Xiamen (厦门; Xiàmén) is a coastal city in Fujian Province in China. It has been an important port for centuries and became one of China's earliest Special Economic Zones in the 1980s. The name Xiamen means "door to the house", referring to the city's centuries-old role as a gateway to China.
It is not Taipei or Hong Kong, but compared to most other cities in the region, Xiamen is definitely a very vibrant, affluent and modern place. It got an international award in a contest for most livable cities in 2002; neighboring Quanzhou won the following year.
The most important tourist area is Gulangyu Island, a small island which contains some beautiful colonial buildings and is car free.
Xiamen, taken from Sunlight Rock on Gulangyu Islet.
Most of the city is on Xiamen island. The mainland areas Jimei and Haicang, just across bridges, and the smaller island Gulangyu are administratively parts of the same city, but geographically distinct.
Until 1840, Western countries were allowed to trade only in Guangzhou (which they called Canton), and only under strict controls. After China lost the First Opium War, Britain took Hong Kong and China opened five Treaty Ports: Guangzhou, Xiamen (then known as Amoy), Fuzhou, Ningbo and Shanghai. In Xiamen, the island Gulangyu became a foreign enclave with consulates and luxurious homes. Today it is a quiet area (no motorcycles) and five minutes by ferry from downtown, and still quite scenic.
In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, Fujian was a focus of missionary activity. There are still many historic churches in the region.
In the 1970s, Xiamen was one of the first cities to become a Special Economic Zone to encourage development and open mainland China to the outside world; since then it has flourished. Technically, only Xiamen Island and Gulyang Yu are in the SEZ, but the whole region is flourishing. Xiamen has more Taiwan investment than any other mainland city, partly because Taiwanese is a dialect of Minnan (Southern Min), the local language of southern Fujian. There is also a major influx of other foreign investment; among the foreign companies with large factories in Xiamen are Lifetime Products, Dell and Kodak.
Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) is on Xiamen island and conveniently close to downtown, ¥30-40 and 20 minutes by taxi. Xiamen Airlines  use XMN as their hub. They have connections all over China and some international flights to Asian destinations. Several other Chinese airlines also fly to Xiamen.
If you are flying to Xiamen from North America, consider Korean Air. They offer great discounts, and the Seoul Airport is the most user-friendly on the planet, free internet and nice free lounges with couches to stretch out on. If you are coming from elsewhere, look for cheap flights direct to Xiamen from Hong Kong, Singapore, Manila, Kuala Lumpur or Bangkok.
KLM and Xiamen Airlines now jointly offer direct flights between Amsterdam and Xiamen, creating the first direct intercontinental link for Xiamen. Flights are scheduled three times per week: Xiamen-Amsterdam on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays; Amsterdam-Xiamen on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.
Fast bullet trains connect Xiamen North to Fuzhou (¥85, 100 minutes) and beyond Fuzhou toward Hangzhou and Shanghai. A fast train line south to Shenzhen (Shenxia Highspeed Rail) is expected to commence service at the end of December 2013. There is also regular train service, cheaper but slow since the railroads travel a circuitous route through mountains; a bus is usually a better choice.
Trains to Xiamen include
- Quanzhou, ¥40, 1.5 hours.
- Fuzhou, ¥70-90, 4 hours.
- Hong Kong, Guangzhou, or Zhuhai, around ¥200-300, overnight sleeper bus. There is a bus direct to Xiamen from Hong Kong airport. From Hong Kong, there are some busses that go all the way and some where you have to change busses at the Hong Kong-China border.
- From Hong Kong via Shenzhen: take the metro to Lo Wu border station, cross the border on foot (usually fast and easy if your visa is in order). There are small shops selling bus tickets within the border complex, with pickup nearby, or you can walk a block to the main bus station. A number of Bus operators are available and Bus service is frequent. A trip from Lo wu ( China side) to Xiamen will take 9 hours and cost 250 to 300 Yuan. Night sleeping coaches are also available.
- Shenzhen, ¥200-300, 8 hours. Buses leave for Xiamen from the Qiaoshe long-distance bus station (侨社客运站) daily at 9:10, 9:40, 11:00, 11:40, 12:30, 20:00, 20:30, 21:00, 21:30, 22:00 and 22:20. Tickets can be purchased at the Shenzhen Tourism Group (深圳市旅游股份有限公司) counter at Qiaoshe bus station. They take credit card or cash.
A boat service operates to and from Kinmen, which belongs to Republic of China (Taiwan), hourly 8:30AM-5:30PM every day. Tickets cost NT$700 from Kinmen and ¥170 from Xiamen.
