When it comes to Fuzhou, Three Lanes and Seven Alleys can not be missed.
Before I came to Fuzhou, one of my friends said jokingly, “you can visit the native place of Lin Pingzhi--Xiangyang Alley.” I didn’t find Xiangyang Alley, but I paid a visit to the former alley where national hero Lin Zexu lived.
White wall and black tiles
This block is crisscrossed by lanes and alleys and the path is covered with slabstones
Three Lanes and Seven Alleys is the root of Fuzhou’s history and culture. Many aristocrats and officials gathered here since it was formed in Jin and Tang Dynasties, and it rose to fame between the Qing Dynasty and the Republic of China. It is a large, well-preserved historical and cultural block and one of the few ancient architecture relics in China. It is lauded as the “Living Fossil of Residential Area System in Chinese Cities” and the “Museum of Buildings in Ming and Qing Dynasties”.
Although I don’t know much about this place, I do know that Three Lanes and Seven Alleys is home to many eminent figures. Therefore, I planned to visit their former residence one by one.
Elaborately-fashioned door frame, decorating stand and column can be seen everywhere
The well-known South Back Street is lined with stores that sell specialties, coffee, snacks and Shoushan stone.
Enter the South Back Street
Small stores are decorated in ancient style along the street
Unlike the South Back Street, it is quiet and peaceful in lanes and alleys, in which notable figures used to live, e.g. Yan Fu, Bing Xin, Lin Huiyin, Li Zexu, Gan Guobao (commander-in-chief of Taiwan), Zhang (military general of the Ming Dynasty fighting against Japanese pirates)....These familiar names come to my mind. Ingeniously designed, their houses are full of amazing wood and stone carvings.
Former residences of famous figures
Li Zexu Memorial Hall
If exquisite artwork is an eye feast, then local snacks of Fuzhou are undoubtedly a great feast for your eyes and stomach.
Century-old Tongli Wonton Store is famous for its snack-wonton. It was created in 1876 and went through three dynasties. It is Fuzhou-based “China Time-honored Brand” that lasts 120-odd years and makes and sells wonton wrapper.
As night descends, lights start to shine, more and more diners have supper here.