Quanzhou Things to Do

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    Kaiyuan Temple's Banyan Trees

    by Confucius Updated Apr 23, 2005

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    Kaiyuan Temple ancient tree, Quanzhou, Fujian

    You must see these old banyan trees while you're at Kaiyuan Temple. The temple is over 1000 years old, so these trees have been fortunate to grow on sacred ground.
    To get there, take bus #2 to West Street (Xi Jie) and you'll see the temple with two pagodas.
    Thre is also a museum on the temple grounds which exhibits an ancient ship's hull dating back to the Song dynasty, again nearly 1000 years old. It is called the "Foreign Trade History Museum", as Quanzhou was an important port during China's glorious Silk Road days.
    For most tourists, the highlight of Kaiyuan Temple is the twin hexagonal pagodas, one of which you can see in my Quanzhou introduction.

    Related to:
    • Historical Travel
    • Museum Visits

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    Kai Yuan Si

    by jetimblin Written Feb 17, 2004

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    Kai Yuan Si, Quanzhou - Fall of 2001
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    The Kai Yuan Si is a large temple complex located in the city. This temple is over 1000 years old, having been founded in the year 686 A.D.

    There are many sites to see in the temple complex including the East and West Pagodas, Ziyun Hall, and an ancient mulberry tree.

    Related to:
    • Archeology

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    Western Pagoda

    by jetimblin Updated Feb 17, 2004

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    Western Pagoda, Kai Yuan Si, Quanzhou - 2001

    The Western (Renshou) Pagoda is located on the grounds of the Kai Yuan Si Buddhist temple. The pagodas were built from 1228 - 1248 and have survived many earthquakes and fires.

    Evidently you are normally allowed to enter and climb to the top of these pagodas. However when I was there they were closed for restoration.

    Related to:
    • Archeology

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    Eastern Pagoda

    by jetimblin Written Feb 17, 2004

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    Eastern Pagoda, KKai Yuan Si, Quanzhou - 2001

    The Eastern Pagoda is located on the grounds of the Kai Yuan Si Buddhist temple. The pagodas were built from 1228 - 1248 and have survived many earthquakes and fires.

    Evidently you are normally allowed to enter and climb to the top of these pagodas. However when I was there they were closed for restoration.

    Related to:
    • Archeology

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    Another old tree at Kaiyuan Temple in Quanzhou

    by Confucius Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    Kaiyuan Temple courtyard ancient tree, Quanzhou

    This one was mentioned in Lonely Planet's 2002 China guide. Hey, if a writer in the Lonely Planet book tells you to go see some tree then it must be a truly remarkable tree worth a good look. Right?

    Actually there is a legend behind the tree that Lonely Planet does not tell you, perhaps because the accompanying sign does not have an English translation.

    The story has it that a wandering monk approached Huang Shougong, a wealthy Quanzhou man who owned a mulberry orchard, asking him to donate the garden as land on which to build a temple. The rich man, who was a stingy old miser, replied that only when his mulberry trees bloom with lotus flowers would he give away his land to construct a temple. (It was basically the ancient Chinese version of "when Hell freezes over") Much to his dismay, three days later the tree sprouted lotus blossoms and the rich man had to keep his promise. Now it is called the 'Mulberry Lotus Tree" and it is still there, enclosed in a little walled garden plot and propped up by a pillar.

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    Kaiyuan Temple pagoda: A closer look

    by Confucius Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    Kaiyuan Temple pagoda, Quanzhou, Fujian, China

    The pretty pagoda's polygonal walls are decorated with guardians and figures of famous monks. It's the unofficial Buddhist Wall of Fame. On both sides are vivid images of Manjusri, Samantabhadra (You can call him "Sam") and other bodhisattvas, gods and disciples. Some of them have three heads and six arms and carry the sun and moon in the palms of their hands.

    The twin pagodas here at Kaiyuan Temple are the tallest pair in China. They were first constructed using wood over a thousand years ago. The Chinese, like the Three Little Pigs, came to the conclusion that wood is not the best material to make pagodas that last over changing dynasties, so after the pagodas were destroyed a couple times they made the ones you can see now using stone.

