About 102 kilometers from Xiamen, Quanzhou City is a renowned land of overseas Chinese and the hometown of many Taiwan compatriots. With a warm and humid climate, Quanzhou is suitable for tourism all the year round. As early as in the Song (960-1279) and Yuan (1271-1368) dynasties, Quanzhou was a major trading port in the East and an important harbor on the Maritime Silk Road, and had frequent exchanges with other countries. Now Quanzhou still preserves a large number of Chinese and foreign historical and cultural gems. The famous historical sites include the Kaiyuan Temple, East and West pagodas, Confucius Temple, the Queen of Heaven Palace, Luoyang Bridge and Anping Bridge, in addition to some sacred religious sites, such as Holy Tombs at Lingshan, Qingjing Temple, Thatched Nunnery and the statue of Maniprabha Buddha. At present, Quanzhou contains a number of museums, such as Museum of Overseas Communications History, Museum of Overseas Chinese History, The Origin of Fujian and Taiwan People Museum, Museum of Ancient Architecture, Museum of Operas, Museum of South Shaolin Martial Arts, Museum of Buddhism, Memorial Hall of Zheng Chenggong, and Memorial Hall of Master Hong Yi.

Main Tourist Attractions in Quanzhou

Qingyuan Mountain

Located in the northern suburbs of Quanzhou, it is also known as North Mountain, Quanshan Mountain and Qiyun Mountain, with an elevation of 498 meters. Qingyuan Mountain covers an area of 62 square kilometers and consists of three major scenic zones, i.e.. Qingyuan, Lingshan and Jiuri mountains. Well-known with 36 caves and 18 scenic spots. Qingyuan Mountain has been named No. 1 Mountain in Fujian, and is a key national scenic area.

Laojun Rock

At the foot of right side of Qingyuan Mountain, it was originally called Yuxian Rock. The statue is a man with long beards, who is believed to be the philosopher Lao Tzu, hence the name Laojun Rock. The statue was carved out of a natural rock. 5.1 meters high. 7.2 meters thick, and 7.3 meters wide. It is the largest statue of Lao Tzu in China, known as the "No. I authority under heaven." Also, it is regarded as the representative of stone carvings of the Song Dynasty, and is a key relic unit under state protection.  Opening hours: 07:30-17:00

Jiuri Mountain

Located in Fengzhou Town in Nan'an County. Fujian Province, Jiuri Mountain is seven kilometers from Quanzhou, and is the starting point of the "Maritime Silk Road" of China. The UNESCO investigation team of the "Maritime Silk Road" has come here twice for inspections and inscribed the experiences on rocks. The historical sites on Jiuri Mountain include Yanfu Temple, tomb of Prime Minister Jiang, Buddhist stone statures and stone carvings. etc. Now it is a key relic unit under provincial protection.

Stone Inscriptions Recording the Rites of Praying for Smooth Sailing

A total of 75 cliffside inscriptions from the Song Dynasty to the Qing Dynasty are mainly found in east and west peaks. Of them, 13 stone inscriptions of the rites of praying for smooth sailing on overseas traffic are the most precious. They are important historical sites of Quanzhou's overseas traffic, as well as the historical witness of friendship between Chinese people and the people of Asian and African countries. As a relic unit under state protection, it is one of the famous tourist attractions in Quanzhou which is worth visiting. Opening hours: 08:00-17:30

Kaiyuan Temple

Located in West Street of Quanzhou, it was constructed in the second year of the Chuigong reign (686) of the Tang Dynasty, with a history of over 1.300 years. It was originally named Lotus Temple, Xingjiao Temple or Longxing Temple, and the present name was adopted in the 26th year of the Kaiyuan reign (738) of the Tang Dynasty. Kaiyuan Temple enjoys the equal popularity with Guangji Temple in Beijing. Lingyin Temple in Hangzhou and South Putuo Temple in Xiamen, and is a key relic unit under state protection. Now, Kaiyuan Temple has with an area of 150 mu (one nnr = 1/15 hectare) and is the largest of the temples with the same name in China. The Sweet Dew Ordination Altar. Old Mulberry Tree of the Tang Dynasty and East and West Pagodas in the temple are simple and unsophisticated as well as elegant, which are known far and wide. Opening hours: 07:30-17:30

Qingjing Mosque

Located in Tumen Street of Quanzhou. Qingjing Mosque was first constructed in the second year of the Dazhong Xiangfu reign (1009) of the Northern Song Dynasty and renovated time and again in the Yuan and Ming dynasties. It is one of the oldest sites of Islamic architectural structures in China and a key relic unit under state protection. With an area of 2.100 square meters, Qingjing Mosque consists of Gate Tower. Wangyue Terrace. Zhusheng Pavilion. Fengtian Hall and Mingshan Hall. etc. Opening hours: 08:00-17:00

