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Getting There

After 13 years of experimental opening and closing, Quanzhou Jinjiang Airport (tel. 1379/950-3010) is now fully open with domestic flights to Beijing, Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Wenzhou, Nanjing, Shanghai, Zhoushan, Changsha, Hangzhou, Nanchang, and Wuhan as well as international flights to Manila. The number 16 bus takes passengers the 45 minute ride from downtown for just ¥4.50. The railway line down to Quanzhou is new, and the railway station is in the northeast suburbs. Bus nos. 19 and 23 run from the railway station to the center of town. Train tickets are on sale from 6:30 to 11:30am, 1:30 to 5pm, and 6:30 to 8:30pm. Trains to Zhejiang and elsewhere in coastal Fujian have to perform long loops. There are no longer any sleeper trains for Wuyi Shan. For that you have to travel to Xiamen, but the early riser can enjoy the winding mountain line by taking the K955 at 6:32am and arriving at 4:53pm (K9856 and K955; 594km/368 miles).

The main bus station, the Keyun Xin Zhan, is full of yelling louts and has buses to Wuyi Shan (but the train is far better); to Xiamen (20 departures 6:35am-5:40pm; luxury bus ¥38). There are also sleeper buses to Jiangxi destinations including Wenzhou and Hangzhou. Some express buses to Xiamen drop off passengers at the airport entrance.

Getting Around

While most youngsters seem to have bicycles with strange plastic spokes, older motorcyclists will ceaselessly beep at you and wave spare helmets, offering you a ride. Jetta taxis are ¥6 for 2km (1 1/4 miles), then ¥1.60 per kilometer up to 4km (2 1/2 miles), then ¥1.80 per kilometer up to 30km (19 miles), then ¥2 per kilometer up to 50km (31 miles), and after that, ¥2.20 per kilometer. At night, from 11pm to 5am, rates begin at ¥1.80 per kilometer. To get to the suburbs, buses charge a flat fare of ¥1 on entry; buses without air-conditioning but with conductors charge ¥2.

Visitor Information

The Quanzhou International Club (Quanzhou Guo Ji Ju Le Bu; tel. 1379/950-3010; www.qzintlclub.com) is organized by David Zeng (david@jinshow.com) of the Puppet Museum, who is a great source of local information. CITS is now on the 15th floor of the Zhenxing Building (tel. 0595/223-1259; fax 0595/223-1260). CITS's sales manager Jackie Cai (Cai Jian Jing) has also been reported as being very helpful. His office is in the Overseas Chinese Hotel, Baiyuan Road 362000 (tel. 0595/598-5940; fax 228-2366).

Banks, Foreign Exchange & ATMs -- The main branch of the Bank of China (8-11am and 2:30-6pm) is in Fengze Jie just west of the Xiamen Airlines Hotel. Counter 14 handles checks and credit card withdrawals; it also handles cash exchanges during the same hours. ATMs at branches around town all accept foreign cards.

Internet Access -- The Dadi Wangba (8am-3am; ¥2-¥3 per hour) is just east of the PSB on Dong Lu. The Huanqiu Wangba is at Zhuangyuan Jie 127, and another wangba is opposite it at no. 138. Both are full of chain-smoking youngsters hurling obscenities at each other. A quieter alternative, with two dozen or so PCs, is the public library at Donghu Lu 752 (8-11:30am and 2:30-10pm; ¥2 per hour)

Post Office -- The main post office (8am-8pm) is at Wenling Bei Lu 209, at the junction of Jiuyi Lu.

Visa Extensions -- Extensions are harder to obtain here than in most places. The PSB on Dong Hu Lu (tel. 0591/2218-0323; Mon-Fri 8-11am and 3-6pm) requires evidence of the possession of $100 per day, for a single extension of up to 30 days.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.