Maybe Xiamen is the only place you know in Fujian, but when you visit Xiamen, you cannot miss an ancient town "Citong" which is only 100 km drive from Xiamen, and is also accessible to by EMU trains. This is Quanzhou today. Quanzhou is the cradle of China's Maritime Silk Road, and you can't fully enjoy its beauty without sightseeing in a few days. If you would like to spend three days here, I'm sure that you can have an interesting and informative trip which cost very little. Youth hostels, local cuisines, architectures of historical and cultural richness, beautiful coastline and bus tour... All you need is RMB 500.
1. Day 1: A walking tour in the old town from Chaotianmen Square, Beimen Street, New Street, Old Street, Courier Hostel, Central Tower, Bell Tower, Yuanmiao Taoist Temple, Chengtian Temple, Baiyuan Pool, Guandi Temple of Qingjing Mosque to Tianhou Temple. You can also enjoy delicious cuisines all the way, like Pork Zongzi, beef from Haochengcai as well as local desserts Siguo Soup (lotus seed, herbal jelly, mung, red bean) and Shihua Soup (Gelidium, honey, water). You will not cost more than RMB 20 for every of these cuisines. The tour lasts about 7 to 8 hours.
2. Day 2: Leave the old town for the nearest bay to visit Kaiyuan Temple, Shaolin Temple and Xunpu Village where you can see houses made from oyster shells and women with flowers in hair. You can either enjoy seafood in Xunpu or take some back to the lodge or hostel as seafood there is very cheap. Kaiyuan Temple-Shaolin Temple: Take Bus Line 32 (RMB 2) at Yuxi Lane to Shengmu. Shaolin Temple-Xunpu Junction: Take Bus Line 44 (RMB 1) at Shengmu to Green Costumes.
3. Day 3: Choose one of three routes. Route A - Yongning Coastal Defence Works + Shenhu Bay, Route B - Zhangjiao Village - A World in Fairytale, Route C - Ancient Dwellings of Cai + Anping Bridge + Luoyang Bridge. As these destinations are quite far away from the old town, an additional day is required for transportation if you stay in the old town. Only photos and descriptions of Route A and Route B are provided here.
How to Get:
Route A: Buy ticket (RMB 11) to Shishi Coach Terminal at Quanzhou Coach Terminal or Quanzhou Bus Station; At Shishi Coach Terminal, take Bus Line 5 to Yongning Chetou. In Yongning, you can stay in "Yongning Youth Hostel" which can be searched via Baidu, or rent a bicycle to enjoy seaside sceneries. From Yongning, you can visit at least 6 beaches and even some untouched ones, among which Guanyin Mountain, Shadi Village, Meilin Wharf, Yakou Sea (Shenhu Bay), Hongta Bay and Gold Coast are quite famous.
Route B: Zhangjiao Village is very beautiful but hard to reach. It takes about 3 hours to get from Quanzhou via bus, and you have to take bus to Quanzhou Coach Terminal, and transfer to Tuling Market, and then take Bus Line 6 on the opposite side. I think car renting is a more convenient way to visit Zhangjiao Village. As tourism emerges in Quanzhou, you can easily find friends in hostel for carpooling.
Route C: It takes one day to visit these sights, and car renting is recommended. Alternatively, visit only one sight.
Ancient Dwellings of Cai: Take shuttle bus "Quanzhou-Shuitou" at Quanzhou Bus Station to Guanqiao Town with the ticket price of RMB 7; and take local motorcycle to the dwellings (10 minutes, RMB 5). (Note: Some drivers may not know the dwellings as local people in Zhangli Village also call it "Zhangzhou Liao").
Anping Bridge: Take Quanzhou Bus Line 801 to Jinjiang Sunshine Plaza, and then transfer to Anping Bridge via Jinjiang Bus Line 28. The trip lasts one and a half hour and costs about RMB 5.
Luoyang Bridge: Take Quanzhou Bus Line 19 to the final stop.
A village in Nan'an, Quanzhou
West Lake Park
Over The Mountain International Youth Hostel