The southeast of China is an area which has always lived by the motto “the mountains are high, and the emperor is far away”. The people of this area are outward looking, being the first area of China to open up to trade with the outside world; and indeed, the majority of overseas Chinese call these parts their ancetral homes. However, at the same time this is a part of China where you can find many traditions lost in other regions: temple processions, colourful festivals and ancestor worship can still be seen. The architecture and food is another draw, as is the stunning scenery.
As you enter Fujian province you can’t help but feel like you have just arrived in the China of movies.
Bamboo forests surround cragged peaks and rice paddies dotted with little huts. Fujian was the first region to open up to foreign trade, and as such, there are several coastal cities of interest, including Fuzhou and Xiamen. Inland, the Hakka people dominate, who have a unique and special culture.
In the north of the province, you have the Wuyi Mountains, where some of the best teas in the world are grown, and both Oolong and black tea were invented. If that’s not your cup of tea, Wuyi is still worth a visit, for its dramatic scenery and stunning nature. Read about my trip here.