The southeastern Chinese city of Xiamen is a large colony in Fujian Province, which became famous several decades ago for opening its borders as a special economic zone. Since then, the city has only grown stronger, welcoming more tourists every year. In addition to this, Xiamen is currently the second most livable city in the People’s Republic of China.
Even the airport, which is a few kilometers from the city center, has grown in size and importance. It is now an international facility and processes millions of travelers each year. Once in the city, the most convenient way to get around is by taxi, as it is not only fast but also relatively inexpensive by Western standards.
There are many hotels in downtown Xiamen, especially around the main attractions listed below. The top 10 downtown attractions include:
1. World Trade Mall – it is considered to be the largest and most important shopping center in Xiamen. Visitors can find lots of western and traditional Xiamen cuisine, cinemas, entertainment levels, hundreds of retail stores and a comfortable and fresh environment under one roof!
2. Culture Gallery – come see jade at its best in the Xiamen Shinegood Culture Gallery. There are literally several hundred old jade products found throughout the gallery. It is certainly a wonderful place for tourists interested in ancient history and Chinese jewelry.
3. Zhongshan Road – this pedestrian strip is a wonderful area known for its shops, food and continuous redevelopment. Visitors will see a remarkable blend of old buildings and modern structures while strolling the pedestrian street.
4. Bailuzhou Park – by far the most impressive and exciting attraction in downtown Xiamen. Even though the park is packed with people during the day, the best time to visit the park is at night. A festival atmosphere can sometimes be seen and experienced, with dancing, music and a large amount of food.
5. Night markets – would you like to experience traditional Xiamen culture at its best? Just head to the downtown night markets and tourists will have a great time there.
6. The University of Xiamen – yes, universities are generally not tourist attractions in other cities. However, the local Xiamen University is phenomenal enough to witness. There are many traditional structures that have stood the test of time and continue to impress tourists. The parks and gardens around the university are also spectacular.
7. Jiageng Park – not famous compared to some of the other parks in the city, Jiageng Park is still a fabulous place to walk. It was built to commemorate the founder of Xiamen University, Chen Jiageng.
8. Nanputuo Temple – although Buddhism is not too important in China, the city of Xiamen has an excellent temple in the city. It is located a short distance from the heart of Xiamen and offers breathtaking views of the city and its surroundings, especially on a clear spring day.
9. Music Square – this promenade park is a famous place for families and couples to discover on a sunny Sunday afternoon. Many of the most famous composers and musicians in the region’s history have a sculpture in the park, hence the name – Music Park.
10. Water Garden Expo Park – this beautiful park is a great place to explore for a few hours in the afternoon or in the morning. It contains several expo islands and an exciting central building called China Education Park, which sits in the heart of the park.