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Xiamen, which means a gate of China, is a littoral city of Fujian Province, located on the southeast coast of China. The coastal city has much to boast about; it is highly ranked among top ports in China and in the world and was voted China's cleanest city. With mild weather year-round, beautiful natural scenery, fresh air and a clean environment, Xiamen sets the mood to enjoy incredible sightseeing adventures filled with islands, tree-lined beaches, mountains, temples and much more.As a scenic port city in southeast Fujian Province in China, Xiamen has plenty of tourist spots
 
Xiamen and Quanzhou were Imperial China's great windows on the world - seaports where merchants from faraway lands came to trade for the fabulous wealth of the East. Xiamen is perhaps better known to Westerners as Amoy - and it was here that Portuguese traders first made contact with Ming Dynasty China in 1541. In the centuries that followed, Xiamen became the chief export port for tea. Today the city remains an important economic powerhouse to the People's Republic, which declared Xiamen one of the first of the country's Special Economic Zones in the 1980's. More importantly to the traveler, the city was also recently selected as the People's Republic second most suitable city for living.
 
The West's insatiable demand for tea, silk and porcelain - and the drain in gold and silver on Europe's balance of payments - led to the Opium Wars of the 19th century. Xiamen was ceded to the West as one of the "Five Treaty Ports" wrested from China after the First Opium War.
 
Where Your're Cruise Ship Dock
Xiamen has recently opened an enormous new passenger cruise terminal (Dong Du Gang Guo Jie Ma Tou) for international cruise ships, Terminal, is located on Dongdu Road at the south side of the port on the western side of Xiamen Island. It stretches north to the Dongdu Port and south to the outlet of Yuandang Lake. Xiamen Cruise Port is conveniently located about 3 kilometer from downtown. There are taxi and shuttle bus provided in this port.
 
Attractions

Gulangyu Island
Situated off the coast of Xiamen City, Gulangyu Island can be reached by ferry from Xiamen City in 5 minutes. Covering an area of 1.78km2, the island has 20,000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a healthy and placid life. Initially called “Yuanshazhou Island”, Gulangyu got its present name due to ocean waves hitting the huge reef. The sound generated resembled the beating of a drum. Therefore, the island was named “Gulangyu”. In Chinese, “Gu” means “drum” and “lang” means “waves” while “yu” means “islet”.
 
Owing to historical reasons, the structures remain well-preserved, giving it the nickname of "Architecture Exhibition of Ten Thousand Nations". Besides, Gulangyu is also well known as the “Hometown of Music" and "Island of Pianos". Home to the only piano museum in China, the small island boasts of over 200 pianos. Meanwhile, Gulangyu also enjoys the good reputation of "Garden on the Sea", because it is delightful in all seasons, characterised by singing birds and fragrant flowers. Main attractions include Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, Yu Park, Bright Moon Garden and Museum.

South Putuo Temple
South Putuo Temple is a famous ancient temple in Xiamen. It has its name because of its main conformity to Guanyin and Bodhisattva, as well as its location to the south of Putuo Mountain, one of the four great Buddhist fields in Zhoushan of Zhejiang Province.
 
Southern Putuo Temple is grand in scale and has a total area of 25.8 hectares and a building area of 21,270 square meters. Sitting on the principal axis from the south to the north are the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Precious Hall of Great Hero, the Hall of Great Mercy and the Buddhist Scripture Garret. Annexes sit on both sides of the axis, such as corridors, the Bell and Drum Towers, Haihui Hall, Puzhao Hall, Taixu library, classrooms of the Buddhist Institute and so on. All of these buildings are spread over a mountain slop of complicated topography with a generally solemn and magnificent atmosphere.

Over recent years, to the south of the Hall of Heavenly Kings lie Free Life Pond, two newly built Longevity Towers, two pavilions and a lotus pond, among other structures. Between the two ponds is the Seven Buddha Tower, which is composed of seven statues of Buddha, such as Sakyamuni and Kasyapa. The Longevity Towers have 11 layers in the style of the Buddhist buildings of South Asia, enriching the scenery of the Temple.
 
