The flight to Xiamen served dried kumquats, which was a mere preview of what Fujian province would be like. My mouth was still burning from all the Hunan chili centered food I’d had in Changsha, Zhangjiajie and Fenghuang. You think Chinese cuisine is filled with rice? Well replace the amount of rice you picture with fried red chilies, and you get Hunan cuisine.
I ate fresh bread in the morning and delicious seafood soup for dinner.The Amoy-style seafood soup I had was mouth watering but definitely devoid of mouth-burning spices… very un-Hunan. I loved it anyway, although it was off-putting not to have to run to the bathroom afterwards. Never mind. It was great. I spent three days wandering around and the people were inviting, the fruit markets bustling, and I found some second hand bookstores. Not too shabby. I did miss the colourful Miao ladies, and it took some adjustment to walk the streets without having to dodge tour groups and their tour guides screaming in their giant megaphones. And my insides were still adjusting to the red chili detox.