When you decide to take a break and plan for a vacation, you may consider an extraordinary city and culture like Xiamen. When you arrive in Xiamen for a three-day getaway, what will you do? Where will you go? It will be a great idea to know what this major city of China can offer you before you pack your bags and soar to another cultural and dynamic adventure.
The Islet Ring Road
Located in Southern Xiamen, this 31-kilometer special racetrack is build around the sea. The Xiamen International Marathon holds its annual competition through this entire stretch from the ferry port going through Yanwu Bridge, the Hulishan canon platform to Wuyuan Bay and airport. One of the remarkable activities of the people in Xiamen is bicycling. You will find lots of cyclists along the road, with plate numbers and light signals for their safety. It connects several tourist areas such as the Shangli reservoir and exhibition center and the 9-kilometer Golden Coastline between Qianpu and Xiamen University.
South Putuo Temple
Take some time to meditate and reflect on the deep spirituality of the temple built on the foot of Mount Wulaofeng [Mountain of Five Old Men]. It has four main buildings on the north including Devajara Hall [Hall of Heavenly Kings], Mahavira Hall [Daxiongbaodian], Dabei Hall [Hall of Great Compassion] and the Pavilion where you will find images of Buddha from Burma, ivory sculptures, Buddhist scriptures and more. It is also known as Nanputuo Temple, “nan” meaning south.
You can reach Gulangyu Island in 5 minutes by riding the ferry from Xiamen City. Its former name is Yuanshazou Island. Its new name is influenced by the heavy waves that hit the huge reef. “Gu” means drum, “lang” means waves and “yu” means islet, thus pertaining to the drum-beating sound of the crashing tides. It is known by many reputations such as the Architecture Exhibition of Ten Thousand Nations, the Piano Island, the Hometown of Music and the Garden On The Sea. Other attractions on this island aside from the Piano Museum include Shuzhuang Garden, Sunlight Rock, Bright Moon Garden and Museum and Yu Park.
Shuzhuang Garden sits at the southern part of Gulangyu Island between the cliff and the ocean. Guangzihou Bathing Beach is on the west, while Guanhai Garden Travel Village is on the east. It used to be the private villa of Taiwan businessman Lin Erjia. It resembles the Banqiao villa in Taiwan. Two parts of the garden are the Garden of the Hiding Sea [Canghaiyuan] and Garden of Making-up Hills [Bushanyuan]. Both gardens have five settings: Zhenshuai Pavilion, Longevity Hall, Autumn Pavilion, Forty-four Bridge and Zhaoling Pavilion for Canghaiyuan , while the Hard Stone House, Love My Own House, Twelve-Cave Paradise, Tide-Viewing Tower and Little Orchid Pavilion at Bushanyuan.
This museum houses a collection of more than 100 renowned ancient pianos from the Americas, Australia, Austria, Britain and France. The instrument that has long been popular among the locals. It is situated in the Tide-Viewing Tower in Shuzhuang Garden on Gulangyu Island [also known as Piano Island]. It educates you about the culture and history of piano music. Among the collections of Hu Youyi, a Chinese patriotic native of this island, are the world’s oldest and biggest vertical piano and the world’s tallest upright piano made by Broadward & Sons.