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Xiamen

Travel Guide Asia China Fujian Xiamen

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Introduction

Xiamen

Xiamen

© All Rights Reserved JohnVosler

Xiamen is a city in the southeastern Chinese province of Fujian and has about 2.5 million inhabitants. The city is often overlooked by many travellers, but it is actually one of the most liveable cities throughout the countries and has its fair share of attractions. The climate is just one of them, although this area can be hit severe by typhoons.

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Neighbourhoods

There are 6 districts:

  • Huli-qu
  • Siming-qu
  • Haicang-qu
  • Jimei-qu
  • Tong'an-qu
  • Xiang'an-qu

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Sights and Activities

  • Gulangyu island
  • Xiamen Botanical Garden
  • Buddhist Nanputuo Temple
  • View of Kinmen island, Taiwanese territory
  • Yuandang Lak
  • Bailuzhou Park
  • Jiageng Park
  • Night markets
  • Zengcuoan Village
  • Kaihe road wet market (one of the biggest open air markets in China)

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Weather

Xiamen has a subtropical climate with generally warm and humid conditions. Summers last from June to September when average daytime temperatures are mostly between 30 and 32 °C, while nights are balmy at 23-25 °C. The absolute record is 39 °C, which combined with the high humidity can feel very oppressive. From December to March it is between 17 and 20 °C during the day and 10-12 °C at night. This is also the driest time of year, although from March onwards rains starts to increase. April to September is the wettest time of the year with almost 200mm a month on average. This is also the season when typhoons can hit the city and an average of 4 to 5 a year have their influence.

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max16.8 °C16.5 °C18.8 °C23 °C26.7 °C29.4 °C32.4 °C32.2 °C30.7 °C27.4 °C23.4 °C19.1 °C
Avg Min9.7 °C9.8 °C11.9 °C16.1 °C20.3 °C23.3 °C25.3 °C25.2 °C23.8 °C20.5 °C16.4 °C11.7 °C
Rainfall37 mm65 mm99 mm147 mm152 mm196 mm140 mm155 mm117 mm29 mm37 mm25 mm
Rain Days81317161614101011354

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Getting There

By Plane

Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) serves the city and is the base of Xiamen Airlines which serves most Chinese cities, along with over a dozen of other Chinese airlines. The main cities all have direct connections, including Shanghai Pudong International Airport, Beijing, Chengdu, Chongqing, Guangzhou, Guilin, Hangzhou, Kunming, Nanjing, Qingdao, Shenzhen, Tianjin, Zhuhai, Wuhan, Shenyang and Nanning.
International connections include Jakarta, Macau, Hong Kong, Osaka, Tokyo, Manila, Penang, Seoul, Kuala Lumpur, Taipei, Singapore and Bangkok, mostly with the respective international airlines of those countries.

Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island

© All Rights Reserved JohnVosler

By Train

There are direct passenger services available between Xiamen and Shanghai, Nanjing, Hefei, Fuzhou, Nanchang and Yingtan. This link gives free access to a quick reference timetable of Chinese trains. For a map of Chinese railroads, click here. Shanghai is 27 hours by train, Beijing 34 hours.

By Bus

Buses connect Xiamen with many regional cities and towns, as well as some cities further away. Trains are a better options for long-distance travel though. Express buses go to Hong Kong, Shenzhen and Guangzhou (9-12 hours).

By Boat

A ferry service links Xiamen Island and Gulangyu Island. Since 2008, there are also ferries between Xiamen and the Taiwanese island of Kinmen.

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Getting Around

By Car

Driving yourself is not possible, but there are hundreds of taxis available and fares are cheap.

By Public Transport

The Xiamen Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is the main form of public transport. The system uses buses along a 115 kilometres lon system of bus lanes.

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Sleep

PropertyAddressTypePopularity
Xiamen old town youth hostelKaihe road, Jiutiao Alley No. 24 , Siming district, XiamenHostel-
Bay View InnNo. 17 Longtou Road, Gulang Islet XiamenHotel-
Blue House Inn20# Zeng Cuo An,Xiamen City,Fujian Province,ChinaHostel-
Coasthouse Hostel25# Downward Huangcuo xitou Siming DistrictHostel-
Xiamen Gulangyu International Youth HostelNo.18 Luqiao Road, GulangyuHostel-
XiaMen International Youth HostelNo.41 Nanhua Rd. Siming Dist.Hostel78
Xiamen Travellers' HomeNo.23 Zeng Cuo An, Island Ring RoadGuesthouse-
XiaMen Baijiacun International HostelLiao Hua Road20#HOSTEL76
Remy's Garden Gulangyu Island65 KangTai Road GulangyuGUESTHOUSE79
Wake Up Naturally508 ZencuoanHOSTEL-
Xiamen Old Town Hostel24 Jiutiao Alley Siming DistrictHOSTEL73
Xiamen Locanda International HostelNo.12 Nanhua Road Siming DistrictHOSTEL71
Antelope InnNo.218,Zengcuo'an Huandao Road,Siming DistrictHotel88
June HostelNo.475 ZengCuoAn Siming DistrictHOSTEL68
Xiamen Jiahome International Youth HostelNo.24 Middle Road of HubinHOSTEL72
Youself InnNO.469, Zengcuoan Siming DistrictHOSTEL-
Nan Yin hostelChina QuanZhou City, FengZe Di 中国福建泉州市丰泽区云鹿路云鹿路交汇处瑞士花园8-2,Hostel-
Koala's Home B&BNo.84 Sunshine Seaview Villa, YeFengzhai, HuangDao Siming districtGUESTHOUSE86
The Drift Bottles InnHouse 203, Tzengtsu WaiHOSTEL-
Lody InnNo.337.ZengCuoAn . Xiamen City.Fujian Province China PRHostel-
Shop No 2Huaqiao University back door Jimei DistrictHOSTEL-
Qi Xing Elan HotelNo 51 Qi Xing Road, Si ming DistrictHOTEL-
Sea Lover Time InnNo 107 Huang Cuo Ta Tou Ming Si DistrictGUESTHOUSE-
Mola Mola HostelNo.11 Huang Cuo Xi Tou XiamenHOSTEL-
MolaMolaHotelXitouxia No.11 Huangcuo Village Huandao RoadHotel-
Xiamen university

Xiamen university

© All Rights Reserved boy_fromOz

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Keep Connected

Internet

Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.

Phone

See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.

Post

China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 24.4796693
  • Longitude: 118.0897665

Contributors

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Xiamen Travel Helpers

  • Melimei

    I came to Xiamen in Oct 2012 and have been living and working here ever since. I teach English full-time, but in my spare time I am learning Chinese and discovering the island bit by bit. I have a great network of friends from all over the world here so can easily set you up with the best places to stay, to go out, to sight-see, to shop, and to work. Come to Xiamen, it's really the best place to live in China!

    Ask Melimei a question about Xiamen

This is version 11. Last edited at 7:25 on Aug 21, 13 by Utrecht. 14 articles link to this page.

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