Xiamen is a pleasant city where you can stay with great comfort. I paid a visit to Xiamen in January, and compared with the northern area in such winter period, Xiamen still seemed very vibrant, and the weather was not as cold as I expected.
Surely one should never avoid Gulangyu Islet when he visits Xiamen. As one of China's most famous islands, Gulangyu Islet boasts numerous good attractions. Following it, Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen University, where you can experience the peace of old temple and prestigious style of study, are also very popular spots. Finally, you can thoroughly enjoy the charm of seawater and sandy beach of Xiamen.
Gulangyu Islet is the site you never miss when you are in Xiamen. And the first stop of our trip is the very Gulangyu Islet
Now non-local tourists have to take ferry in Dongdu Cruise Center terminal during the day to Gulangyu Islet. You are not required to buy a ticket to visit the islet, but you need to pay for some of tourist attractions on the islet and the prices vary. It is recommended to buy a through ticket at the ferry terminal, and the 108-yuan through ticket can allow you to visit Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, Bright Moon Garden, Parlour Organ Museum and International Lettering Hall and also contain the ticket fare for round-trip ferry. The ferry from the terminal to Gulangyu Islet only takes you 5 minutes, and during the journey you can view Gulangyu Islet in the distance. What a pleasant thing to catch sea breeze in the ferry. Following it, you will start you one-day trip on the islet. Along the tour route there are many shops of unique or exotic style. To have a cup of tea with milk or buy some specialties is also a good choice.
Gulangyu Islet, under the jurisdiction of Siming District, has an area of 1.87 square kilometers and a population of over 20,000. The islet has pleasant climate and each season seems like spring. No noisy and wild crowd and traffic but flowers and birds’ whistles, the islet is known as "Garden on the Sea". The islet has collections of classical piano, which won the reputation of “Isle of Piano” for it.
Gulangyu Islet is a national 5A scenic spot and its major tourist attractions include Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, Bright Moon Garden, Yu Garden, Gulang Stone, Piano Museum, Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall, Xiamen Undersea World and natural bathing beach and Haitiantanggou. I have mainly visited Shuzhuang Garden, Bright Moon Garden, Piano Museum and Sunlight Rock.
In Gulangyu Islet, Sunlight Rock is the most popular site with most tourists. Sunlight Rock, as its name suggests, is of two huge rocks pressing against each other, one standing up and the other one lying on the ground. It is located in the middle to south Gulangyu Islet, and 92.7m above the sea level, and so it is the highest peak in Longtou Hill as well as in Gulangyu Islet.
Ascending along the mountainous path, you will run across many attractions, such as Beating Waves Kiss Sun (Gulangdongtian) and ancient summer resort cave. Those scenic attractions made of by oddly shaped rocks are attributable to the actions of sea wind ever and ever, but all have their distinctive features. At the top of the Sunlight Rock, you can overlook the whole Gulangyu Islet, the civil residences, mountainous paths and the sea in distance. The last stop in the islet is Bright Moon Garden which is located at the Fudingyan seashore in the east part of the islet and covers an area of 20,000 sq. meters.
Gulangyu Islet is a gathering place for artistic youths. If you love photography, you will definitely love travel, and further love the life; just the name of "Gulangyu Islet" (meaning an islet where waves beating the rocks sounds just like people beating the drum) would remind you a lot of wonderful imagination towards it.
Nanputuo Temple, facing the south, was built in the mountain with sea view. With large coverage and imposing and solemn manner, it has along the axis the main buildings of Hall of Heavenly Kings, Sacred Hall of the Buddha, Letu Hall, Great Benevolence Palace and Depository of Buddhist Scriptures; among them, the Hall of Heavenly Kings is located at the forefront. In the center of the front hall is siting the smiling Maitreya, the Buddha of the future, and at the both sides are standing the four kings with angry eyes looking around; in the rear part, there is Great Bodhisattva Wei Tuo who is clasping the hands and has a pestle across the wrist, extremely powerful.
Palaces and buildings of Nanputuo Temple are scattered on the slopes of sophisticated landform and vary in forms by their actual purpose.
At the end of the visit in the temple, you should leave for the Five Elders Peak at the other side. Five Elders Peak is five peaks at the back of the Nanputuo Temple, and has an elevation of 185 meters. Since the peaks are standing high up in the air from west to east, looking in distance like five men with bushy whiskers sitting there. So it is named. The Five Elders Peak was listed as one of the Eight Wonders in Xiamen in Qing Dynasty.
Following the trip in Nanputuo Temple, I chose Xiamen University close to the temple. Xiamen University is one of the 75 colleges and universities under the direct control of the Ministry of Education and a comprehensive high-level research university supported by national “211 project” and “985 project”.
Headquartered at No. 422 Siming South Road, Siming District in the southern end of Xiamen Island, Xiamen University covers an area of about 2,500 mu. Neighboring the Nanputuo Temple on one side and the seashore and Huli Hill Cannon Fort on the other side, Xiamen University is considered as one of China's most beautiful colleges.
During the course of the development of Xiamen University, many educational and academic celebrities such as Lin Yutang, Gu Jiegang, Lu Xun, Chen Jingrun and Yu Guangzhong were closely related to the university. Xiamen University, exceptional since its establishment, has a strong responsibility for the national mission as it sets out from a high starting point.
Xiamen University has many building clusters, of which the most famous one is Kah Kee building cluster. The buildings are named after Mr. Tan Kah Kee, the founder of Xiamen University and a famous patriotic overseas Chinese.
There is one site in Xiamen University that you cannot miss is Lotus Tunnel, the most artistic tunnel and the longest graffiti tunnel in China. As a main attraction of Xiamen University, it has attracted numerous artistic youths and visitors.
Before the end of the trip, I decided to fully enjoy the fresh air here. So let’s have an oxygen drunk trip. Island Ring Road is one of the main trunks of Xiamen, built around the Xiamen Island and 31 km long in total, 44 to 60 meters wide. It has two-way six lanes and is one of sea scenic trunks in Xiamen.
The Island Ring Road has fully shown up the characteristics of Xiamen’s subtropic scenery. Further it is equipped with Zengcuo’an Comprehensive Service Center, Huangcuo Tourist Service Center and Qianpu Exhibition Center; a section of seaside from Xiamen University to Qianpu is called the “Golden Coastline”.
The Island Ring Road passes by the ferry terminal, Baicheng Overpass, Xiamen University Baicheng, Huli Hill Cannon Fort, Yefeng Stronghold, International Exhibition Center and other main attractions. With enchanting scenery and comfortable breeze, those sites are the graceful resort for leisure, entertainment and board and lodging.
If you feel tired after the long walk on the Island Ring Road, then come and take a rest on the beach. Beaches can be seen everywhere in Xiamen, and because of Xiamen’s subtropical location, it is suitable for visitors to play water on the seaside and sandy beach in all seasons. The period of sunrise or sunset on the beach is the most beautiful time by the sea, and artistic youths, especially the ones who love photography cannot pass it up. If you are an artistic youth, why not pick up your camera to start out a wayward travel. Xiamen is a place worth of your visit.