Image via Lonely Planet
Xiamen, a coastal city in Fujian province in the southeast part of China may not be amongst the most popular tourism or honeymoon destinations in China, but it may just be the type of romantic spot you’re looking for if you want to explore somewhere off the beaten path. The name of the city means “door to the house” as it’s been known as the Gateway of China for a long time. A vibrant, affluent and modern place, Xiamen has some beautiful islands, lakes and a few heritage sites to see – not to mention amazing Chinese cuisine.
Image via Kempinski Hotel Xiamen
Places to Stay
1. DoubleTree by Hilton – Wuyuan Bay
Conveniently located in the new Central Business District, the 270-room DoubleTree by Hilton Xiamen – Wuyuan Bay provides spectacular views of Jinmen Harbour, Wuyuan Bay and Xiamen’s vibrant cityscape. Designed in soothing tones, every room in the luxury hotel comes with a custom-designed mattress, plus luxurious pillows and linens for a good night’s sleep.
Image via Double Tree by Hilton – Wuyuan Bay
2. Le Meridien Xiamen
Le Meridien Xiamen is a luxury 4.5 star spa hotel, conveniently located close to sight-seeing destinations such as the Cultural Art Centre and South Putuo Temple. Go for a dip in the indoor pool or relax with one of the many spa treatments offered at the on-site spa centre. The suites at Le Meridien Xiamen offer views into the lush green courtyard.
Image via Le Meridien Xiamen
3. The Westin Xiamen
Just over one and a half kilometres from Xiamen’s best shopping centres and parks, the 4.5 star luxury hotel also has five restaurants serving up delicious cuisines from Chinese to international. The Deluxe Suites in the Westin Xiamen are spacious and bright, decorated in neutral colours and red wood furnishings. Enjoy the amazing views of Xianyue Mountain through the floor-to-ceiling windows.
Image via Westin Xiamen
4. Pan Pacific Xiamen
Indulge in the modern luxury of Pan Pacific Xiamen, located in the heart of Xiamen’s financial and entertainment district. At 29 storeys high, the modern hotel offers stunning views of Xiamen’s spectacular coastline. The hotel has 354 artistically decorated rooms with decors that reflect the urban city whilst still retaining an old-China charm.
Image via Pan Pacific Xiamen
5. Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen
Only eight minutes away from Xiamen’s High-speed Railway Station and 20 minutes from the airport, this hotel is situated in the heart of the international luxury shopping area and global restaurants.
Image via Crowne Plaza Paragon Xiamen
5 Places to Visit
1. Gulangyu Island
Renowned for its delicate natural beauty, ancient relics and varied architecture, Gulangyu island is on China’s list of Natural Scenic Spots and also ranks in the list of the ten most-scenic areas in Fujian province. The stereotype of China as an over-populated industrial powerhouse does not apply on the peaceful Gulangyu island: the island has only 20,000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a comfortable, relaxing life. Only electric-powered vehicles are permitted on the island, so the environment is free from the noise and pollution of combustion engines.
Image via Jakob Montrasio
2. Shuzhuang Garden
First built in 1931 on the southside of the island, Shuzhuang Garden was once a private villa. It became a garden park open to the public in 1955. Divided into two parts, the garden is exquisitely designed to embody the principles of Chinese traditional gardens.
Image via Visit Our China
3. South Putuo Temple
Located at the foot of Wulao peak in the southeast of Xiamen City, the South Putuo Temple is a prosperous temple with many tourists visiting to pray for health and wealth. The Lotus Pool, when covered with lotus flowers in bloom provides a spectacular sight on a beautiful spring day. After a day of exploring the park gardens, enjoy some vegetarian cuisine served in the temple.
4. Sunlight Rock
Located in the south-central part of the island, Sunlight Rock is Gulangyu island’s highest point with an altitude of 92.7 metres. Though it may not rank with high mountain peaks, Sunlight Rock appears superb and grand when seen from afar. The best time to visit is during sunrise when the morning light illuminates the granite in Sunlight Temple and the rocks are bathed with sunlight.
Image via China Tour Guide
5. Wuyi Mountain
They Wuyi Mountain is one of the most spectacularly beautiful areas of south-eastern China. Wuyishan Nature Reserve is well-known for its abundance of deep canyons, dense forest, waterfalls, animals, flora and fauna. The Nine-Bend Creek is the centrepiece of Wuyi mountain. The river is aptly named as it abruptly changes course nine times over its eight and half kilometre length. Explore the caves located directly adjacent to the two waterfalls along the creek to enjoy an unparalleled view through the cascade of water.
Image via China Org
5 Things to Do
1. Cycle down the coastline along Huandao Road
Huandao Road, the coastal road, is 31 kilometres long and has been listed as one of the Top 60 landmarks in New China. With perfect pavements, cycle ways and jogging tracks, Huandao Road is the best location for cycling while touring the well cleaned beaches and seaside scenery.
2. Shopping at Zhongshan Road
Zhongshan Road, the oldest business street in Xiamen, is considered a “must see” location for travellers. Walking or shopping on Zhongshan Road, you will find a street with a combination of modern features and historical flavours – with busy, modern shopping malls and unique and ancient façade buildings. For food lovers, Zhongshan Road is home to many, famous and popular restaurants, some of which have a long history whilst others specialise in providing authentic local flavours and tastes.
Image via Top China Travel
3. Hiking at the Wanshi Botanical Garden
Lose yourself in a jungle of over 5,000 species of tropical and sub-tropical plants at the Wanshi Botanical Garden. Built in 1960, the garden stretches nearly five kilometres, housing a wealth of plants in 29 different gardens. With a beautiful lake, it is a tranquil hideaway from the urban city life.
4. Have a stroll (and a drink) at Haiwan Park at night
With a beautiful panoramic seaview, Haiwan Park is a large multi-purpose park with tourism, leisure and bars. The park has a lot of scenes relating to the sea, such as the waterfront railing, which has become a paradise for sea fishing. The Avenue of the Stars along Haiwan Park is 300 metres long and 40 metres wide, with 2,076 LED lights paved on the ground. Stay and watch the running music fountain which is composed of 240 water nozzles in the middle of the avenue.
Image via What’s On Xiamen
5. Relaxing at a hot spring resort
If you’re visiting Xiamen during the winter months, a visit to the hot springs can be an incredibly relaxing experience. Personal services and charming receptionists await you at the Trithorn Hotspring Resort. Enjoy the popular thermal stone beds in the resort for a warm place to nap on a cool winter’s afternoon.
Ms Chinoiserie Says: With its sophisticated vibe, luxury accommodation and fine cuisine Xiamen is quickly becoming one of the ‘must see’ honeymoon stop overs in China; the seaside promenade looks so beautiful at night!