I have been really busy the past few months, but now I’m back at it. Lot of changes going on with me right now. We opened a new business in Xiamen, so now I’m bedding down in this beautiful city.
If you read my last post on Xiamen, I was really impressed with visiting here a few years back. I mentioned that I would also consider this a pace to live outside Kunming.
So now I have been here for 2 months. So far it just keeps getting better and better everyday! Xiamen Island is quite the pace to see no doubt. To sum it up, Xiamen is like a mini Shanghai. All the “western” amenities are available in this small coastal city.
The first look at this place and you see a squeaky clean city. People take great care to dispose of rubbish. There are trash cans everywhere. Funny how that works! Xiamen has a huge tourist business which they go to great ends to accommodate. There is much to do and see all over this area. You can google further to see these details.
I want to talk about the “western comfort” factor living here. Many people speak English, like Shanghai. I think besides the tourism reason, Xiamen has a noticeably higher educated population. Probably due to it’s famous university located here. Also there is a large amount of affluent people here. I mean big money seems the norm. It is not uncommon to see BMW’s, Benz, Bently, Lamborghini, Ferrari’s, and all manner of exotic new cars all around. Many driven by 20-25 year olds. People dress in the latest fashions and with all the high end name brand shops around, it’s no wonder. There are excellent western restaurants, bars, cafes everywhere. It is very nice to have delicious western food available to choose from. This is a big contrast to Kunming.
Obviously the cost of living here is more than most places. I would compare it to Shanghai in that regard. Housing in the city runs around 20,000 RMB per sq meter. Twice that of Kunming. I got lucky and found a condo on the famous “Coffee Street” facing the beautiful inner city lake. In fact I walk 50 ft from my front door to the shoreline. In a 2 block walk, I pass over 10 specialty coffee cafes and restaurants. I’m in heaven! A ten minute walk brings me to the ocean waterfront lined with incredible outdoor bars featuring live music and great western fare. The even have fresh draft beer in Xiamen! Nothing like sitting, looking out over the ocean with a cold beer. They even know how to make real thin crust pizza here without the silly fruit and vegetable toppings of typical Chinese places. Basically in Xiamen, I no longer need to make my monthly run to Bangkok to eat some decent food. Don’t get me wrong, Kunming has some great food, but I can’t eat Chinese everyday for Gods sake.
So I bought myself another electric moto to get mobile here. I’ve started exploring and will soon learn this city well. However, unlike Kunming, this place is not set up for 2 wheeled devices. In fact they are outlawed here. Most streets have no bike lanes and you are at the mercy of the typical bad Chinese driver. I have to pay a lot more attention driving around this place. Still this moto I got here is amazing. It has four speeds and does 90 kph! Thats smoking for an electric bike. Since Xiamen is a hilly city, it has the power to navigate everywhere with ease.
Xiamen has a beautiful island just across from downtown. A 5 minute ferry ride puts you to Gulangyu Island. Also know as piano island since every residence there has a piano in it. No cars are allowed on the island, and it is a key tour spot visiting Xiamen. The climate here is tropical. Gets boiling hot in the summer and only cool in the winter. Much the same as Thailand. People told me it does get cold here in the winter, but I don’t believe it. I will have to report back on that one. I can’t imagine it gets cold seeing all the tropical vegetation all over. Looks like a jungle environment to me.