Gulangyu Islet: A mere 500 meters as the fly flies across the harbor from downtown Xiamen lies the famous 1.77 square kilometer island of G(or “Drum Waves,” because the breakers pound the rocks like drums).The 10 minute ferry ride to Gulangyu costs nothing unless you sit upstairs, where a ticket lady will collect about twice nothing (one Yuan or so). But unless you can swim, you have to pay the piper for the return trip-which at about 1.5 Yuan is still a better deal than Hong Kong’s Star Ferry, New York State’s Island Ferry, or Disney Land’s “Pirates of the Caribbean.
Sunlight Rock: Riguang Rock is also called Moving Rock. It is the summit of Gulang Islet. On the mountain, huge and precipitous rocks form many caves and gullies. Pavilions are hidden among green trees. If you go up the steps, you will come to the Lotus Flower Convent first, where a huge rock named ”A Piece of Tile’, sitting on the top forms a hall below. On the large rocks beside the convent are inscribed ”Wonderland of Gulang,” and ”Number One along the Egret River”. Behind the convent are ”the Dragon’s Cave of the Egret River,” ”the Cave of Summer Resort” and there scenic spots. Close to the convent is the historical site of Zheng Chenggong’s Dragon Head Mountain Fastness and the platform for directing the raining of his seamen. Coming to the top of the mountain, you can see the beautiful view of the sea and the mountains. The Xiamen Island and Gulangyu, Dadan and Erdan are all presented before your eyes.
Shuzhuang Garden: First built in 1931 on the southside of the island, Shuzhuang Garden was once a private villa. It became a garden park open to the public in 1955. It is divided into two parts-the Garden of Hiding the Sea (Canghaiyuan) and the Garden of Making-Up Hills (Bushanyuan). It was exquisitely designed to embody three important characteristics in gardening—hiding elements, borrowing from one’s surroundings, and combining movements.The principle of hiding elements is embodied in the way the ocean remains hidden from view even if you walk right up to the garden gate. However, once you emerge from the bamboo forest, the seascape leaps into view. Climb the Tower of Tide-Viewing to really get a terrific look at the sea.Borrowing from one’s surroundings refers to cleverly using naturally available scenery.
Piano Museum: The museum, covering an area of 450 square meters, has 30 famous-brand pianos from Britain, France, the United States, Austria and Australia. They are all over 100 years old. All the pianos were collected by Hu Youyi, who was born in Gulangyu and now lives in Australia.According to an agreement between Hu and the Gulangyu district government, the pianos will be on show for 10 years in the museum and then be donated to the local government.Gulangyu is dubbed “Piano Island” because its 17,800 permanent residents own 620 pianos.