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AmoyMagic--Guide to Xiamen & Fujian
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Zhāngzhōu 漳州 Journey (Fujian Sites Page 2)
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Info adapted from Magic Fujian, Amoy Magic, etc. 
Zhangzhou Links
  100 Flower Village” 百花村 Lónghái Volcano Beach 龙海古火山口 Tianbao Banana Plantation Liudoushan Tropical Rain Forest Famous Hand Puppets Zhangzhou's Water Sprite Zhào Family Palace 赵家堡 (Song Dynasty Castle)
Chángtài ,长泰,厦门的后花园  Changtai's Mǎyángxī Kayak Center 马洋溪皮划艇训练中心 Líndūn Ancient Walled Village 林敦—古城墙 Opium Baron’s Manor鸦片大王的房子
Dōngshān Island – Fújiàn’s Hawaii东山岛,福建的夏威夷 Widow’s Museum 寡妇村博物馆 Tēnfú Tea Museum (World’s Largest) 天福茶庄, 世界上最大的茶博物馆

Zhāngzhōu “Land of Plenty” 漳州——“鱼米花果之乡
“Zhangzhou…is one of the most beautiful cities that I have ever seen in China.
Reverend Macgowan, 1889

“Zhangzhou in the Middle Ages was the seat of a great silk manufacturer, and the production of its looms, such as gauzes, satins and velvets, were said to exceed in beauty those of Suzhou and Hangzhou.” George Phillips, 1888

Nine Dragon River is so named Zhangzhou nicknamed the Land of Plentybecause someone saw nine dragons playing in it. Why it’s always ‘nine’ I don’t know. In addition to Nine Dragon River, Fujian has Nine Carp Mountains, Nine Carp Falls, and Nine Dragon Falls.
Zhangzhou lies 25 miles west of Xiamen on the Nine Dragon River, which prevents droughts on Fujian’s largest plain, hence the nickname “land of plenty.”
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The Minyue people
settled Zhangzhou about 5,018 (see note) years ago, give or take a few months, and it became an imperial prefecture in 686—the same year the miraculous mulberry tree sprouted lotus flowers in Quanzhou, and the same year that Xiamen’s Nanputuo temple was built. It was a busy year.

Some scholars argue that ancient Zaytun was Zhangzhou, not Quanzhou. Doubtful, but excavations have uncovered relics of many ancient religions, including Nestorian Christianity, so Zhanzhou either had extensive foreign commerce or a lot of religious correspondence courses.
Zhangzhou was famed for its high walls and gates, magnificent arches, trees, and fine silks. In 1889, Macgowan wrote of Zhanghou:

“The Chinese have a passionate love for trees and flowers, and consequently every householder had planted some kind of a tree in his courtyard…The people of Zhangzhou were proud and haughty. They were prosperous and well-to-do… They were proud, too, because of the exquisite silks and satin stuffs they could produce. Their looms were famous, and their designs were rare, and beautifully executed.”

Is this cactus real?   Visit and see!The high walls and massive arches have pretty much vanished, but Zhangzhou silk can still fetch over $100 USD a yard in Hong Kong, and the passion for flowers is greater than ever. Hundreds of vendors sell a vast variety of flowers, shrubs, trees, and Chinese miniature landscapes—or giant cacti!

“That cactus is real!” my students argued. Impossible. Even in Zhangzhou nothing grows that well, I thought. So I pulled Toy Ota over and checked it out for myself. The verdict? Check it out for yourself. And then visit the nearby “100 Flower Village.” About 2.5 km south of Zhangzhou, this was the home of the original flower children!

famous Changchow narcissus100 Flower Village was founded about 500 years ago when a descendant of the famous philosopher Zhuxi fled to Zhangzhou to escape political persecution. One night he fell asleep, stone drunk, and had a dream of flower fairies descending from heaven. They danced, and sang, “Growing flowers brings eternal happiness, enjoying flowers brings long life.” He awoke, named the place Changfu (Lasting Happiness), and his descendants have been growing flowers ever since and now have over 20,000 kinds of flowers!

