Gulangyu Island

Chinese name
鼓浪屿 (Gǔlàngyǔ)
FREE for the Gulangyu Island (a ferry ticket is required to visit). For all attractions: ¥108; Sunglight Rock: ¥60; Shuzhuang Garden: ¥30; Bright Moon Garden: ¥15; Organ Museum: ¥20; International Lettering Art Gallery: ¥10
Recommended time for visit
1 day
Website (in Chinese)
Fengze District, Quanzhou, Fujian (福建省泉州市丰泽区)
Visitors must first arrive at Xiamen Ferry Terminal (轮渡)and then buy a ticket to Gulangyu. The cheapest ferry tickets are known as A Tickets (A票) and cost ¥8 for service to and from the island. Make sure to hold on to your token, you need it on the way back. If you buy tickets for more than one person, they can be put on a single token. To get to the ferry terminal, take bus 3, 4, 8, 10, 11, 12, 19a, 19b, 23, 25, 30a, 30b, 31, 107, 127, 139, 655, 841, 853, 941, 946, 950, 952. The BRT runs to Diyi Matou (第一马头), which is a 10-min walk north of the ferry terminal.

Note: The first and last ferry from Xiamen departs at 05:45 and 00:30. The first and last ferry from Gulangyu are at 5:30 and 00:00.

This scenic island just off the coast of Xiamen features Victorian architecture, sandy beaches, and (literally) tons of seafood. Gulangyu offers something for everyone from history buffs to nature lovers, and it’s worth at least a day of exploration. Be warned it is extremely popular with foreign guests and Chinese tourists alike, and the crowds can be overwhelming. Go during the weekdays to avoid the holiday rush.

There are numerous tourist sites on Gulangyu, including Sunlight Rock (Rìguāng Yán; 日光岩; the highest point on the Island), the Piano Museum (Gāngqín Bówùguǎn; 钢琴博物馆), and a large statue of Koxinga (Zhèng Chénggōng; 郑成功), – the Ming loyalist who held out against the Manchu armies. These numerous sites charge entrance fees running from ¥15-¥25. Tickets allowing entrance to all the sites are available for ¥108, or you can just look at them from afar and avoid the photo-snapping hordes of Chinese tourists. There are innumerable restaurants, shops, and hotels on the island. Most visitors walk straight from the ferry terminal on Gulangyu, heading past the McDonald’s and KFC, through dozens of tourist shops and huge crowds, to the beach on the other side of the island. For a more relaxing experience, turn right directly after exiting the ferry and circle the island or explore the steep alleyways on the north side of the island. This part of Gulangyu is much more peaceful and quiet, and it features some interesting Victorian ruins and a (presumably) haunted graveyard. The north side of the island has less expensive restaurants, juice shops, and more charm.







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