There are actually two different ferry terminals in Xiamen. One is called Dongdu (东渡/厦门国际邮轮中心) on the west side of the island near the Marco Polo and Pan Pacific Hotels. The other is called Wutong (五通客运码头) on the east side of the island near the Xiang'an Tunnel. Currently, only the Wutong terminal has boats to/from Kinmen.
Note however that there is only one port on Kinmen island for Xiamen, and the boat times alternate.
Taxis are cheap, starting at ¥10 for the first 3 kilometers. After the first 3km, the meter charge will go up based on distance. Note that although the meter may read with a decimal, most taxi drivers will round up. During the day time, you should be able to get anywhere on Xiamen island, including the airport, for under ¥40. But be wary that some taxi drivers might take advantage of you if they know that you are not a local and might take the longer route to your destination. For example, if the driver says "Huándǎo Lù" after you tell him where you want to go, say bù (no), because that is the ring road that circles the entire island and although it is scenic, it is likely the most expensive way to go. Xiamen is known to have the 2nd worst taxi service in China which translates to taxis simply not stopping for you during rush hour (duty shift) or when the driver simply doesn't want to take your fare. Your second option is to go with the "black" taxis: people who simply drive their own car around looking for a quick yuan, especially during (heavy) rainfall when taxis are booked solid. Haggling is required, expect high starting prices.
The local bus system is very good, but the bus routes are listed in Chinese and do not have English on them. The BRT is Bus Rapid Transit, on elevated bus-only roads; very fast and comfortable but of course it does not go everywhere. Fare is usually ¥1 per person.
There is a frequent ferry service to/from Gǔlàngyǔ. The ferry terminal is just north of the Liujiang Waterfront Hotel. No charge for the journey out; buy tickets near the pier on Gǔlàngyǔ for the return trip, ¥8. More comfortable seating on the upper deck for an extra ¥1 going either direction; you pay for that on the ferry.
To go around by bike is a great way to explore this gifted Island. Try the Island Ring Road (Huándǎo Lù) which has an extra path for bicycles in most of its parts. Start at Xiamen University Beach and go up until the International Exhibition Center. There are various rental stations on the Huándǎo Road, starting at ¥30 per day. Enjoy the sunshine while cruising next to the sea. If you are leaving the path for bicycles, execute caution of the traffic.
Exploring Xiamen by motorbike is a great way as well, although it is forbidden on the whole island! Enforcement is strict in the vivid areas (e.g. Yuandang Lake, Zhongshan Road, etc.). If caught, be prepared to pay a fine, or even to get your motorbike taken into custody. Elsewhere in Xiamen, the enforcement of the motorbike law is more easy. Riding a motorbike outside the island (e.g. Jimei Area, Tongan Area, Haicang Area) is allowed.
The Xiamen dialect of Minnan is taken to be the standard dialect (it is similar to and mutually intelligible with Taiwanese), so Xiamen is an excellent starting place to learn Minnan. Minnan is not mutually intelligible with Mandarin, Cantonese or any of the other Min dialects.
Mandarin is almost universally spoken by younger people as it is the only language used in the education system. English is not widely spoken, though staff in higher end hotels will usually be able to communicate in English.
You can enjoy Xiamen's unique scenery not only in the day but also in the night. Take a breather and walk beside Yundang Lake in the evening and you can see how Xiamen transforms into a different setting: lighted artistic sculptures, scent of the sea, and romantic lovers by the lake. Enjoy your stroll and notice that some buildings even have a light show at night, simple laser/light shows that attract attention, which is some form of an advertisement mostly done by newly opened commercial buildings and some residential complexes to draw attention to their business.
