Anping Bridge 安平桥 Photo of the Week

Anping Bridge 安平桥

Near Quanzhou Fujian Province

Anping Bridge 安平桥

The road south of Quanzhou, towards the town of Anhai, passes through what must be some of the most depressing and ugly scenery in China. For about 30 kilometres, the road runs through a series of towns the outskirts of which all merge into one dirty and chaotic urban sprawl, leaving the despondent traveler to wonder what on earth has brought him there. Most of the buildings look as if they were put up in half a day, many are unfinished, bits of cables and wires sticking out, but in full use. This is not a poor area of China; it’s just an example of the complete absence of urban planning.

安平桥 Anping Bridge near Quanzhou

It is difficult to know when or where to get off the bus in Anhai, as there seems to be no apparent centre. In spite of the huge billboards advertising the bridge as a Number One Heritage Site, the driver of our clapped-out motor-cycle rickshaw was not quite sure where we wanted to go and initially tried to take us to a hotel. However, we soon put him right and after a five-minute ride arrived at our destination.

Crossing Anping Bridge

Built more than 800 years ago (1138-1151), Anping bridge stands out from the urban mess that surrounds it, a haven of peace, far from the thunder of lorries and the honking of horns. The bridge crosses a two-kilometre stretch of sea and is made entirely of stone. A few pavilions and a small temple built along the bridge add to its feeling of timelessness and tranquility. Walking the full length of the bridge and admiring its immaculate ancient stones, is a strangely moving experience that takes about an hour. On the way you will meet many local people who use the bridge and its temples to have a rest and a chat.

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Chongwu Fujian (English & Español)



ESPAÑOL (English Version below)

La ciudad amurallada de Chongwu bien merece una visita. Básicamente, la ciudad es una antigua aldea de pescadores rodeada casi por completo por su muralla original de la Dinastía Ming. El Mar del Sur de China como telón de fondo y la muralla hacen de Chongwu un paraje realmente impresionante. En su origen, la muralla se construyó para proteger la ciudad de las incursiones de los piratas japoneses, que asolaron las costas chinas durante siglos. Además, el famoso caudillo rebelde de la época Ming, Koxinga, tomó Chongwu como base para su lucha en pos de derrocar a la Dinastía manchú de los Qing.

En la actualidad, los visitantes entran en la ciudad por una suerte de parque temático, que consiste de esculturas de personajes históricos, o fantásticos, dispuestas a lo largo de la playa. Sin embargo, no hay que desanimarse por ello. En la playa hay agradables restaurantes al aire libre que ofrecen buen marisco y un buen sitio para relajarse y descansar, tanto antes como después de visitar Chongwu propiamente dicha.

El casco antiguo de Chongwu es un intrincado laberinto de estrechos callejones….. leer mas ir a: HolaChina: Your Gateway to China


Chongwu (English Version)

The walled city of Chongwu is worth a visit. Basically, it’s an old fishing village almost entirely surrounded by its original granite Ming wall. With the South China Sea as a backdrop, Chongwu makes for quite a dramatic location. The purpose of the wall was to protect the city from Japanese pirates who used to ravage the coast of China for hundreds of years. What’s more, the famous Ming rebel Koxinga used Chongwu as a base in his struggle to overthrow the Manchu rulers of the Qing dynasty.

Nowadays, visitors enter the old city through a tacky theme park of sculptures, representing historical figures, that line the beach. However, this should not put you off. There are some nice open-air restaurants on the beach that offer good seafood and a good place to cool off and have a rest, either before or after tackling Chongwu itself. The old city of Chongwu is a maze of tight alleyways…..

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The Hakka Earth Buildings (Tulou)

The Hakka Regions and the Earth-buildings


The bus ride from Chaozhou back into Fujian through the Hakka areas is beautiful. You pass through green mountains, rolling hills and rich farming land. What is more, there are several stunning villages along the way, great places for a quick stop and a bit of exploring, if you had your own car. Of course, there is also the occasional ugly industrial town to remind you that you are still in the 21st Century.


There is a marked difference between the Han villages you see on the early part of the journey and the Hakka villages near the Fujianese border. The Han villages are compact, houses are made of stone and white-washed, a number of them are two-storied with traditional eaved roofs, quite similar to the famous Huizhou architecture, near Huangshan. As you approach the Fujian border, the ordered Han villages give way to more spread-out farming settlements, characterised by the traditional Hakka earth buildings. The ones you see along the way are absolutely authentic and family clans still live in……….


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Quanzhou “The City of Light”

Quanzhou/Zaitun: the city of light!


The City of Quanzhou is a must for any History buff like myself. Made famous by comments attributed to Marco Polo, who described ‘Zaitun’, as Quanzhou was known then, as being ‘� one of the two ports in the world with the biggest flow of merchandise’.

Recently, Quanzhou’s historical grandeur and importance have received further recognition in the book ‘The City of Light’, written by the historian David Selbourne; a work which has raised considerable controversy. Based on the diaries kept by a Jewish merchant, Jacob D’ Ancona, the book describes a city of enormous wealth and riches, built on commerce and trade with the outside world, as well as…..

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