Life in Fujian Province

Fujian is located in southeastern China, bordering the Taiwan Strait to the east. This region has a rich and diverse cultural heritage, as well as a stunning natural landscape that rivals any of the many provinces of China and attracts visitors from around the world. In my experience, many teachers who were teaching English in Shenzhen would often make the trip to Fujian Province, and Xiamen city especially, to enjoy the scenery and spectacular landscapes.  In this article, we will explore the history of Fujian, things to do, the cost of living, the climate, and the best places to live in this wonderful province.

Fujian Fact Sheet
Fujian Population 38.6 million
Fujian Area Size 121,400 km²
Ethnic Diversity Han (98.4%), She, Hui, Manchu, Miao, and others
Fujian’s Major Cities Fuzhou, Xiamen, Quanzhou, Zhangzhou, Putian, and Sanming
Major Airports Fuzhou Changle International Airport, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport
What is Fujian Famous For? Tulou (Hakka Earthen Buildings), Fujian White Tea, Nanyin (Southern Music), Maritime Silk Road

Life in Fujian Province

The History of Fujian

Fujian Province has a long and rich history that stretches back thousands of years. The region was first inhabited by various ethnic groups, including the Minyue people, who lived in the area during the Han Dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE). Fujian was also a crucial trading hub during the Tang Dynasty (618-907 CE), connecting China with Southeast Asia and the Indian Ocean.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 CE), Fujian became a major center for maritime trade and played a significant role in China’s economy. Many of the region’s cities, such as Fuzhou and Quanzhou, were thriving ports that welcomed traders from around the world.

In more recent times, Fujian played a significant role in the Chinese Civil War (1945-1949 CE), and the province was a stronghold for the Communist Party of China. Today, Fujian is a prosperous region that continues to be a hub for trade and commerce.

The peaks of the Wuyi Mountains in Fujian Province

Things to Do in Fujian Province

Fujian Province has plenty to offer visitors, whether you’re interested in history, nature, or simply exploring a new culture. Here are just a few of the things to do in Fujian:

  1. Visit the Tulou Houses: The Tulou Houses are a unique architectural feature of Fujian, and these circular, fortified buildings date back to the Ming Dynasty. These structures were designed to be communal housing for large families, and many of them are still inhabited today.
  2. Explore the Wuyi Mountains: The Wuyi Mountains are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and this stunning landscape is home to over 4,000 plant species and numerous rare animals. Visitors can explore the mountains on foot, by bike, or by boat.
  3. Relax on Gulangyu Island: Gulangyu Island is a small island located off the coast of Xiamen, and this charming destination is known for its colonial architecture, tranquil beaches, and beautiful gardens.
  4. Visit the Hakka Earth Buildings: The Hakka Earth Buildings are a collection of traditional fortified structures that date back to the Ming Dynasty. These buildings were designed to protect the Hakka people from bandits and invaders, and today they are a fascinating glimpse into Fujian’s history.

Cost of Living in Fujian Province

Compared to many other parts of China, Fujian is an affordable place to live. The cost of living in Fujian is lower than in many other major cities, such as Beijing or Shanghai. However, the cost of living can vary depending on where you live in the province.

In general, housing is relatively inexpensive in Fujian, and you can find comfortable apartments or houses for rent at a reasonable price. Food is also relatively cheap in Fujian, and there are plenty of options for eating out or cooking at home.

Climate in Fujian Province

Fujian Province has a humid subtropical climate, which means that the summers are hot and humid, while the winters are mild and often rainy. The best time to visit Fujian is during the spring and autumn months when the weather is mild and comfortable.

The summer months can be very hot and humid, with temperatures often exceeding 30°C (86°F). If you visit Fujian during the summer, be prepared for high humidity and plenty of rainfall.

Fujian Cuisine

Fujian cuisine, also known as Min cuisine, is one of the eight major culinary styles in China. It is known for its delicate flavors, fresh ingredients, and unique cooking techniques. Fujian Province has a long coastline, so seafood is a staple in the local cuisine. Here are some of the most popular dishes in Fujian cuisine:

  1. Buddha Jumps Over the Wall: This is a famous Fujian dish that is made with a variety of high-quality ingredients, including abalone, shark fin, sea cucumber, and mushrooms. The name of the dish comes from a legend that a monk once smelled the aroma of the dish and was so tempted that he jumped over a wall to try it.
  2. Fu Jian Fried Rice with Seafood: This is a simple yet delicious dish that is popular all over China. In Fujian, it’s made with fresh seafood such as shrimp, squid, and scallops, as well as vegetables like peas and carrots. The Fu Jian fried rice is fried with eggs and a flavorful sauce to create a savory and satisfying dish.
  3. Oyster Omelette: This is a popular street food in Fujian and Taiwan. The omelette is made with fresh oysters, eggs, and starch to create a crispy texture. It’s usually served with a sweet and sour sauce and some greens on top.
  4. Red Wine Chicken: This is a traditional Fujian dish that is made by marinating chicken in rice wine and red yeast rice. The chicken is then stewed with ginger, scallions, and other spices to create a fragrant and flavorful dish.
  5. Shacha Noodles: This is a type of noodle dish that is made with a savory sauce made from soybean oil, garlic, and seafood. The noodles are served with meat, vegetables, and peanuts to create a hearty and satisfying meal.

Fujian cuisine is also known for its snacks and desserts, such as peanut soup, rice cakes, and sesame balls. Overall, Fujian cuisine is a must-try for food lovers who are interested in experiencing the unique flavors and techniques of Chinese cuisine.

Quanzhou at dusk, showing the skyline of the Ancient trading hub of Fujian province

Best Places to Live in Fujian Province

Fujian Province has many great places to live, from bustling cities to small towns with a more relaxed pace of life. Here are some of the best places to live in Fujian:

  1. Xiamen: Xiamen is a popular coastal city that is known for its beaches, parks, and colonial architecture. The city has a vibrant nightlife scene and plenty of shopping and dining options. Xiamen is also home to many international companies, so it’s a great place for expats looking for job opportunities.
  2. Fuzhou: Fuzhou is the capital of Fujian Province, and it’s a thriving city with a rich history and culture. The city is home to many universities, so it’s a great place for students and young professionals. Fuzhou is also a hub for technology and innovation, with many startups and tech companies based in the city.
  3. Quanzhou: Quanzhou is an ancient port city that was once a major hub for trade and commerce. The city has a rich cultural heritage, and there are many historic temples, shrines, and monuments to explore. Quanzhou is also a great place for foodies, with a wide range of local cuisine to try.
  4. Zhangzhou: Zhangzhou is a smaller city located in the south of Fujian Province. The city has a laid-back vibe and a more relaxed pace of life, making it a great place for families and retirees. Zhangzhou is also known for its agricultural products, such as tea and fruit, so it’s a great place for food lovers.
  5. Yongding: Yongding is a rural district in western Fujian Province that is known for its Tulou Houses. This area is a great place for people who want to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and enjoy a more peaceful, rural lifestyle. Yongding is also home to many beautiful natural attractions, such as waterfalls and hot springs.

Overall, Fujian Province is a fantastic place to live, with plenty of opportunities for work, education, and leisure. Whether you’re interested in Ancient China, nature, or simply experiencing a new culture, Fujian has something to offer everyone.

Tom Bogues

Tom is the Director of ESL Job Center. He has been working in the TEFL industry in one form or another since 2016 and is now using that experience to match quality teachers with quality schools across China.

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