the great
helmsman presiding there.