Xiamen, today an attractive city with a bustling nautical atmosphere, was a significant port during the Ming dynasty. In the 19th century it became an early treaty port, when the foreign community established itself on the small island Gulang Yu.
What to see
Nan Putuo Si is a busy temple which was founded in the Tang era in the extravagant southern style.
The large area of Wanshi Botanical Garden houses over 4,000 species of plants, especially from South China and Southeast Asia.
Gulang Yu, a tranquil island with attractive colonial buildings, lies only ten minutes by boat from Xiamen. There is no traffic apart from battery-powered buggies, what gives it a romantic atmosphere. In 1860 the resident representatives of the foreign powers established themselves here. It grew into a European-style town with churches, consulates, and spacious villas.