We stayed in Xiamen for a couple of days at the end of our trip to China and took a day trip out to Gulangyu Island which is a short 20 minute ferry ride away.
Gulangyu is the third largest island off the coast of Xiamen, a city in Fujian Province in southern China. It is about 2 km2 (0.77 sq mi) in area. It is home to about 20,000 people and is a domestic tourist destination. The only vehicles permitted are small electric buggies and electric government service vehicles.
Visitors can reach it by ferry from the ferry terminal in Xiamen. Local residents are allowed to use a shorter 5 minute ferry to/from Heping Ferry Terminal. Tourists and non-locals must now take a longer 20 minute ferry ride from Dongdu International Terminal, as of October 20, 2014 with a fare increase from 8 yuan to 35 yuan. This has been in order to reduce tourist numbers accessing the island in an effort to conserve it. In addition to the ferry tickets, you can book a scenic entrance fees package for 100 yuan to 5 places of attraction, named as A, B, C, D and E (these are attraction locations and not optional routes). Note that at the Dongdu International Terminal you can only book to travel on the day and your passport is required for foreigners.
Gulangyu Island is renowned for its beaches and winding lanes and its varied architecture. The island is on China’s list of National Scenic Spots and also ranks at the top of the list of the ten most-scenic areas in the province.
The island is a popular spot for weddings and wedding photography – we came across many couple beig photographed in the scenic areas.
The architecture is very interesting and there are a large number of fabulous large mansions and was the place where many rich Chinese built their dream homes.
A typhoon fairly recently destroyed many of the trees and evidence of this is still obvious with many fallen trees.
Mount Lit-kong-giam (Sunlight Rock) is the highest place on Gulangyu.
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