Posts Tagged ‘Gulangyu’

How to Visit Zhongshan Road in Xiamen

Tuesday, January 15th, 2013
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Plan your Xiamen Tour? Walking along Zhongshan Pedestrian Street(中山路步行街) in Xiamen is worth your valuable time for your short trip to Xiamen.

Most visitors would come to Zhongshan Walking Street either before or after going to Gulangyu Island since the west starting point of Zhongshan Road is just across the ferry terminal to Gulangyu Island ( Kinder reminder: now the wharf is only for evening ferry; for daytime ferry you should go to Xiamen International Cruise Terminal).

Avoid going to the Zhongshan Walking Street on weekends or China holidays. Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night with different colours. Zhongshan Road is teeming with shops and street vendors. Zhongshan Road is more than just a commercial street,  it is a leisure, entertainment and food center in Xiamen.

Over 200 shops lines up the street with clear chain store outlets and trinket shops. Most of the buildings along the Zhongshan Road are a combination of Victoria-era and Chinese traditional architectures, a kind of two-storey buildings known as “Qi Lou” (riding across buildings). Qi Lou is designed both for commerce and living.

Try the local favor – seaworms in jellyfish, Huang Zehe Peanut Soup Restaurant easily found on the street. No traffic and no smoking for the whole street, which looks clean and tidy. Zhongshan Walking Street is a must see attraction after or before you visit Gulangyu Island.

Lujiang Harbourview Hotel is just opposite to Xiamen Ferry Terminal ( offering evening ferry to Gulangyu Island) and the west starting point of Zhongshan Road. Lujiang Hotel offers the dim sum  and some nice food with excellent views of the city and Gulangyu Island.

 

Lujiang Harbourview Hotel is the west starting point of Zhongshan Road

Lujiang Harbourview Hotel is the west starting point of Zhongshan Road

The west starting point of Zhongshan Walking Street.
The west starting point of Zhongshan Walking Street

The west starting point of Zhongshan Walking Street

The connected 4-storey Qi Lou Buildings look clean and  bright
The 4-storey Qi Lou Buildings look clean and bright

The 4-storey Qi Lou Buildings look clean and bright

 

Zhongshan Road is full of snack carts
Zhongshan Road is full of snack carts

Zhongshan Road is full of snack carts

Many food outlets placed outside the shops lined up on both sides of Zhongshan Road
Many food outlets placed outside the shops lined up on both sides of Zhongshan Road.

Many food outlets placed outside the shops lined up on both sides of Zhongshan Road.

Some snacks imitating western food are sold in snack carts
Some snacks inmitating westersn food are sold in snack carts

Some snacks imitating western food are sold in snack carts

Open-air Cafe and coffee
Open-air Cafe and coffee

Open-air Cafe and coffee

You even could find the sugar-covered hawthorn. The Vistoria-era buildings along the Zhongshan Street
The Vistoria-era buildings along the Zhongshan Street

The Vistoria-era buildings along the Zhongshan Street

The western-style Zhongshan Street resembles some streets in London or Paris.
The western-style Zhongshan Street resembles some streets in London or Paris.

The western-style Zhongshan Street resembles some streets in London or Paris.

The white 3-storey buildings extends your world.
he white 3-storey buildings extends your world.

he white 3-storey buildings extends your world.

The white 3-storey buildings extends your world.

Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night
Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night

Zhongshan Road is bright and alive at night

06611Tip:Xiamen Guided Tours
If you don’t want to go the do-it-yourself Xiamen tour and prefer the hassle-free escorted tours,  here are some options for guided tours to Xiamen:Xiamen Cruise Port Day Tour from USD from US$89Xiamen Highlight Day Tour   from US$89 p/p

Xiamen One Day Side Trip to Yongding Hakka Tulou   from US$90 p/p

If you have any questions, just drop a line.

Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, China

Friday, June 8th, 2012
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The Pristine Gulangyu Island in China is Enigmatically Beautiful

If one is looking for a place to relax in China, then one of the finest destinations will be the Gulangyu Island which is a small island off the coast of  Xiamen City of  Fujian Province. This island features Victorian and European architecture and is known for its natural beauty and clean environment. It is one of the least polluted places in the country owing to the lack of vehicles. The small population residing here has ensured that the pristine beauty remains. 

Gulangyu Island Assures Serenity and Peace unlike Any Other 

Study abroad programs and gap year jobs allow you to travel to different parts of the world and experience the diversity in cultures and the richness of lifestyle that they include. Those who have been on China tours would also have experienced places which are so different from what one can imagine of a modern country. There are places which are, even today, lost in time and remain untouched. 

Those who intend to visit the country to learn Chinese should enroll in Chinese language programs that take them to places which are different from bustling cities like Beijing and Shanghai. There are many programs which are tailor made to break myths of China that are known across the world. In reality, the nation still retains its spirituality despite rampant development. There are many spots which have utilized this harmony with nature to transform into havens for tourists. One of such places is Gulangyu Island which lies southwest of Xiamen City. It comes under the purview of the Fujian Province. 

Gulangyu is known for its natural beauty and scenic spots. It has become one of the most well-known places in the country due to its historical background and beautiful locales. Its natural beauty has been enhanced by the presence of a natural reef around it. During high tide, waves collide against the reef and make a sound like that of a drum. This is how it has earned its name. In Chinese, ‘Gu’ means drum and ‘lang’ means waves. Hence it came to be known as Gulangyu. 

When one visits the island, the lack of vehicles surprises a lot of tourists and students. The island has been kept free of all vehicles including bicycles. This is to preserve the environment and the reef by reducing traffic. Another surprise might spring in the form of European and Victorian architecture that is prominently evident in the island along with some of the most beautiful Chinese structures. After the Opium Wars, this island became a hub for nationals from more than 13 countries which included Great Britain, Japan and France. This resulted in the European architecture that still stands today on the island. The Japanese occupation till 1942 has also left a huge impression of the erstwhile Japanese lifestyle.

There are 20,000 residents on Gulangyu Island. They also do not own any vehicles. The abundance of trees and zero pollution allow one to breathe clean and fresh air throughout the island. One of the important places to see is the Sunlight Rock which is the highest point of the island. The sun-shaped formation of the granite rock looks grand when the sun rises on it. Underneath it is a war memorial. Those who would want to relax can also go to Shuzhuang Island which was once a villa but now has been changed into a public park. It is known for its bridges and pavilions.

Panormas of Gulangyu Island and Xiamen city from Sunlight Rock, the highest point at Gulangyu Island

 

Gulangyu Island is to the southwest off the coast of Xiamen city core.

 

Gulangyu Island has good beaches

 

Green, flowery, strewn with Gulangyu Island has good beaches

 

Gulangyu Ferry Terminal, in 5 minutes reach the city of Xiamen, vice versa