Your day will begin with a ride long the Ring Road, which is beautiful and very modern, to the Nan Putuo Temple, a Buddhist enclave on the southern side of Xiamen. It was originally built a millennium ago during the Tang Dynasty, but has been repeatedly destroyed and rebuilt. It is a gathering place, very active often with chanting monks and worshippers lighting incense.
There is a lovely lotus-filled lake in front of the temple and several buildings, each with different functions, facing the lake. The setting alone is inspiring.
Leaving this area, you will move to the pedestrian street, something the locals are quite proud of here. For a city this size, it is unusual to see this mall-like area where businesses line the walkway. Always interested in seeing how others live and work, we found the walk unusual for China as this was not an experience we found elsewhere in the country. You may want to taste some of the unusual flavors of ice cream or other items during your stroll.
In hopes that the crowds have lessened by now, we will take the public ferry for a 10-minute ride to Gulangyu Island. This island was the sedate retreat for Europeans and Japanese, and is full of meandering lanes and backstreets, with more than 1,000 colonial villas, crumbling buildings, and ancient banyan trees. This is also a very unusual spot in China, sort of a living time capsule where colonial and Chinese cultures have intersected.
The foreign consulate was well established on the island by the 1880s, with newspapers, hospitals, churches, consulates, libraries, and all the conveniences of home, and was designated an International Foreign Settlement in 1903. Memories of that time linger now in the atmosphere of the buildings, many uninhabited. You will see most all of what is of interest during your walk, including a visit to the Piano Museum.
You will be escorted back to your hotel or the pier. Time for lunch, not included, will be made.
Departures: 08:00 AM, 09:00 AM,
Meeting instructions: Specific pick up or taxi instructions will appear on your voucher after you purchase your trip.
Special instructions: - All admissions are included in the price of this tour.
- Food, beverages, and gratuities are not included.
- Please dress comfortably as you will be walking on Gulangyu Island.