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72 hours in XIAMEN

2013-08-28 14:46:25

(Shanghai Daily)


Gulang Islet’s red-roofed buildings are nestled in lush greenery.

Xiamen on the Fujian coast is one of China’s most desirable places to live, do business, relax on the beach and tour historic spots. Liu Xiaolin leads the way.

Looking from the taxi’s window as we drove along Xiamen’s Lujiang Avenue, I was dazzled by the palm-fringed coast and azure sky. Walking along a boardwalk to the ferry dock, I gulped fresh, salty sea air.

As I rode the ferry across Lujiang River, the picturesque and car-free Gulang Islet emerged from the morning mist.

Xiamen, formerly known as Amoy, is a major city on the Fujian province coast of the Taiwan Strait and one of China’s seven special economic zones. In the past three decades, the economy has grown steadily and it is now a major logistics hub in southeastern China.

The city of around 3.6 million people is also one of China’s most desirable and leafy places to live, with a romantic ambience and laid-back holiday feel. The city consists of urban Xiamen Island, other islands and coastal areas.

In the first six months of this year, the city attracted 1.14 million visitors from Hong Kong, Taiwan, Macau and foreign countries, according to the tourism bureau. That’s an increase of more than 6 percent over the same period in 2012. Around 70 percent of visitors stay overnight.

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