- Zhongshan Road Pedestrian Street (中山路步行街), off Liujiang Road near the Gulangyu ferry terminal. See the yearly facelifts and notice that older buildings are becoming extinct and being replaced by modern ones. edit
- Night markets (夜市). See how smaller businesses trade in the night. edit
- Yundang Lake (筼筜湖), (from Hubin bus station, turn left, then turn left on Bailuzhou Road). See how the egrets flock in the day and fly home in the night. edit
- Bailuzhou Park (白鹭洲公园). A large and beautiful park. Go around 8:30PM and enjoy the vendors, music, and dancing. edit
- Xiamen University (厦门大学). Beautiful campus with old traditional buildings and a tranquil lake outside the foreign language department. Nowadays the University is open for anyone, some registration may needed on peak holidays. To avoid long registration procedure, you may enter the university from three smaller gates which are across the Baicheng beach. edit
- Jiageng Park (嘉庚公园). A beautiful park in memory of Tan Kah Kee (Chen Jiageng), founder of Xiamen University. edit
- Nanputuo Temple (南普陀寺). A big Buddhist temple outside Xiamen University at Xiada (short for Xiamen University) Street. Visitors can climb the mountain behind the temple for beautiful views of Xiamen and surrounding nature. The mountain is also littered with small enclaves with hundreds of Buddhist statuettes. Entrance to the temples is ¥3, but you can walk around the lotus pond and eat in the vegetarian restaurant on the east end without paying admission. edit
- Music Square (音乐广场). A park-like area along the boardwalk with sculptures of/about many famous composers and musicians, both Western and Chinese. Look for the public toilets with the musical notes on the wall, or a large red sculpture that looks somewhat like an open fan. edit
- Xiamen Shinegood Culture Gallery (厦门文化馆). It is located in the Culture Exhibition Centre near the beach and a yacht dock. It is the biggest private gallery in China with the main theme being ancient jade. Hundreds of ancient jade objects are not only historically valuable but also pleasant for an eye. Open the door of history, enter the ancient times and afterwards enjoy yourself admiring the picturesque scenery surrounding the museum. edit
- Hulishan Fortress (湖里的堡垒, Hulishan Canon Platform), (on the south-eastern headland of Xiamen and near Xiamen University). Built in 1894 it is a relic of the Westernization Movement. The architectural of the canon platform is in a Ming and Qing dynasty style. On the front of the platform there are “Wanggui platform” and “Pangui platform”, on which you can see the Dadan and Xiaodan islands through a telescope. In the yard of canon platform there is a gorgeous wall sculpture named “the Soul of Nation”, and a water fountain from the left side of the wall. Entrance is ¥25. edit
- Water Garden Expo Park (水花园世博园). Water Garden Expo Park has a planning area of about 6.76 square kilometers (land area of 3.03 square kilometers), which consists 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. edit
- Sunlight Rock (日光岩). Chinese say the 92.7m high Sunlight Rock, known as Dragon Head Hill by Chinese and Camel Rock by foreigners, faces Tiger Head Hill across the bay on Xiamen Island, and that the dragon and tiger team up to guard Xiamen Harbor's entrance. edit
- Gulangyu（鼓浪屿） A visit to Xiamen would not be complete without setting foot on Gulangyu, the island just across the harbour. A walk around, especially on tourist infested days is exciting. All sorts of food vendors, handicraft hawkers, and cute little cafes and restaurants beckon. To sum up, Gulangyu may just represent what a Chinese version of a Bohemian-like enclave can be. Lots and lots of colourful portrait artists in every nook and corner. A day's trip is just fine. Unless you are really into a spell of peace and quiet, the island may be a little boring once the sun sets except maybe you are into seafood dining and the upmarket cafes and restaurant for drinks. Not cheap though. Gulangyu business people cater for tourists and tourists only. All in all, don't miss visiting this relaxing, quiet and yes "European themed" old buildings island. The Chinese tourists flock all over just for this trip down nostalgia lane.
- Lam Soon Crocodile Farm (南顺鳄鱼园). South along the crocodile in xiamen JiMeiXueCun dragon boat pool no.107 east, and therefore jimei connected. Crocodile first phase of the project has a performance one pool, ornamental pool three, crocodile products hall 1 a. Are also equipped with multiple western-style ornamental pavilions, a large stone model and so on. edit
- Shapowei (沙坡尾). The gritty Shapowei sheltered dock area, just a short taxi ride away from Zhongshan Rd, is in the process of being rejuvenated. Several hip cafes have opened in the past few years, and there's even a new Shapowei Art Zone located inside an old fish processing factory. The area's still not very well known, even among locals, so go there now before it's completely gentrified. edit
With its clear waters, long and wide sandy beaches as well as its stable winds, Xiamen is one of the major hot spots for Kite Surfing in China, and often hosts various domestic and international competitions. Regularly there is a huge crowd who hails from all over China, and sometimes even from abroad to kite in Xiamen. Kite Surfing can be done at best at Haiyuntai, close to the Asia Golden Bay Hotel (Huandao Road).
From April till December you will find perfect cross-shore winds and warm to mild water temperatures. The water is quite flat, choppy waves are seldom. Watch out for some rocks in the water when the tide is low. Swimmers in that area are also seldom which makes it safe to Kite here, even if your skills are not perfect yet. Since there are lots of other Kiters here who always have an eye for each other and will help each other, it will enhance the safety. 16 meters Kite are fine most of the year, however you sometimes might consider a 9 or 17 meter Kite, depending on the wind. From October till April a 5mm wetsuit will keep you comfortable warm.
