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Saturday, September 22, 2007


Gulang Yu

As I mentioned a few blogs back, Xiamen is an island joined to mainland China by a bridge. Not quite attached to Xiamen is another island called Gulang Yu. It is reached by a regular ferry from the downtown area.

When I got to Gulang Yu I was invited to take a ride on an electric golf-cart-styled bus. It does a circuit of the island perimeter stopping at interesting points so you can get off and take a look around. My advice to anyone who is reasonably fit and has at least half a day is to explore the island by foot.

Those golf-cart buses are the only motorized vehicles I encountered on the whole island. There were a few bicycles but not many and thankfully none of them were motorized. This made for pleasant wandering around the laneways that take you wherever you want to go.

The only other vehicles I encountered were carts drawn by human power. I guess if anyone wants anything delivered that’s the only way to get it there. One rather flash house was having several cartloads of furniture delivered when I walked past.

Most of the buildings on the island were built by Europeans in the colonial era. Generally they are kept in good condition. You would probably not think you were in China if you were deposited there unknowingly. The island is hilly and there are many spots to find an enjoyable view.

There are also a few beaches on the far side of the island for those who want to swim or sunbake. Even though it was a hot day when I visited, not many Chinese were taking advantage of the water.

The ferry ride over is free but it costs eight yuan (not expensive) to get back to the mainland. I stayed pretty late in the afternoon and was seeing fewer people as the day went on but there were still many waiting to catch the ferry back to Xiaman.

More photos of Gulang Yu can be found on my flickr pages (see sidebar).

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More photos of Gulang Yu can be found on my flickr page, see sidebar.
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