With fresh seafood everywhere you look, the car-free lanes and streets of Western concession-era Gulangyu with its curious East-meets-West villas and townhouses, great beaches, the rugged mountains overlooking the sea, and a hearty port-city blend of industry, culture and sophistication, subtropical Xiamen makes for a great winter getaway.
Read on for a few words on what you're seeing....Clockwise from left
- Streetside seafood stands and small family restaurants abound on Gulangyu Islet. Cheap, plentiful, fresh and delicious....
- The view from the five-star Le Méridien Xiamen hotel, positioned on the side of rugged Xianyue Hill, shows off two contrasting sides of the city: its abundant natural beauty and, in the distance, its gritty seaport charm.
- One of scores of Gulangyu Islet's classic buildings from the early decades of the 20th century, when the island served as the exclusive preserve of wealthy Western traders, consular officials and, famously, a Western musical tradition that is preserved today by the beautiful Xiamen Piano Museum.
- Modern downtown Xiamen's office towers gleam in late afternoon sun, a striking sight from the deck of the Gulangyu ferry.
- The dome of the Piano Museum building cuts a silhouette against the Christmas Day sky as the sun sets over Gulangyu Islet as seen from the Gulangyu ferry.