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About Xiamen

The coastal city of Xiamen has been one of China's special economic zones since the 1980s and one of the country's most significant ports for several centuries. In fact, Xiamen's name translates to 'door to the house' in English and comes from the fact that this city in Fujian Province has long served as a gateway to this vast country.

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Xiamen Island contains most of the city's tourist attractions, but Xiamen's boundaries extend to two areas of the mainland called Haicang and Jimei as well as a smaller automobile free island named Gulangyu. As a former foreign enclave, Gulangyu Island contains several lovely colonial buildings and is just a five-minute ferry ride away from central Xiamen.

Visitors can see two islands, Xiaodan and Dadan, through a telescope at one of Xiamen's most historic landmarks, Hulishan Fortress. Marine Culture Island, Chinese Education Park, and Spa Island are among the several islands and two peninsulas at Water Garden Expo Park. Xiamen's prime kite surfing season takes place from April to December.

Egrets cluster around Yundang Lake during the day, then fly away at night. Evening is also when the sculptures around the lake light up and laser light shows take place at several buildings. Musicians, dancers, and street vendors head to Bailuzhou Park after dark. Music lovers may also appreciate the sculptures of famous Chinese and Western music makers at the Music Square along the boardwalk.

Restaurants and Bars

Xiamen's cheapest restaurants are concentrated around the Zhongshan Road pedestrian shopping district, LunDu harbour, and Gulangyu Islet's LongTou Lane. Marco Polo Hotel is located next to Xidi Coffee Street, a lakeside strip whose villas have been converted into bars or cafés with balcony or patio views. Fish ball soup and noodles with peanut soup are a couple of recommended local dishes. Xiamen's nightlife is centred around Haiwan Park and entertainment here is substantially cheaper than in Beijing or Shanghai.


Modern buildings are replacing the older structures along the Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street which is filled with shops, restaurants, and markets in one of Xiamen's most historic areas. Another historic Xiamen landmark, Nanputuo Temple, is located next to Xiamen University Street's hundreds of clothing and book shops and shops along with stores featuring cultural wares. Visitors can also stop at any of Longtou Road's arts and crafts shops on their way to Gulangyu Island.