23: China > Xiamen > City Walkabout

They say Xiamen is the most live-able city in China. I won’t argue with that and let the pics do the talking.img_8815.JPG




There’s a gorgeous park just north of downtown …img_8872.JPG



… with some appropriate message. img_8836.JPG

Piped western classical music fills the air, and I trace the source to this blue ‘loud-speaker’. They should have painted it green.


Kids rollerblading, some well-dressed too …img_8847.JPG

… as proud parents look on. img_8852.JPG

Strolling towards downtown …img_8856.JPG

… along the best-looking bridge I’ve seen in a long time.img_8858.JPG

The symbols of Xiamen’s commercial success.img_8861.JPG

Flower-beds even at traffic lights islands.img_8867.JPG

And they are building more.img_8868.JPG

In the hot summer, shady sidewalks are a god-send.img_8871.JPG

We enter the older part of town.img_9021.JPG

Quaint shops everywhere.img_9022.JPG

Nothing so quaint about this one, except for the overuse of the ‘F’, maybe.img_9023.JPG

I’m not sure why the road is car-free …img_9024.JPG

… but if it is like idyllic Gulangyu, I have no problem at all.img_9028.JPG

On the sidewalk, a street artist is hard at work.img_9025.JPG

Nearby, more innocent victims.img_9026.JPG

But the new is gradually assimmilating the old. That’s the way it is, I guess.img_9029.JPG

Back at the hotel, KC spots a track winding up a wooded hill, so we decide to check it out. img_9060.JPG

Obviously it’s a strolling or jogging track, but why is this lady walking barefooted?img_9066.JPG

Ahhh … yes … it’s also for foot reflexology. So I have a go, but with socks on. And for this effort, I feel my soles tingling for hours afterwards!img_9065.JPG

At the end of the track, atop a hill, we see a major project along the coastline facing the mainland. Looks like a huge passenger terminal for ferries and boats.img_9055.JPG

And yes, more construction, with workers like an army of ants.img_9056.JPG

In the evening, we are invited to a sumptious seafood dinner, but as usual we have to select the poor gastronomic victims.


This place is like a cross between a seaworld …img_8899.JPG

… and a Sunday fish-market!img_8891.JPG

All manners of King Neptune’s denizens are on display. img_8887.JPG

Sea-worms? I’ve tried this before on a previous trip to China, in Beihai of Guangxi province, way back 1993. Deep fried in batter, it was yummy, but a tad elastic.img_8888.JPG

Cute, but still cannot escape being eaten.img_8890.JPG

Handsome, striped prawns.img_8892.JPG

At the back of the restaurant, we face the Taiwan straits, and a few kilometres away … img_8907.JPG

… islands belonging to Taiwan. Say what!? This close to mainland China, and more than 200km from Taiwan itself? Well, that’s one quirk of history.img_8903.JPG

The sun is setting, and an angler is still after the one that got away.img_8912.JPG

After dinner, a quick stroll in town reveals the colours of Xiamen after dark. img_8915.JPG

Buildings are encouraged to put fancy lights up. Reminds me of Hong Kong, but I think Hong Kong looks much better, especially when viewed from Kowloon.


The next morning, time to return to Kuala Lumpur, and we make our way to the airport.

Interior of the honeycomb-y XMN airport terminal.img_9074.JPG

A short visit to the loo, and I notice a warning: Do not touch colourful button while sitting. I wonder what would happen if a bloke presses the button? The toilet would suck the poor man’s guts out or something?img_9073.JPG

On the apron a bi-plane stands wrapped. This is a strange place to find such a gem. img_9076.JPG

Planes are arriving and leaving on a busy day.img_9078.JPG

The waiting lounge looks like an art gallery, thanks to an enterprising vendor. The old and the hedonistic new, altogether.


But I fall in love with this lady!


Finally our transport arrives, a brand new Boeing 737-800 (reg. B-5152), the so-called next-generation Boeing 737.img_9088.JPG

As the powerful CFM engines roar, we are soon above Xiamen.img_9123.JPG

That looks like the highway we took to Jinjiang the other day. Note the tunnels.img_9125.JPG

The plane keeps climbing through white fluffy clouds, and the blended winglet looks spectacular.img_9128.JPG

3.5 hours later, we fly past Genting Highlands.


Yes, the one with the famous casino.img_9147.JPG

A couple of minutes later, we are descending above downtown Kuala Lumpur.img_9151.JPG

And as the sun sets, we are safely back at KL International Airport. It has been refreshing visiting an economic powerhouse like Xiamen and a dynamic place like Jinjiang. Wishing both of them all the best!img_9155.JPG