A Kitesurfing School with Chinese and English speaking IKO-certified Instructors, including equipment for sale and storage, compressor and shower facilities is located on the beach, at the Rasa Sayang Restaurant.
Different nearby facilities like restaurants, hotel or guest houses offers all you need. The seaside patio of the Rasa Sayang, with daily BBQ in the evening, is an amazing chill-out area for Kiters and their friends.
Why not learn some Chinese while you are in China? Xiamen Mandarin Fun School is the only registered private Chinese school specializing in teaching Chinese to foreigners, they provide Chinese lessons for students in different levels.
Xiamen has a rich and vibrant nightlife, which is still affordable, compared to Shanghai or Beijing. In all major luxurious hotels you will find Filipino-Bands in the Lobby in the evening, creating a perfect atmosphere for a drink after the work is done.
The Discoteques "1801" and "Dushang", a distance of only 200 m, draw a big crowd all night. Although crowded, these places are generally safe. Generally means not always, so be careful since fights are happen here from time to time, and the safety guards will usually not try to settle the disputes. If you come after 11 p.m. on a Saturday night your entry may be denied, as it is is overcrowded already.
The main hot spot for nightlife the Haiwan Park, next to the Yuandang Lake. Here you will find different Clubs, Pubs and Discotheques. "The Key" is a favourite hot spot, with a Filipino and a Taiwan Band who bring the spirit to the top every night. As of 2016 The Key is closed for renovations and the Filipino band has moved to Club Louis next to 1801, attracting a new audience to an otherwise ordinary Chinese club. The Discotheque "KK" is worth visiting, but you should be cautious, as fights between drunken people happen here sometimes.
Alternative and cheaper nightlife, with lots of students and younger people, can be found at Zhengcuoan, near to Xiamen University. Here you will find a lot of cheap pubs, open-air BBQ´s and casual gatherings of young people enjoying the sunset and mild Xiamen nights over a drink.
Like many other cities in China, Xiamen has a Zhongshan road that runs through a historical part of the city. In Xiamen, there is a pedestrian only section that makes going for a stroll more pleasant. There are many stores here. The opening time is generally from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. The major places on the street are Hualian Building, Huahui Market, Paris Spring and Jinlu-Jewelry.
The buildings along Zhongshan Road combine a European architecture style with coastal city character. It is the sole commercial street leading to the sea, which has convenient transportation.
Close to Zhongshan Road there are also Siming North, South, West and East Road and Jukou Street, which are also good for shopping.
Xiamen University Street
This street is actually half a street because the other half is part of Nanputuo Temple. Hundreds of shops line the street which is only a few hundreds meters. Most of these shops sell garments and cultural things, and the book stores are also worth a look.
Xiamen has a number of modern enclosed shopping malls that have all the usual chain store suspects and large anchor tenants. Here are just a few:
- World Trade Mall - Located near the train station in the city center.
- SM Laiya - Also known as SM City Plaza or SM Lifestyle Center. Two large shopping malls that are part of the Filipino SM chain (whose founder happens to have been born in Xiamen). Located at the intersection of Xiānyuè Lu and Jiāhé Lu (仙岳路/嘉禾路).
- Wanda Plaza - Also known as Wanda Guangchang, this mall just opened in 2011 and has a Uniqlo. Located at Xiānyuè Lu and Jīnshān Lu (仙岳路/金山路).
Dragon Head Road (Longtou Road) and Quanzhou Road in Gulangyu Island
Dragon Head Road (Longtou Road) is one of the major commercial roads of Xiamen and also the only way to Gulangyu Island. Shops along this street sell art, handicrafts and paintings. Examples of things you can buy include: beads, lacquer threaded sculptures, color bar, ceramics, plus Chinese antiques, jade, and ceramics. Nanguo nuts shop is popular, it is a good choice for the tourists to take back some dried food and nuts and present to friends and relatives. A Tip: you can bargain with the sellers.
Xiamen Local Foods:
- Xiamen Glass Noodles 面线糊 miànxiàn hú
- Oyster omelet 海蛎煎 hǎilì jiān
- Xiamen Fish Balls 厦门鱼丸 xiàmén yúwán
- Sea worm jelly 土笋冻 tǔsǔndòng
- Shacha Noodles 沙茶面 shāchá miàn. Noodles with various seafood, often squid, oysters, and/or shrimp, in a sesame-garlic soup.
