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Xiamen Travel Guide

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Phone Code: 0592
Postal Code: 361000
Area: 1,569 Sq km (605.8 Sq miles)
Population: 3,531,347 (in 2010)
Nationalities: Han, Hui, Manchu, Zhuang, Miao, Gaoshan
Neighboring Areas: Zhejiang, Jiangxi, Guangdong and Taiwan Provinces
Location: Located in the southern part of Fujian Province and on the west bank of Taiwan Strait, Xiamen neighbors Zhangzhou in the west, meets Quanzhou in the north, and faces Kinmen Island across the sea to the southeast.

 Physical Features: Xiamen Island, the main body of the city that is comprised of Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island and part of the coastal mainland, is 13.7 km (8.5 miles) long from north to south and 12.5 km (7.8 miles) wide from east to west. Xiamen harbour is a natural strait port surrounded by mountains, with its coastal line winding for as long as 234 km (145.4 miles). It is a ice-free deep-water harbor with a wide opening, serving as an important foreign trade port in Chinese history. Outside the port, islands are scattered like the stars in the sky.

 History: It’s said that it was the habitat of egrets in primitive times, so it is also called 'Egret Island'. In 282, King Taikang of the Jin Dynasty (265 - 420) set up Tong’an County in the present Xiamen area, and soon dissolved it and put it under Nan’an County. Over 600 years later, it got its own organizational system named Tong’an County again in 933 of the Tang Dynasty (618 - 907). In 1387, the 20th year of Emperor Hongwu of the Ming Dynasty (1368 - 1644), the city was initially built, and since then, the name Xiamen has been added to the Chinese history. After that, the organizational system was abolished and re-set up many times. In October, 1945, Xiamen’s city-level government system was finally fixed.

 Attractions: Being a typical ‘Sea Garden’ of a ‘city on the sea and sea in the city’, Xiamen owns a great variety of sights, including islands, caves, mountains, the sea, rocks, garden reefs and temples. Gulangyu, also famed as ‘Island of the Piano’, is a fertile land of music. For historical reasons, architectures of Chinese and exotic style are well-preserved on the island, adding more artistic color to Gulangyu. The 10000 Rock Botanical Garden is a galaxy of natural sights, cultural sites and man-made botanical scenery. Nanputuo Temple is a well-known temple in Fujian Province, with a history of over 1,000 years. Hulishan Battery has the smallest artillery in the world. Jimei University & College Village is also a popular tourist site in the city, combining academic atmosphere, natural scenery and cultural relics. Other famous scenic spots are Huandao Road, Tianzhushan Forest Park, Overseas Chinese Museum, Zhongshan Park and Taiwan Folk Culture Village.

 Transportation: Flying over the land and sea, crossing through the mountains, and leaping over the straits, railways, expressways, highways, roads, streets, airport, bridges and cross-harbor tunnels are stretching and expanding at unprecedented speed. A fast and efficient city transportation net connects the areas inside and outside the city.
 Air: Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport connects to 58 large and medium domestic cities and 17 foreign cities and regions like Manila, Bangkok, Singapore, Seoul and Osaka.
 Train: With the cross-harbor causeway connecting the mainland, it is accessible from most big cities in inland China like Xian, Chongqing, Hefei and Nanchang. From Xiamen Railway Station and North Railway Station, there are bullet trains to Chengle, Fuqing, Putian, Hanjiang, Xianyou, Hui’an, Jinjiang, Xiang’an, Tong’an and Shanghai.

 Ferry: With deep water and smooth waves, Xiamen Port is a fine natural harbor, 24-hour navigable. In addition to the ferries to the coastal port within Fujian Province, there are also ferries to Shantou, Guangzhou, Hainan Island and Hong Kong in the south, Dalian, Tianjin, Qingdao and Yantai in the north, and Nanjing, Zhenjiang and Shanghai in the east.
 Subway: According to the long-term plan, there will be 6 subway lines in the city. Subway lines 1, 2 and 3 are the trunk lines stretching from the island to the coastal areas in the north, east and west. Subway line 4 is a south-north supplementary line connecting the island with Jimei and Tong’an. Subway line 5 is a loop line around the coast. Subway line 6 is another supplementary line in Xiang’an District.
 Bus: Road transport in the city is also developed, including Fuzhou-Xiamen Expressway, Xiamen-Shantou Expressway, Xiamen-Zhangzhou Expressway and Xiamen-Quanzhou Expressway. Buses from Xiamen Songbai, Hubin and Jimei long-distance bus stations run to every part of Fujian Province, Hunan, Hubei, Anhui, Zhejiang and Guangdong provinces. In the city, there are over 200 bus routes, and most of the buses there are air-conditioned. In adddition, there are some special mini-buses with their starting and terminal stations shown at the front of the bus, which can be stopped at any place along the way. Xiamen University, ferry ports and the railway stations are major bus hubs.
 Taxi: Generally, there are taxi stops not far from the bus stops, and taxi waiting areas in front of the shopping malls, markets and supermarkets. The flag-down fare is CNY8 and CNY2 per km more after 3 km (1.9 miles).

 Weather: With plenty of sunshine, Xiamen is covered with green trees and colorful flowers all year round. Except for the typhoon season from July to September, any time is good to visit the city.

 Dining and Shopping
Food in the city is characterized by being clear, fresh, mild, crispy and gently hot, especially famous for its seafood, medicinal dishes and Nanputuo temple's vegetarian dishes. Examples of local snacks also worth tasting are Xiamen Pie, Fish Balls, Five Spice Fried Meat Loaf and Noodle Thread Paste. At the same time, you are able to taste Sichuan Cuisine, Guangdong Cuisine, Beijing Cuisine, even food of South Korea, France and Italy in the city. Popular dining areas are Longtou Road on Gulangyu, the Cultural and Food Square at International Trade Commercial City, Zhonghua Road Huahui Food Street, Hubin North Road Food Street, SM City Square Food City and Overseas Chinese Seaview City Food Street.

Besides seafood, it also produces sugarcane, longan, olives and colorful handicrafts like clay sculptures, pearl embroideries and lacquer thread sculpture.There are many busy shopping streets such as Zhongshan Road, Longtou Road on Gulangyu, SM City Square and International Trade Commercial City. 

Questions & Answers on Xiamen Travel Guide
  • I & my wife will be in XM on 20th July & will return to Hangzhou on 22nd July. We plan to DIY a day trip to visit XM tulou. Most of the private tour packages we found in website are very expensive and so we plan to DIY our visit to Nanjing Tulou & Yongding Tulou. We hope someone can advise us how to go about it. We will start from our hotel (not yet booked) in XM.

    Teh Ho Sang

    Asked By Teh Ho Sang (Malaysia) | Jun. 18, 2018 00:53
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • Asked By sunil (nepal) | Mar. 02, 2014 10:33
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
  • where is the fanghu busstation in xiamen? and the jimei busstation.
    which is easier to reach from the city center

    Asked By t heijnen (holland) | Jan. 23, 2012 08:25
    1 AnswerAnswer Question
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