Xiamen, the second largest city in Fujian province next to the capital city Fuzhou, covers a total area of 1,516 square kilometers . As one of China's first batch of five special economic zones, it has become a city of rapid growth with large amounts of investment from Taiwan, Hong Kong and foreign countries.
Despite its fame as an industrial powerhouse, this port city still maintains its charm with traditional architecture, delicious food, a pleasant climate and picturesque scenery, attracting many visitors every year.
The total population in Xiamen was 3.92 million by the end of 2016, 2.2 million of which were permanent residents.
Situated in the southeast of Fujian province, Xiamen borders Zhangzhou to the west, connects with Quanzhou to the north and stands in the face of Jinmen Islands across the sea to the southeast. With a land area of more than 1,565 square kilometers and a sea area of 300 square kilometers, Xiamen has become an international port city. It is a natural harbor with deep water that is ice-free all year round.
Three of Xiamen's tourist hot spots are Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen (Wanshi) Botanical Garden, and are a must-see for visitors to the city.
Gulangyu Island, lying in the southwest of the city, sits opposite Xiamen Island across the sea. A panoramic view of Xiamen can be seen when you climb onto the Sunlight Rock overlooking the city. Under the rock stands the Zheng Chenggong statue. To the south of the rock, alongside the sea grows the famous Shuzhuang Garden next to the flat bathing beach covered with green plants.
Under the Wulao Mountain in the southeast of the city, there lies the renowned and ancient Nanputuo Temple. Behind the temple is a quiet and beautiful place with rocks and trees. The Yunding Rock standing on the Hongji Mountain is at the summit of Xiamen Island. Xiamen University is nearby, where tourists can visit the Luxun Memorial Hall and Human Museum.
Xiamen Botanical Garden, in the east of the city, is covered with ridges and peaks rising one after another revealing varied and wonderful scenery.
The city also boasts a diverse community with many residents and families returned home after living abroad, or natives of Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Xiamen has six districts; Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang, Tong'an and Xiang’an.
The climate of Xiamen is subtropical. It is warm and rainy with an annual average temperature of around 21 C. It is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter. The mean annual precipitation reaches around 1,200 millimeters with the largest amount falling from May to August. The wind ranges from 3 to 4 level with the normal dominating wind direction from the northeast. Owing to the airflow resulting from temperature differences in the Pacific Ocean, typhoons may occur four to five times annually in Xiamen, mainly from July to September.
Visitors and residents of Xiamen can enjoy bright sunlight, gentle breezes, lush plants and colorful flowers in the city all year round. It is one of China's top ten cities suitable for habitation with its high development in culture and education, economic prosperity and picturesque scenery.
Tips for visitors:
1. The best time to visit Xiamen is in spring and autumn. Early summer is also favorable.
2. Visitors are advised to bring medication to help with acclimatization to the environment, such as antidiarrheal medicine.
3. As Xiamen is a port city the seafood is a specialty but guests are advised not to over-indulge and eat too much.
4. If visitors are going out late at night they are advised to be careful, and to remember the address of their hotel as well as relevant emergency services numbers.
5. Typhoons may occur in city around August each year. Please consider the weather conditions when making travelling plans.
Xiamen recently donated 105 books to its sister city in the Philippines, Cebu, to celebrate Cebu-Xiamen Friends Day which falls on Oct 26.
Elod Tasnady, consulate general of Hungary in Shanghai, visited Xiamen, Fujian province from Sept 25 to 26 to seek business cooperation with the Chinese city.