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    • Historical Travel
    • Architecture

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    Kaiyuan Temple pagoda: Closer inspection

    by Confucius Updated Jun 12, 2005

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    This celestial guardian of the Kaiyuan Temple pagoda looks like he is not happy that you have chosen to bypass the extra 50 Yuan ticket to ascend the pagoda's interior stairwell.

    The internal structure of these two pagodas is different from other pagodas in China with winding or vertical staircases. I've been in enough of them already as I am a big fan of pagodas. The staircases in Kaiyuan Temple's two pagodas were not built along the walls. Instead, in faithful imitation of the original wooden pagodas, staircases were installed through a square hole on one side of the central pillar.

    Related to:
    • Architecture
    • Historical Travel

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    Visit Kaiyuan Temple

    by claude-andre Written Sep 22, 2008

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    West pagoda - Kaiyuan Si
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    It dates from AD 686 and is flanked by two pagodas built much later. It is a very busy temple where many locals come to prey. It stands in big garden and has a large courtyard.
    It is at hiis best at the end the day when the sun rays animate the sculpture on the pagodas.

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    Qingjing Mosque

    by claude-andre Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Qingjin or Ashab Mosque
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    A Mosque that survived the destroying forces - but very ruined in fact. It is 1000 years old and it's quite fascinating because completly un-chinese. It offers the possibility to dream about the ancient harbour of Quanzhou when it was the starting point of the maritime silk road.
    A little museum details the history of Islam in Quanzhou.
    When you wander the ruins you'll notice an amusing chinese-islamic architectural mix.

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    The Ancient House Group

    by claude-andre Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Ancient house and veiled woman
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    As almost everywhere in Chinese cities, the ancient houses were destroyed and replaced by modern, but not very exciting, buildings. In Quanzhou a little group of ancient houses remain and it's a nice place to wander. Some of the houses are inhabited by a Muslim local minority.

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    Qingyuanshan Mountains

    by claude-andre Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Statue of Laozi
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    If you like sacred mountains, Qingyuanshan is an interesting option. Of course it not as spectacular as Huangshan or Taishan, but the atmosphere is quieter: no crowd, no harrassing steet vendors, a kind of spirituality. You have also good views on Quanzhou. By climbing, you cross some Buddhist temples, Daoist shrines and Islamic tombs. At the top you find a lake (dam) with a restaurant. The climb is a bit tough.
    At the bottom of the mountains there a big statue of Lao Tse (Laozi), worth to see.

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    Luoyang Bridge

    by claude-andre Written Sep 26, 2008

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    Luoyang Bridge
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    One of the first bridges built over the sea, Luoyang Bridge is about 1000 years old. It has 834m long and 7m wide, with a lot of stone carvings.

    It's nearly half way between Quanzhou and Chongwu. The visit ould be done the same day as Chongwu. Eg. when returning to Quanzhou ask the bus driver to stop near the bridge. When you decide to leave the place, go where the bus stopped and wait for a a bus that goes to Quanzhou (learn the Chinese writing of Quanzhou) and hitch it with your hand.

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    Quanzhou Maritime Museum

    by claude-andre Written Sep 22, 2008

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    Sailboats Models
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    The museum has four exhibition halls: Quanzhou Overseas Communications, Quanzhou Religious Sculpture, Ancient Chinese Sailboats Models, and Quanzhou Customs and Culture. The Maritime Museum gives an excellent portrayal of the city throughout the ages.

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    Visit Anxi - Fujian international tea market

    by claude-andre Written Sep 24, 2008

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    Oolong tea

    This one day trip offers the opportunity to visit a huge tea market and an interesting temple located in the mountains near Anxi.
    For more informations read my Anxi/Fencheng pages

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    Festive Spirit

    by akikonomu Written May 4, 2007

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    If you visit China during the Chinese New Year, you'll experience the festive spirit everywhere. Crackers, fireworks, peddlers with the traditional haw candies, street games and happy people decked in their best (clothes and mood)

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel

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Quanzhou Things to Do

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