Xiamen Hidden Gems To Avoid The Travel Crowds

Xiamen’s lively yet relaxed spirit can be found both in its food and culture. Devour the city’s delectable seafood noodles at Bashi or the 8th Market where vendors sell an abundance of fish, shellfish and crustaceans to select from.

Discover Fujian Hakka Tulou buildings that resemble large fortresses while simultaneously housing apartments; or make your way along the railway cultural park to see another side of Xiamen. Penang to Xiamen flights are now available through Cathay Pacific. 

1. Gulangyu Island

One of the best things to do in Xiamen is taking a ferry out to Gulangyu Island, a former international settlement that retains much of its old-world charm and 19th-century European flavor. This pedestrian-only island offers visitors plenty to do and see: with stunning beaches, picturesque seaside promenades, restaurants offering some of Xiamen’s best seafood cuisine and odd museums featuring stunning architecture from China’s colonial past – there is so much more here than meets the eye!

Gulangyu offers many advantages beyond just being free from traffic (motorized vehicles are banned on the island), including minimal noise pollution or dodging motorized carts when strolling. Strolling around Gulangyu can be pleasant with little noise pollution or dodging motorized carts; perfect for exploring its captivating alleyways, stairsways and paths that wind around its hilly terrain. Get to know locals while spending time here – they often enjoy conversing and can point you in the right direction when looking for food or sights on Gulangyu!

After an afternoon of sightseeing, head to the Eighth Seafood Market (Di Ba Sheng). This market is known for offering fresh seafood dishes like Satay Noodles which were both nutty and spicy without becoming overwhelming – ideal to soak up all that delicious seafood while remaining reasonable priced!

Huaijiu Gulangyu Museum (), established after the Opium Wars when 13 foreign consulates were opened on the island. Housed in an original German bank building, this museum offers an authentic experience.

As it’s possible to visit Gulangyu as a day trip from Xiamen, we strongly suggest spending at least one night in an historic colonial building like Yuezhiyun on 47 Zhonghua Lu which boasts seven spacious en suite rooms oozing subtropical old world charm.

2. Xiamen University

University campuses provide the ideal setting to enjoy some fresh air while witnessing student life firsthand. Xiamen University (XMU) is no exception – founded by overseas Chinese leader Tan Kah Kee in 1921 as one of China’s first institutions founded by overseas Chinese, today it ranks in China’s top 39 and five nationally and is recognized for its strengths in mathematics, chemistry, oceanography, economics management law communication among other subjects.

At XMU’s beautiful campus situated atop a hill overlooking the East China Sea towards Taiwan, visitors will be charmed by a delightful blend of traditional Chinese buildings and neocolonial structures (some with more modern elements). Spring and autumn visits will especially welcome you with blooming flowers dotting its landscape and vibrant red leaves from trees providing added depth.

University admission is free; however, for optimal experience it’s advised that visitors book their visit in advance through WeChat or their official website in order to skip long lines and receive more personalized tours. A WeChat ID may also come in handy for entering other nearby attractions like Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen Museum of Art.

Xiamen University boasts several acclaimed research institutes that are an invaluable source of local history and culture information, such as the Institute of International and Domestic Relations which conducts groundbreaking studies of cross-strait relations.

One of Xiamen’s hidden gems is the stunning Xiamen Library, which houses numerous books in multiple languages and serves as an attractive spot for residents to meet and study. There is also an outdoor reading hall and meeting rooms available within its walls – making this place the ideal spot to take in this lovely city’s atmosphere and unwind!

3. Nanputuo Temple

Attracting many tourists during the Tang Dynasty, this temple can be found under the South Gate of Xiamen University and can easily be reached by bus. Many come here to pray for luck and wealth while finding inner peace here with its large garden surrounded by white pond lilies, waterfalls, narcissi and white narcissus; additionally it boasts views of an azure sea that’s less than one kilometer away!

Since opening to the public, this temple’s vegetarian cuisine has quickly become beloved among many local residents. Dishes served here are known for their fresh, delectable flavors with simple preparation techniques that stand out with color, fragrance, and appearance being highly acclaimed by diners – chefs pay great attention to each detail – hence these dishes having such beautiful names as “Golden Lotus of the South China Sea”, “Scented Mud Hidden Jane”, and “As You Wish”.

If you plan to visit, come early as it can get busy during peak hours. Plus, remember that entry is free! Guanyin and Bodhisattva are revered here – in fact, this temple used to serve as a Buddhist school!

Jimei Academy Village (Ji Mei Xue Cun), or more commonly referred to as Jimei School Village, was constructed using funds donated from overseas Chinese. Now beloved among both tourists and locals for its cultural charm, it offers the ideal setting for an enjoyable stroll with friends or family members.

Experience all that Xiamen has to offer with this private day tour through its top attractions. Learn about each site’s rich history and culture as you tour renowned UNESCO heritage sites such as Nanputuo Temple, Huli Mountain Fort and Gulangyu Island; plus witness its artistic flair at Zeng Cuo An Village and Zhongshan Road Walking Street!

4. Hulishan Fortress

History buffs will love Hulishan Fortress as one of Xiamen’s premier attractions; built during Qing Dynasty Westernization phase in 1894 as an answer to foreign aggression fears, its impressive 70,000 square meter compound includes barracks, secret tunnels, sentry platforms, ammunition depots and castles as well as wartime structures such as barracks.

Attractions at this historic site include 50 iron cannons dating from both Ming (1368-1644) and Qing (1644 to 1911) dynasties; also of note are trenches, secret tunnels and an old-fashioned magazine. Please bring food and water as visiting this historic site may take several hours –

Fortress Jinmen offers two terraces from which visitors can look out over cityscapes. Large wall carvings depict artistic concepts of “warehousing weapons,” “reviving military forces” and “resisting strong enemies.” Telescopes allow guests to peer at Dadan and Erdan islands that come under its jurisdiction.

A small museum within the fortress displays an interesting selection of ancient weaponry and firecrackers from across time, including world’s smallest cannon at 11cm long and 0.22 kilograms! Additionally, other interesting finds include a stone that looks like it belongs to some form of meat – complete with skin, fat and muscles!

Jimei Village in Xiamen is another hidden gem that perfectly blends history and culture. Established by an esteemed Overseas Chinese, it now hosts many educational institutions and features traditional Chinese architecture like beautiful gardens, serene lakes, and lively local markets.

Village is also home to a UNESCO-listed temple, believed to be one of China’s oldest surviving structures and boasting an octagonal rotunda with ten dragons circling around a central shrine – making this complex worth visiting for anyone! Fortress hours of operation range from 8 am – 5:00 pm daily with admission being free of charge; arriving early can help avoid crowds!