Meizhou Island is a small island close to the shores of Putian, Fujian Province in China. It is the second largest island in Putian and is known for being the birthplace of the goddess Matsu. Meizhou Island is only 42 away from Putian downtown and it covers an area of 14.35 square kilometers. It measures 9.6 kilometers long from north to south and 1.3 kilometers wide from east to west. The beach runs for around 20 kilometers.
The main attractions on the island include Matsu Temple, Mazu Cultural Park, Goose Tail Magic Stone Park(E Wei Shen Shi Park), Jiubaolan Golden Beach, Matsu Studio City, etc.. All of them can be reached by shuttle buses on this island, very convenient. Of course, you can also stay for a night or two on the island, to enjoy the sunshine and have fun on the beaches, or rent a bike to ride around the island.
Walk out of Meizhou Wharf and turn right for a short distance, you will find a stone path across the road. Walk from here to up to the mountain for about 5 minutes and you will reach the Meizhou Ancestral Temple of Goddess Matsu. Mazu temple is one of the places you have to go when you're traveling in Fujian. Mazu is a very important and historic figure in Putian's people's heart. In Fujian, it usually worships Godness Matsu instead of other gods or goddesses. Meizhou Ancestral Temple of Goddess Matsu was originally built in 987 during the Northern Song Dynasty. The main buildings in the temple include Temple of the Queen of Heaven, Chaotian Pavilion, Bell Tower and Drum Tower, etc.. There are many prayers coming and spending much of their time in prayer and supplication.
Mazu Cultural Park is quite closed to the Ancestral Temple. On the top of the mountain in the park stands a huge stone statue in 14 meters high, as well as a stone carvings and temple building complex. If you take a boat and watch them from far away, these buildings and carvings kind of look like “the Potala Palace on the sea”, very magnificent. The Meizhou Ancestral Temple of Goddess Matsu, the Cultural Park and Meizhou Wharf are all sited in the northern part of the island, so you can visit them both together. And it may takes about 2 hours.
Goose Tail Magic Stone Park (E Wei Shen Shi Park) is another major attraction of the island. It is located at the southern tip of the island. The No.2 Bus terminus is right beside the entrance of the park. The park is surrounded by sea at three sides. You can walk along the ridge to enjoy the beautiful mountain and sea view. It may take about 2 hours to tour around the park. And most of the path in the park is mountain road or stone steps, you should wear comfortable shoes and bring food and water.
As a famous island, spending your leisure time on beach is a must. There are quite a few clean and beautiful beaches on the island, including Niu Tou Wei Beach in the north, Lian Chi Ao in the middl and E Wei Shan in the south. But the most famous one would be the Golden Beach at the southern part of the island. This beach stretches three kilometers long, with flat terrain and soft sands. It is good place for playing and swimming. Whenever the early morning or evening comes, you can see the sea sparkling with sunshine, very charming
If you start the tour from Putian downtown and make reasonable arrangement, you may be able to visit most of the main sites on the island. You can come early to Wenjia Wharf and then take a ferry to board Meizhou Island. Upon your arrival, take the shuttle bus or rent an electromobile to do a round trip around the island. In the late afternoon, take a ferry back to Putian.
If your travel time is flexible and leisure, you may stay one night on the island. As tourism develops quite well here, there are quite a few fine hotels for tourists to spend their vocation, as well as many guesthouses. Most of the hotels or guesthouse can be found near to the Meizhou Ancestral Temple of Goddess Matsu. The hotel facilities are not too bad. The hotel price is quite reasonable in normal days, but it will rise at weekends or during holidays. There are many restaurants around the ancestral temple, where you can taste authentic local food, such as Matsu Noodle, fried clams, fried sea oyster, etc.. For two day tour plan, you may do it like this: in the first day’s morning, travel to Meizhou Island by a convenient way, upon your arrival, have lunch first, then start your tour to visit some nearby attractions on the island first. When it comes to late afternoon, you may go to a beach to enjoy the beautiful sunset. Stay in an affordable hotel or guesthouse on the island. Get up early in the morning to enjoy the attractive sunrise. After breakfast, visit to the rest of the main sites on the island by shuttle bus or taking a bike. In the afternoon, leave the island and travel to your next destination.
【Chinese name】: 湄洲岛
【Best time to visit】: June to October would be the best time to visit Meizhou Island, to enjoy the sunshine on the beach. It would be a little cold if you come in winter (December to February).
【How to get to Meizhou Island】: To reach the island, you need to take bus to rent a car to bring you to Wenjia Wharf first, then transfer to a ferry to board the island. If you are in Xiamen or Fujian, it is also easily reached. You may rent a car or take bus at local bus station to get to the wharf. It takes about 2 hours from Fuzhou to Wenjia Wharf, about 2.5 hours from Xiamen to Wenjia Wharf, 50 minutes from Putian city to Wenjia Wharf. The boat or ferry from Wenjian Wharf to the island takes 15 minutes. After you board the island, you can take the tourist shuttle bus to tour around the island.