• 福建, fújìan

Fujian, on China’s southeastern coast, is well off the beaten track for most Western travellers, which is a pity because the province possesses not only a wild mountainous interior, but also a string of old ports, including Xiamen, probably China’s most relaxed coastal city.

Contacts between the coastal area and the outside world have been flourishing for centuries. In the Tang dynasty, the port of Quanzhou was considered on a par with Alexandria, and teemed with Middle Eastern traders, some of whose descendants still live in the area today. Fujian’s interior, however, remains largely unvisited, with the exception of the scenic Wuyi Shan area in the northwest of the province, and the Hakka regions around southwesterly Yongding.

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