I just returned from a visit to Xiamen. This coastal seaside city has got to be the cleanest city in China. Located on the Southeast coast of China in Fujian Province consisting of Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island, the north bank area of the Jiulong River and Tong’an County. Rich in history and the first free trade zone in mainland China. Xiamen has been called the Egret Island because of the hundreds of thousands of egrets inhabiting there. This is due to the beautiful natural scenery, the fresh air and the clean environment of the city.
The old and new come together in the city beautifully. You can see the Spanish and Portugal influence in the old sections of the city. Water is everywhere. I huge lake sits in the center of the city with parks and fountains. Everything is clean and well cared for.The local food is delicious and is famous for the fresh fish dishes.
There is a lot to see in and around Xiamen.
A few hours drive outside brings you to the Hakka Earthen Castles which fascinate foreign and Chinese tourists, international architects, and even the Pentagon (Reagan and the CIA thought their spy satellites had revealed hundreds of missile silos). Many earthen houses are round. some are over 1,000 years old, and are so aesthetic they appear to have sprung from the very earth itself. Earthen homes are rammed into shape, layer by layer, using a mix of raw earth, sand, lime, glutinous rice, and brown sugar, and reinforced with ‘bones’ of bamboo and wood. Only upper floors have outer windows, and the massive wooden gates are sheathed in iron.
You can do a tour of this area in a day and should not be missed while visiting Xiamen.