Xiamen in East China's Fujian province is a beautiful seaside city located on the southeastern coast of China.
Situated in the southeast of Fujian, Xiamen borders Zhangzhou to the west, connects with Quanzhou to the north, and faces Kinmen Island across the sea to the southeast.
With a land area of 1,700.61 square kilometers and a sea area of 390 sq km, Xiamen administers six districts, namely Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang, Tong'an and Xiang'an.
South Fujian Dialect is Xiamen's pervasive local dialect among its 5.16 million permanent residents. The city also boasts a diverse community with many of its residents having lived abroad, or natives of Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Xiamen has been a trading port since ancient times as well as a gateway for China's opening-up and external cooperation. With a natural deep harbor that is ice-free all year round, the city has become an international port city. Being one of the earliest special economic zones in China, Xiamen remains at the forefront of China's reform and opening-up endeavor.
After decades of development, Xiamen has become well known for its innovation and entrepreneurship, with burgeoning new economic forms and new industries, robust trade and investment and easy access around the world by air, land and sea links. Today, it is a beautiful garden city that projects harmony between man and nature.
In 2022, Xiamen's gross domestic product (GDP) reached 780.27 billion yuan ($114.52 billion), up 4.4 percent year-on-year. The city is witnessing rapid growth with large amounts of investors from Taiwan, Hong Kong and foreign countries flocking to the city. Last year, its foreign trade volume hit 922.56 billion yuan, up 4 percent year-on-year, and the city's trade with other BRICS countries (Brazil, Russia, India and South Africa) and countries involved in the Belt and Road Initiative increased 29.9 percent and 12 percent, respectively.
Despite its fame as an industrial powerhouse, the port city still maintains its charm with traditional architecture, delicious food, a pleasant climate and picturesque scenery, which attract many visitors every year.
Three of Xiamen's hot tourist spots are Gulangyu Island, Nanputuo Temple and Xiamen (Wanshi) Botanical Garden, and are among must-see places for visitors in the city.
Gulangyu Island, which is situated in the southwest of the city, sits opposite Xiamen Island across the sea. A panoramic view of Xiamen can be seen when you climb onto Sunlight Rock that overlooks the city. Under the rock stands the Zheng Chenggong statue. To the south of the rock alongside the sea, is the famous Shuzhuang Garden next to the flat bathing beach covered with green plants.
Next to Wulao Mountain in the southeast of the city is the renowned and ancient Nanputuo Temple, and behind the temple is a quiet and beautiful place with rocks and trees. Yunding Rock sits on the summit of Hongji Mountain on Xiamen Island. Xiamen University is nearby, and tourists can visit the Luxun Memorial Hall and Human Museum.
Xiamen Botanical Garden, located in the eastern part of the city, is covered with ridges and peaks rising and wonderful scenery.
Xiamen's climate is subtropical. It is warm and rainy with an annual average temperature of around 21 degrees Celsius. It is neither too hot in summer nor too cold in winter. The annual precipitation reaches around 1,200 millimeters with the largest amount falling from May to August. Due to the airflow from temperature differences in the Pacific Ocean, typhoons may occur four to five times a year in Xiamen, mainly from July to September.
Visitors and residents in Xiamen can enjoy bright sunlight, gentle breezes, lush plants and colorful flowers in the city all year round. It is one of China's top 10 cities to live in with its high development of culture and education, economic prosperity and picturesque scenery.
Tips for visitors:
1. The best time to visit Xiamen is in spring and autumn. Early summer is also favorable.
2. Visitors are advised to bring medication to help with acclimatization to the environment, such as antidiarrheal medicine.
3. Since Xiamen is a port city, seafood is a specialty in the city, but guests are advised not to over-indulge and eat too much.
4. Typhoons may occur in city around August each year. Please consider the weather conditions when making travel plans.
Night view of Xiamen, Fujian province. [Photo/IC]
China now enjoys comprehensive mutual visa exemption with 23 countries after reaching an agreement on mutual visa exemption with Thailand on Jan 28.
China and Thailand signed an agreement on mutual visa exemption for holders of ordinary passports and passports for public affairs on Jan 28.