Fuzhou is not a popular destination among foreign tourists in China. But in case you find yourself in the city for whatever reason, might as well spend a few hours looking around.
Arriving in Fuzhou main station, I tried my Mandarin skills to navigate the city by bus. I can pretty much read the bus routes. It’s just I don’t know where exactly I should go. I remember there’s a panda zoo in the city called Xiong Mao Shijie which literally means Panda World and I started asking people for directions.
I asked several people but no one seemed to have a clue what I’m talking about. I tried my luck asking cab drivers instead but with same result. I can’t give up now because I just came from Xiamen by high-speed train. I already made an effort to come here.
At last, a taxi driver knows at least that I’m looking for a zoo. From the train station, the ride was around 15 minutes. The sign is not conspicuous at all and now I understand why people don’t know its existence. By this time, I already spent close close to one hour. The address is 85 Mengshan Rd, Gulou, Fuzhou, Fujian Province.
Entrance is 30 yuan which I think is really cheap compared with other attractions in China which cost 100 yuan or more. After paying the fee, I walked toward the slope leading to the main entrance of the zoo. The zoo is located at the base of a mountain so there are slopes inside the zoo as you go around.
The number of pandas in the zoo is not that much but it’s more than enough to be called a Panda World. You can also see black bears which are constantly playing as if asking for people’s attention. There are not much people in the zoo so I don’t really know why they need attention. I guess they’re just naturally playful.
There is a zoo musuem inside which is not operational and by the looks of it, might have been abandoned for quite some time. A good one hour is enough to see everything.
I immediately proceeded to Three Lanes and Seven Alleys by taxi due to time constraint. It’s an ancient district and well preserved which you will feel that you were transported back several thousand of years back to Ming and Qing dynasties.
It is located in the city center of Fuzhou. Going here by taxi is not an issue at all. There is no entrance fee which is great for budget travelers. It will take at least two hours to walk around the whole area.
Artists used to live in this district back in the day and some of their descendants still live here.