Last year, the 502-kilometer Xiamen-Shenzhen high-speed railway was put into use. One of its stations—the Humen Baisha Station, the only high-speed railway station in this city—connects Dongguan with cities in Guangdong such as Shenzhen, Jieyang and Shantou to cities in Fujian such as Zhangzhou and Xiamen at ever faster speeds.
Whizzing down the tracks at 250 kilometers per hour, traveling from Dongguan to Xiamen has shortened from over ten hours to three hours, at a ticket price of RMB 330, higher than that of the RMB 220 ticket from the Dongguan Bus Station and the RMB 180 ticket from the Dongguan East Railway Station in Changping Town. But it is the convenience of time that makes taking a trip to China’s famous coastal city an ideal holiday plan for Dongguan travelers, even at the last minute.
Good to Know
Xiamen is a beautiful tourist city in the southeastern coastal area of China that is home to egrets, winning it the name of “Egret Island.” Xiamen lies in the center of the landscape of the Golden Triangle in South Fujian, and faces Jinmen Island of Taiwan across the sea. It has a sub-tropical maritime climate, and spring and autumn is the best traveling season.
Its clean environment, attractive beaches, botanical gardens, waterfront promenades and parks have helped distinguish Xiamen as one of the most popular traveling spots in China.
The crown jewel of Xiamen’s tourist appeal goes to the beautiful island of Gulangyu (meaning Island of Drumming Waves). It takes five minutes by ship from the ferry. This small island covers about 2 sq. kilometers, with quirky streets and alleys, coffee shops and restaurants, clean beaches and waterfront views.
Gulangyu Island is car-free without much hustle and bustle, except for the crowds during busy seasons. The island’s highest mountain is the Riguangyan (Sunlight Rock) Mountain. Gulangyu Island’s colonial architecture from the 19th century European flavor remains mostly intact.
Gulangyu Island also has the nickname in China of “Hometown of Piano,” which—thanks to Christian missionaries—has more pianos per capita than any other place in China (about one in every five homes). Numerous pianists have originated from Gulangyu Island, as can be seen upon entering the island’s piano museum.
South Putuo Temple
Lying at the foot of Wulao Mountain on the southern tip of Xiamen Island and attracting worshipers from all over the nation, the famous South Putuo Temple backs up to a group of exquisite peaks and is adjacent to Xiamen University. Its history dates back to the Tang Dynasty and the complex architecture looks dignified and magnificent achieving the feelings of boundless tolerance of the Buddha Dharma.
After a moment of inner-reflection staring at the amazing craftsmanship of the Goddess of Mercy statue and her 1,000 hands, a climb of the Wulao Mountain, and its height of 200 meters to stand with the rest of the tourists to take in the best views overlooking the sea and the city at a distance.
Xiamen University and Huandao Road
Renowned as one of the most beautiful universities in China, Xiamen University, with a picturesque campus by the sea, is a wonderful place to take a stroll. If you walk the paths around the lake you will discover arched bridges and an island with bronze life-size statues. From the lake you can see the modern architecture of the new administration and classroom buildings as well as the original ancient style dormitory buildings.
Students of Xiamen University are envied because they have easy access to Huandao Road, which circles around the island routing the must-see and most enjoyable places in Xiamen. This road snakes around the sea through the breeze, and makes for a great bicycle ride.
The road is 43 kilometers long in total, but only the stretch from Xiamen University to Qianpu Village, about 9 kilometers that runs along the seashore, is called the golden coastline. This section integrates tourism, sightseeing, leisure activities and recreation. On the seashore there, visitors can see Taiwan’s Jinmen Island across the sea. It’s the closest place between the mainland China and Taiwan.
Night time in Xiamen is also very happening. You can go shopping in Zhongshan Road. It is the oldest commercial street with a great reputation. You will also see regular opera performances, puppet shows. In addition, Egret Island City Park is also a very good choice where you can see the musical fountains every night. Also Binlang Bar Street is a nightlife venue of great popularity especially among young people and foreign visitors. Plenty of bars and pubs with their distinct styles and features can be found there.