- Shrimp Noodle Soup 虾面 xiāmiàn
- Xiamen Spring Roll 春卷 chūnjuǎn
- Xiamen Glutinous Rice Wrap 厦门烧肉粽 xiàmén shāoròu zòng
- Peanut soup 花生汤 huāshēng tāng
- Xiamen Pot Stickers 韭菜盒 jiǔcài hé
- Crab porridge 蟹米粥 xièmǐ zhōu
- Braised Duck with Ginger 姜母鸭 jiāngmǔyā
- Xiamen Wonton soup 扁食汤 biǎnshítāng
There are many local dishes scattered around Zhongshan Rd (the Pedestrian Shopping district) and LunDu (the harbor to get to Gulangyu islet). Find the restaurant around the lane. Some worth to trying is ShaChaMian, noodle with peanut soup, there is one old restaurant on the east end of Zhongshan Rd (intersection of Xinhua Rd).
Gulangyu islet is also abundance in cheap and delicious food, especially on LongTou lane. Don't miss the Longtou lane Fish ball soup.
- Curry Laksa, Daxue road, Siming District, Xiamen 361000, China (A few steps away from Amoy Bräu). Run by a local dude who spent some years working in New Zealand, this place serves only one dish: Penang Curry Laksa, with variations of Seafood and Chicken. Spicy goodness with a touch of creamy coconut milk, this place is gold. Big bowl of soup, noodles with generous amount of chicken, just for 25 rmb. edit
- Mike's Hotdogs and Beers, Daxue Lu 15, Shapowei (From Amoy Bräu, walk about 100m towards the direction of Lundu). A German guy decided that locals deserve hotdogs better than what were being offered, opened a shop in Xiamen's up-and-coming area Shapowei (or Daxue Lu). Offering two different kinds of hotdogs (spicy and not spicy), with 5 variations of toppings, at 25 rmb, this place is a gem in the heart of Xiamen. My favorite is Chilidog and Supersonic (them yummy caramelized onions, with cream cheese filling the sides of the bun...). Mike's also serves delicious potato salad for just 10rmb. You'll never find anything like this in Shanghai or Beijing. edit
- Angry Bull Burgers, Xiaoxue road, Siming District, Xiamen 361000, China (Right behind The Bank Center, from Sibei road about 100m walk). A Malaysian guy fed up with local places offering either overpriced burgers or low quality ones, decided to make his own. So Angry Bull happened. Delicious, juicy burgers made from the right parts of a bovine (idk which part but it's supposed to be special), this place got so popular in such a short amount of time that it inspired a copycat (as always in China..). They serve regular burgers(25 rmb) and a monstrous half-pounder(45 rmb). Chili con carne is also an option (I always order mine with this!), for a measly 8rmb additional. When looking for a safe, comfort food, just head towards The Bank Center and walk to Angry Bull. edit
There is a whole strip of cafes and bars along the lake on Xidi Coffee Street (西堤咖啡一条街)next to Marco Polo Hotel. Most of them are in villa style home converted to cafes with patios or balconies with a view of the lake. On the side streets off the lake are several more places.
- The F Bistro, Hexiangxi road, No. 17 - 8, Xiamen, 地址厦门禾祥西路17号之八6-1 (In the cross of Hexiangxi lu and Gugong lu, front of ICBC), ☎ 0592-2281102. 10.00am - 2.00am. Wine bar, bar, restaurant with a lounge style, You can eat french cuisine, taste french imported wine. The Chefs are from france, and very careful to make their customers satisfied. The prices are accessible. ¥38-68. edit
- Tuscany Cafe, 102-2 Haiwan Xincheng, No.27 Hubin Bei Rd, Xiamen 厦门市湖滨北路27号海湾新城102之二. Just around the corner from the Xiamen Sports Cafe, this place serves mainly European dishes with a few Mexican dishes. The owner/chef is a former chef of the Four Seaons Hotel, Hong Kong. The prices are very reasonable, with most items under Y50 with free bruschetta. They also have a special lunch menu which is quite cheap. The staff are able to speak English. edit
- Chongching, (Down the side street next to Geo Geo). Excellent sichuan food, moderate prices, plain decor. Staff do not speak English, but there is English on the menu. edit
- Coyote Cafe & Cantina, 58-2 Ganglong Huayuan, Yuandang Road (by the lake), ☎ +86 592 5046623, . Lunch and dinner. Great Tex-Mex food made with fresh ingredients. edit
- JJ Bar and Grill, Haiwan Park, next to the Yuandang Lake. A neon sign above the entrance says "Welcome to Texas" and that is the theme. For an American looking for a taste of home, this is good choice - steaks, barbecue, fajitas, and a lot of classic US-style appetizers. If you're really sporty there is even a mechanical bull. Band at night plays mostly western classics. Frequent dinner stop for expats. Just around the corner are the popular nightclubs. edit
