Tips in Xiamen
Zengcuo An: Zengcuo An is a scenic spot on the Island Ring Road. What was 10 years ago a sleepy little fishing village has transformed into a lively and bustling hub for young backpackers, crammed with guesthouses and trendy shops. It is only a pleasant 10-minute stroll from the town center to the beach, meandering through alleys, trying local snacks, and doing a little shopping in upmarket boutiques. There are plenty of large restaurants along the Island Ring Road which specialize in local seafood.
Huang Zehe: Snacks are ubiquitous in Xiamen and most of them can be found in the main commercial street, Zhongshan Road. There you will find Huang Zehe, a traditional snack store. The Zhongshan Road branch is the flagship store of this famous Chinese brand. There are many stores in the arcades where you can sample Xiamen snacks.
Lujiang Hotel: Across the street from Huang Zehe is Xiamen’s oldest guesthouse, Lujiang Hotel. The hotel is built in Xiamen’s typical Chinese-Western architectural style and was the first Western-style hotel in Fujian outside of Gulangyu Island. In terms of luxury it cannot compete with modern hotels, but it is still an excellent place to experience traditional Xiamen culture. Many Xiamen snacks can be found in its open-air rooftop restaurant. Enjoying a fantastic meal while gazing out across the ocean at Gulangyu Island, will easily become one of the most wonderful memories of your trip.
Bagua Building: It is the most eye-catching building on the island. The 110-year-old villa, which looks like it is wearing a round red hat, is a Gulangyu landmark. Now Bagua Building houses the Gulangyu Organ Museum. The original owner was Lin Heshou, of the Taiwanese Lins in Banqiao. His cousin, Lin Erjia, also built a house on the island: Shu Zhuang Garden is the most famous private residence on Gulangyu, with gardens of superlative quality.
There are many other old houses worth seeing, such as Hai Paradise Villa, the Huang Family Gardens, Huang Rongyuan Villa, Rong Gu Villa, the Yang Family Home, Lin’s Mansion, Pumpkin Villa, Foreign Lady Villa, the Gospel Church, the Catholic Church and the British, Japanese and American consulates. Behind each building there is a story.