It was a present with no ribbon and it was a gift with outspread wings.
After a short and early flight (105 mins to be exact), we made it to the subtropical marine zone. Xiamen, a coastal city not so famous or modern as Shanghai, but has something unique and intriguing. Walking on its street, the first impression we had is that all the local people seem to be enjoying their own life rather than rush to seek for some unreachable things as people in big cities always do. Featuring beaches along the highway, bikes paths hugging the coast and winding boardwalks, Xiamen doesn’t feel chaotic and its side streets are relatively quieter. Perhaps one of our fondest memories of Xiamen is riding the twin bikes and listening to the waves dashing against the rocks.
Gulangyu is the most famous tourist resort off the coast of Xiamen Island. Just a stone’s throw-away from Taiwan, Gulangyu is a quaint maze of alleyways, seafood restaurants, shops, and an eclectic mix of museums. It is also the old port where the western countries had their territory after the loss of the first opium war. That’s why we’ve found a lot of Victorian style houses, churches and other buildings throughout the island. On the island there are no cars, it can be easily walked through within a day. We purposely chose a weekday to pay it visit and still we were amazed by how prosperous this little island presents itself!
For anyone trapped in one of China’s smoggy cities, Xiamen is indeed an ideal weekend escape. If you ask a local cab driver what to do in Xiamen, you’ll probably get directed to Xiamen University. Oddly, the university is probably the biggest tourist attraction in the city. On our last and laziest day, our whole gang was actually divided into small groups and had separate “missions” centering around this university. The photographers collected lovely colors from the Railway Culture Park; the foodies enjoyed local dim-sums at a famous hotel with decades of history; while the shopaholics had great fun buying local specials in the nearby China Town. (It’s a bit ironic that there is actually a China Town in China!)
Well, three days and two nights are short yet memorable, as we are all looking forward to our next Company Trip!