Getting Around - Gulangyu Vile @Xiamen, China

Xiamen (厦门) it is a sub-provincial city of Fujian province. Not many people know about this city and how beautiful this city is compare with other city in China. Most people know about the most polluted city; Beijing, city with the most sky-scrapers; Shanghai, city with worse crime rate; Guangzhou and city with most girls; Shenzhen. While as for Xiamen, not many. I can assure you that once you have come to this city, you will forget about the other cities that have listed earlier on. Xiamen is like our Penang. They have a mainland like Seberang Prai and 4 bridges with 1 underwater tunnel linking to an island like the Penang Island itself.

Xiamen island is the most environmental friendly place in the whole China. The city has make a real effort in creating a good city landscaping by plating trees and flowers along the road. It has making it like a garden in the city. Please do not surprise when you see them did a better job than Singapore. The roads are cleaner and you can see people cleaning up the road and maintaining the plants throughout the day. The best parts are they restricted motorcycle in the island to avoid pollution and they do not allow any industrial unfriendly built on that island.

Gulangyu Vile is called an island within an island. It is like the size of Pulau Jerejak at Penang. The only difference is Pulau Jerejak is not a tourist spot. The ferry from Xiamen island to Gulangyu Vile is operating from 6.00am to 12.00pm daily and 10-15 minutes waiting time for each ferry to arrive. The fare is RMB4.00/person/trip but you need to pay RMB8.00 which inclusive a return. RMB1.00 extra if you planning to ride on the 2nd deck of the ferry. They will collect the RMB1.00 on the ferry itself.