- Geo Geo Cafe, (Furthest from Marco Polo Hotel in the lake side strip). Serves good Italian and American food and coffee. edit
- Little Chili's. Offers excellent Chinese food at an affordable price. The menus are in English. edit
- Lujiang Harbourview Hotel. Has a nice sixth floor al fresco restaurant looking out at Gulangyu Island. The restaurant has an English menu and serves Fuijian specialities. Highlight was some excellent wasabi marinated cucumber slices. edit
- Marco Polo Hotel. Does a good Sunday international buffet for ¥120 plus service. edit
- Tutto Bene, (Across the street from Marco Polo). A very good Italian place. edit
- Chu Family Coffee, 15 Zhonghua Road, Gulangyu Islet, ☎ +86 13600944308. Quiet and lovely place. The building was recently renovated. They offer coffee, Western style food and desserts. A bit overpriced, like most of the venues on the charming Gulangyu island. edit
- Miss Cafe (不见咖啡馆), 思明区环岛路溪头下村23号, ☎ 0592 5963 777. An extremely relaxing cafe with excellent design. edit
- Brewhouse, (Pedestrian shopping street behind the Wanda shopping centre in Jimei District). American-owned restaurant serving burgers, pizza, steak, macaroni with shredded pork, and other American bar food. Brews their own tasty beer, which is the main reason to go there. Prices comparable to other nicer western restaurants in China. edit
- Golden Olives, (Pedestrian shopping street behind the Wanda shopping centre in Jimei District, close to Brewhouse). Greek-style restaurant serving surprisingly good dishes, including gyros, lamb shanks, chicken fillets, kebabs, and more. Also serves imported Greek beer. Definitely a rarity in China. Menus in English and some of the staff speak pretty good English too, if you have any questions. A little expensive (30-50 yuan/person), but worth the price for a nice dinner. edit
- The Shop, No.77 Minzu Road, Siming District, Xiamen 361000, China (From the Yanwu bridge, walk to the direction of Lundu, about 80m). Quirky cafe serving awesome sandwiches and some Mediterranean fares, this place is a popular hangout among the hip in Xiamen. Falafel sandwiches, Bacon wraps, Full English, they even started serving curry (really tasty!). Run by Zeid, cool guy from Syria, with Jing helping him manage the place, the overall vibe you get from this place is laidback. A must visit when in Xiamen. edit
Tea Houses are popular in Xiamen. You will see relaxing people making tea in front of their houses in daytime.
Xiamen Sports Cafe 27 Hubin Bei Lu Shop 103 Haiwan Xincheng (Near KFC, in the back left corner of the forum of shops behind KFC). Nice sports bar popular with some locals but mainly expats. The bar has a reasonably priced food menu, with the pizza being of high quality. Daily happy hour with cheap pints of Tiger. Especially good if it is your first time to Xiamen and you are looking for some advice on things to do.
There is a bar street opposite the Marco Polo hotel which is called Guanren Lu Bar Street. This is not far away from the Xiamen Sports Cafe, both of which are near the CBD and the Bank of China. Here you can find a variety of pubs, restaurants and shops selling western food items. This area is very popular with expats.
The Londoner British-themed pub, home of the Xiamen Typhoons RUFC.
'Me & You 2 No.1 Hou Hai Ting, Hai Wan Park, Xiamen Nice bar located near the sea on the Haiwan Park area. Good menu with both Asian and Western options and pizza is acknowledged as some of the best in Xiamen. There is a large range of pizzas from Y45-65 (they also deliver). They have Becks, Tiger and Stella on tap. Happy hour until 8pm (Becks and Tiger are half price). Live music sometimes (in English).
'Amoy Bräu No.73 Daxue Lu（Good Old Place) ,Siming District,Xiamen OR 厦门市思明区大学路73号 or 沙坡尾艺术西区 Xiamen's very own, first craft beer brewery, run by two German guys. What started as a 'hobby' eventually led to full time brewing, opening a brewpub at a backstreet that has a very classic Xiamen vibe (e.g. it's just across an old fishport). After a year of operations, the boys expanded to a bigger brewpub. The beers are amazing, and sold at a really decent price. Their most distinguished one is Yang Mei beer, Belgian Wit made with a local indigenous fruit. The 7 Horses IPA is my personal favorite, with the Black Moon Stout being the most popular among local Chinese. A visit to Xiamen is not complete without passing by Amoy Bräu.
This lists accommodation in Xiamen only. For accommodations on Gulangyu island, see Gulangyu.
