Located in the northwest of Fujian Province and at latitude 25°29'- 27°07' north and longitude 116°22'- 118°39' east, the region of Sanming is 230 kilometers wide from east to west and 180 kilometers long from south to north, and borders Fuzhou to the east, Quanzhou to the south, Longyan to the west, Nanping to the north and Jiangxi to the northwest. Covering an area of 22,928.8 square kilometers, in which mountainous regions account for 82%, farmlands account for 8.3% and water areas/others account for 9.7%, Sanming is therefore described as "80% mountain, 10% water and 10% farmland". The forest cover rate reaches 73.8%, while the mean annual temperature is 19.4℃.
Featuring central Asia tropical climate, Sanming is long in summer and short in winter, and is a ideal tourist resort all the year round. Sanming now governs two districts (Meilie and Sanyuan) and nine counties (Yongan City, Mingxi, Qingliu, Ninghua, Datian, Youxi, Shaxian, Jiangle, Taining and Jianning), and has a total population of 2,667,200. The Min-Zhong (Central Fujian)dialect is the native language of Sanming (municipality), Yongan ans Shaxian, while Min-Nan (South Fujian) dialect is spoken in Youxi and Datian, Min-Xi (West Fujian) dialect is spoken in Ninghua and Qingliu, and Min-Gan (Fujian and Jiangxi) dialect is spoken in Jianning, Taining, Jiangle and Mingxi.
Sanming is an industrial city as well as China Top Tourist City, National Advanced City of Spiritual Civilization Construction and National Hygienic City. In January 1993, with the approval of the State Council, Sanming was listed as a coastal economic opening area. Sanming’s major tourist attractions include Golden Lake in Taining, Yuhua Cave in Jiangle, Taoyuan Cave and Linyin Stone Forest in Yong’an, Water Dripping Cave in Mingxi, Swan Cave in Ninghua, Qixian Cave and Taojin Mountain in Shaxian, Fox Cave, Seven Stars Rock and Nature Reserve of Sanyuan Castanopsis Kawakamii in Qingliu, Ruiyun Cave in Meilie, etc. Among the tourist attractions, Golden Lake in Taining and Stone Forest-Taoyuan Cave in Yong’an are national-level scenic areas. Historical sites include Longevity Rock Cultural Ruins in Sanming, the ruins of the birthplace of Zhu Xi in Youxi, who was a prominent neo-Confucianist during the Song Dynasty, the former minister’s residence in Taining, which is a key cultural relics site under special state protection, Anzhen Fort and other ancient architectures in Yong’an, and the ancestral home of Hakka in Shibi Village of Ninghua.