Reaching here late at night so that I have a full day tomorrow to go around this beautiful place. There is no direct flight from AirAsia to Xiamen yet. Only MAS but the ticket price is super expensive. If you have the time and on a budget, you can choose to fly to Guangzhou or Shenzhen and take an overnight bus or train to Xiamen. The bus will take around 10 hours while the train is slight longer and more expensive which is around 13 hours. You choose train if you want comfort and cleaner especially for the restroom. I, myself travel from Guangzhou to Xiamen. Just for your information, the train to Xiamen only can be bought at Guangzhou East Railway Station. While the bus only can be bought at the bus station located at Guangzhou Railway Station. There are a lot of railway station in Guangzhou so please make sure you are at the right railway station otherwise we are lining up for hours for nothing.
This is the best I can capture about the Gulangyu Vile map. For your information, there are no public transport in this island. The only transport you will see is electrical car by police, firefighter car and tourist car. Tourist car is a car that take you a ride around the island at RMB40/person. There are some hotel provide free transfer using this similar electrical car too.
Since no public transport, so get a good shoes and walk! Of course, please do not forget to bring your camera! Before you start your walking journey in this island, there is one interesting thing to do here which is you buy a beautifully made directory book of Gulangyu Vile, bring along the book, look for the shops and collect chops! Every shops listed in the directory book will own a chop which they will put in front of their shop. It is fun somehow even though now it sound stupid.
There are more than 200 hotels in this island. During the weekdays, a cheaper hotel like this will be full house. The price range for the hotel in this island is from RMB200 - RMB4000.
You can see most of the hotel setting up their room in a more romantic couple environment. This is consider a cheaper hotel set up. Not bad to me already. Other than that, their water power is very low and you hardly get any water to shower if you are staying too high up.
The weather here are very cooling with the sun is treating you very nicely. One piece of clothes is just enough. The temperature is between 18 degrees to 24 degrees Celsius.
Look at how clean even on an alley like this. If you have been to our Malaysia's alley, you will understand what I meant. The air is clean too and no weird smell for you to suffer.
Most part of this island are old buildings which were built since 1930s before the Japanese invaded this country.
The nature is well preserved and you will definitely feel relax in this island. You do not mind to walk for hours around this island too!
Another vehicle is allowed in this island is the pull cart. However, they have a very restricted time to operate in this island. The pull cart is used to move things around the island since there is no public transport in this island.
At the month of July, you will see these trees blooming with beautiful flowers.
You will see a lot of love poems in this island. Oh, I forgot to tell you...Gulangyu Vile actually it is a place for love birds. Almost 70% of the visitors here are couples. You can see couples holding hands everywhere. If you just broke up or long alone or single, you may avoid this place which is an eyesore to you. 20% is family and the rest are a group of girls or a group of friends. So a single man who wants to look for a partner, do visit here to get lucky.
Plenty of romantic cafe like this in the island. Too many and too expensive but it is the best place to rest your leg thou.
Please avoid shops selling dried seafood like this. They are selling 5x more expensive than the market price. Even you able to get a discount, it is not expensive either.
There are other roadside stalls like this for you to buy some souvenir back home. All are very interesting and eye-catching but the price is a little high. Who cares when you are on a date? You will just buy anything to please your partner, don't you?
Other than souvenir, there is food. 90% of them is selling the same thing which is cuttlefish BBQ. The most famous in this island. Do try them when you see them! But make sure you choose the right stall!
Dogs are everywhere in this island...don't worry. They walk around alone like this as if they own this island. Hahaha...
Tunnels! There are 3 tunnels in such a small island.
This is one of the tunnel with people playing music hoping for donation. The melody fits well in this tunnel by creating an echo. Another tunnel which is not in the picture was a bomb shelter tunnel which was used during World War II. 
This is another tunnel which is used to vandalize with your love poems, love promises, love quotes and etc. You only can do that in this tunnel.
The landscape in this island is just superb. Great for photography and I will be back again just for photography session.
Very hard to maintain 100% clean when there is human. Especially the culture of the most Chinese people in the China are not up to standard yet. Spitting and throwing rubbish everywhere is still very common to see here. Does not mean their own people do not treat their own country's environment well so we can ignore it as well. We should behave like what we did in our own country in other countries too.
The mother nature really treated this country very well. I wish to have such a beautiful place in Malaysia too! Can't we transform an island into something like this?
This is the widest beach if to compare with other beaches in this island. However, not many people will opt to swim here because the weather is still quite cold to swim in the sea.
The sea water is not really beautiful in my experience. There is a reason for it.
Look at those large container ships just across this island. That's the part the local government cannot avoid. They can do whatever they can on the land but they have limited power at the sea.
However, the beach is still very beautiful.
One of the highlight of this island is wishing on the Gulangyu Rock. Please ignore the rubbish...I missed that somehow. 
It is for a couple to make a wish on the rock and the wish will comes true. Let's see how well it is and I shall update here before I die. Hahaha...
A whole look over the Gulangyu Rock.
There are two jetties going to Xiamen Island. This is another one but not the main one.
If you planning to swim or use the beaches, you can rent some equipment here such as float or benches for sunbathing. There are available here. However, this is not a season to swim or sunbathing yet. It is too cold to do that even though I said earlier you only need to wear one piece of clothes. The reason is you are walking in this island so you will tend to sweat a lot. So one piece of clothes is enough.
As for now, you can opt for other activities such as speed boat tour around the island, parasailing, jet ski and many more. The jet ski is ride by a professional and you are just a passenger. That's what I do not like.
As for land activities, you will visit gardens and climb mountains. You can buy the whole set of tickets for RMB100.00 and save RMB35.00. Honestly, if you are there to take picture instead of just visiting, it is impossible for you to go to all the places within 10 hours. I, myself only managed to make it to 2 places only. Another land activities which is not in the picture is the underwater world. It is cost RMB70.00/pax. Last but not least is the Hall of World Celebrities which contains over 100 vivid and full-length silica gel statues of world-renowed movie stars, sports star and politicians through the super realistic sculpting expression way. All the statues are in life size, with the exactly same color and sense of quality as the real human beings. RMB35.00/pax for the entrance fee.
Amazingly, I find it very rare for not able to see a single westerners in this island as a tourist. Seems like not many westerners know about this island. Anyway, this island is highly recommended at least 2 nights stay to go around this island. Stay tuned for my next day post about night life in Gulangyu Vile.

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