Xiamen, a city on the sea, boasts abundant tourism resources, well established tourism service. There are 5 main tourism product sectors ranging from leisure vacation, business conferences and exhibitions to cross straits tourism, cultural tourism and coastal tourism.
Xiamen provides easy access to Mount Wuyi, a world cultural and natural heritage site, Tulou buildings, a world cultural heritage site and Quanzhou city, the starting point of the Maritime Silk Road.
Gulangyu Island. the crown jewel of Xiamen is located just southwest of Xiamen City. It is accessible by steamship from Xiamen City in about 5 minutes. This scenic area is renowned for its delicate natural beauty, its ancient relics, and its varied architecture.
During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the island was called 'Yuanshazhou Island'. It got its present name from the huge reef surrounding it. When the tide comes in, the waves pound the reef and it sounds like the beating of a drum. The island came to be named 'Gulang'. Gu in Chinese means 'drum' and Lang 'waves'.
Gulangyu islet, is also known as 'Music Islet' and 'World Architectural Expo'.
This area has about 20,000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a comfortable, relaxing life. Only electric-powered vehicles are permitted on the island, so the environment is free from the noise and pollution of combustion engines. Breathing the clean air, appreciating the ever-present green trees and lovely flowers, anyone here can feel like they are in heaven. With classical and romantic European-style architecture, the island truly deserves to be called the 'World Architectural Expo'.
Other scenic spots are:
- Sunlight Rock [aka Dragon Head Hill], highest point of Gulangyu which provides a platform for a panoramic view of Xiamen Island and it is also the place where Zheng Chenggong stationed his troops before he recovered Taiwan from Dutch occupation. Sunlight Rock scenic area is Xiamens premier tourist attraction. There is a saying 'If you haven't ascended Sunlight Rock, you haven't really been to Xiamen.
- Shuzhuang Garden, located by the Gangzaihou beach of Gulangyu. The former owner was Lin Erjia, a wealthy businessman from Taiwan.
The area is occupied by towers, terraces, pavilions of various shapes. The zigzagging bridge [44 bridges] with low railing looks like a swimming dragon All these show the extreme beauty of the heaven, ocean and mountains duplicated by the quiet grottoes. The Piano Museum is in this vicinity.
Admission Fee - RMB 60 [there is a guide to show you around the gallery]
See next post for more photos of Gulangyu [walk around the island].