Fuzhou is one of the most historic cities in Fujian province, southern China. For over 2,200 years, this port city has been the starting point for great seafaring journeys, including those of Ming dynasty admiral Zheng He’s expeditions to the Indian Ocean. Today, Fuzhou is the largest city in Fujian, and serves as its economic, political and cultural centre. In Chinese, Fuzhou is written as 福州, which translates literally as “blessed prefecture”.
In the 21st century, Fuzhou continues to welcome visitors. Its graceful landscapes, historical sites and ancient architecture have been imbued with a fresh and forward-looking zeitgeist. This is because Fuzhou is also one of China’s major high-tech hubs, with big data, cloud computing and artificial intelligence industries taking centre stage. China’s first laboratory for the Internet of Things, the Internet of Things (IOT) Industry Incubation Centre, was also unveiled here in 2016.
In charming contrast, nestled in downtown Fuzhou, a quarter called “Three Lanes and Seven Alleys” is one of the city’s prettiest and most famous attractions. This district is a living architectural museum that captures the essence of daily life in China’s ancient Ming and Qing dynasties. Here, splendidly preserved historic houses still function as private homes. For their fortunate residents, they are beautiful, tangible connections between the past and the present.