The Buddhist Institute of South Fujian is housed in the temple. Established in 1925, it is the earliest Buddhist institute in the country. The institute ran a school again in 1985, and established Yangzheng College, a formal preparatory class of the two-year system. It also established an additional a two-year research class, exerting extensive influence at home and throughout Southeast Asia.
 
Islet-Ring Road
Built around the sea, the Islet-Ring Road is located in the southeast of Xiamen Island. It stretches from the ferry port and then goes through the Yanwu Bridge, Hulishan canon platform, as well as Wuyuan Bay and airport, with a total length of 31 kilometers. Islet-Ring Road is the special racetrack for Xiamen’s annual International Marathon and also one of the most popular tourist areas in the city. It connects numerous tourist attractions, such as Shangli reservoir and the exhibition center for example. The 9 kilometer coastline between Xiamen University and Qianpu, hailed as the “golden coastline”, is a green coastal corridor integrating tourism, sightseeing and entertainment.  
 
On the lawn of the east section of the Islet-Ring Road, there are 97 lifelike statues of marathon athletes in various poses. Looking far into the distance, you will see a landscape that is elegant and attractive. Apart from Small Jinmen Island, you could even dimly glimpse Greater Jinmen Island. Along Islet-Ring Road, tandem bicycles are available for rent.
 
Quanzhou
Dates back to the Tang Dynasty (618-907 A.D.), when it was one of the largest ports in the world and has been called the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road
 
Shuzhuang Garden
Shuzhuang Garden is located on the south of Gulangyu Island, sandwiched between ocean and cliff. On the east lies Guanhai Garden Traveling Village. On the west lies Gangzihou Bathing Beach. First built in 1931, the garden was once a private villa of a Taiwan businessman, Lin Erjia, Meant as an exquisite replica of Banqiao villa in Taiwan, it subsequently became a garden park open to the public in the 1950s.
 
Shuzhuang Garden creates the impression of infinite space by harnessing the natural sloping terrain. The garden can be divided into two parts: the Garden of Hiding the Sea (Canghaiyuan) and the Garden of Making-Up Hills (Bushanyuan). There are five thematic settings found in both gardens. The Longevity Hall, Zhenshuai Pavilion, Autumn Pavilion, Zhaoling Pavilion and Forty-four Bridge are at the Garden of Hiding the Sea while the Twelve-cave Paradise, Hard Stone House, Tide-Viewing Tower, Love My Own House and Little Orchid Pavilion are in the Garden of Making-Up Hills. All the settings employ the use of three significant characteristics including hiding elements, borrowing from surroundings, and combing movements.  When tourists come to the garden, they are enticed to linger on.
 
Piano Museum
China’s only museum dedicated to pianos is located in Shuzhuang Garden’s Tide-Viewing Tower on Gulangyu Island, also called “piano island” because of the long popularity of the instrument among local people. The museum showcases the history and culture of piano music. Uninitiated visitors and expert musicians alike will be charmed by the artistry involved in the pianos themselves and come away enlightened about the history and beauty of piano music.
 
The Piano Museum covers a full two storeys and exhibits over 100 world famous ancient pianos from France, Austria, Britain, Australia and the Americas. They were collected by the patriotic overseas Chinese Hu Youyi, who was born on Gulangyu Island. They include the well-known Steinwat and Sons made in the United States during the first half of 19th century, the world’s tallest upright piano by Broadward and Sons, as well as the biggest and oldest vertical piano. Standing in the kingdom of pianos, travelers can not only listen to old beautiful melodies, but play them too on these precious old musical instruments.
 
Yong Ding Earth Building
Yong Ding Hakka Earth Buildings are scattered over the southern part of Longyan area in Fujian Province. A wonderful example of ancient Chinese architecture, the edifices are renowned for their history, unique grandiose style, and delicate layout. Yong Ding Hakka Earth Buildings were even praised by UNESCO as testament to “mythological mountain village architecture unmatched in the world".
 
There are over 4,000 earth buildings in Yongding County, structurally either square or round. According to ancient Chinese philosophy, heaven is round and earth is square. Thus, varieties of square and circular earth buildings cluster in the mountainous areas. With a thickness of 20 to 30cm, the wooden-board gate lies on the building exterior with an iron sheet. A window on the wall allows for ventilation and sunlight, as well as provides enemy surveillance. Yong Ding Hakka Earth Buildings are not only fire-proof, but can also keep out wild animals. Among all the earth buildings, Zhencheng Building is the most magnificent; Yijing Building is the tallest while Huanji Building is the most mysterious.  
 