- Bestel Hotel Xiamen (厦门毕思特酒店), Nanzhong Plaza, West Siming Road (Siming Xi Lu) Siming Xiamen,, . The Bestel Hotel (Xiamen Bisite Jiudian) is located at the intersection of Zhongshan Road pedestrian street and Jukou Street, close to the dock and opposite the popular Gulangyu Island. Several scenic spots such as Wanshi Botanical Garden, Nanputuo Temple, Xiamen University and Huandao Road are all close by. edit
- Freeman Hostel 自游人, ☎ +86-592-2515148 ; +86-189-5005-1945 (email@example.com). The staffs can speak fluent English and the owner like to go trekking or hiking almost everyday,so you can join him for free, explore the city and its mountains.Room are newly renovated, with plasma TV, attached bathroom,wifi, etc. 5 min bus to the beach and Xiamen university. Address:曾厝垵东宅 30 and 73 号. Take bus no.20 or 135 to the last station: 厦大学生公寓 (Shàdà xuéshēng gōngyù) turn right towards Xiamen University Student dormitory gate and give a call/ follow the direction. 35rmb - dormitory, 88-168rmb personal room. edit
- Xiamen Old Town Hostel, ☎ 133-1384-8939 (firstname.lastname@example.org). Smack in the middle of the oldest and largest open air seafood market left in China. Close to the ferries to Gulangyu Island and Kinmen, Taiwan. The Hostel is in a small maze of alleys in a home rented by a Yankee and his Chinese wife. Make it to 160 Xiahe Road ( 厦禾路 160), next the the Kaihe road BRT bus stop(开禾路口BRT站） and give them a call or walk up the stairs and turn to the right and it is just down the first smaller alley on the left #24 Jiutiao Alley (九条巷24)(but not so easy to find). edit
- Hostel Locanda, No.35 Minzu Rd, Siming District, Xiamen, China, ☎ +86 592 2082918. One block from the waterfront with Gulangyu island across the water. It is a 10 minute walk to Zhongshan Road and Lundu Ferry and 20 minute walk to Xiamen University. Lovely double rooms upstairs, but the dorms on the ground floor are cramped and the shared bathrooms far from clean. Garden but no kitchen at all. edit
- Xiamen Baijiacun International Youth Hostel (厦门百家村国际青年旅舍), 20 Liaohua Lu (蓼花路20) (From Songbo (松柏) bus station, take bus #86/#616 to Gongyuan Dong Lu (公园东路）, the hostel is on the opposite side with a red wall. Taxi 17元.), ☎ +86 592 2131010 (email@example.com), . . Clean, spacious hostel located in a great location at Zhongshan Gongyuan (中山公园) 50元 8-bed dormitory. edit
- Xiamen International Youth Hostel, 41 Nanhua Road, Siming District, ☎ +86 592 2082345 (firstname.lastname@example.org). edit
- Meihulu Hotel (美湖鹭酒店), 52-5 Hubin Nan Lu (湖滨南路52-5号), Siming District (Almost invisible on the opposite left of the long-distance bus station), ☎ +86 2572255. Small place that accepts foreign passports and is quiet, yet conveniently located. From ¥70+. edit
- Xiamen Travellers' Home (旅行者之家), No.23 Zeng Cuo An, Island Ring Road 厦门环岛路曾厝垵23号, ☎ 0592 2516180 /136 0693 7090. A very homy place to stay for holiday. clean, great hospitality, 5 rooms ensure small number of guests staying. low seaon - 200rmb / high season 280rmb/night. edit
- Jingmin Central Hotel (厦门景闽中心酒店), 158 Yuhounanli Siming xiamen, . Jingmin Central Hotel, one five-star hotel, with very positive ratings,the hotel successfully met Star Diamond Award set by the American Academy of Hospitality Sciences (AAHS) awarding excellence in the global travel and luxury services sector edit
- V-inn Hotel, 121 Xian Rd, Siming District, ☎ +86 592 2628888, . Offers air-conditioned rooms, some of which have personal computer, free Internet access, cable TV, and an IDD phone. Best rates on official website start at ¥208+. edit
- Gem Hotel. Beautiful Japanese-style rooms overlooking much of downtown Xiamen. Includes Chinese buffet breakfast and free wired internet access. Most of the staff speak English well and are extremely helpful. ¥200+. edit
- Jing Hua Hotel, 1130 Xiahe Rd, Siming District, ☎ +86 592 5819898, . Three star hotel offering 146 air-conditioned rooms, all of which have Internet access, satellite TV, and mini-bar. Some of its amenities include KTV, fitness center, and sauna. Best rates on official website start at ¥258. edit
- Xiamen Kingty Hotel, No. 189 Xianyue Road, Siming District, ☎ 86-21-5111888, . Each room is air-conditioned, and equipped with cable TV, Internet access, a mini-bar, IDD telephone, and safety box. Some of its amenities include meeting and conference rooms, fitness room, beauty salon, and hotel restaurants that serves Cantonese, Fujian, and Sichuan food. While staying here, you can visit some interesting places like Bailuzhou and Jiageng Park, Coyote Cafe & Cantina, and Yundang Lake. Best rates on official website start at ¥298. edit
