A Travellerspoint blog

Xiamen: A Beautiful Day On Gulang Yu

Hey Hey and a Big G'Day to ya

Rose with my usual feelings of excitement whenever I have my back pack sitting beside me. Waited for 'English' to knock on my door and we then headed out into the Xiamen sunshine. To get more out of our day and Alexa's feet we decided to catch the bus to the wharf are. The bus we caught took a right hand turn and took us all the way over to Habin Nanlu and Xilu so don't catch bus number 72 from the train station area if you want to go to the wharf! We grabbed another bus which did take us to Lundu Wharf. THE FERRY: We headed back across to the back streets and sat for a cheap fried rice and noodles breakfast and then boarded the ferry across to Gulang Yu. The ride only takes about five minutes and during the day ferries leave every fifteen minutes or so. The ferry across to the island is free but the ferry ride back to the mainland will cost you 8 Yuan. Also if you want to sit upstairs on the ferry it will cost each person 1 Yuan so when you are asked to pay for a ticket this is not the actual ferry charge. Due to the amount of colonial architecture and history behind the island we decided to give Ms Li a call and have her guide us around the island. The Blue 'You Do You Do' girls will cost you 50 Yuan for as long as you want them....to guide you around the island that is! I mean they will guide you around the island for up to a day if that what is takes and if your lucky like me your guide might even meet you later that evening for a nice walk and chat around Xiamen. I always question having a guide, mainly as I can't usually afford one but here it was a nice treat. There are so many buildings and really without one you will no idea what each one is and what its history is. I was so surprised at the amount of embassy/consulates had been on this island. Sadly, now most of the buildings lay empty and deteriorating. ACCOMMODATION: My LP is much too old and doesn't mention any accommodation on the island but yes, you can sleep on Gulang Yu. There are several Guest Houses on the island and there is even a new International Youth Hostel. The second floor is available but they are still building the first /ground flood. Sorry, I've been in China for too long. Here the ground floor is actually the first floor and so on. Dorms are 40 Yuan and a single/double room I think was 120/140 Yuan depending on which Guest House. I saw several signs on my walk around and I believe you can get local hotel rooms for 120 Yuan. The island walk was excellent. The colonial architecture was plentiful as were the giant Boa Trees. They were everywhere with their long beards flowing in the breeze. The island is full of little hills so on a hot day if you plan one of my many hour walks water is plentiful from all the little local stores. Also if you're a piano fan you'll also love the walk as the island is also known as Piano Island due to the amount of pianos on such a small island along with its Piano Museum which has around 90 something pianos in it. The guides also get very excited about their pianos! We wound our way through the little streets and made our way to 'Sun Light Rock'. It is said (said our guide) that if you haven't climbed Sun Light Rock you haven't been to Xiamen. Also known as Diguang Yan, Sunlight Rock is around 93 meters high and is a very easy climb. ISLAND TICKETS: We had no idea you needed tickets for anything but you do. There are little patches of the island you can't enter without a ticket eg: museums, parks, rocks etc. Here's the run down. Tickets to climb the rock are 60 Yuan. For extra things like parks and museums etc you will have to pay an extra 15 to 30 Yuan for each. So the best thing to do is buy the BIG TICKET which will cost you 80 Yuan and get you into almost everything. Also don't go in the afternoon if you only plan on going to the island once. It is such a beautiful place with so much to look at and the path that takes you around the island is such a beautiful walk. You really do need to spend an entire day. The beaches around the back barely have anyone one them so you can sit and relax in piece and quiet. (I can say this after visiting several times over the past week and a half). The climb to the top of Sunlight Rock as I said was pretty easy. On the way up Ms Li told us stories of the settlers of the island being trapped in typhoons etc and where they camped on the rock to escape the rains, winds and floods during typhoon season. The views from the top of the rock were totally awesome and well worth the easy climb. Looking down upon the little villages on the island I guess one could almost believe they were on an island in the Mediterranean. I can't pass judgment too much as I can only go from movies and documentaries I have seen but both Alexa and Daniel both let out big 'WoW's' of joy and passed the Mediterranean comment so I guess my thoughts were right. From Sunlight Rock you take the Chairlift across to the huge netting on the far end of the island. This of course is a huge bird avery and worth a look if you like birds. It was filled with...birds of course but you also get some big birds like emus, swans, pelicans etc. All seemed pretty happy and at home. Colour flies on by and happy chirps can be heard during your Avery Walk so why not give it ago. We then took a nice stroll to a popular little beach that offered fun things like a short time in a huge see through plastic ball where you can run and jump around on the water without even getting wet! Behind the little beach are some Fresh Seafood Restaurants where you point to fish in tanks and pay by the weight and by the plate for Prawns. Prices are very cheap and everything was swimming a few minutes before it was put onto your plate. Can't get fresher than that. Do It Mate...AWESOME! Next was the Museum, I can't remember what it was really called but I think it was called the Art Museum. Ok, don't think pictures, think Asian Writing Characters. What it is is a museum dedicated to Japanese, Korean, Malaysian and Chinese characters and their history. Cool if you're a character freak but not so cool if your not. It's all noodles to me what ever the country so just hand me a menu and it's pretty much the same thing just not as beautiful. We gave the piano museum a miss and walked through to the big garden and bridge behind. When you are on the little beach you will see a bridge to the right, you can't walk on this unless you have a ticket and this one will cost you 30 or 40 Yuan but the 'big ticket' will get you in. The bridge is called the '44 Bridge' because Mr Noodle (?) was 44 when he