Built in 1950, the garden serves as a museum of stone sculpture that chronicles life in China from the past to the present.
 
Occupying an area of nearly 9,000 square meters, the Turtle Garden was designed and built under the supervision of Mr. Tan Kah-kee in the 1950s and 60s. The architecture and carvings in the garden all reflect his principle of teaching through travel and amusement, and they depict ancient and modern times both in China and foreign countries, taking in the subjects of astronomy, geography, industrial and agricultural production. It is an extensive garden and a profoundly interesting experience.
 
Situated on the southeastern tip of Jimei Town, the Turtle Garden consists of three parts: the portico, the Monument of Liberation, and Tan’s Mausoleum. The portico is a traditional Chinese style corridor of 20 meters in length, with 58 bluestone carvings of historical figures’ lives studded on both sides. These carvings form the core of the total 633 stone carvings in the garden. There are also 291 carvings on the walls outside the portico, which show a variety of subjects. Many kinds of calligraphy and a charming array of couplets and inscriptions by distinguished persons and masters of these arts also grace the garden, comprising a great treasure trove of Fujian stone carving art.
 
Passing through the portico, you approach the main building of the garden- the Monument of Liberation. This 28 meter high building was constructed from granite and symbolizes the victory of the Chinese Communist Party after 28 years of fighting. The inscription on the face of the monument was written by Chairman Mao and the back of the monument features calligraphy by Tan Kah-kee. Tan’s Mausoleum is shaped like a turtle’s shell and surrounding the tomb are 15 reliefs depicting scenes from Mr. Tan Kah-kee’s life.
 
Wuyuanwan Wetland Park
Dedicated as a haven for birds, the Wetland Park was developed from the original spillway and fresh water supply located there.
 
Located south of Fujian province, with an area of 70 square kilometers, Wuyishan (shan=mountain) is noted for its breath-taking landscape. It has been dubbed “the most beautiful mountain in Southeast China”. With both alpine and water scenic beauty combined in one, Mt Wuyi is grand, elegant, beautiful and quaint.
 
Wuyishan Nature Reserve has the largest subtropical primeval forest habitation that can be found on the same latitude. Mt Wuyi came under the protection of United Nations “Global Biosphere Protection Zone” in 1988. It was added to UNESCO’s World Heritage Sites in 1999.
 
Mount Wuyi
Wuyishan Nature Reserve is well known for its abundance of deep canyons, dense forests, waterfalls, animals (many of them endangered), flora and fauna. The ionic particle levels are high due to the dense foliage. Of all the fun activities here, the most popular one is the “two valleys-two waterfalls-one water-born drift” itinerary. The two valleys are the Red River Valley and the Jade Valley; the two waterfalls are Green Dragon waterfall and Phoenix waterfall. The drift refers to the drift along the Grand Wuyi Canyon, which is also the biggest drift in eastern China
 
 
Taining Danxia Landform
The Danxia landform refers to various landscapes found in southeast and southwest China that ‘consists of red bed characterized by steep cliffs’. It is a unique type of petrographic geomorphology found in China. Danxia landform in Taining consists of two regions, Golden Lake in the south and Shaqingxi Stream in the north, with a total declared area of 235 square kilometers (91 sq. mi.), a core are of 111 square kilometers (43 sq. mi.) and a buffer area of 124 square kilometers (48 sq. mi.). It plays an irreplaceable role in China Danxia project for the most intensive network of valley, the most mature cliff caves, the most intact ancient planation surface, the richest cave culture and the most significant Danxia landform on water. It is the only display of gorge-style adolescent Danxia landform, located in China's subtropical zone and an indispensable section in the geomorphic evolution process of China’s Danxia landform. It has been praised as “where the story of China’s Danxia landform begins”.
 
The most intact ancient planation surface: For billion years, Taining has recorded the formation and development process of the West Pacific continental margin of the Mesozoic Era, and retained the complete and remarkable ancient planation surface, the structurally-controled mountain plain, the special netted valley land and red mountainous mass. What is more, here developed elaborate and intricate canyon complexes, which, together with the grand Danxi cliff, the unique incised meander and unique wonderful Danxia cavern group, form “the Taining style” landform.
 