Water Sprite Flower
(narcissus) is Zhanghou’s most prized flower, and their secrets for cultivating it have been closely guarded for centuries.

Zhangzhou’s Magical Little People Chinese, like people the world over, tell tales of magical little people—but in Zhangzhou they are for real! The 40cm Zhangzhou home of Chinese sack puppets hand puppets(on average) folk are Zhangzhou’s famous glove puppets!
I like Quanzhou’s marionettes. They’re about the only people on the planet who know who’s really pulling their strings. But glove puppets? (Also called "sack puppets" because the whole show can be packed up in a sack and carried off to the next town).

Glove puppets sound more like a child’s toy to me. But in the hands of skilled puppet masters, these ancient works of art spring to life. One takes a toke on a long pipe, and then blows smoke out his mouth. Another pours him a cup of tea with a steadier hand than I’ll ever have—and the liquid goes right into the pinky sized cup. Puppets did the dragon dance almost as well as the Xiamen International School students’ legendary performance. And they performance astonishing comic routines and acrobats—throwing spinning plates into the air and catching them on two poles, or juggling a barrel on their heads, tossing and flipping it—or tossing each other!
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No Puppets & Fireworks Chinese seemed amused at the childlike delight I took in the puppets antics. One told a friend, “It’s because America doesn’t have puppets like this.”juggling hand puppet
He reminded me of the Longyan farmers who saw us happily firing off half a ton of fireworks. One sagely told another, “Look how excited they are! They don’t fireworks outside of China, you know.”

For the record, Americans can buy fireworks, but in China they don’t cost an arm and a leg. And we have hand puppets—but I doubt we have the magic that brings them to life. Eventually I went behind the stage to reassure myself the creatures were not alive.

Be sure and take in a Zhangzhou puppet show—and take home a handcrafted puppet for only 100 Yuan or so. Or arrange a Zhangzhou puppet show in Xiamen! Contact the Natural Sciences Museum’s Mr. Hong Ming Zhu to arrange puppet performances, or to purchase a puppet like the ones in the photograph below.
Phone: 206-9933, or 897-3331. Mobile: 13666008151
Address: 2 Zhong Hua Rd Gulangyu Islet.

More Zhangzhou Sites Zhangzhou has 760,000 inhabitants in nine counties covering 12,600 square km. But the city modestly boasts only 33 scenic spots, as compared with Quanzhou’s claim to 2,000. My favorites include the 800-year-old Tiger Crossing Bridge (built where a tiger successfully crossed a stream), Hongjian Village (ancestral home of former Filipino President Corazon Aquino, the Song Dynasty Zhao Family Palace, Donghai Island, Changtai (China’s kayaking capital), and Longhai Crater (which has an excellent beach, with sand like wet silk).load of bananas on motorcycle

Tianbao Banana Plantation Just 15 km from Zhangzhou is an endless plain of banana trees, and tin the roadside Banana Mall, dozens of small stalls sell tens of thousands of kilos daily of the famed Tianbao bananas. We took home an entire stalk of bananas, to our cat’s delight. Two field mice had nested inside.

Liudoushan Tropical Rainforest If you’re up for a good ride, this breathtaking rainforest is about 75 km from Zhangzhou city. But take an umbrella, because it has a 2,000 mm annual rainfall!
The World Forestry Conference recognized this unique 20-plus hectare reserve as one of the world’s rare, virgin rain forests, abounding in rare animals like the pangolin (an ant eater). The thousands of plants include over 700 ‘rare medicinal herbs.’ Of course, it seems to me that just about everything is medicine for something.

Twenty Two millions years! Chinese claim that scientific records prove that is how long LongHai Crater has been around.
Only Chinese could keep records for 22 million years.
Longhai Crater is across the bay from Xiamen, and down the coast, past the South Taiwu Mountain with the giant footprint on the peak. On the way I like to make a quick pit stop at the quaint hamlet of Gucheng(???—Ancient Wall Village), with its rounded arches, quaint wooden doors, sparrow-tailed eaves, and Minnan roofs.

