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Xiamen is a sub-provincial city situated beside the Taiwan Strait in the south-eastern Fujian Province of the People’s Republic of China. It is china’s one of the five Special economic zones. The city gained prominence for its temperate climate, Gulangyu Island, Hokkien culture and generally lesser pollution comparatively. Xiamen was called the second “most suitable city for living” in 2006, and also China’s “most romantic city” in 2011. The city derived its present name from the Xiamen Castle constructed by Zhou Dexing in 1387during the Ming dynasty for coastal defense.
Tip: The climate is a monsoonal humid subtropical climate featuring a long, hot summer and a shorter, mild and dry winter so the tourists should prepare accordingly.
Getting to Xiamen
Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) is barely at a distance of approximately 12 km from the city of Xiamen, and it would take around 15 minutes to get to the city from the airport. One can find flights from Manila to Xiamen with no difficulty as there are several offers from multiple airline services.
There are also direct flights from Manila to Xiamen while some flights to Xiamen have one connecting stop in between. Numerous low-cost flights operated by Cebu Pacific and Philippine Airlines are also available. The flight time varies between 2 hours to 14 hours, depending on the duration of the layover in between.
Tip: It is advised to book flights in advance to save money and get cheaper flights.
What to do
Xiamen has a lot to offer in terms of its rich cultural and historical heritage along with great architecture and mountains. The place to be visited surely in Xiamen is Gulangyu Islands which can be reached through ferry in about 5 minutes and is celebrated for its subtle natural beauty, ancient relics, and diverse architecture. The South Putuo Temple, Sunlight Rock Temple, Holishan Fortress and other architectural buildings like the Earth Buildings of Yongding and Nanjing Earth Buildings are a treasure mine of the historical influences of dynasties and Buddhism.
Another major attraction is Mount Wuyi which is the most remarkable area for conservation of biodiversity in southeast China and refuges for a wide variety and number of ancient and relic species, a few of which are endemic to China. There is also Wanshi Botanical Garden which has several scenic spots in the skillfully designed gardens near the Modanyan reservoir situated on the northern slope of Shi Mountain.
Tip: Xiamen has great public transport of bus, train, metro, ferry, and taxi which can be used for an easy and hassle-free commute.
Where to stay
For an easy way into all the tourist destinations, the Siming district in the center of Xiamen is one of the best areas which naturally also has all the cheap hotels and stays. The options for the Siming district can be split into East and West where the hotels on the west side are nearer to all of the attractions whereas the cluster of hotels on the East side has the superior-rated international 5-star picks. Travelers can also stay on Gulangyu Island for those wanting to experience the island at a close range, or they can stay on Pearl Bay if they want to be near a beach even though there are no beachside resorts, but there are hotels and homestays that are a stone’s throw from the beach.
Tip: To get the best-rated hotels and guesthouses with discounts, book early for more economic travel experience and stay.
Shopping and Dining:
There are hundreds of shopping malls, theatres, and restaurants. Visit the main business street in Gulangyu Island, Longtou Road, from where you can shop for souvenir and art wares, such as sculptures, beaded embroidery, and jade articles.
Xiamen is not only about shopping but delicious food with unique flavors as well. A great dish famous among Xiamen people is Shachamian. A delicious soup in which you can add your likable ingredients to make it spicy. Jiangmuya- Ginger Duck is great to go with to get warmed up in winter.
Want to know more about the places to visit in Xiamen before you go there? Check the Trip.com app for all your travel needs. Be it the flight bookings in real-time with secure payments, clubbing your hotel bookings, finding the right package deal or choosing a day tour to suit your budget, the app is always there to help save you time, effort and money in unending searches. Happy vacations!
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