Land Area: 1,565 square kilometers (about 604 square miles)
Sea Area: 300 square kilometers (about 116 square miles)
Population: 2,520,000; Area Code: 0592; Zip Code: 361000
Nickname: Egret Island
Xiàmén (厦门), the island city formerly known in Western circles as Amoy, is emerging as southern China’s most sophisticated city.
Located at the southeast coast of China, Xiamen is a tourist city of Fujian Province famous for its attractive seascape. As one of the major seaports since ancient times, it boasts a wide gulf with deep water but without freezing and silting. The name was consequently given, which means 'a gate of China'. As one of the forerunners of the special economic zones of China, the city mainly consisting of Xiamen Island, Gulangyu Island, the north bank area of the Jiulong River and Tong'an County, is connected with the mainland by the Gaoji Seawall, Xiamen Bridge, etc. The city has been called the Egret Island because of the hundreds of thousands of egrets inhabiting there. This is due to the beautiful natural scenery, the fresh air and the clean environment of the city.
South Putuo Temple(南普陀)
South Putuo Temple PicturesSituated at the foot of Wulaofeng (Mountain of Five Old Men) and facing the sea, South Putuo Temple is deemed to be one of the must-go tourist places in Xiamen, Fujian Province. Even if you are not interested in Buddhism, you will find the place a scenic area providing you with a refreshing experience.
This Buddhist temple was once called Puzhao Temple (Universal Grace Temple). It was first built during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and was later destroyed in the warfare during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). During the reign of Qing Emperor Kangxi (1662-1722), a naval general ordered it to be rebuilt into a Buddhist Temple and named it Nanputuo Temple.
South Putuo Temple covers 30,000 square meters (36,000 square yards) with four main buildings on the north-south axis. The buildings include Devajara Hall (the Hall of Heavenly Kings), Mahavira Hall (Daxiongbaodian), Dabei Hall (the Hall of Great Compassion) and a Pavilion built in 1936 in which Buddhist scriptures, Buddha images from Burma, ivory sculptures and other works of art are stored. The many rooms flanking the main buildings include dormitories, libraries and study rooms for monks.
Tomb of Cheng Jiageng Jimei is located in the north of Xiamen Special Economic Zone, 17 kilometers (about 11 miles) from the city center. It is opposite to Xiamen Island and is at the foot of Tianma Mountain facing the sea on three sides. Jimei is the hometown of Mr. Tan Kah Kee (Chen Jiageng) (1874-1961), a renowned educator and leader of overseas Chinese. Nowadays, Jimei is one of the four most popular tourist sites of Xiamen City, especially for its academic atmosphere as well as pretty natural and social sights.
The most remarkable feature is without doubt the Jimei Study Village founded by Mr. Tan Kah Kee in 1913. It is the only one in China. It occupies an area of over 10 hectares (about 25 acres) on a variety of various levels and schools ranging from primary to higher education and from traditional to vocational schools. The magnificent scale of this project has no equal elsewhere in China.
Jimei University was formed by the amalgamation of five former colleges and it is now Xiamen City's major center of education and culture and has been given the general designation of Jimei Study Village. The buildings of Jimei Study Village are a combination of eastern and western styles, facing the beautiful seashore, and they are attractive places for visitors. Recently, Jimei Study Village has been selected as a protected cultural relic of the nation together with another spot in Jimei, Ao Yuan.
Ao Yuan, lying on the southeastern seashore of Jimei, was built in four years from 1950. The Jimei Liberation Monument of 18 meters height (about 59 feet) and the tomb of Mr. Tan are sited in Ao Yuan. There is a corridor extending from the entrance to the garden. The side walls of the corridor are inscribed with groups of carvings. In addition, various kinds of stone inscriptions can be found all over the garden.
Compared to the gorgeous structures in Jimei, a two-storey building appears simple and plain, this is the former residence of Tan Kah Kee. Mr. Tan had made many contributions to the educational undertakings; the schools he set up number more than 100, however, his lifestyle was always frugal and simple. To the west of Mr Tan's residence is a display charting his life story.
Guilai Tang is to the south of the former residence of Tan Kah Kee. It was built for the wish of Mr. Tan. He wished to provide a place for the overseas Chinese to get together when they returned to their homeland. Guilai Tang was finished one year after Mr. Tan passed away. It occupies an area of more than 4,000 square meters (about 4,784 square yards) and the main body is in a traditional palace style. In front of Guilai Tang, there is Guilai Yuan constructed in 1983, and a bronze statue of Tan Kah Kee stands in the garden.
Hulishan Fortress lies to the south of the Xiamen Island. Construction began in 1894 during the Qing Dynasty (1644 - 1911) and ended in 1896. It covers an area of more than 70,000 square meters (about 17 acres) and is composed of barracks, a tunnel, a magazine and other fortified buildings, all surrounded by a granite wall. The ground on which the battery is built is quite solid because it is made of a mixture of ash, mud and sand with glutinous rice and brown sugar. Two large cannons once guarded the east and the south sides, but only one remains. These cannons, produced in 1886, were bought from a German arsenal at a cost of 80,000 taels of silver each. The remaining cannon is more than 13 meters (about 42.7 feet) long and weighs 50 tons. It has a range of 1,600 meters (about one mile). It is the largest and oldest 19th century breechloader in existence. Additionally, there are more than 50 iron cannons made during in the Ming (1368 - 1644) and the Qing Dynasties on the grounds. Between the eastern and the southern batteries is a tunnel in which 29 cannonballs are now on display. At the exit of the tunnel are the barracks. Hulishan Fortress was an important defensive factor during the war against Japanese aggression in 1900 and 1937.
In the Rongguang Museum of Hulishan Fortress, tourists can see ancient firecrackers, guns, swords and unusual natural stones from around the world. Exhibits include the world's smallest cannon, which was made by the Portuguese in the 13th century. It has a length of 11 centimeters (about 4.33 inches) and a weight of 0.22 kilograms (about half a pound). Its diameter and caliber are 22 centimeters (about 8.67 inches) and 0.8 centimeters (about 0.31 inches) respectively. Included in the exhibit of stones are two unusual ones. The first is a Burman stone with a weight of 2.5 tons, which has a long, wavy stripe from the northeast to the southwest that looks like 'a picture of huge amount of water pouring from the sky'. The second one is even more interesting; it bears an astonishing resemblance to a piece of meat with skin, fat and muscle.