22: China > Xiamen > Gulangyu Island

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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.

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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.
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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, …
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… a mansion, …

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… 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.

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Remember, only human power must be used.

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Fresh, yummy berries.

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

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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.
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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.

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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 …

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