The most intensive network of valley: there distribute some 70 line valleys, about 130 lane valleys and more than 220 gorges. They are arranged in a crisscross pattern by the nature and preserved primitively. The wonder, like a Grand Danxia Canyon Park, is rare among all China’s Danxia landforms.
 
The most mature cliff caves: Danxia caves in Taining have been developed for thousand years, with over 60 large single caves and over 100 niche-like caves. These tens of thousands of caves in different shapes and sizes constitute a unique Danxia micro-landscape. They win Taining the title of Danxia Cave Museum.
 
The richest cave culture: Danxia landform in Taining is integrated with traditional Chinese culture, like Confucianism, Buddhism and Taoism. It has become the model of harmonious coexistence between man and nature, with special Danxia cliff and temple culture, Danxia disciple culture, residence culture and cave funeral culture.
 
The most significant Danxia landform on water: Danxia landform ideally combines with lakes, streams, ponds and waterfalls. They form a rare wonder of Danxia on water at home and abroad.
 
How to Get There
At present there are three airports near Taining, Nanchang, Wuyishang and Fuzhou, and it takes 2.5 hours, 3 hours and 3.5 hours respectively to arrive at Taining by car.
 
Hakka Village
A communal housing setting that was built to protect multiple families from intrusion by hostile neighbors.
 
The One Thing You Don't Want to Miss
With its delicate natural beauty, ancient relics and classical and romantic European-style architecture, the island of Gulangyu is a must-see destination. The island?s name was inspired by the rhythmic pounding of the waves on the reef when the tide rushes in. Gu in Chinese means 'drum,' and Lang means 'waves.' On Gulangyu, there are no high-rises, no steel-and-glass edifices and no gas-powered vehicles. Simply fresh air and a fine appreciation for nature.
 
Get in touch with nature with a quiet stroll through the city’s parks: Bailuzhou Park and Jiageng Park. Watch the egrets flock in the day and fly home at night at Yundang Lake.
 
Xiamen is recognized for producing an incredible variety of oil paintings with different specifications and styles. Visit the Xiamen Wushipu Oil Painting Village or the Xiamen Haicang Oil Painting Village.
In 686, the Nanputuo Temple started as a cave dwelling for a single monk. Today, it is home to more than 120 monks and 50,000 Buddhist scriptures, the oldest Chinese Buddhist manuscript and a few hundred statues.
 
Take a tour of the 10,000 Rock Botanical Garden featuring beautifully landscaped trails, more than 5,300 types of tropical and subtropical plants and a handful of temples including the Wan Shilian Temple built during the late Ming Dynasty.
Eating Out
China is widely recognized as the homeland of tea. Devote some time to learn the intricate process of preparing and drinking Gongfu tea, a popular drink in Xiamen. On the culinary side, Xiamen cuisine is described as fresh, light, crisp and slightly spicy. Traditional dishes include Tu Sun Dong, a sea product called Xing Chong eaten with seasonings; peanut soup best eaten with dim sum dishes; and spring rolls, a fried rolled pancake filled with slices of various vegetables, meats and seafood. Vegetable dishes in the Nanputuo Temple depict Buddhist ideas and topics a must taste!
 
Xiamen cuisine is the main representative of Fujian cuisine which is famous throughout China. Besides local dishes, food of other parts of the country also can be found here, making this city a good destination for gastronomes. Being fresh, light, crispy and slightly spicy in taste, Xiamen cuisine is characterized by the following dishes:
 
Steamed ShrimpsSeafood is famous for its extreme freshness. The location of Xiamen on the southeast coast of China provides it with abundant sea products. Dating from the Qing Dynasty, the seafood locally is always a traditional delicacy make from fresh local fish, prawns, crabs and more, with the flavor depending on the various seasonings.
 
Herbal Meal has a long history in China and is celebrated at the Lujiang Restaurant in Xiamen. Here, the herbal meal is delicately made according to the seasons and the various effects of the herbs. It is delicious in flavor and very nourishing.
Vegetable Dishes in the Nanputuo Temple are made of vegetable oil, flour, beans, vegetables and fruits. In accordance with the disciplines of the traditional Buddhist diet, the vegetable dishes made here mainly depict the Buddhist ideas and topics, attracting many tourists from both home and abroad.
 
