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Home Travel in Fujian Top Four Scenic Spots in Xiamen
Top Four Scenic Spots in Xiamen


Xiamen (xià mén 厦门) is the second largest city in Fujian. Legend has it that egrets once made home there, hence its another name of "Egrets' Island (lù dǎo 鹭岛)". The city is 1,516.12 square kilometers in area and has a population of 1.17 million. The best tourist season lasts from April through to November. Xiamen and its surrounding countryside offer spectacular scenery and pleasant tree-lined beaches. Xiamen serves as a principal entry and exit for overseas Chinese to and from China and an ancestral home of many people in Taiwan (tái wān 台湾).

1. Gulangyu Islet (gǔ làng yǔ 鼓浪屿)

Gulangyu IsletGulangyu Islet covers an area of 1.78 square kilometers and stands opposite to Xiamen City across the Xiagu strait. Xiagu strait is called Egret River (lù jiāng 鹭江). Gulangyu Islet is also known as "garden on the sea", "architecture exhibition of ten thousand nations", "hometown of music" and "island of piano". It is one of the most attractive spots around Xiamen tourist spots and is recognized at a national level as a scenic spot. It is on the top list of ten excellent scenic areas in Fujian Province. Today, Gulangyu is listed as one of the nation's major scenic spot. The Island Ring Road (huán dǎo lù 环岛路), which circles the island, allows you to fully enjoy all the sights of this small, charming island.

Shuzhuang Garden (shū zhuāng huā yuán 菽庄花园)
Admission Fee: CNY 30 (including the Piano Museum)
Shuzhuang Garden The Garden, originally a Taiwan businessman's private villa, became a garden park open to the public since the 1950s. It creates infinite space by using a plot of slopes and take in all the sceneries that can be seen around the garden. Taking advantage of the original slopes facing the sea, the reefs in the bay and the shape of the shoreline, the former garden owner built bridges and pavilions at various levels. Shuzhuang Garden has many newly built facilities in recent years and its size has also been expanded. Especially the wave-listening pavilion is transformed into a "piano museum".

Piano Museum (gāng qín bó wù guǎn 钢琴博物馆)
Piano MuseumThe museum, covering an area of 450 square meters, has 30 famous brand pianos from Britain, France, the United States, Austria and Australia. They are all over 100 years old. All the pianos were collected by Hu Youyi (hú yǒu yì 胡友义) who was born in Gulangyu and now lives in Australia. According to an agreement between Hu and the Gulangyu district government, the pianos will be on show for 10 years in the museum and then be donated to the local government. Gulangyu is dubbed "Piano Island" because its 17,800 permanent residents own 620 pianos.

Crag of Sunlight (rì guāng yán 日光岩)
Crag of Sunlight Admission Fee: CNY 60
The Crag of Sunlight sits 92.7 meters above sea level on Gulagyu Islet making it the focal point and symbol of Xiamen. Zheng Chenggong who recovered Taiwan form the Netherlands, once stationed his troops here, adding very exciting stories to the area's history. The "Ancient Cave of Summer Resort (gǔ bì shǔ dòng 古避暑洞)" is a cave with great features. Stone walls on both sides support the vast granite rock that drops down out of the sky. The One-hundred Meter High Platform (bǎi mǐ gāo tái 百米高台) is the highest peak of the Crag of Sunlight. Together with the round platform, it gives a spectacular view.

Bright Moon Garden (hào yuè yuán 皓月园)
Admission Fee: CNY 15
Bright Moon GardenIt is located in the east of Gulangyu islet, covering 30,000 square meters. A set of large bronze reliefs in the garden vividly reproducing the historic scene of Zheng Chenggong (zhèng chéng gōng 郑成功) commanding an army to sail east in order to drive the Dutch from Taiwan and resume Chinese rule of Taiwan. Blue glazed roof tiles combined with stone gates, stele, stone steps, stone railings and stone paths, form a beautiful picture with blue sky, beach, waves, trees and giant rocks, accentuating an elegant and splendid environment.

