2014 International Students' Annual Field Trip to Quanzhou

On December 6, 2014, shortly after the end of mid-term exams, the Wang Yanan Institute for Studies in Economics (WISE) and the School of Economics (SOE) invited their international master’s students to join an interesting day trip to Quanzhou as part of the schools’ extracurricular activities. The trip gave both first and second year students an opportunity to learn about part of China’s splendid culture.

After boarding a bus, we learned of the rich history of Quanzhou, the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road, the center of overseas trade and other trading activities in China in ancient times.

In accordance with its long history, Quanzhou is home to many historical sites such as Qingjing Mosque and Guandi Temple, which were respectively our first and second destinations of this trip.

Built in 1009, the Qingjing Mosque, also known as the Ashab Mosque or the Mosque of Purity, is evidence of Muslim merchants’ glory and wealth in China and the country's only surviving mosque from the Song dynasty. Inside the mosque is an exhibit of how Islam was introduced into China.


Not far from the mosque, we were led to the Guandi Temple. The Taoist temple showed us how important the deities are to the population in Quanzhou as it was crowded with many people paying respect to Guandi, the god of war and commander of wealth and weather.


After a nice lunch, the next destination was the Quanzhou Maritime Museum, the only museum in China specializing in overseas relations. Built in 1959, the museum provides a history of overseas transportation in China focusing on Quanzhou and displays many related historical collections, particularly ancient boats.

Our next visit was to another impressive museum, the Fujian-Taiwan Kinship Museum. Established in 2004, it explains the historical relationship between the mainland Chinese province of Fujian and Taiwan. The citizens of the two places have much in common in terms of cultural traditions and religious beliefs. We were captivated by the relics and historical collections demonstrating the close relationship that has existed for generations.


The final destination of the trip was the Kaiyuan Temple, which is the largest and most famous Buddhist temple in Fujian Province. It was originally built in around 685 during the Tang Dynasty but was rebuilt by the Tamil Hindu community in the city in the late 13th century. The shrine houses two eye-catching five-story pagodas but, unfortunately, neither can be climbed. We took a walk around the shrine and in the gardens to witness how people’s daily life connected to the temple.

Apart from having a great opportunity to learn China’s culture and history, we were able to form friendships and interact with the faculty and students from around the world. This valuable trip organized by WISE-SOE was a memorable experience and truly appreciated by all of those who participated.
By Pakamas Choosingha
Student Assistant
Class of 2015 student of WISE-SOE International Master’s Programs

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