Heavenly Empress' Palace (Tianhou Gong)

Situated at the south gate of Quanzhou, it was originally named Shunji Palace, commonly known as Mazu Temple. In the second year of the Qingyuan reign (1196) of the Southern Song Dynasty, the temple was built to commemorate Lin Moniang from Meizhou in Putian. where foreign ships and passenger boats gathered. In the 13th year of the Yongle reign (1415), Zheng He rebuilt the palace according to the imperial decree, and named it The Consort of Heaven Palace. The Queen of Heaven Palace is the oldest, largest and best-preserved temple to worship Mazu. and is the origin of many Mazu temples in Taiwan and Southeast Asia, which is a key relic unit under state protection.

Museum of Quanzhou Overseas Communications History

Located in the eastern suburbs of Quanzhou. it is the only museum of maritime affairs in China. First constructed in 1959. it was originally located on the eastern side of Kaiyuan Temple and was moved to the present site in 1990. The museum covers an area of 35.000 square meters, and its build-up area is over 7.000 square meters. It includes three halls -- Hall of Overseas Communications History, Hall of Ancient Pottery and Porcelain Wares for External Trade, and Hall of Religious Stone Carvings. In addition there is a national academic research institute-Research Center of China Overseas Communications History, which publishes a journal Research on Overseas Communications History. The ancient boat of the Song Dynasty displayed in the museum is the old-est unearthed boat in the world. Opening hours:  08:00-18:00  in summer, 07:30-17:00 in winter

Confucius Temple of Quanzhou

Located in Middle Zhongshan Road, it was moved here in the first year of the Taiping Xingguo reign (976-984) of the Northern Song Dynasty: rebuilt in the seventh year

of the Shaoxing reign ( 1137) of the Southern Song Dynasty: and undertaken a thorough renovation in the 26th year of the Qianlong reign ( 1761) of the Qing Dynasty. The Confucius Temple is magnificent and has it wellconceived layout. It is among a few rarely seen Confucius temples built in the Southern Song Dynasty.

Holy Tombs in Lingshan Mountain

Holy Islamic Tombs lie at the southern foot of Lingshan Mountain outside of the eastern gate of

Quanzhou. Legend has it that in the Wade reign (618-626) of the Tang Dynasty. the third and fourth disciples of Mohammed had been here to preach. The holy tombs are key relic units under state protection, and important object materials for the study of ancient overseas transportation and the history of Islam.

Luoyang Bridge

Also called Wan'an Bridge, it is on Luoyang River at the entry to the sea in the northeastern suburbs of the city proper. It is a world-renowned huge stone beam bridge, known as the "No. 1 Bridge in China," which is a key relic unit under state protection. Luoyang Bridge was constructed in the Northern Song Dynasty and the original seven pavilions and nine pagodas on the bridge are almost gone. Now the bridge is 834 meters long and7 meters wide with 31 piers.

Chongwu Ancient City Scenic Area

It is a special scenic area integrating seaside scenery, historical and cultural relics, folk customs and carving arts. Ancient Chongwu City, which is the best-preserved ancient city of the Ming Dynasty built with stones in the shape of Chinese character "丁", stands in the east of the scenic area. The Chinese Stone-Carving Garden on the southern side of the ancient city is a theme garden gathering over 500 highlighted stone carvings, showing different artistic styles.

Transport to Quanzhou

Tourists can get on a luxury bus from Xiamen Long-distance Bus Station to Quanzhou from 06:20am to 21:30pm, which takes about 1.5 hours, about 35 yuan a person. In addition, passenger trains go from Quanzhou to Wuyishan, Longyan and other cities.

Questions & Answers about Quanzhou

Asked by Ken Clarke from Australia 2014-05-05

Does anyone know what bus runs form the centre of Quanzhou to the remains of the Manichean temple in Cao'an? I believe this place is in the Jinjiang district. This temple is an important cultural relic of an extinct religion that developed in parallel to early Christianity. I'd like to see it, if someone can help with directions. Thanks

Answered by Trip China Guide    2014-05-16

There is no public bus runs from Quanzhou to the temple. The temple is only 19 km away from the city center, so the best way to get there is by taxi. The taxi fare in Quanzhou is as follows:

Minimum Fare: CNY 7 for the first 3 kilometers;

Basic Unit Price: CNY 1.8 per kilometer above 3 kilometers;

Fuel Surcharge: CNY 1 for one ride.

If you take midibus from Quanzhou to the temple, please bear in mind that taking the midibus to Anhai (安海), Anping (安平), Dongshi (东石) or Tatou (塔头) and get off at Cao'an intersection (草庵路口). From the intersection you need to walk about 2 km to get the temple.

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