22: China > Xiamen > Gulangyu Island

This morning, KC and I are doing the resort island of Gulangyu. If Xiamen island is off the coast of mainland China, then Gulangyu island is off the coast of Xiamen island. Get it? Only a 500-metre straits separate the two; Xiamen to the left.


We scamper onto a ferry such as this one …img_8927.JPG

… for a quick leisurely ride.img_8932.JPG

And that is our oasis …img_8925.JPG

… as we leave hectic Xiamen behind.

Barely 10min later we arrive.img_8999.JPG

In the old days (read: after the Opium War, 1842), Gulangyu was an enclave for the Europeans, and they have surely left their traces behind, such as this beautiful Ecclesia Catholica, …

… a mansion, …


… narrow, walled alleyways, …img_8942.JPG

… more mansions, a fig tree, …img_8943.JPG

… and walled compounds. img_8960.JPG

No cars, no bikes, no combustion engines allowed on this peaceful 177-sq-km island. Only electric buggies or muscle-powered transports permitted, …img_8968.JPG

… leaving the narrow paths free of noisy, smokey machines, …img_8947.JPG

… a paradise for pedestrians, strollers and joggers.img_8988.JPG

The web of paths on the island is a joy to wander and explore.img_8993.JPG

With 20,000 people, the place is indeed well-kept.img_8994.JPG

Street sign vies with somebody’s wardrobe.img_8995.JPG

Seafood restaurants aplenty, but I guess this one does not really mean every patron can eat on credit.img_8963.JPG

As usual, your prospective foods are still alive and wriggling, and mounting vain escape bids. img_8967.JPG

Mobile fruit-sellers mill around.


Remember, only human power must be used.


Fresh, yummy berries.


Shops selling sea products are everywhere, and I wonder how many happless sharks sank to the bottom and drowned because of these.


These shrivelled, dried snails(?) fared no better either.img_8989.JPG

We come to a park with medical-ish stone plaques.img_8954.JPG

Dr Lin must have been a famous O&G physician.img_8957.JPG

Along the coast facing Xiamen island, stands the huge proud statue of Zheng Chenggong, a Ming Dynasty warrior who re-occupied Taiwan after getting rid of the Dutch colonists.

Further up, a rather decent beach is beginning to get busy with day-trippers.img_8984.JPG

On a hill overlooking the beach, an old western-style hotel looks very graceful.img_8974.JPG

The well-manicured yard is indeed a very pleasant spot to laze around.img_8975.JPG

At the main banquet hall, remnant of a wedding reception still stands. I’m sure this pretty, quiet spot is perfect for honeymooners.


Time to return to Xiamen, and we make our way to the pier as another ferry from Xiamen arrives.img_9001.JPG

Day-trippers aboard the ferry are full of anticipation. Gulangyu is a premier tourist spot in Fujian province.img_9003.JPG

Onboard the lower deck of our ferry back to Xiamen. Nothing fancy, it’s less than 10min to get to the other side. img_9004.JPG

Another view of Xiamen as we approach it.img_9009.JPG

A beautiful junk glides past, and we soon dock. It has been an interesting morning at Gulangyu – a long walk in the very hot and humid weather!img_9017.JPG

> To be continued …