An attractive seascape, a year-round subtropical climate, and jaw-dropping natural wonders are not the only reasons why Xiamen is one of China’s most sought-after tourist destinations today. Located on the southeast coast, the city boasts a history that dates back to ancient times when it was a major seaport. It’s little wonder why Xiamen is recognised by UNESCO as a well-preserved city — both physically and culturally. It may be a small island as compared to Beijing or Shanghai, but travellers will find that there’s still insufficient time to catch everything the city has to offer. Fret not. We’ve collaborated with Singapore Airlines to compile this Xiamen travel guide for the best accommodation, food, and activities the city has to offer.

Accommodation: Conrad Xiamen
Xiamen Travel Guide Conrad Xiamen
Credit: Conrad Xiamen

This contemporary establishment, located within the heart of the Siming Central Business District, offers direct access to a luxury shopping mall and is within the vicinity of attractions such as Baicheng Beach and the famous Zhongshan Pedestrian Street. Need a guide? The property also sees in-house ‘Curators’ who are always on hand to dish out insider’s knowledge about the city’s best attractions for its guests, so ask for recommendations while you’re there.

Address: 186, Yanwuxi Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Accommodation: HUALUXE XIAMEN HAICANG
China, Xiamen: Hualuxe Xiamen Haicang
Credit: Hualuxe Xiamen Haicang

Located along the belt of Haicang Bay, Hualuxe Xiamen Haicang has 351 rooms across 28 floors and offers its residents the views of Xiamen Harbour and the scenic parks nearby. Tourist sites like the Haicang Avenue and the Aluohai Shopping Mall are mere minutes away by car as well, making this the perfect base to explore the city from, and earning it a place in this Xiamen travel guide.

Address: Haicang Avenue, Haicang District, Xiamen

Indulgence: ZENG CUO AN VILLAGE
Xiamen Travel Guide Jo Travels
Credit: Jo Travels

Zeng Cuo An Village is an enclave that’s packed with cafes, pubs, and eateries. Street food is also abundant here. A walk down its roads will bring travellers to some of the best spots for both local and exotic dishes, like Xiamen’s take on satay noodles, shacha mian.

Address: Siming District, Xiamen

Indulgence: BASHI SEAFOOD MARKET
China, Xiamen: Bashi Seafood market
Credit: Bashi Seafood market

This seafood market is between Kaihe Road and Kaiyuan Road; it’s always bustling with locals and visitors seeking the freshest produce like bamboo clams and scallops. Along the market, there are rows of restaurants specialising in Minnan or Southern Fujian cuisine, with roadside stalls serving as a counterpoint by offering more affordable and casual bites. A highly recommended place to spend some time at in this Xiamen travel guide.

Address: 46 Kaihe Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Indulgence: HAOQINGXIANG RESTAURANT (XIAMEN CULTURE & ART CENTER BRANCH)
Xiamen Travel Guide Haoqingxiang Restaurant
Credit: Haoqingxiang Restaurant

The nearly 80-year-old restaurant’s menu is filled with Southern Fujian cuisine like zongzi (glutinous rice dumplings) and spring onion rolls with sugar. For the quintessential Xiamen experience, try the Dragon and Phoenix kungfu tea — a delicate broth that’s made from chicken and snake that’s served in a teapot, complete with an acrobatic performance by its server.

Address: 95 Tiyu Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Activities: RAILWAY CULTURE PARK
China, Xiamen: Railway Culture Park
Credit: Lynn Liu

With an approximate five-kilometre walking trail that spans across an abandoned railway track, the Railway Culture Park will take travellers through Xiamen’s evolution from an industrial powerhouse to the cultural hub it has come to be known today.

Directions: Take bus number 1, 20, 135 and alight at Dashengli bus stop

Address: Huyuan Road, Siming District, Xiamen

Activities: Gulangyu
Xiamen Travel Guide Gulangyu
Credit: CGTN

The tranquil island — located a mere five minutes away by ferry — is one of China’s most visited tourist destinations and is crowned by UNESCO as a World Cultural Heritage Site. This is because  churches, mansions, and schools from the First Opium War in the 1800s are still standing alongside traditional Chinese buildings. The views are killer too, and perfect for spending a sunset at.

Directions: Ferries leave from Xiamen Dongdu International Terminal to Nei Cuo Ao Ferry Termnal from 7.10am to 5.40pm (until 6.40pm from June to September) every 20 minutes, and a round-trip ticket costs from 35 yuan.

Address: Siming District, Xiamen

Activities: FUJIAN TULOU
Xiamen Travel Guide Fujian tulou
Credit: Wikipedia

This is the furthest entry in the Xiamen travel guide, but also one must-see. Situated two-and-a-half hours away from the city is Fujian Tulou. Similar to Gulangyu, it’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site. This is because of the 46 buildings, built between the 15th and 20th century by the Hakkas, called the Tulou.

Directions: Take a bullet train from Fuzhou Railway Station or Fuzhou South Railway Station to Nanjing Railway Station (Fujian Province), and then take the tourist bus to Shuyang Town. Upon arrival, you can simply walk to the Fujian Tulou.

Address: Shuyangzhen, Nanjing, Zhangzhou, Fujian

This article was first published at Lifestyle Asia.

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