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72 hours in XIAMEN

2013-08-28 14:46:25

(Shanghai Daily)


Mild subtropical magnet

With a pleasant subtropical climate and monsoon rains, the average temperature is 21 degrees Celsius, making it a favorite resort. On holidays enthusiastic visitors cram the maze of narrow lanes on Gulang Islet. To make better use of its travel resources and create a more comfortable tour environment, the city tourism bureau aims to boost potential scenic attractions to balance the visitor flow, said Su Weijun, the official in charge of resource planning with the tourism bureau.

Xiamen plans to expand cooperation with Taiwan to promote one-day tours to Jinmen Islet, which is 25 minutes from Xiamen by boat. Visitors should file tour applications at least 10 days in advance with travel agencies.

Spending a day out of town to visit the famous “tulou” (earth buildings) in neighboring Fujian cities is popular. Some hotels provide trips to those destinations in their suite packages, as does Le Meridien Xiamen. It is said there are around 3,000 tulou in China, most of them in mountainous areas in Yongding and Nanjing counties in Fujian. These are traditional communal dwellings of the Hakka people, with the majority built between the 14th and 20th centuries. Constructed in times when bandit gangs roamed the countryside, tulou offered their inhabitants protection, and the fact that they still exist is a testimony to their success.

Booming tourism has also pushed open Xiamen’s MICE market. In late July, the city bureau of commerce announced a modest recovery in its MICE market, with 94 exhibitions held in the first seven months of this year.

A complex of high-end hotels is in the works in Xiamen’s subcity of Tong’an, which has already attracted around 10 big brand names. A nearby “wonderland” park is another draw.

This week’s travel section helps visitors make the most of a 72-hour visit to Xiamen.

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