For such a small village, Gucheng has a remarkably large catholic church. The original was built in 1877, and the new building, completed in Feb. 1999, has white tiles with pink and blue trim, and green tiled letters. When I took photos several grannies invited me in for tea and a tour.

White Beach Ancient Crater does indeed have fine white sand, as if it spilled straight from some heavenly hourglass. It felt like wet silk between our toes. And the waves were strong enough to beach1 our boogie boards2—to the dismay of local fishermen, who passed us in picturesque crafts fashioned from bamboo and chunks of Styrofoam bound with rope, or sailed Minnan boats painted red, green, yellow and blue (rather Tibetan, I thought). I was surprised that many of them don’t know how to swim, and were worried about the Laowai in the water.
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Entrepreneur A 12-year-old politely badgered us to buy warm Jianlibao soda. I bought three cans, and he posed proudly for a photo in his Chinese Huck Finn straw hat, holding his wares. Then he pushed warm watermelon, rental umbrellas, a restaurant with TV and karaoke, and hotel rooms for the night.

We explored the volcano after our little friend had emptied our pockets. I was fascinated by the fields of geometrical black basalt crystals, which had formed deep within the earth and shot to the surface during eruptions. On the highest point of the crater a stone held down an offering of Buddhist “Hell money,” perhaps to discourage the volcano god from blowing his top.

And now, we visit Dongshan Island, Fujian's Hawaii!

Read more about Zhangzhou!

Contents of "Dongshan Island" Fujian's Hawaii
(Page 3) 东山岛,福建的夏威夷
Tēnfú Tea Museum (World’s Largest) 天福茶庄, 世界上最大的茶博物馆
Dongshan Chow -- Chopsticks Wars; Chinese Hot Dogs
Incensed "Seaweed 'R Us!" Stone Temple
Mischievous Prime Minister Fortune Cookies Stone Monkey Smoke?
Sunken Palaces and Ghosts Widow’s Museum 寡妇村博物馆
What a Gas Free Dongshan Hotel Rooms !!

Contents of "Changtai Journey"
Chángtài ,长泰,厦门的后花园 Xiamen's "backyard"
Zhangli--Light Side of a Dark Decade The Wenchangge Pagoda
Closed Cycle Recycle--Manure, Mushrooms & Methane!
Changtai and Anxi fight over a waterfallThe Falls That Doesn't (fall, th:at is)!
Fujian's Biggest Tree--sort of Mountain Goat Stone Fortress

Lindun Town Ancient Walled Village 林敦—古城墙
Opium Baron’s Manor鸦片大王的房子

Humorous Cultural Revolution Tales: 3=12, Sometimes! Mice & Men
4 She Tribe Surnames Ring a Bell
Fishy Tales
Python in the Power Station
Tourists Flip Over Mǎyángxī Kayak Center 马洋溪皮划艇训练中心
A Driven Driver

Contents of "Zhangzhou Journey" (Page 2)
Zhangzhou's famous“100 Flower Village” 百花村
Lónghái Volcano Beach 龙海古火山口 (best beach near Xiamen!)
Tianbao Banana Plantation
Liudoushan Tropical Rain Forest
Zhangzhou's Little People -- Famous Hand Puppets
Zhangzhou's Famous Water Sprite
Zhào Family Palace 赵家堡 (Song Dynasty Castle)

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Fujian's Marvelous Wooden Bridges! Beautiful stone bridges, as well as exquisite covered wooden bridges, some of them 700 years old!
Zhangzhou Ancient City of Flowers; see
Hakka Roundhouses Unique earthen castles
Ningde Birthplaces of S. China Civilization?
Water World (Sandu'ao) Fishing Villages Upon the Sea!
Xiapu Rafting, Kukai's Temple (Japanese), Seafood, deng deng!
Zhouning (my favorite!) Zhouning Thumbnails Delightful place--China's largest waterfalls complex, Kungfu fighting highlanders, carp worshippers...
Wuyi Mountain Amazing historical, cultural and natural attractions

TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming
Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books
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Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu Kulongsu

Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.Xiamen Univ

Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

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