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Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

By Manil Francois

Updated: 2015-06-29

Very few foreigners know about Fuzhou before actually coming here for some reason, usually professional. As such, the city is often considered by outsiders as one more tasteless Chinese city. Some even rank the city as an unwelcoming place for expatriates arguing that it lacks international exposure and suffers from traffic jams. Fuzhou is not perfect, but in fact, most foreigners who have spent a significant time in the city realize that they do like it. Here is why.

1/ A great location

Fuzhou - literally the ‘auspicious settlement’ - lives up to its name. The city is nicely located, surrounded by mountains but also by the sea. Maybe more than the Chinese, foreigners like outdoor activities and no matter what you want to do, there is a good chance that you can do it in Fuzhou. If you are fond of mountain climbing or just need some fresh air, the right spot is never more than a bus ride away. But if you are more into beaches, the great Pingtan beach is also accessible by train. Fujian has plenty of other natural parks and landmarks so you always have something new to explore.

Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

2/ Hot springs and spa

A soak in one of Fuzhou’s numerous hot springs is the perfect exotic and relaxing experience. The city and its surroundings are blessed with volcanic water that have rejuvenating properties for both body and mind. You can enjoy it right in downtown Fuzhou or in external areas such as Gui’An if you want to be in the nature.

Fuzhou’s numerous massage salons should also be included in your relaxation journey. The city offers a wide range of salons at different levels of price and fanciness. You may choose between various types of massage: Chinese-style, oil, Thai-style, acupuncture and many others.

Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

3/ Still a genuine Chinese city

Assuming that you came to China to experience the Chinese culture, Fuzhou is a great place to be. Unlike bigger cities, Fuzhou is still a genuine Chinese community so it is easier for foreigners to go out of their comfort zone. By living a little bit more like the Chinese, you will understand them better but also learn the language faster. And those are probably two of the main reasons that brought you to China.

On the other hand, the small international community is varied enough for those days when you are homesick and need some support from compatriots.

Fuzhou also remains quite affordable even if things are changing every day.

4/ Decent weather

No extreme cold, no frost… Fuzhou has a nice sub-tropical climate. Although it can get really hot in the summer and sometimes a bit cold in the winter, the comfortable seasons of spring and fall are very long and make most of the year very enjoyable. Most inhabitants never really close their windows but rather enjoy the refreshing coastal wind.

Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

5/ Amazing people to meet and befriend

Fuzhou’s population is very pleasant and down to earth. They are always very welcoming to foreigners and respectful of differences. Locals also really value true friendship over more materialistic or business relationships.

Fuzhou is very safe and you will never worry about walking alone at night or take a taxi on your own after a party.

6/ A great infrastructure, constantly improving

Located halfway between the international hubs of Hong Kong and Shanghai, you are never much more than an hour away from major cities. But, actually, most of what you need is available in Fuzhou. Modern international airport, state-of-the-art fast train stations and polished shopping malls. Traffic in the city is reasonable and the subway line about to be commissioned will only bring further improvements.

Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

7/ A unique feeling

The people of Fuzhou have their own culture and always express pride for their homeland. The Fuzhou language is so unique and still widespread nowadays that it gives a special feeling to the city.

The city has been an important historical and cultural center at different periods and has a particular relationship with the West.

Fuzhou’s downtown has a multitude of narrow and curvy old streets that contrast with the modernity and bring a lot of charm to the neighborhoods.

8/ A lot of choice for the demanding palates

Fuzhounese know how to appreciate good cuisine. Beside the tasty local dishes, a lot of other flavors have been brought by the numerous immigrants from other provinces. Communities from Sichuan, Taiwan or Xinjiang are all represented in Fuzhou and come together with their speciality dishes. Decent foreign food is becoming more common as well and offer an international fusion of tastes.

If you prefer cooking on your own, locally grown organic vegetables can be purchased right from the farmers in agricultural districts such as Guling.

Finally, some of the best teas in China come from Fujian, so you are always sure to have something to drink after dinner.

9/ A green city

Fuzhou’s Gulou district has become really green over the past few years. Canals cross every area of the city offering pleasant riverside walks while streets are shadowed by arrays of trees. Trees are so important for Fuzhou that the roads are laid out to preserve the centennial banyan trees.

Pollution levels are usually fairly low so you do not need a mask to breathe in the city, nor feel weird after exercising!

Fuzhou has two beautiful forest parks for a weekend picnic, bamboo picking or simply for flower watching.

Ten reasons why foreigners like Fuzhou

10/ A land of opportunities

Fuzhou’s dynamism is still vibrant and the speed at which things are evolving is faster than in other Chinese cities. Business owners as well as individuals are more and more aware of the potential of the region. More investments are being made, thus creating a lot of opportunities. Original shopping malls regularly open and new residential districts extend the city beyond its limits. Whether you want to teach English, find a job or start your own venture, Fuzhou will offer favorable conditions for the years to come.

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