Published on:
January 7, 2019

by: Guest

Teaching in China – Entertainment and Free Time

This weeks blog comes from Teach China Graduate, India-Mae Alby, her fourth blog installment so far. This week, India explores the city’s Green Spaces and tells us about her experience of the bars and entertainment in Fuzhou.

Exploring the City’s Green Spaces

As an English Teacher in China there are so many fun things to do in Fuzhou, and more widely in other cities. A few weeks ago I did some research on attractions in the city and I’ve been steadily making my way through the list ever since. Fuzhou has a lot of green spaces, often in temple grounds. One day I decided to walk to SanFan QiXiang, or Three Lanes Seven Alleys, which is the old tourist street filled with interesting shops and cafés, when I happily stumbled across YuShan scenic spot.

It is hidden behind a giant white statue of Chairman Mao which I’ve seen many times before but only on this occasion did I venture behind it, finding a vast lush haven of green trees, bushes, temples, winding staircases and surprisingly little noise. For once I couldn’t hear the sound of e-bike horns while tucked away in this little paradise. It was honestly gorgeous and I can’t wait to go back again and enjoy another walk from one temple to the next.

Walking in the Mountains

Gushan mountain is another natural gem in the city. I climbed it with my friends one morning and it took us about an hour and a half to get to the first rest point, from which you can get a cable car back down to the bottom for 50 kwai. Before we did that, we went further upwards towards a huge beautiful temple (that I’ve totally forgotten the name of!) and explored its beautiful grounds.

There was a lake teeming with koi and goldfish, as well as hundreds of turtles all grasping for space on a tiny wooden beam. There were people praying and thousands of red streams fluttering from the trees. More temple spaces revealed amazing statues of golden Buddhas and colourful, fearsome gods. I really enjoyed that mini-hike. The walking really wasn’t that difficult and the sights were amazing.

Going to the Movies & Trampoline Park

There are lots of great unnatural sources of entertainment in Fuzhou too. I am yet to go to the cinema here but I know there are 4D showings of superhero films, which I’ve heard are a lot of fun. I recently went to a trampoline park with some friends, which was SO fun. Like, I cannot explain how much fun it was! It was about a 30-minute taxi ride from the main part of the city but split between four people, it didn’t cost too much. It cost 108 kwai (£10/ $13) per person to jump, including grippy socks, but you could stay for as long as you wanted.

We managed about 2 hours before dying of exhaustion. Honestly, that was the best exercise I’ve had in months. There was a sticky Velcro wall that you could throw yourself onto while wearing a special suit. There were ball pits, obstacle pits, rock climbing walls, basketball hoops and giant exercise balls, as well as about 25 different trampolines. I can’t wait to go back again!

Bars & Clubs

Later that night, my friends and I went out for drinks and clubbing. I haven’t been to every bar or club in Fuzhou yet but I’ve been making the rounds recently! I don’t drink but all my friends do so I’ve got some insider knowledge. I just go with them to these bars and sip my water. ‘La Moda’ is great for cocktails and atmosphere, though it is a little pricey. ‘Ash Bar’ has loud music and lights and fairly cheap alcohol.

‘Cellar’ is becoming a favourite club of mine. It’s fairly small but the music tends to be more western than the music in other clubs, and there are lots of foreigners there (so many Serbians in Fuzhou, and so many football coaches!). There’s a club that is hilariously called ‘Prada Reborn’ and it was pretty terrible when I went. It was also decorated from top to bottom with rubber ducks. ‘Life’ is right next to Prada and is much better. They have dancers and a bouncing dancefloor but drinks are expensive there.

‘Esmi’ is the most hilarious, most bizarre, most awful club I’ve ever been to. It is absolutely massive and filled with people who don’t really look like they’re having much fun. There are crazy graphics projected onto the ceiling and there’s always a very enthusiastic DJ blasting out put-your-hands-in-the-air EDM. The bouncing dancefloor is a lot of fun though and everyone inside is dressed impeccably.

My favourite place to spend a night out is definitely ‘Feeling’ which is a bar that plays really good Western music and has an incredible live band. I don’t usually like live bands, but this one is amazing. Their singing and guitar skills are on point and it’s so fun to sing along with them. They dance with you and get up on the bar sometimes. Everyone is super friendly in ‘Feeling’ and most nights out here involve a stop there. I definitely miss the quality of nights out in Britain, where the music is just categorically better, but entry is free to all of these places and the drinks are usually cheap.

Bars and Nightclubs in China are a great way to socialise with colleagues as well as to meet new friends – even if, like me, you don’t drink alcohol or would avoid them in your home country!

India is a University of Warwick graduate, and currently teaching in a language centre in Fuzhou as part of the 2018 Teach China Graduate Program. Read more about her China journey here.


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