Select Page

Month: August 2013

Shantou: Home of China’s only Cultural Revolution museum

Note: I’m not sure why they subtitled this article like they did, as isn’t Chaozhou the home of Chaozhou culture? Oh well, I digress. I need to get back to this city and check out that museum… Jesse Warren, April 14, 2008, Shenzhen Daily MOVING down the checklist of weekend travel destinations in Guangdong finds the city of Shantou in the far eastern part of the province. A city of unique historical and cultural characteristics, as well as one of the most densely populated regions in China, there is plenty to see and do in and around Shantou. The...

Read More

Searching for Surf in Fujian

During the National Holiday in 2009, I set out with a mission: find surf along the coast of Fujian. With a typhoon approaching, it was the perfect time. I used google maps to find a few places which I thought might have surf, and set out to find them.The first place turned out to be Jinmen, a Taiwanese island just off the coast from Xiamen that was bombed by China in 1949. It was fascinating, and when I found my first wave after lugging my surfboard all over the hell of Chinese buses, taxies, ferries, and motorbikes, it was...

Read More

Return to Quanzhou: China’s friendliest city

Jesse Warren, February 18, 2011, Shenzhen Daily PLAYING second fiddle to its bigger and richer sister city of Xiamen, Quanzhou is often overlooked, but for no good reason. This city in southeastern Fujian has all the history, art, culture, entertainment, and hospitality one could hope for in a travel destination. After more than a year since my first visit, I was finally able to return, with great expectations and I was not let down. The first port of call was Luoyang Bridge, dating back to 1053, and regarded as one of the “four famous ancient bridges” in China. In fact, it did not seem ancient at all, having been repaired over the years. One could be forgiven for thinking it was contemporary. Spanning the Luo River, it stretches about 1km a few meters above the water. It was relaxing to stroll across the bridge and take in the marshland and singing birds with the city in the distance. The beckoning hill of Daping Mountain, visible from the freeway, is topped by a giant statue of a soldier on horseback: Koxinga, or Zheng Chenggong. He is credited with driving the Dutch out of Taiwan in the 1660s, and seen as a hero by leaders on both sides of the Taiwan Straits. The statue site is crawling with tourists, while children slide down the slopes, creating a festive atmosphere and providing...

Read More

Quanzhou: China’s former maritime capital

Jesse Warren, October 26, 2009, Shenzhen Daily FOR years, Chaozhou has remained my regional destination of choice. A small, charming town rich in history, culture, cuisine, and friendly people, it never fails to provide an exciting weekend getaway. But after five years on the throne, Chaozhou’s reign has just come to an end. The Fujianese city of Quanzhou has everything Chaozhou has, and more. Located 10 hours from Shenzhen by bus, Quanzhou is a small coastal city just beyond Xiamen. Once the largest sea port in China, it has largely avoided the radar of foreign travelers in China. There...

Read More

Hubei Village: A Slice of Shenzhen History

Note: 5 years after writing this article, they have finally decided to raze the village and redevelop the site. Click here for more info. Jesse Warren, March 17, 2008, Shenzhen Daily SHENZHEN is only 30 years old, or so they say. Futuristic gleaming skyscrapers and new technology showcase the city’s modernity. Yet beneath the surface, Shenzhen has a history that exists not only in photographs, textbooks and museums, but in physical form. Perhaps the most interesting and surprising of all can be found in the heart of downtown. Hubei Village, just east of Dongmen, is a remarkable slice of Shenzhen’s past, living in the present. Occupying an entire city block, its history stretches back to the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It survives as possibly the last example of local architecture in the downtown area from before Shenzhen’s beginnings as a special economic zone in 1978. How this village has escaped the wrecking balls and redevelopment that has spanned most of the city, one can only guess. Walking the village lanes is like being teleported to a country village, far from Shenzhen. Spring Festival couplets carrying auspicious messages adorn most doorways. Incense burners and images of Buddhist deities decorate the walls, inside and outside the homes. Laundry hangs out to dry in the narrow alleys. Laughing children run about casually and carefree, playing games. Old stone carvings eroded by the weather...

Read More
  • 1
  • 2