How to Spend 1 Day in Xiamen
This island city, formerly known as Amoy, has long been a favorite destination among Chinese travelers and one of China’s most prosperous cities. From its parks and promenades to its temples and UNESCO World Heritage sites, here’s how to spend one day in Xiamen.
Morning: Around the Island
Xiamen is a big island that packs an equally big cultural punch. Get a taste for what Xiamen’s all about today during a guided sightseeing tour around the island. Few people speak English here, so visiting with a guide will prove invaluable. Most itineraries include a visit to the Tang dynasty Nanputuo Temple and its collection of Buddhist relics, the 19th-century Huli Mountain Fortress, and Zhongshan Road Walking Street. You’ll also have time to walk along the Island Ring Road that hugs the beach. Opt for a private tour to make sure you see everything on your list (and skip the things you’re not as interested in).
The small island of Gulangyu, off Xiamen’s west coast, is a highlight of the entire Fujian Province and a must for any visitor. Take an afternoon excursion to this UNESCO World Heritage Site to see what makes it such a hit with domestic travelers. Admire the European architecture, duck into a café for a cup of coffee or Chinese green tea, and stroll through the traditional Shuzhuang Garden, a former private villa since transformed into a public Chinese garden. Visit with an English-speaking guide to learn more about the history of the island, or catch the ferry over to explore at your own pace.
Night: Minnan Magic
This evening, learn more about the distinct Minnan culture of Fujian Province during a 6-part stage performance known as Minnan Magic. This cultural show highlights the local folk heritage through song, dance, elaborate costumes, and traditional local martial arts. After the show, make your way to Haiwan Park (Bay Park) for an evening out in one of the city’s most popular nightlife districts, with a collection of bars and restaurants right on the waterfront.