Day 1 Downtown
Cycle along Xiamen’s Island Ring Road. The major track of the annual International Marathon, the 4-kilometer road follows the island’s spectacular coastline, connecting some of its best palm-fringed beaches with smooth white sand.
Along the road visitors can appreciate Xiamen’s slow-paced life and enjoy a scenic cycling and walking trail with ocean views under azure skies.
Start from the Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center and ride all the way down to Baicheng Beach behind Xiamen University. Stop and visit Huli Mountain Ancient Fortress.
It contains the Krupp cannon, the biggest and oldest piece of coastal artillery from the 19th century. In 1937 it fired upon invading Japanese naval vessels.
Bike rental stalls are conveniently located along the road. Rental is usually 15 yuan (US$2.50) per hour, but rates are lower for longer rides.
Take your time strolling along Zhongshan Road, one of the essential walks for sightseeing and snacks. The pedestrian road is lined by “qilou,” traditional overhang buildings with arcades that evoke the city’s past. Visitors can see the earliest church for Chinese believers, the old building of the OCBC Bank, and the former site of Xiamen’s first hotel, the Tianxian Hotel, which is now a bank branch. An archway guards the stone steps leading to a tranquil trail and area where Ming Dynasty (1368-1644) politician and national hero Zheng Chenggong (1624-62) trained his armies. A 70-meter section of deserted city wall is hidden inside a lane near the city police bureau. Covered with ivy and lichen, it’s all that remains of the ancient city walls built in 1394 against Japanese pirates. Food stalls and street eateries snake up the narrow lanes around Zhongshan Road, serving a bewildering variety of specialties. These include fried oysters, milk tea, barbecued seafood, braised rice dumplings, satay noodles, ginger duck, peanut soup, mung bean pie and ciba, which is a sticky rice pastry with peanut and sesame powder.
Unwind with a leisurely stroll along the beach washed by lazy waves in a cool summer breeze. Inhale the clean sea air. The beaches of Baicheng, Pearl Harbor and Zengcuo village are among the popular evening haunts. Amusement programs and barbecue stalls that open late at night attract visitors to the beach of Yefeng Village.