Local snacks should not be missed during your trip as they are great in variety and reasonably priced.  Snacks have distinct flavors and some of them are listed below:
Tu Sun Dong is made from a sea product called 'Xing Chong' and is eaten with the seasonings including sauce, vinegar, chili, catsup, mustard and garlic. It is now becoming one of the most important cold dishes in any banquets.
 
Peanut Soup is simply made from peanuts but with very complicated production process. It has a sugary flavor and is best eaten with some dim sum dishes such as deep-fried twisted dough sticks, steamed stuffed buns and similar. Many believe the best Peanut Soup is served at Huangzehe Restaurant in Zhongshang Road.
 
Spring Roll is a fried rolled pancake filled with slices of various vegetables, meats and seafood. The local people like to have Spring Rolls as traditional snacks during festivals.
 
There are plenty of snacks that are not only well-known but also truly delicious including the Xiamen Pie, Oyster Pancake, Rice Dumplings and Shacha Noodles.
 
Recommended Restaurants
Lujiang Restaurant
Address: 6F, No.54, Lujiang Street
Specialties: a good view of the sea; delicious and healthy herbal meals
 
Jiali Seafood Restaurant (South Hubin Road Branch)
Address: 3-4F, Baofu Building, No.819, South Hubin Road
Specialties: High-quality environment with good service; genuine seafood
 
Haigang (Harbor) Restaurant
Address: 2-3F, Tiandi Food City, No.98, South Jiangtou Road, Huli District
 
Shuyou Seafood Restaurant
Address: 1-4F, Podium Building of Mansion of Bank of China, North Hubin Road, Siming District
Specialties: an old restaurant famous for seafood
 
Huang Zehe Peanut Soup Restaurant (Zhongshan Road Branch)
Address: No.22, Zhongshan Road, Siming District
Specialties: Peanut Soup, Oyster Pancake, Shacha Noodles and other local snacks
 
Foreign Restaurants
The House Restaurant
Address: No.10-1, Baihe Road, Siming District
Specialties: Western food
 
Havana Restaurant
Address: No.88 Villa, Lianhua Lingxiang Lane, Siming District
Specialties: Western food
 
Pizza Hut
Address: 24F, Haibin Building, No.52, Lujiang Street
Specialties: authentic pizza, salad, roast chicken, drinks and sweets
 
Alilang Restaurant (South Lianhua Road Branch)
Address: 1F, Dihao Mansion, No.820, Xiahe Road, Siming District
Specialties: cool noodle, seafood pancake, seafood hot pot and other South Korean food
 
Songhe Japanese Restaurant
Address: 1F, Fanrong Plaza, No.267-24, West Hexiang Road, Siming District
Specialties: Japanese cuisine
 
 Vegetarian Restaurants
Leading with vegetable dishes of the Nanputuo Temple, this city has got many good vegetarian restaurants, and the following come highly recommended:
 
Tianhe Vegetarian House
Address: No.10-2, Dingwozai, Yanwu Garden, Siming District
Specialties: vegetarian sea-food soup with sour vegetable, crisp vegetarian fish and fish-flavored eggplant
 
Dafang Vegetarian Restaurant
Address: 2F, No.412-9, South Siming Road
 
Shopping for Bargains
Zhongshan Road, the city is most prosperous commercial area, offers large shopping centers and a variety of small retail stores. If you?re on the hunt for souvenirs, Longtou Road is the place to go and Xiahe Road delivers a comfortable and pleasant shopping experience with large commercial plazas and shopping centers scattered along the road. For brand-name items, check out the SM City Plaza. To add some entertainment to your shopping, head to Egret Alluvion Shopping and Entertainment City.
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.
 
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.

The official currency in China is the Renminbi (RMB or CNY). Most banks are able to exchange travelers checks and cash. Cash advances are also available for most major credit/debit cards. Major credit cards are accepted in major hotels and department stores but cannot be used in many restaurants or small convenience stores. When shopping, remember there is a Value-Added Tax on most purchases.






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