- Yunding Hotel, 206 Huang Cuo Mao Hou, Siming District, ☎ 86-592-2561111, . Offers spacious air-conditioned rooms, all furnished with rollaway beds, a safe, and DDD/IDD phone. Some of its amenities include indoor swimming pool, tennis court, and Chinese restaurant and bar. Best rates on official website start at ¥308. edit
- Xiamen Lujiang Hotel, 54 Lujiang Road (100 metres north of the ferry station), ☎ +86 592 2022922. checkin: 3PM; checkout: Noon. A grand old place, very central on Beach road. The restaurant has authentic dim sum. edit
- Millennium Harbourview Hotel Xiamen, 12-8 Zhenhai Road, ☎ +86 592 2023333 (email@example.com, fax: +86 592 2036666), . checkin: Noon; checkout: Noon. Located in downtown Xiamen which is a major shopping and business district, the hotel is only minutes away on foot to the ferry to Gulangyu Island. It features a 22-story building that houses 352 rooms that include various business facilities including a work-desk and high speed internet access. edit
- Le Meridien Xiamen (厦门艾美酒店), 7 Guanjun Rd, ☎ +86 592 770 9999 (firstname.lastname@example.org, fax: +86 592 770 9998), . Surrounded by open spaces and lush vegetation. Nestled on a slope of Xianyue Hill. Breathtaking views of Xiamen Bay. edit
- Sheraton Xiamen Hotel, 386-1 Jiahe Road, ☎ +86 592 5525888, . The latest international chain hotel to grace Xiamen's shores. It is very plush, and the Waves Pan Asian buffet is very good. edit
- Pan Pacific Xiamen, 19 Hubin Bei Road, Xiamen 361012, Fujian, China, ☎ (86 592) 507 8888 (fax: (86 592) 507 8899), . checkin: 14:00; checkout: 12:00. A super modern hotel, the rooms use a lot of glass and modern design techniques. The hotel also has an excellent ¥100 lunch buffet. Rooms start at ¥630.. edit
- Marco Polo Hotel. This hotel is in an excellent location, and offers a very good international buffet and a great atmosphere. edit
- Riyuegu Hot Springs Resort. One of the most beautiful resorts in Xiamen. Besides the regular accommodations, the resort also contains an exotic hot springs park. They have all sorts of flavors (like milk, rose, tea, etc.) mixed into their natural hot springs water. They also have a fantastic spa. It is worth a trip. edit
- Best Western Xiamen, 158 Yuhounanli Road, Siming District, ☎ +86 21 61226688 ext. 7800, . A 4-star business hotel offering 490 lavishly-furnished room, first-rate amenities and services, function rooms, gym, and spa. edit
Tesco Supermarket Robinson Plaze, at the crossing of Xiahe Road and Hubin Dong Road, close to Xiamen Railway Station. Massive supermarket in the Wal-Mart style. You can buy anything from fresh veg to LCD TV's. Does not stock a massive selection of western products, about the same as wall-mart across the road.
Wal-Mart China World Trade Center, 878-888 Xiahe Road Massive supermarket where you can buy anything from fresh veg to LCD TV's.
Tastylife 10-105 Jianye Rd, Xiamen (Near Marco Polo Hotel). The most comprehensive collection of western supermarket items including a good selection of international beers.
- Kinmen - Islands controlled by Taiwan have charming villages with traditional Fujianese architecture and interesting cold war defenses. 30 minute ferry ride from Wutong Wharf (五通客运码头), arriving at Shuitou Pier, Shuitou Village on Kinmen Island. Bus 6 stops at Wutong Wharf.
A hidden gem, so close to Xiamen, worth at least two or three days, the island is the same size as Xiamen, minus the people! and real white sandy beaches.
- Hakka Tulou - In Yongding County, 3-5 hours from Xiamen, are the amazing tulou, which are a UNESCO World Heritage Site, structures where a number of residences are built inside a single fortified compound.
- Jimei - A town on the mainland just north of Xiamen Island, with cozy architecture and several universities.
- Taiwan - You can take a ferry from Xiamen to Taiwan (Keelung and Taichung). Ferry tickets cost from $130 USD per person. Ferry takes around 10 hours and runs overnight, departing in the evening and arriving in the morning. You can purchase discounted tickets in advance from Amoytrip.com
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