|Xiamen Travel Information|
The beautiful seaboard city of Xiamen in southeast China is one of the country's four earliest special economic zones under the open policy. Encompassing Xiamen Island, Gulang Island and some areas on the northern shore of Jiulong River, Xiamen attracts an increasing number of visitors with its enchanting island scenery, pleasant subtropical climate, splendid history and culture, and colorful folklore. It is the hometown of so many Chinese living overseas. Major attractions include Gulang Island, Jimei School Village, Southern Putuo Temple and Kaige Golf Club
Located at the southeast coast of China, Xiamen is a tourist city of Fujian Province famous for its attractive seascape. As one of the major seaports since ancient times, Xiamen boasts a wide gulf with deep water but without freezing and silting. The name of 'Xiamen' was consequently given, which means 'a gate of China'. As one of the forerunners of the special economic zones of China, Xiamen mainly consisting of Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island, the north bank area of the Jiulong River and Tong'an County, is connected with the mainland by the Gaoji Seawall, Xiamen Bridge, etc. Xiamen has been called the Egret Island because of the hundreds of thousands of egrets inhabiting there. This is due to the beautiful natural scenery, the fresh air and the clean environment of the city.
Being of a subtropical monsoon climate with mild weather all year round expect the typhoon months, Xiamen is an ideal tourist destination for you. It is a typical littoral city with abundant tourist attractions such as islands, mountains, temples and parks, etc., providing you with a full sightseeing schedule. The well-known Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple and other tourist areas like Jimei, Wanshiyan, etc. are highly recommended. A sea tourist line is also available for you to enjoy the amazing scenery of many beautiful small islands around.
Xiamen enjoys convenient transportation. You can go there by air, by train, by coach or by sea. The transportation within the city is also satisfying. Most tourists consider the accommodation in Xiamen, consisting of many star rated hotels, convenient. Meanwhile Xiamen has plenty of special local products to be added to your shopping list, including various kinds of tealeaves, fruits like sugarcanes, olives and longans as well as sea products such as fish, prawns, crabs, abalones and lancelets
Being the hometown of many overseas Chinese, Xiamen has actually benefited from the contribution of overseas Chinese and its economy has undertaken great advancement. To promote its tourism industry, it has established not only the corresponding infrastructures, but also a great variety of entertainment centers. The folk customs of the minorities, varied local festivals and especially the particular local dishes and snacks are also appealing to visitors. Xiamen, with distinct oriental culture and southern Fujian features, welcomes you from all over the world.
Xiamen, blessed with a deep water ice and silt free port, has a long history of foreign trade. Trade with Europe first began in the mid 15th century where tea leaves were the primary export. The increase in trade relations and exposure to foreign cultures over the centuries has left its mark on Xiamen—evident today in the city's unique "Sino-Mediterranean" style architecture, local attitudes and hospitality.
In the early 1980's, under the direction of Deng Xiaoping, Xiamen was designated a Special Economic Zone (SEZ) and began a new wave of foreign trade and growth. Substantial tax cuts and other incentives lead to an influx of foreign companies and the establishment of a multitude of factories.
In 1999, Xiamen "lost face" on the world stage as the largest corruption scandal in Chinese history was uncovered. Some 200 government officials and members of the local Public Security Bureau were implicated, accused of running a huge smuggling operation whose proceeds were used to fund the building of a film studio and various other constructions, finance the local football team, and invested in a brothel.
|Best Time to Visit||
There's basically no bad time to visit Xiamen, but if you plan a dip in the South China Sea, late spring to early autumn would be the best time to visit. The climate is sub-tropical monsoon, so expect summer rains. Average annual temperature is a comfortable 21 º C(70 º F) with highs peaking at just a bit over 38 º C( 100 º F) and lows at 2 º C (36 º F).
