China Xiamen Gulangyu Island Travel Guide And Tips

Gulangyu Island is located just southwest of Xiamen City (China). Visitors can reach it by steamship from Xiamen City in about 5 minutes. Gulangyu Island is renowned for its delicate natural beauty, its ancient relics, 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 Fujian Province.

During the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the island was called ‘Yuanshazhou Island’. It got its present name from the huge reef surrounding it. When the tide comes in, the waves pound the reef and it sounds like the beating of a drum. The island came to be named ‘Gulang’. Gu in Chinese means ‘drum’, and Lang, ‘waves’.

During the later Ming Dynasty, the troops of national hero Zheng Chenggong were stationed here. After the Opium War in 1842, 13 countries including Great Britain, France and Japan established consulates, churches, and hospitals, turning the island into a common concession. In 1942, Japan occupied the island until the end of the War of Resistance against Japan.

Gulangyu Island has about 20,000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a comfortable, relaxing life. only electric-powered vehicles are permitted on the island, so the environment is free from the noise and pollution of combustion engines. Breathing the clean air, appreciating the ever-present green trees and lovely flowers, anyone here can feel like they are in heaven. With classical and romantic European-style architecture, the island truly deserves to be called the’Architecture Museum’. It is also known as the ‘Cradle of Musicians’ and ‘Island of Music’ because of its reputation for music appreciation.

The Island Ring Road, which circles the island, allows you to fully enjoy all the sights of this small, charming island.

Among the many scenic spots on the island, the most attractive are Sunlight Rock and the Shuzhuang Garden.

(1). Most big cities of China have direct flights to Xiamen.
(2). From Xiamen Airport to downtown of Xiamen: You can take the city buses at the exit of the airport hall (Cost 6 rmb for a person).
(3). From Xiamen Airport to ferry terminal: You can choose the taxi and there are 4 ways: Shuganglu street, Jinsanglu street – Yundingsuidao – Huandaolu street, Chenggongdadao street, Chenggongdadao – Xianyuelu. The cheapest way (35 rmb) is the first one – Shuguanglu street. You can see lots of good views of Xiamen in the second way (Jinsanglu street – Yundingsuidao – Huandaolu street) but the cost is higher (60-70 rmb).

Some useful bus routes:
(1). Line 27(cost 1 rmb,6:30-21:20): Xiamen Airport-Linghou-Taigususe-Chalukou-Jichangdagao-Jichanglukou-Puzai-Dianqian-Yongshengxincheng-Huojuyuan-Tangbian-SM Chengshiguangchang-Guotai-Lvyan-Lianhualukou-Lianban-Hudong-Xincun-Yunandasha-Huzhonglu-Renminbaoxian-Jiangjunci-Zhongyigongyuan-Wenhuagong-Zhongshanlu-ferry terminal.
(2). Line 37(cost 1 rmb,6:30-22:15): Xiamen Airport-Jinshanglukou-Linhou-Dahu-Poshang-Taiweishanzhuang-Luxi-Muxi-Shangdian-Zhongfuhuayuan-Beidashengwuyuan-Yuzhouhuayuan-Xilin-Wolongxiaocheng-Yidonggongsi-Lushanqiao-Lianqian-Lianban-Hudong-Xiamen Railway Station.
(3). Line 41(cost 2 rmb,6:30-21:40): Xiamen Airport-Jinshanglukou-Linhou-Dahu-Poshang-Taiweishanzhuang-Luxi-Muxi-Taiweihuayuan-Xiangdian-Houfugongyequ-Jiangtouyiyuan-Jiangtouxiaoxue-Jiangtoushichang-Lvxi-Guotai-SM Chengshiguangchang-Mingdehuayuan-Kanglexincun-Yuzhouxincun-Kanglehualian-Nanshanliaoyangyuan-Zhongxinxiaoxue-Gongyexuexiao-Hulipaichusuo-Hulijianhang-Haitianlukou-Hulichezhan-Hulidadao-Huamei-Sanhangdasha-Baoshuiqu.

(1). You’d better book your flight tickets one month in advance. This can help you to save a lot of money on airfares.
(2). A firm travel bag is helpful for your Xiamen Gulangyu travel.
(3). Most city buses cost only 1 rmb in Xiaman and you’d better prepare some 1 rmb changes for it.
(4). The roads of Gulangyu is hard to memories and the best way is to ask the local people for directions. Don’t be shy. All the local people here are very nice to the tourists.
(5). The boats from the ferry terminal to Gulangyu is free but you will need to pay 8 rmb from Gulangyu to the ferry terminal.(you can save this 8 rmb if you take a boat after 22:00)
(6). You’d better choose the hotels near the ferry terminal or Xiamen railway station because there are lots of city buses and taxi cabs there.
(7). Xiamen University is not easy to get in. You will need to find a college student to lead you.