Fireworks are associated with China in my mind. And on my first visit to an International Conference, we were thrilled to see the magnificent display of fireworks , particularly at the closing ceremony. The different types and colours of the fireworks were really splendid.
Take a ferry to Gulangyu Island for:
Sightseeing, Shopping, Beach, Museum, Park, Cats, Ghosts?...
It can be:
Interesting, Fun, Exciting, Romantic, Mysterious, even Spooky!
You can see:
Bright Moon Garden, Seasight Watch Garden, Yu Park, Xiamen Museum, Enchanting oceanfront views, Streets of souvenir shops, Swimming areas, interesting piano museum, romantic paths through the parks, stray cats, and maybe even be a part of mysterious ghost stories...
You can do:
Climb up to the Bright Moon Garden Park and sit at the foot of the amazing giant statue of national hero Zheng Chenggong who is protecting China! Buy China sea pearls from the energetic salespeople at the rows of boutiques, swim proudly with schools of silverfish in the Taiwan Strait, stroll with the stray cats that come out at night, visit the museum and find out if a ghost really lives there!
Old Amoy comes good
I didn't have much opportunity to see or explore any of Xiamen, but what I did see was impressive. It seems, like Hangzhou in Zhejiang, to be that much cleaner and just...well..."finished" than most Chinese cities.
Xiamen, called Amoy by the imperialist traders, has long been considered the "Gateway to China" and has been a trading port since ancient times.
The English set up camp here in 1851, with the Japanese following almost 50 years later. All very curious, since the routes inland to China are much more arduous from Xiamen than from Guangzhou or Shanghai.
Much - but certainly not all - of Xiamen's history is bound up in the fortunes of the island of Gulangyu, and this remains the focus for visitors to the city.
It is a charming and relaxed city, which seems to successfully combine its industrial and commercial activity with its cultural heritage. Believe me, this is not often successfully managed in China!