Is it Guling – or is it Kuliang? The good news is that both are correct. Guling is the Mandarin pronunciation, and Kuliang is how “Guling” is pronounced in the local dialect.
The history of Kuliang – how it began many years ago as a Sino-Foreign oasis during the hot summers in Fuzhou
One hot summer day in 1885, a Scottish doctor, Dr. Rennie, was called out to Liang Jiang, a town near Fuzhou City. It was an emergency, so he decided to take the closest route, which meant he needed to climb over the mountains in the Kuliang area. When he walked through Kuliang, he felt delightfully cool, a totally different feeling from the intense summer heat in Fuzhou City. His story about this amazing experience spread amongst his friends, and the next year (1886), Dr. Rennie began to build a villa in Kuliang where he and his family could spend the summer. This was the beginning of the international summer settlement at Kuliang.
But Guling / Kuliang is not only a wonderful place to leave the intense heat of the summer down in Fuzhou City, it was also the site of a thriving summer refuge for foreign residents of Fuzhou from the later 1800s until 1949. At its peak, in 1935 there were more than 330 villas and residences on the mountain, and there was a very complete structure that supported the summer residents. There was a Club for social activities, a proper Post Office with delivery twice a day, a small “Sanatorium” hospital, tennis courts, a swimming pool, and a host of interesting cultural activities including theatrical, literary, and musical performances. The local residents and foreigners lived together very harmoniously, and helped each other out.