had it made for his 44th Birthday. Mr Noodle owned the house and all the land around that area. The bridge is actually a nice walk as the sun sets and the lights come on the island behind you. WAR BUNKERS: If you explore a lot of the island you will find a huge amount of concrete bunkers scattered all around the island. They are all around the islands exterior and also on hills with great views of the waters around. Ms Li didn't really give a direct answer but I think she said they were left overs from the Opium War which seems pretty much on the money when Xiamen was the first port forced open. Someone a few days later said they were left by the Japanese. I have no idea as I have no idea if the Japanese ever invaded Xiamen. But I am sure my buddy Simon will leave an answer for me either attached to this entry or by email so I the question will be answered. Simon...help mate! Daniel was once again beginning to feel oozy and Ms Li and I decided to spend the evening together so after she had changed out of her blue 'You Go You Go' uniform we paid our 8 Yuan each for the ferry ride back to the mainland. The little silver coin you get is actually not money it is the token you put into the little slot to get on the ferry. I know it sounds stupid but I thought it was a 1 Yuan coin until I was asked to put something in the slot. Ms Li and I spent the next many hours walking around the busy streets and going from shop to store to shop to store. We had a great time and it was the perfect end to a perfect day. Beers N Noodles to you.....shane

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (1)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (1)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (10)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (10)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (11)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (11)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (12)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (12)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (13)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (13)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (14)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (14)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (15)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (15)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (16)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (16)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (17)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (17)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (18)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (18)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (19)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (19)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (2)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (2)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (20)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (20)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (21)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (21)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (22)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (22)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (23)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (23)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (24)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (24)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (25)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (25)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (26)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (26)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (27)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (27)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (28)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (28)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (29)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (29)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (3)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (3)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (30)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (30)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (31)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (31)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (32)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (32)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (33)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (33)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (34)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (34)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (35)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (35)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (36)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (36)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (37)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (37)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (38)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (38)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (39)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (39)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (4)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (4)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (40)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (40)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (41)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (41)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (42)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (42)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (43)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (43)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (5)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (5)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (6)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (6)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (7)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (7)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (8)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (8)


Gulang Yu & Miss Li (9)

Gulang Yu & Miss Li (9)

Posted by eddakath 17:00 Archived in China

Email this entryFacebookStumbleUpon

Table of contents

Be the first to comment on this entry.

Comments on this blog entry are now closed to non-Travellerspoint members. You can still leave a comment if you are a member of Travellerspoint.

Login