Quanzhou, China: A Place to Start Your Spiritual Retreat

Quanzhou, China: A Place to Start Your Spiritual Retreat

A guide on what to do in Quanzhou, China; where a spiritual retreat awaits you in this museum of world religions.

Image credit: Jerry Luo

If you’ve wanted to go on a spiritual retreat for the longest time and had no idea where to start, look no further. Quanzhou, the biggest city in the Fujian Province, has a number of temples for you to visit, alongside a mosque and a church! Plus, Jetstar makes it easier for you to get there as they have started chartering direct flights to Quanzhou.

Quanzhou is the largest port in Asia during the Song and Yuan dynasties, and is said to be the historical Shanghai of China. What used to be a place where many religions were able to congregate due to its geographical nature (start of the Sea Silk Road) and historical events, it is now known as a museum of world religions. It is typically warm and humid all year round in Quanzhou, making it a good place for you to travel without worrying about perpetual rainfall.

For those who practise Buddhism, you’ll be happy to know that there are many temples in Quanzhou to seek spiritual retreat and relaxation.

Things to do

1. Go temple hopping

Image credit: Tommy Wong

When in Quanzhou, “temple-hopping” has become a go-to activity because there are just so many to visit! Discover the many different temples they have and explore your spirituality or even seek your gods in these ancient buildings that have weathered through the test of time. Don’t forget to check out the popular statue of Lao Tse, the founder of Taoism!

2. Visit China’s only surviving mosque from the Song dynasty

Image credit: tripchinaguide

Although now defunct, the architecture of the Qingjing Mosque is beautiful as it is punctuated against the sunset. An Islamic cemetery also lays close by. The mosque was built in 1009 and is the oldest of its kind in the whole of China. This would definitely make for an interesting haunt for those who would like to see ancient architecture of religious buildings.

3. Attend a service at the Christian Quannan Church

Image credit: Jerry Luo

Apart from temple hopping and exploring the mosque, you can also head down to the Quannan Church which has two services you can attend. The first service starts at 7.30am and the second one starts at 9am. Bask in the calm and serene atmosphere and take a few quiet moments to reflect on your journey thus far. It’ll definitely be good for your spirit!

4. Spend your time exploring the Maritime Museum

Image credit: Siyuwj

A must-see for all our history buffs! The museum is the only one to showcase overseas relations and a number of historical relics pertaining to the overseas transportation back in the days. The maritime museum also does its part in telling the story of how Quanzhou contributed to the economic and cultural exchange with foreign countries. Definitely an interesting part of China’s history to get more acquainted with!


There are a number of hotels and hostels alike that you can choose to stay in during your trip to Quanzhou. Although a tad inaccessible, there are several budget business hotels for RMB50 – RMB100 on Wenling Road or Chongfu Road. But there are also other budget options in town; and rooms can range from RMB60 onwards.


Also, there is good shopping to be done at Quanzhou. While you are there, you should check out Tumen Street. There is a whole row of shops that you can spend your time roaming around. Plus, it intersects with another popular shopping street called Zhongshan Road. Get ready to lug your bags around because you can expect to do quite a bit of shopping!


Image credit: Scott Edmunds

When you’re there, don’t miss out on trying their fried oysters, xiao long baos, frozen siphon worms and beef brisket noodles. If you’re up for a more western option, don’t hesitate to try The Brickyard Pub & Café too!


Image credit: Jetstar

There are direct flights to Quanzhou and Jetstar has recently started scheduling direct flights there. The average flight duration is around 4 hours and 45 minutes. No more annoying stopovers!

For an idea for other interesting parts of China, here are other top attractions that you just need to visit!

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