Xiamen (厦门) is the second biggest city in Fujian Province (福建省), and it's said to be a great place for living and working, because the average salaries are high and cost of living is relatively low. Xiamen consists of several islands, the biggest main island is one of the districts of Xiamen City, also there are few smaller ones on the side. Once again, I arrived there late at night on a bus from Chaozhou, and it took me almost 6 or 7 hours. Then booked a accommodation in Zencuo An (曾厝垵) on the main island near the beaches, which used to be a fishing village, later, many painters and writers came over and settled in it, then it got famous and it looked no different than any other tourist street in China.

Gu Lang Yu island (鼓浪屿) lies off the main island of Xiamen, is the main reason tourists come to Xiamen. To be able to get on it, one needs to take a ferry from the main island.

View of Xiamen main island from the ferry. I was told that I could even see some of the islands of Taiwan from the ferry on a clear day.

Ancient fortresses were everywhere on Gu Lang Yu Island for its important military position in history and now.

Local people and tourists were having fun on the beaches.

But the beaches were never the reason people came on this little island. Xiamen and Gu Lang Yu Island were colonized by many countries before, so many architectures from the past were left well-kept. Many new couples were taking wedding pictures in front of a church.

Other architectures.

Recent years, the high speed trains in China have been developing rapidly, and up to this point of my life, I have never tried it, only been told it was fast and clean. So I decided to try it and go meet up a good friend from college in Fuzhou (福州), the capital city of Fujian Province (福建省).

Unlike the older trains, there were no sleepers throughout all the carriages, only seats available, and these seats were adjustable for you to lean back. Most importantly, the high speed trains are super fast. It goes up from 200 Km/hour to 300 Km/hour. Also, smoking is not allowed on the train, making it super riders friendly and clean. Compare with the old trains, it's more expensive to cover the same distance but it's totally worth the money.

Me and my friend from college had a blast and caught up a lot in Fuzhou, which I didn't get to tour much, I had come back to Xiamen for another day because my flight back to Guilin booked the day after. Renting a bike to cycle along the paths by the beaches of main island in Xiamen is one of the most popular things to do, so I did it and it turned out to be my favorite thing to have done there. I have to admit, I'm from innerland of China, never really got a good chance to see the seas and it felt great every time I saw it. Mountains give me the awe, while oceans give me the relief.

All the street lights were on by the time I got back to the place I stayed.

Interesting how the architecture and style of the houses in Zencuo An were very similar to all the houses I've seen in my previous stops.

And the architecture in some villages seen from high speed train seemed beautiful, and looked like temples, but I was pretty sure they were just the houses for local villagers, sadly, I had no time to make any stop to that area so I figured I'd come back again to see more of the villages and their architect in the future. And I was also told by my friend that the Southern Shaolin Temple (南少林) was in that area, which was separated from the Shaolin Temple up in the north in Dengfeng, Henan Province (登封,河南省).

Well, Xiamen was the last stop of my trip. I had fun traveling just by myself and I had learned so much from the trip. I will keep doing this and writing more posts about China and Yangshuo, thank you very much for reading, see you on the road.

#2013ChinaEastCoastBackpacking #FujianProvince #ChinaCities

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