Xiamen Travel Guide

  • Enjoying a beer by the beach....
    Enjoying a beer by the beach....
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  • Xiamen
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  • Xiamen
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Xiamen Hotels

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Xiamen Restaurants

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    by explorer001 Written Dec 29, 2008

    Since this is a coastal city, there are loads of snacks which are made from seafood. You have dried fish, octopus, human meat etc. :)
    Peanuts are also one of the specialties here, which you can get in many forms (i.e. cookies, soup)

    of course, there are loads of seafood restaurants here, but personally i don't think they are as great as advertised (or maybe I got into the "not so good" restaurants)

    depending upon the dish, they range from RMB 20 - few hundred (if you're eating lobsters or other funny sea creatures)

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    by explorer001 Updated Dec 29, 2008

    Ma La Tang is quite a popular dish in China. It's a dish where you have basically anything edible (e.g fishballs, meatballs, meat, noodles, vegetables, internal organs , etc) boiled and comes with soup (mild to "wild" spicy - depending upon your taste). Usually it's available in small shops.
    In Shanghai, the version comes with the soup, however, in Xiamen, there is no soup. The dish remains but you can add flavours like peanut sauce, spicy souce, vinegar and what have you. You can also mix all sauces if you are adventurous. I prefer the version in Xiamen as opposed to it's counterpart in Shanghai.
    The price is relatively cheap. two full plates (i think there was about 15 types, few pieces each) costs around RMB15

    Favorite Dish: Spicy, juicy and saucy. :)

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    Yummy.

    by explorer001 Written Dec 29, 2008

    Just in front of the Hilford hotel, there is a local hot pot restaurant which serves good food. Each person is given an individual hot pot, and you order your dish and dump it in. Price range from RMB 50 - 100 and serves 2-3 persons, it also depends on the dish you order.

    Favorite Dish: take your pick from sliced frozen meat to vegetables. If you want spicy soup, just ask the waiter for a small bowl of chilli (sichuan style chilli - ma la - the one that numbs your tongue)

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Xiamen Nightlife

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    by explorer001 Written Dec 29, 2008

    This place has two great bands playing, with the first local Chinese band starting at around 10 followed by a Filipino band playing till around 3 am.

    Drinks range from RMB30 (beers) to RMB50 (cocktails). My Long Island Tea costs RMB 45 :)

    The local Chinese band - mostly Chinese songs, with a mix of a few English pieces once in a while.
    The Filipino plays mainly English songs, mixing some Chinese ones once in a while. :)

    Dress Code: Anything.

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Xiamen Transportation

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    by explorer001 Written Jan 7, 2009

    Go to the main Ferry terminal which is just across the Zhong Shan Road.
    Note that there are two separate 'fare' systems.
    First option:
    You just walk through the gate without paying, and take the 'normal' service ferry which will get you to GulangYu in about 5 minutes (ok, maybe 6 minutes), and no payment is required. You only pay upon returning back to mainland (RMB8 price as at Dec 08). So it's a one way fare.

    Second option:
    This is some company running the service which will "circle" around Gulangyu for about 40 minutes. This option is good if you want to see some 'sights'. On board crew will introduce various 'sights' along the way. The fare for this option is RMB 15 (price as at Dec08), and it's free on your way back to the mainland. Remember to keep your ticket.
    "Value added services"
    1. When I took this option, the moment you climb on board, the operator 'offered' binocular rental service which you can opt for about RMB15. It's up to you if you want to take it. I don't think you can see much with the binoculars unless you're planning to zoom into someone's bathroom window.
    2. They also offered to sell you tickets for RMB 80 (discounted price, normal price is RMB 135 for about 5 fixed attractions - i hope i'm correct) for some of the attractions in Gulangyu, claiming that you can't get that price in the island. You can actually get that in the island itself, near the ferry terminal. This option is good if you want to go to ALL the places listed on the ticket.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel

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Xiamen Favorites

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    by explorer001 Written Jan 7, 2009

    Favorite thing: There are loads of guides offering services to guide you around the island.
    I got one for RMB 20 for half a day (i arrived in the afternoon and was a bit short on time), so I told the guide I wanted to only visit 3 attractions in the afternoon.
    Note: When you get the guide, you will need to register at a "tourism counter" near the ferry terminal. You pay directly at the counter.

    Pros:
    1. The guide will provide heaps of information on each of the sites visited (although I don't remember 99% of the things she said).
    2. If you're short on time, the guide can find you 'short cuts' to your destination, walking along small alleys.

    Cons:
    The normal practice is that the guide will take you "Shopping" in between the stops. This way they earn a bit of commission from the shops.
    I had to use the "time" pressure to get around this, as shopping wasn't on top of my list.

    Most attractions closed around 4:30 - 5:30 pm (Dec 08).

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