Because Xiamen has a subtropical monsoon climate, the weather is mild and pleasant most of the year. In this case, the whole year round is good time to visit Xiamen except that typhoons influence the weather four to five times during the months from July to September. The annual temperatures of Xiamen average 21C (about 70F) and rainfall abounds mainly in the months from May to August. Xiamen winters are mild, requiring only sweaters or light coats in the coldest January. Summers are free from extreme heat, although thin clothes are needed in the hottest July
Xiamen Cuisine, as one subsidiary of Min (or Fujian) Food, has managed to combine the flavors of other foods like Taiwan, Chaozhou and Shantou foods due to historical and geographic reasons as well as exchange with the outside world. As the most representative one of Fujian cuisine, it is characterized by its similarity to Canton food; sweet, light and very popular with western taste buds! Featuring the main techniques of braising, frying, stir-flying, quick frying and deep frying, its food has unique flavors of freshness, crispiness and lightness with a bit of spiciness. The food is certainly one of the best things about Xiamen- particularly the seafood which is exceptionally fresh.
Xiamen cuisine mainly consists of the following series.
Vegetarian Banquet of Nan Putuo Temple
In addition, Xiamen has a huge collection of all sorts of cuisines in China like Guangdong cuisine, Sichuan cuisine, Hunan cuisine, Beijing cuisine, Huaiyang cuisine and the new Shanghai and Hangzhou cuisines, as well as overseas cuisines featuring European, American, Japanese, Korean and Southeast Asian flavors. In recent years, with efforts by Xiamen’s reputable chefs, Xiamen food has reached an even higher level.
They are various and special. Travelers could enjoy these dishes and delicacies in the famous food shops called "Hao Qing Xiang", "Wu Zai Tian" and "Huang Ze He". And travellers also could taste these dishes and delicacies in most of hotels and restaurants, and even in small eatery.
Stir-fried Rice Noodles
Zongzi were originally served on the Dragon Boat Festival. Nowadays they are found year round. Hope you enjoy it
Sipunculid Worm Jelly (seaworm Gel)
You could only taste this dish in Xiamen. Preparations: Deep-fry till coffee colour and move oil. Put pork, fresh fish, mushrooms, bamboo shoots into the pan and stir-fry. Add soup and wine, MSG, when the soup is boiled and mix upper thread into soup. Move into a plate.
An advantageous geographical location and distinct natural environment endow Xiamen with plenty of special local products including sugarcane, fruits such as olives and longans as well as various sea products such as fish, prawns, crabs, abalone and lancelets. Among such abundant special local products, the pies on Gulangyu Island, the vegetarian cakes in Nanputuo Temple, and the dried sea products and tea leaves sold along Xiaxi Road should certainly be on your shopping list.
Xiamen has seen great advances in modern development in recent years, including many large commercial areas, huge shopping malls, supermarkets, and small stores with their own unique features. Consequently, the various choices will be sure to make your trip to Xiamen an exciting shopping experience.
Nowadays, there are five main commercial areas in Xiamen:
Zhongshan Road is one of the most prosperous traditional and comprehensive commercial areas in Xiamen. With a very long history, the architecture along the road is a combined style of East and West. The large shopping centers, together with a variety of small retail stores here, are characterized by an abundance of items as well as a fairness of price, attracting many tourists. The Buses Nos.2, 3, 4, 10, 12, 23, 25, 27, and 30 pass the road, making it not only easy to get to but also so crowded that many stores are open from nine o'clock in the morning until very late at night. North and South Siming Road and Lady Street nearby are also good places for shopping.
Recommended Shopping Places
Xiamen No.1 Department Store
Paris Spring Department Store
Dafeng Shopping Mall
Longtou Road on the Gulangyu Island
This is the main commercial street on Gulangyu Island and features diverse tourist souvenirs. There are plenty of stores on both sides of the street selling handicrafts, calligraphy, and painting. Traditional local crafts such as bead embroidery, lacquerwares, colored sculptures, and colored figulines are very popular with the foreign visitors, along with curios, boulders, paintings, and figulines from all over the country. It is also a good place to buy some dried fish and snacks like pies, peanut crisp, etc. However, when buying dried sea-products, it's best to bargain with the venders so you won't be overcharged.
Xiahe Road is an up-and-coming commercial street in Xiamen. A number of large commercial plazas and shopping centers are scattered along the road, providing a comfortable and pleasant shopping environment and a large number of good quality commodities.