Seashore Bathing Place Of Gulangyu

seashore bathing place of Gangzaihou As an island city, Xiamen is extremely rich in beach along the coast. Merely Gulangyu around has many frequently used natural seashore bathing places. The most frequently used ones are the seashore bathing place of Dadeji (dà dé jì 大德记), the seashore bathing place inside the Bright Moon Garden, the bathing place of Meihua (měi huá 美华), the seashore bathing places of Sea-watching Garden (guān hǎi yuán 观海园) and the seashore bathing place of Gangzaihou (gǎng zǎi hòu 港仔后), etc.

Haitian Tanggou (hǎi tiān táng gòu 海天堂构)
Admission Fee: CNY 60
Haitian TanggouIt is situated at No.38 on Fujian Road of Gulangyu Islet. Founded as early as 1921 and basing on the old villa, Haitian Tanggou was rebuilt to be the most fashionable and delicate new scenic spot for culture-oriented travel. It is composed of five villas, which were built mainly in Chinese style, combining western style. About the mezzanine, there was a foreign club here originally. Later, Huang Xiulang (huáng xiù lǎng 黄秀烺), the buyer of the place, employed craftsmen from Putian (pú tián 莆田) to establish it to be an archaized palatial architecture with a traditional Chinese curved roof. The roof was designed to be with Xieshan (xiē shān 歇山) style and multiple eaves as well as four lifted horns. The colonnade is in the shape of a square and made of red bricks. Besides, the external edge of the corridor decorated with dougong seems steady.

2. Nanputuo Temple (nán pǔ tuó sì 南普陀寺)

Nanputuo Temple
Admission Fee: CNY 3
Nanputuo TempleIt is an ancient temple which is very famous in Xiamen. It is named Nanputuo because of its location near the south of Putuo Mountain. Nanputuo temple has a grand scale with a total area of 25.8 hectares and a building area of 21270 square meters. Sitting on the principal axis from the south to the north are the Hall of Heavenly Kings (tiān wáng diàn 天王殿 ), the Precious Hall of Great Hero (dà xióng bǎo diàn 大雄宝殿), the Hall of Great Mercy (dà bēi diàn 大悲殿) and the Buddhist Scripture Garret (cáng jīng gé 藏经阁). There are annexes on both sides of the axis. Two Longevity Towers (wàn shòu tǎ 万寿塔), two pavilions and a lotus pond have been built recently. Between the two ponds is the Seven Buddha Tower, which is composed of seven statues of Buddha. The Tower has 11 layers in the style of Buddhist buildings of South Asia, enriching the scenery of South Putuo Temple.

Xiamen University (shà mén dà xué 厦门大学)
Xiamen UniversityIt was established by Tan Kah Kee, a patriotic oversea Chinese, in 1921. It is the first university established by an oversea Chinese in the contemporary Chinese history of education. They have inherited the school motto of "pursue excellence and strive for perfect", and accumulated rich experience in teaching in the past 87 years. The university has formed its own special education features and become a comprehensive university with all kinds of subjects, sufficient teaching resources, and wide international influence. It is near the hill and beside the sea. And there is a saying that goes, "Xiamen University is the heaven for couples". Most of the old buildings were built by Tan Kah Kee's son-in-law. It has rich characteristics because of the dry wall and glazed roof.

Oversea Chinese Museum (huá qiáo bó wù yuàn 华侨博物院)
Admission Fee: Free
Oversea Chinese Museum The Museum displays many cultural relics, handicrafts and specimens sources donated by many overseas Chinese supporting the guiding thought of Tan Kah-kee that people should show respect for scientific and cultural information and make good use of its social consequences. The museum has three exhibition halls with an exhibition area of 2400 square meters, displaying more than 1200 pieces of pictures and documentation of all sorts, 2000 rare cultural relics, and more than 1000 specimens of various rare birds, beasts and aquatic products.

