May 14th, 2012 | By | Category: Senior Travel

Xiamen – Senior Tourist Friendly

I would have had no idea where Xiamen was located or anything about this city in China, except that my wife and I have friends who just returned from  Xiamen after spending four months living there.  They showed us many slides of their apartment, friends they made there and views of the city. Bill told me that many chinese cities and words start with an ‘X” that is pronounced as an SH in Chinese. Xiamen would be pronounced something close to Shamen. Not only have senior travelers been coming to Xiamen, but people from the Xiamen area have been moving to other countries for hundreds of years so that it is said that 400,000 Chinese living overseas are of Xiamen descent.

Legend has it that Xiamen Island used to be the nestling place of the egrets from which came the names of “Egret Island.” Today, it has become a Special Economic Zone in China.

Attractions for Seniors in Xiamen

Xiamen, traditionally known in the West as Amoy or ‘the Garden by the Sea’, is a surprisingly pretty city, its streets and buildings, attractive shopping arcades and bustling seafront boasting a nineteenth-century European flavor. One of China’s most tourist-friendly cities, Xiamen is the cleanest and, perhaps, most tastefully renovated city you’ll see anywhere in the country, giving it the feel of a holiday resort. Compounding the resort atmosphere is the little island of Gulangyu, a ten-minute ferry ride to the southwest, the old colonial home of Europeans and Japanese, whose mansions still line the island’s traffic-free streets. With a population of 3.53 million, there are many things for seniors to see and do in Xiamen,  from bonsai parks, beaches, lakes, a skating rink, temples and nearby mountains.

Joined to the mainland by a five-kilometer-long causeway, the island on which Xiamen stands is located inside a large inlet on the southeastern coast of Fujian province. The built-up area occupies the western part of the island, which faces the mainland, while the eastern part faces onto Taiwanese Jinmen Island. The area of most interest is the old town in the far southwest, and Gulangyu Islet just offshore.

If a visit to Xiamen is your first, do be well prepared before stepping foot into China.  This site is full of great information complete with a map. Travel tips of all kinds are always helpful, provided they are authentic and this one will provide some good information.

Major tourist areas of Xiamen

Xiamem enjoys a pleasant climate and beautiful natural environment.  The city claims to be a city in the sea and is renowned for its various scenic spots and cultural relics.  Among the most attractive place should be the Gulangyu Island, which prohibits motor vehicles. With rich resources of intriguing scenery, historical relics and architectures of varied styles, the Gulangyu is promising to be an AAAAA national tourist attraction and surely is a must-see during your trip to Xiamen. The Sunlight Rock, which claims to be Xiamen’s highest point and the Shuzhuang Garden are highly recommended. As the saying goes “You can not say you’ve been to Xiamen without climbing to Sunlight Rock”. Sunlight Rock is one significant attraction of Gulangyu, which consists of Sunlight Rock (Riguangyan) and the Piano Park. A huge stone with over 40 meters in diameter stands on the peak of Sunlight Rock, as a symbol of Xiamen. Haoyue (Bright Moon) Park and the Piano Museum are also appealing to visitors. As you know by now, I like to suggest a tour of any major city to get to know it before you start strolling around. Good solid information is always a must in China.

Though it isn’t a big city in China, both its port and its airport are among China’s top twelve.  Just like our friends, I feel that you will enjoy your visit, or even as they did for a short period of time, moving to Xiamen.  Do seek a little more background in the language, customs, etc. on my Best Chinese Websites and have a great time in Xiamen. jeb

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