Recommended Shopping Places
Friendship Shopping Mall
Egret Alluvion Shopping and Entertainment City
Located on the northern part of the Middle Hubin Road, the Egret Alluvion Shopping and Entertainment City is on the routes of the Buses Nos.8, 12, 26, and 72 so you can enjoy convenient transportation. It is a comprehensive center providing shopping malls, restaurants, and various entertainments. In addition, a series of small theme parks have been built, which often feature traditional folk programs and performances. You'll be sure to have a different shopping experience here.
Recommended Shopping Places
Fushan Chengda Shopping Mall
SM City Plaza
The SM City Plaza, which was built with investment money from the Philippines, is situated at the intersection of Xianyue Road and Jiahe Road. With six floors and a construction area of 126,000 square meters, it attracts many world famous brands like Wal-Mart, Watsons, Cybermart, McDonald's, and KFC, making it a combined emporium of furniture, home appliances, and daily commodities. The complex also includes an exhibition center, a business club, a gymnasium and some restaurants. The best collection of special local products from Xiamen is on the first floor. The clothes sold here are all in tasteful, fashionable style and the electronic products are the latest available. Moreover, it has the largest bookstore in Fujian Province.
Shopping Places in Other Parts of Xiamen
Xiamen Rainbow Department Store
Following in the footsteps it northern neighbor Shanghai, Xiamen has its own well developed art and entertainment scenes. Local magazines, such as What's On Xiamen, are published monthly keeping the expat community and fashion conscious locals informed of all Xiamen's social events.
Clubs and bars
The nightlife in town is still emerging and many of the town's nightclubs are still typical Chinese style discos blaring the likes of the Vengaboys and vintage Aqua hits such as Barbie Girl. Some local bars and clubs cater to the tastes of the growing expat community offering live music and imported beverages. Head to The Mask or NASA if you're looking for a decent DJ.
You won't be starved for choice of museums in Xiamen. There are 17 museums in total, not all of which are likely to excite the interest of the average tourist, but you're almost guaranteed of finding something of interest. The Overseas Chinese Museum, the Piano Museum and Xiamen Museum are some of the more popular choices for the mainstream crowd, but enthusiasts might enjoy the the Jinquan Coin Museum in Gulangyu's former British Consulate or the Bridge Museum.
Gulangyu Island covers an area of 1.78 square kilometers and stands opposite to Xiamen City across the Xiagu strait. Xiagu strait is called Egret River. Gulangyu Island is also known as "garden on the sea", "architecture exhibition of ten thousand nations", "hometown of music" and "island of piano". It is one of the most attractive spots around Xiamen tourist spots and is recognized at a national level as a scenic spot. It is on the top list of ten excellent scenic areas in Fujian Province. The island is full of great things to see but the main attractions include the Crag of Sunlight, Garden of Beans (Shuzhuang Huayuan), Bright Moon Garden (Haoyueyuan) and Yuyuan Garden.
The temple consists of four separate halls of worship, monk's quarters and some of the best maintained grounds and landscaping you're likely to find in any Chinese temple. Stone carvings, lotus filled ponds and secluded caves are scattered about the grounds. If you're after a bit of good luck, try tossing a coin on the rock behind the main temple—if it says on, good luck should be coming your way.
Behind the smoky courtyards, libraries, monk's digs, temples and statues of chubby Buddha Milefo is Wulaofeng, (the mountain of five old men) which overlooks the South China Sea, offering good views of the Xiamen University campus and the sprawling urban metropolis of Xiamen.
Gangqin Bowuguan (Piano Museum) is located on Xiamen's sister island Gulangyu. The museums houses approximately 200 pianos, collected from all corners of the globe by piano enthusiast and Gulangyu native resident, Hu Youyi. Some of the British, French, German, Austrian, American and Australian made piano were made over a century ago.
In addition to it's staggering collection of pianos, there are also a number of interesting old barrel organs, although unfortunately not complete with stereotypical trick-performing monkey and mustachioed grinder.
The museum is a must for piano fans and music lovers and if you're lucky, you'll be treated to an impromptu performance from one of the staff or local enthusiast.
