Relaxing in Xiamen

The next day we took a bus to the coastal town of Xiamen – a town we had never heard of before we saw it in our travel guide. Guess how small it is… 3.7 million people. Just crazy how big China is.

For once our choice of accommodation was not that great as the apartment was rather dirty and the bed hard as stone (it consisted basically of a few springs and a very hard cardboard).

The next day Hazel was resting as she still was battling the flu while Kevin had a look around the city. Xiamen is very modern and is a popular destination for many domestic tourists. It has several new shopping streets with countless shops and restaurants (which we for sure tried). Needless to mention that these streets were super crowded especially in the evening.

After a stroll along the water front Kevin went to the Buddhist Temple of Nanputuo Si. Behind the large temple with its huge Buddha and Taoist statues was a hill which he decided to climb. Quite an exercise given that it was over 30 degrees hot. However he was rewarded with some fantastic views of the city and of the nearby Gulangyu island.

In the evening we had stroll through the streets and met about a million other people with the same idea. Indeed Xiamen seemed to be popular.

The next day we moved to a nicer, more comfortable hotel with a very very nice and soft bed. There were quite a few families in the hotel and so we were quite surprised to find some rather explicit business cards under our door in the evening.

We took the BRT to the train station where we organized the train tickets to Shanghai. The BRT is a funny construct – it’s basically buses running on a high above the ground lane just reserved for this purpose. As there are no other vehicles on these lanes the buses move fast and the fare is only 0.5 Yuan (which is a few cents). Quite an innovative mode of transport we thought.

The next day we went to the small island of Gulangyu just a five minutes ferry ride away. As it was Sunday the ferry and the island were packed with tourists – it was mind boggling. As always shuffling and pushing were for sure allowed and so was spitting on the floor. The island itself hadn’t much to offer besides an abundance of souvenir stalls and restaurants.

All in all Xiamen is a pleasant city with a nice and large pedestrian area and was worthwhile a visit.

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