Huli Mountain Canon Platform (hú lǐ shān pào tái 胡里山炮台)
Admission Fee: CNY 25
Huli Mountain Canon PlatformOnly 1 km south of Xiamen University stands the imposing Huli Mountain Canon Platform. Originally built in the Qing dynasty (qīng cháo 清朝) to fend off foreign imperialists, the platform boasts a huge nineteenth century heavy artillery piece produced by the German conglomerate Krüpp, with a maximum range of 10,000 meters. The canon, placed here in 1891, cost a massive 50,000 silver taels and with a weight of 60 tons and a length of around 45 feet was the biggest coastal gun in China. Considered a serious threat then, the canon still dominated the defenses half a century later when a Japanese warship was gunned down during the anti-Japanese War (1937-1945). Behind the platform are the barracks and the arsenal.

3. Wanshi Crag (wàn shí yán 万石岩)

Wanshi TempleWanshi Crag in the east suburb of Xiamen is well-known for its countless grotesque rocks, some lying on cliffs, some standing on slopes, some looking like jade screens, some resembling an old man. Hidden among the stone wall, are quite, attractive caves running through the hills, gurgling streams and precipitate waterfall giving off pearly sprays. Half way on the mountain is the Wanshilian Temple (wàn shí lián sì 万石莲寺), built in the Tang Dynasty (táng dài 唐代). The building of the temple are exquisitely designed and well arranged, bearing an extinctive feature. Around the Temple are numerous inscriptions, most of which were written by celebrities.

Wanshi Crag Botanical Garden (wàn shí zhí wù yuán 万石植物园)
Admission Fee: CNY 40
The Wanshi Crag Botanical Garden, known as 'Green Museum', boasts more than four thousand species tropical and sugtropical plants, flourishing all the year round with their dazzling brilliance. The gigantic Golden Tiger fish Ferocactus is not only the king of the hundreds of cactus here but also one of the biggest in the country.

4. Jimei School Village (jí měi xué cūn 集美学村)

Jimei School VillageAs one of the four major scenic spots in Xiamen, Jimei enjoys a long-term fame for its tourist attractions like Turtle Garden, Returnees Garden and the former residence of Mr. Tan Kah-Kee (chén jiā gēng 陈嘉庚). Jimei is a small town on the other side of the bank facing north Xiamen Island. Jimei is also the hometown of Mr. Tan Kah-Kee, a famous overseas Chinese leader who devoted himself wholly to the education cause. He had started various schools in the town, including Jimei Normal School, Jimei Navigation Institute, Xiamen Aquatic Products Technical Institute and Agriculture School besides Jimei Kindergarden, Jimei Primary School and Jimei Middle School. Equipped with Science Hall, library and hospital, these schools brought the town the name "Jimei School Village" which is renowned at home and abroad.

Turtle Garden (áo yuán 鳌园)

Admission Fee: CNY 20
Turtle GardenThe Turtle Garden was built during Mr. Tan Kah-Kee's lifetime. In the centre of the garden is the Jimei Liberation Monument (jí měi jiě fàng jì niàn bēi 集美解放纪念碑) with an inscription by Mao Zedong on the front and a tablet record written by Mr.Tan Kah-Kee on the back. The stone foundation of the monument consists of two stages. The lower stage has eight steps ,signifying the eight-year Anti- Japanese War; the upper stage is composed of three steps, symbolizing the three year Liberation War. In Jimei, there is still a relic where Zhen Chenggong had drilled his soldiers and the ruins of old Jimei Village, Yenping Old Fort (yán píng gù lěi 延平故垒).

The Former Residence of Mr.Tan Kah-Kee (jiā gēng gù jū 嘉庚故居)

The Former Residence of Mr.Tan Kah-Kee Admission Fee: CNY 10
The former residence of Mr.Tan Kah-Kee is situated on Jiageng Road (jiā gēng lù 嘉庚路) in the town of Jimei. It is still keeping its old looks to be visited and pondered. Mr.Tan Kah-kee was living frugally all his life. No one can keep unmoved when they see how simple those daily necessities and clothing are. To the west of the residence is an exhibition of Mr.Tan Kah-Kee's life story.