Gulang Yu

Gulang Yu: Picture of island with Xiamen in the background.

Gulang Yu view: looking back at Xiamen really gives you an idea for the old and new.

After spending a day and a half exploring Kinmen Island, we took a ferry back to Xiamen. From there, our goal was to head to the island of Gulang Yu (鼓浪嶼 “Drum Wave Islet”) for a few days. This turned out to be far more difficult than we had anticipated.

While not a famous destination internationally, Gulang Yu is quite popular among Chinese tourists, attracting 10 million annually. Because of this, only the locals are allowed to take the short ferry directly to the island’s main port. It wasn’t clear how we tourists could get there, though. We ended up joining a mini tour, which included a round trip ferry ticket. Three hours, two ferries, and four passport checks later, we – along with two hundred of our best Chinese friends – spilled onto Gulang Yu.

At the turn of the twentieth century, Gulang Yu was one of two foreign concessions in China (the other being Shanghai). Because of this, the island is full of European-style mansions and churches. It also has a piano museum and a calligraphic wood carving museum (my personal favorite attraction). Cars and bicycles are banned on the island, so the tourists get to walk around and take it all in.

Though Gulangyu was difficult to reach, especially given its proximity to Xiamen Island, it was still worth the journey. Here are a few of my photos from the island:

Gulang Yu: Picture of the old American consulate.

The old American consulate.

Picture of girl with street sign.

A popular activity here is to pose in front of street signs.

Picture of blooming flowers.

Blooming flowers.

Gulang Yu: Picture of Katie with street sign.

Katie in front of a street sign.

Picture of noodle shop sign.

A sign for a noodle shop.

Gulang Yu: Picture of temple.

The island’s main temple.

Gulang Yu: Picture of graveyard.

An old graveyard.

Gulang Yu: Picture of wood carving at the calligraphic museum.

My favorite place on the island was the calligraphic carving museum.

Picture of Shuzhuang Garden.

The walkway through Shuzhuang Garden.

Picture of Shuzhuang Garden.

Shuzhuang Garden.

Gulang Yu: Picture of arch bridge.

The arch bridge.

Gulang Yu: Picture of Katie in a cave.

Katie is in one of the eight caves.

Picture of temple.

One of the temples.

Gulang Yu: Picture of sunset..

Sunset is over an industrial area.

Picture of beach.

The beach.

More photos from Gulang Yu

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