Siestas in China?
Yes, that's right. It's called xiuxi or wushui in Chinese, and it is very commonplace. Just after lunchtime, you will find most Chinese taking a nap. Anywhere will do! I have seen the workmen resting in the shade on the grass or even on the pavement. Shop workers simply place their heads on the counter in their shops! Most schools and some offices regularly turn off the lights for half an hour after lunch for naptime! After lunch, try a Siesta in China!
Buddhist Temple : Nanputuo
Nanputuo is a popular and must-see Buddhist temple in Xiamen. Went there twice myself.
The history of the temple dated back a thousand years to the Tang Dynasty. It is now a popular place to pray for local and overseas Chinese tourists. There is a series of prayer halls built on the slope of the hill and so wear a pair of good shoes to climb the steps.
There are some giant boulders where Chinese characters and sayings are carved out from the rock. Nice views from the top. Just watch your steps.
You caan buy lucky charms at the souvenir shop.
There is a nice lotus pool at the front of the temple if you rather wait and enjoy the views while others in your group climb the steps.
"Overlooking Kinmen, Taiwan"
Althought not visable here, this photo overlooked Kinmen, Taiwan. We witnessed huge explosions (50-storey high) in quick successions on 1st December 2004. Taiwan was showing off its military might.
The Chinese has not learnt the humiliating lessons over the last 800 years of foreign rules where they was weakened by in-fightings while being manupulated by foreign powers much smaller that themselves.
It is said that in the ancient time, flocks of egrets (Bailu in Chinese) migrated to dwell on Xiamen Island from time to time and that is why people call Xiamen "Ludao" (Island of Egrets) and Xiagu Strait "Lujiang" (River of Egrets).
The first settlement of people on Xiamen Island dates back to the latter part of the New Stone Age. That was three to four thousand years ago. And the recorded history dates back to the middle period of the Tang Dynasty, which was more than 1140 years ago. During the Tianbao Period of the Tang Dynasty, the ethnic Chinese surnamed Xue and Chen migrated to Xiamen Island from Fu'an in the east of Fujian Province and Zhangzhou in the south of Fujian Province and settled at the southern and northern foot of the Hongjishan Mountain respectively.
The administrative organization of Xiamen City was first set up in the Song Dynasty. It was then affiliated to Tongan County, Quanzhou Prefecture. In the twentieth year during the Hongwu Period in early Ming Dynasty (1387), the imperial government started to build stockade villages and forward posts on the island and named the island "Xiamen", meaning the "Gate of the Motherland". And the geographical name of "Xiamen" became the official name of the island despite that Xiamen was once renamed "Siming Prefecture" and "Siming County" during the several hundred years from then on. In 1933, Xiamen was officially established as a city. That made it the first city set up in Fujian Province.
"Boat repair along the shore of Xiamen island"
Xiamen has a long history as a port city, and later became a center of British trade in the 19th century.
Xiamen was founded in 1394 at the beginning of the Ming dynasty as a center of defense against coastal pirates. Its prosperity was due to its deepwater sheltered harbor, that supplanted nearby Quanzhou, the port that had been the center of the maritime trade with the Indies.
In the mid-17th century, Xiamen became a stronghold of Zheng Chenggong, a Ming loyalist who held out against the Manchu and drove the Dutch from Taiwan .
office workers stopped by a lok lok stall (an assortment of meat/vege/seafood on bamboo stewers cooked DIY style on a common hotpot) for a quick snack.