There are plenty of things to love about Xiamen, China. Whether you’re a student who’s fortunate to be enrolled in a university wedged between the sea and the mountains and has great architecture (like Xiamen University), an expatriate looking for a place to dwell, or you love visiting museums and enjoying a lovely island stay, Xiamen will not disappoint. Xiamen’s climate is pleasant most times of the year.
Regarded as one of China’s cleanest cities, Xiamen lies on the southeast coast of China. Overseas suppliers and businessmen find Xiamen’s allure irresistible, choosing to dwell in the place with their families. Those who love the fresh sea breeze love visiting Yuandang Lake in the Central Business District. Also worth checking out is Zhenzhuwan, best suited for dwellers who love taking long walks along the beach and mingling with both tourists and locals. The added bonus is the opportunity to listen to the Opera taking place at the beachfront Theatre, or to watch films in an outdoor arena.
A must-see spot is Gulangyu Island, dubbed as “Garden on the Sea.” It’s a serene island which lends a feel of China during colonial times. Visitors will find colonial-style buildings, a bird sanctuary, and an overhead tram at Gulangyu. It is considered as one of China’s major scenic spots. Special places of interest include the Sunlit Rock, Shuzhuang Park, Gangzihou Bathing Beach. To get to Gulangyu Island, visitors take the ferry from Xiamen. Vehicles are off limits on the island. People who are not too fond of night life will find living in Gulangyu Island blissful. There are old houses and villas built centuries ago.
If an environment that melds tradition with modernity is more to your liking, Lianhua is the place to visit or dwell. The place has well-managed western villas. People also get to listen to Gezixi Opera, a troupe employed by dwellers to celebrate special occasions. For fantastic scenery of the sea, though, people need to walk a long way.
Raring to shop? A recently opened antique market, Tangsong Antique Town, brought the number of antique markets in Xiamen to seven. There are also several malls and hotel complexes in the city proper.
If temples fascinate you South Putuo Temple on the southern part of Xiamen showcases Heaven King’s Hall, the Daxiong Hall, the Great Compassion Hall, all built in exquisite, awesome style. Buddhists, on the other hand, flock to the Nanputuo temple, a Buddhist temple built during the Tang Dynasty and offers a glimpse of sculptures and works of art, including the cordial Maitreya, the Laughing Buddha. Another attraction is Mount Wuji, which was listed on the World Nature Heritage Site List in 1999.