Introducing Quanzhou

Once a main stop on the Maritime Silk Road, Quanzhou is a city woven through with history – and the international influences that have ebbed and flowed across its shores. Today, this hidden gem remains a bustling port, and a gateway to the rugged landscapes beyond. Restaurants brim with fresh-off-the-boat seafood, ancient temples hug the coastline and balmy nights are made for browsing vibrant markets.

Things to do

Nestled on the banks of the Jin River, Quanzhou has been a major seaport for over 1000 years. It has welcomed trade and travellers from all four corners of the globe, including the famous Venetian explorer, Marco Polo. The city still bears traces of its diverse history – a traditional, red-tiled treasure trove of ancient sites that span world religions and traditions. 

Both within the city, and just beyond its walls, natural wonders abound. West Lake Park is an award-winning haven for flora and fauna, with thirteen tranquil memorial forests arranged around a huge expanse of water. Meanwhile, nearby Mount Qingyuan offers panoramic views over the city – as well as the chance to soak up the spirit of this historic Taoist haven.

For a true taste of the city, go appetizer-hopping around the restaurants, cafés and street vendors. Fried oysters, topped with shallots, are a particular speciality. As are rouzong – delicious, pyramid-shaped parcels of pork, chestnuts and rice. And of course, the local Milk Oolong tea is a must try.

Top Tip from SLH

Adventurous gourmands should head to the Licheng district, where the aptly named ‘Delicious Food Street’ is lined with vendors serving up local delicacies.