Renowned to be a picturesque coastal city popular for its scenic beauty and tree-lined beaches, Xiamen is a Fujian Province in China. This island city is viewed as a famous weekend getaway as it is known for its vibrant and shimmering night-life. It is seen as Southern China's most sophisticated metropolis and is famed for its exquisite European city architecture.
Kick-start the trip by heading out to the magnificent Nanp?tuo Temple. This Buddhist temple complex perched on the southern side of Xiamen is one of the most revered shrines among the Fijianese and is also regarded as a pilgrimage site by devoted worshipers from Southeast Asia. Adjacent to Nanp?tuo Temple is the famous Xiamen University. Do take some time out to wander around the stunning republic-era buildings and sit by the serene lake. The on-campus anthropology museum is home to two huge 'boar coffins' excavated from a cliff in W?yi Sh?n.
History buffs would enjoy visiting the imperial Hulishan Fortress. Constructed in 1894, it is a relic of the Westernization Movement. One can rent binoculars to glance over the water to the Taiwanese-occupied island of Kinmen, formerly referred to as Quemoy and claimed by both mainland China and Taiwan. Stop over at the Overseas Chinese Museum which commemorates and showcases China's communities abroad, with dioramas, street scenes, photos and props.
It would be a shame to visit Xiamen and not take a trip to Gulangyu, the island, which is just across the harbour. Do marvel at the gorgeous 'European themed' old buildings, grab a quick bite at any of the cafes dotted around the islet and cap off the day by purchasing something quintessential from the handicraft hawkers.
Craving for some quiet and peace from the concrete jungle? Then do take some time out to relax at Bailuzhou Park. This luscious green space placed on an islet north of town, is ideal for rejuvenation and lounging around. It is the perfect family getaway. Drop by at the Water Garden Expo Park, which comprises of five exhibition park islands, four ecological landscapes islands and two peninsulas, including the main pavilion, Chinese Education Park, Marine Culture Island, Spa Island and other functional areas and related facilities.
When it comes to shopping, one of the must-see places is the K?ihe Lu Fish Market. Housed in the old district of Xiamen, this small but bustling market sells varied sea creatures. One of the key places to shop is the Zhongshan Road that runs through a historical part of the metropolis. Another interesting place to get your dose of retail therapy is the Dragon Head Road that sell art, handicrafts and paintings. Other buys include beads, lacquer threaded sculptures, color bar, ceramics, plus Chinese antiques, jade and so forth.
As for cuisine, do feel free to dig into some of their local delicacies such as Xiamen Glass Noodles, Oyster omelet and Xiamen Fish Balls. The night-life is vibrant and colourful with a plethora of dance clubs and trendy bars dotted in the city. The stay options in Xiamen are abundant with the best luxury hotels and rental apartments available for the millionaires. Similarly, those who are light on the pocket can opt for cheap accommodations based on their budget and taste.
Xiamen experiences monsoonal humid subtropical climate. The best time to visit would be during spring and autumn as the temperatures are pleasant at that time.