Blogs from Gulangyu, Xiamen, Fujian, China, Asia

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Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu April 8th 2015

It was a cool and wet day when we arrived at the Port of Xiamen, China yesterday. We opted to relax on ship until going to an evening performance at a local theater, Magic Min’ nan. It didn’t disappoint in uniqueness and variety. Thoroughly enjoyed the show but the real fun was after it ended. The Chinese tourists also attending wanted to take pictures of and with us. We stayed overnight in this very modern and good sized port town and in the morning left for our bike ride along the coast, followed by a Tai Chi performance/lesson and a tea tasting. Our last stop at a shopping area ,where again, the entertainment was in the Chinese people’s fascination with us. A young woman asked if she could take a picture of her baby in the ... read more
A beautiful coastal ride
Taking a breather.
Tai Chi Lesson

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu August 1st 2014

Hi All, When you get to the ferry port on Gulang Yu just keep walking. Around the ferry terminal is sheer madness. I've never had my photo taken so much. I stood still at one point to look at the map on my phone to suddenly find a guy stood next to me while his mate took a photo.. I mean come on!!!! Once away from the chaos Gulang Yu is a beautiful place with some quite remarkable architecture. It could almost be a film set. I just walked aimlessly around for a few hours and then sat on the waterfront waiting for the sun to set. Gulang Yu is a small island, only a 5 minute ferry ride, just off Xiamen island. After the forceful opening of Xiamen Gulang Yu quickly became a foreign enclave ... read more
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Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu January 15th 2014

Wednesday, 15th January 2014 Day 5 - After saying goodbye to our lovely homestay and gracious host in Kinmen, we slowly made our way to the Shuitou Ferry Terminal for our voyage to Xiamen, China. Temperatures were hovering between 8 - 9 degrees from the night before and it was certainly not the most pleasant moment to be in at the outdoors. Getting on board our 10.30am ferry was a breeze. The Kinmen International Ferry Terminal was nicely spruced up and very soon, we were on our 30-minute commute to Xiamen. Like Kinmen, Xiamen City presents itself on an island that is densely populated with 2M inhabitants. After kissing goodbye to the taxi touts at Wutong Ferry Terminal, we hailed a legitimate taxi from the official ranks. The journey to our hotel in the downtown area ... read more

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu January 15th 2014

Wednesday, 15th January 2014 Gulangyu, a traffic-free island off the coast of Xiamen is arguably one of the city's top tourist draws. It helped that access to the ferry terminal from our hotel was through a comfortable walk along Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Mall. Once on the island, touts offering every imaginable walking tours possible were determined to grab a share of the tourist dollars. This was absolutely unnecessary with a Google Earth print out map and a pair of good walking shoes. With the exception of Zheng Cheng Gong Memorial Hall where views of the island could be had, most of the other tourist sites required some sort of admission fees. The island was littered with many quaint cafes and B&B establishments converted out of old colonial buildings. They provided good rest stops after an afternoon ... read more
Welcome to Gulangyu
Xiamen city's skyline
Colonial Vibe

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu July 28th 2013

Xiamen is itself techinically an island, connected to mainland China by a four separate bridges, though as a huge, built-up city it doesn't feel like one. Just off Xiamen (a 5 minute ferry journey on a very packed ferry), however, is Gulangu, a much smaller island where traffic is not permitted, that really does feel like a holiday island. It used to be a colonial base, so there is a lot of European architecture and cobbled streets, very pretty and charming and quite upmarket with lots of small boutique shops (chocolate and tea shops are the most popular) and expensive restaurants and hotels. It also has a small beach and various look-out points where you can view Xiamen's skyscrapers. I spent a day wandering the streets, though again the weather was awful (Apparently I have been ... read more
The rain in Gulangu
Gulangu
Gulangu colonial architecture

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu December 19th 2012

Wil je ook weleens wat groter en ruiger dan de Berlijnse Muur? Heeft het Boeddhisme 'iets' dat je wel aantrekkelijk vindt? En vragen je smaakpapillen meer dan Babi Pangang en Foe Jong Hai? Dan biedt China zeker een fantastische reiservaring voor je. Maar dat wil nog niet zeggen dat je alles ook leuk vindt. China heeft als land zijn eigen manier om dingen te doen - en haar mensen ook. Het kan zijn dat jij het stuitend vindt als een Chinese man in de trein op het tapijt rochelt. Of onsmakelijk als de bediening een bord met gekookte lever of botten en vet voor je neus zet. En misschien vind je het onbeschoft als volwassen mensen keer op keer blijven voordringen. Al die ervaringen maken je bewust van je eigen voorkeuren en standaarden. Als je erin ... read more
2. The Buddha Caves
3. Nieuwe vrienden in Pingyao
4. The Great Wall

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu April 3rd 2011

We had a very serendipitous visit to this unique port in Southern China. Our good friends, John and Jeannie from Pebble Beach have their sailboat in Turkey and have been cruising the Turquoise Coast for a number of years. Now John is thinking of moving his boat to Asia and has been looking into the possibility of basing it in Xiamen. He asked us to check out the area from a sail boater’s point of view. John gave us his contact in Xiamen and after numerous emails, we arranged to spend the day with Hugh. Hugh Morrow is a mid-westerner from LeMars, Iowa who has made a name for himself in the sailing world. Three years ago he crewed aboard a 54’ Chinese junk across the Pacific Ocean to San Francisco—without an engine! This 15,000 mile ... read more
Packed ferry to Gulangyu Island
Music school on "Piano Island"
Xiamen Speedboat

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu November 29th 2010

We arrived in Xiamen after an incredibly long 21 hour train ride. It seemed like we would never arrive. Once we did arrive, we were shocked by the giant WalMart and McDonalds just outside the train station. We had foolishly expected Xiamen to be a bit of smaller city of approximately 500,000 or so. Uhh... not so, we would guess the population to be closer to 2 million-ish. Gulang Yu is an island off of the coast of Xiamen; it took us about 10 minutes to get there by ferry. Thank goodness we had taken the initiative to get our previous hotel manager to write out the chinese address of this hotel on a piece of paper. This way we were able to show it around when asking for directions, as there was absolutely no way ... read more
roof tops
men playing majong
us on the beach

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu June 16th 2010

Editorial note: Some of the pictures are sideways. I know that, so you don't need to message me. I also have no idea why photobucket uploaded them that way. What I do know is that the Internet is so slow here it will not let me open the menu in photobucket to rotate them back. I'd suggest either using your imagination or cocking your head to the side. As soon as I get a fast enough connection, I will fix the problem. Since we conquered the mountain a full day ahead of schedule, we decided to take in Gulangyu, which is a small island in the harbor of Xiamen. It's the top tourist attraction around here and all the students were very excited about it, so we were pretty enthusiastic. We started out early in the ... read more

Asia » China » Fujian » Xiamen » Gulangyu May 22nd 2010

Hi Friends, I'm sitting in Shaoguan enjoying a quiet Saturday, thinking about the wonderful trip I took last February to Xiamen, Fujian Province. Life has been hectic ever since so have just now found time to write it up. During the Spring Festival holiday, I took four of my student friends -- Yuki, Dong Ping, Helen and Mary (affectionately dubbed “the girls” since all unmarried women in China, under the age of 40, prefer “girls” to “women”) -- and spent a week there. Why Xiamen, you may be asking? Because it’s beautiful and historic, and I thought it might be a fun, warm place to go in February. Turned out to be mostly cold and grey, but beautiful, historic and fun it truly is. In a nutshell, this port city of 2.5 million, which sits directly ... read more
Cityscape
Aboard ship, chilly morning
Ferry to Gulangyu




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