Xiamen Underwater Sea World
Xiamen Underwater Sea World is one of Mainland China's more impressive aquariums. It's home to more than 10000 aquatic critters and creatures from around the world. The collection includes a large selection of fish, dolphins, penguins, eels, lobsters, sharks, starfish, seals, sturgeons and even a few piranhas shipped in from the Amazon.There is an underwater glass viewing tunnel which enables you to check out the sharks and other marine life up close. This is the highlight of Underwater Sea World, many of the other enclosures seems a little poky and may leave some feeling a little sorry for their occupants.
Park patrons are also welcome to feed and take photos with the dolphins. Feeding the turtles and shark pups is also available for the more adventurous.
Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall
Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall is located in the north side of Gulangyu Island, which was built in 1962 in honor of the national hero of General Zheng Chenggong, who expelled the Dutch from Taiwan in 1662.In the Memorial Hall, there are seven display rooms, where the General Zheng Chenggong’s life was relived through many Historical relics, include his swords, historical documents, stone inscriptions, cannons, sculptures.
Zheng Chenggong, also known as Koxinga, is a Ming Dynasty icon shrouded in myth and legend. Depending on who you ask, Koxinga was either a pirate ruffian, feared and loathed by all who crossed his path, or a heroic soldier brimming with charisma and loyalty the Ming. No matter which school of thought you subscribe to, it was Koxinga who led Chinese troops to victory over the Dutch for control of Taiwan in 1662, thereby ending almost four decades of Dutch occupancy.
The Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall commemorates this victory, along other significant events in Koxinga's life. A collection of swords, stone inscriptions and bronze cannon are on display in the free Memorial Hall. A jade belt said to be worn by Koxinga is proudly exhibited as the hall's focal point.
Overseas Chinese Museum
The Huaqiao Bowuguan (Overseas Chinese Museum) was established in 1956 by Overseas Chinese entrepreneur and philanthropist, Tan Kah Kee, and documents the lives of many Chinese emigrants over the centuries.
The museum's 3 halls feature over 7,000 exhibits including pottery, bronze wares, paintings and calligraphy, hundreds of plant and animal specimens, and even a couple of mummies which were found in Xinjiang province.
Having been in operation since October 22, 1983, Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) is one of the busiest airports in China. It is located at the northeast end of Xiamen just 10 kilometers (about 6.2 miles) from the city center. Over 50 domestic airline routes connect Xiamen to 58 cities in China including the major cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Hong Kong, Nanjing, Guilin, Chengdu, Harbin, and others. In addition, a number of international flights leave from Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport every week taking passengers to 17 cities in South Korea, Japan, America, Southeast Asia, and Europe.
Transport between the airport and the city center is quite convenient. At the bus station about 100 meters (about 300 feet) west of the airport, shuttle buses regularly depart for the railway station in the city center. The charge is CNY6 per person and the trip takes about 30 minutes.
Alternately, you can take a taxi from the airport to the city center. It takes a mere ten minutes and costs CNY25-30. Public bus service is also available outside the airport. The bus station is about 200 meters (about 600 feet) east of the airport. Several buses can take you to the city center. Among them, the No.27 Bus runs between the airport and the ferry dock. It leaves every half-hour and charges CNY1 per person. The whole journey will take you about one hour. The No.37 Bus heads for the railway station. It takes about 40 minutes and costs CNY1 per person.
Xiamen Railway Station, located at the intersection of Xiahe Road and Hudong Road, can be easily reached by many buses such as the No.16, No.18, No.21, No.25, No.28 and No.37. Connected to the mainland by the transportation trunk line of the Ying-Xia (Yingtan-Xiamen) Railway Line across the Xiamen Bridge, Xiamen has direct trains to most of the main cities in Fujian Province including Fuzhou, Sanming and Zhangzhou. Trains also depart for most major cities in China including Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Xian, Nanjing, Hangzhou, Chongqing, and Kunming. In the peak seasons, there are also special tourist trains between Xiamen and Wuyishan, a hot tourist destination featuring the famous Wuyishan Mountain. It's about 37 hours to Beijing, 26 hours to Shanghai, 14 hours to Guangzhou, and 30 hours to Xian.
|Map of xiamen|