Discovering China: Xiamen
China is such a vast country that wherever you travel to, within the Chinese borders, you will always find some incredible places to visit.
For this reason, The Golden Scope—which is a very big fan of the PRC—decided to pick a town, or generally a destination, to feature in our pages every other week.
Two weeks ago we wrote about the beautiful town of Guilin, which is built along the Li River; and today we will focus on Xiamen, a fascinating urban island located on the southeast coast of China, in Fujian Province, right on the Taiwan Strait.
Xiamen’s urban area includes the districts of Huli, Siming, Jimei, Tong’an, Haicang and recently Xiang’an, and it borders Quanzhou and Zhangzhou.
During the Song Dynasty (960–1279 AD), Xiamen was a very important city as thanks to its strategic position, it was a centre-point foreign trade.
WHAT TO SEE WHEN IN THE AREA
Gulangyu Island is an island off the coast of Xiamen, and it has a population of about 20,000 people. The only vehicles permitted on the island are small electric buggies and electric government service vehicles.
Nanputuo Temple, also known as South Putuo, is a Buddhist temple built during the Tang Dynasty. It is located on the southwest of Xiamen Island, and it is surrounded by sea and the mountains (Wulao Peaks).
Hulishan fortress was erected in 1894, by the Chinese emperor of the time, to help defend Xiamen from the frequent naval attacks. The fortress is a clear example of the Chinese architecture of the 19th century.
Jimei School Village is located 10 minutes north of Xiamen Island. This small village is the lasting legacy of Mr. Tan Kahkee, a local philanthropist, who built the structure to help and educate local children.
Xiamen Botanical Garden is nestled away in the Wanshi Mountain, in the south-eastern part of Xiamen Island. Due to the location, the garden is also known as Wanshi Botanical Garden. From there it is possible to admire stunning panoramas.
Sunlight Rock is Xiamen’s highest point, and it was called that way as when the sun rises, the morning light illuminates the granite in Sunlight Temple and the rocks are glow with sunlight.
(All photos are taken from GoogleImage.com and they all belong to their original owners)