Without question port city Xiamen, formally known as Amoy, is blooming into one south China’s most sophisticated cities. Its European influence has dubbed it a kind of Chinese Mediterranean. The city of Xiamen is situated in Fujian Province and being a coastal city, travelers and locals reap the benefits of Xiamen geography.
Xiamen is the nearest city to Taiwan and includes Xiamen Island itself, on which the districts of Huli and Siming are located. The piece of land named, Haicang, is also a part of Xiamen, Jimei; Tong’an and Xiang’an the same.
In all, Xiamen spans an administrative area of some 1500 square kilometers. Xiamen Island is connected to the mainland through a series of bridges to the west and to the north. There is also a tunnel that connects the island with Xiang’an.
If you’re planning to book one of our Xiamen tours, our expert travel guides will gladly take you through its port city. Xiamen has an ancient history, it really only became a major Chinese and international port during the Ming Dynasty. The city of Xiamen was earlier known as Min Nan.
It was during the Ming Dynasty that the fishing village Xiamen was built up and turned into a town. It was also during the Ming Dynasty that Xiamen was used for the purpose of foreign trade. During the First Opium War in Qing Dynasty, China was forced to use Xiamen as one of the five ports for foreign trade after a long time of closing doors to policies. Before Republic of China was established, Xiamen City was named Siming Island — it has seen a handful of changes through the years.
Xiamen has a close relationship with neighboring Taiwan, where the Hokkien dialect is quite similar to the Amoy dialect. With the invasion of the west came European style architecture as well, which still exists today, most especially on Gulangyu Islet. Its tree-lined coast meshed with its architecture make it stand out as a mediterranean city in China.
As per entertainment, Xiamen is renowned for its Min Nan Music tradition, its Xiamen Philharmonic Orchestra, its many puppet shows, its Gezi Opera and many temple celebrations. There is also an annual international music festival in May, various piano competitions on Huangyan Road on the way to Sunlight Rock, where there are weekly classical concerts.
And there’s a reason why Xiamen is a favorite destination for both domestic and foreign tourists. Zhongshan Road is a popular pedestrian street with art galleries, movie theaters, bars and cafés. Various gourmets of Xiamen can be found there. Gulangyu Islet, where there are uniquely beautiful landscapes, is the symbol of Xiamen. South Putuo Buddhist Temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in Xiamen where many come to visit and pray. Xiamen University, with an excellent location close to the beach with a garden-like campus, is also a gem that you’ll want to check out when you visit Xiamen. But words can only explain so much, you’ll have to experience this budding treasure in all its glory in person.
For more information about our one-of-a-kind Xiamen tours, feel free to call us at 1-888-373-6882 or float us a note on our contact page.
XIAMEN THINGS TO DO
South Putuo Temple
At 258,000 square meters boasting a floorage of 21,270 square meters, the South Putuo Temple located in front of Wulao Mountain is one of the most famous Buddhist temples in Xiamen. You’ll find amazing structures in the Hall of Heavenly Kings, the Shrine of Sakyamuni Buddha, the Hall of Great Compassion, and the Surta House.
Fujian Tulou features 46 buildings built between the 15th and 20th centuries. It’s often regarded as the crown jewel of the world of folk residential architectures. It spans across 120 kilometers in south-west of the Fujian province and is mainly dispatched in the south near Guangdong province.
It’s a comprehensive university directly under the administration of the PRC ministry of education. Due to its golden location and advantageous human resources, it has become one of the key universities most actively engaged in cross-straits relations in education, science and cultural exchanges.
Gulangyu is the third largest island off the coast of Xiamen. It enjoys a laudatory title, “Garden on the Sea.” The original name of the islet was Yuan Zhou Zi. In the Ming Dynasty it was renamed Gulang, meaning ”drum waves” because the holes in the southwestern reefs were hit by waves; making drum-like sounds.
Xiamen Botanical Garden
Masterminded in 1960, the Xiamen Botanical Garden and its architectural layout was designed according to the Chinese ancient garden-style residence. It consists of 29 secondary gardens; including, Pine & China Fir Garden, Bamboo Forest, Rose Garden, and Orchid Garden; laying along the Wanshiyan Reservoir on the southern slopes of Yangtai Shan.
Jimei Jiageng Park
It was built in memory of Sir Chen Jiageng, the founder of Xiamen University, a patriot who made great contributions to the development of Xiamen. He dedicated his entire life uniting the overseas Chinese and helping to develop the nation. The park was completed in 1994 and takes up 30,000 square meters — a historical must-see in Xiamen.
Xiamen Underwater Sea World
Explore the mysteries of the water world at Xiamen Underwater Sea World, an exhibition featuring mind-bending aquariums and home to marine creatures from every corner of god’s green earth, a water world lover’s fantasy come true. Be sure to take a stroll through their 80-meter-long and 1.5-meter-wide underwater tunnel — an unforgettable experience.
Touted as the biggest islet in the west coast of Xiamen, Huoshaoyu swallows 270,000 square meters of land mass and is shaped like the letter M. With a winding coast line, colorful rocks, and exotic eroded caves, Huoshaoyu, the beautiful tropic islet of south Asia, has attracted millions of visitors — a special piece of heaven that you have to see while in Xiamen.
Fort Hulishan played an important role in military defense in China’s modern history. It integrates the architectural style of European bunkers with the defensive structure found during the Ming and Qing Dynasty in China. With an area of over 70,000 square meters, the castle covers over 13,000 square meters.
Jingzhou Amusement Park
Located in Haicuo Coast, Jingzhou Amusement Park was established in 1995 and was named after its investor: Huang Jingshan, a Taiwan compatriot. It’s western and eastern fusion is clear and the amusement park features over 20 entertaining options. Be sure to check out the water entertainment items and the wild paradise.
Featuring deep canyons, dense forests, waterfalls, endangered animals, flora and fauna, the Wuyi Mountains is an ideal destination for all nature lovers. It features a lot of scenic views and peaks. Be sure to check out Tianyou Peak, Nine-Bend Creek, The One-Line-Sky, and Tiger Hissing Peak to just to name a few treasures.
Hailed as being one of the most popular attractions in Xiamen — apart from Gulangyu, South Putuo Temple, and Hulishan Fortress — is the Island Ring Road. It’s main avenue of International Marathon Competition is known to be the most beautiful. Its 43 kilometer seaside road is perfect for biking along the Xiamen seashores.
XIAMEN PHOTO GALLERY
TOP XIAMEN TOURS
LET US BUILD YOUR CHINA TRIP