Archive | September, 2009

Gulangyu’s vivid architecture.

Gulangyu's vivid architecture.

Gulangyu is a tourist island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province in southern China, about 1 square kilometer in area.

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Gulangyu’s beautiful view.

Gulangyu's beautiful view.

Visitors can reach Gulangyu 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 Chinese name also has musical roots, as gu lang means drum waves so-called because of the sound generated by the ocean waves hitting the reefs. Yu means “islet”.

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Gulangyu’s Houses.

Gulangyu's Houses.

As a place of residence for Westerners during Xiamen’s colonial past, Gulangyu is famous for its architecture and for hosting China’s only piano museum, giving it the nickname of “Piano Island” or “The Town of Pianos” (鋼琴之鄉) or “The Island of Music” (音樂之島). There are over 200 pianos on this island.

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Xiamen’s Gulangyu Cable Cars.

Xiamen's Gulangyu Cable Cars.

From the top of the mountain on Gulangyu island you can see a lot. You can either walk up or take the cable cars. Guess what I did? I walked, and then found out there were cable cars. Haha. Good for the health, anyway!

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Gulangyu, Xiamen: The Spot.

Gulangyu, Xiamen: The Spot.

The island of Gulangyu is a pedestrian only destination, where the only vehicles on the islands are several fire trucks and passenger transport vehicles. The narrow streets on the island, together with the architecture of various styles around the world, give the island a unique appearance.

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Xiamen: Gulangyu Island.

Xiamen: Gulangyu Island.

The island became a foreign enclave following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, hence the predominantly Victorian-era style architecture throughout the island, of which many were offices and residences of Consulate-Generals, as well as that of the thriving expatriate business community. The Amoy dialect of Hokkien is spoken on the island.

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