Xiamen Tourist Attractions
Xiamen's ancient town center - Amoy in the Fujian dialect - on the island of the same name is joined to the mainland by a long causeway built in 1956. Xiamen has a favorably-located natural harbor.Being situated in the subtropical zone, this coastal town enjoys a very mild maritime climate.Xiamen was founded in 1394 to provide a defense against pirate attacks; later it became a sea-port. It was named Xiamen after the original fortress of Da Xia Zhi Men, known as the ''Gateway to the Great Edifice''; the term ''Great Edifice'' refers to China itself. General Zheng Chenggong (1624-62) set up a naval base here. In 1842, after China had been defeated in the Opium Wars, Xiamen became one of the five free ports which the government was forced to open up to international trade.By the mid-1950s it had developed into an important industrial center. Since 1980 Xiamen has been one of the four Special Economic Zones, where a kind of free market economy operates.
South Putuo Temple
South Putuo Temple, at the foot of the Mountain of the Five Old Men (Wulaoshan) in the south of the town, was built during the Tang dynasty (618-907).In the front hall stand statues of Maitreya Buddha and the Four Heavenly Kings.Three further Buddha figures and one of Guanyin are to be found in the Sumptuous Hall of the Great Hero (Daxiong Baodian). Statues of Guanyin can also be seen in the Temple of Dabei Tang.
Island of the Blown Waves
The Island of the Blown Waves, 2sq.km/.75sq.mi in area and lying 1km/.75mi southwest of Xiamen, boasts some pretty little houses in the midst of rich flora, which has led to their being popularly known as ''Gardens of the Sea''.
Dominating the island is Sunlight Rock (Riguang Yan). also known as the Peak of Flying Sparks (Huang Yan) or Dragon's Head Hill (Longtoushan). A Buddhist temple stands at the foot of it.
Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall
In 1962 the Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall (Zheng Chenggong Jinianguan) was built on the north side of the island in honor of the national hero of that name who had liberated Taiwan from the Dutch three hundred years earlier.
Shuzhuang Huayan Gardens
South of Sunlight Rock lie Shuzhuang Huayan Gardens, which once belonged to a Taiwanese businessman who moved to Gulang Yu Island in 1895 after his home had been taken over by Japanese. Gangzihou beach is to the west.
Cave of the White Stag
The Cave of the White Stag (Bailu Dong) lies hidden on the southern slopes of Mount Yuping to the northeast of the town. Two wall inscriptions bear witness to the resistance put up by the local populace against its Dutch masters in the first half of the 17th C. In the middle of the cave stands a white clay sculpture of a stag, the symbol of the School of the White Stag on Mount Lushan, which was founded in the Song era (960-1279) and devoted itself to the study of the classical writings of Confucius.
Park of Ten Thousand Rocks
The botanical gardens known as the Park of Ten Thousand Rocks lie on Lion Mountains (Shishan) in the east of the town. The dominant features of the park are bizarre-shaped rocks, lush vegetation, caves, temples and pavilions. There is also an artificial lake of the same name.Particularly interesting are the Temple of the Kingdom of Heaven (Tianjie Si) and the nearby Chang Xiao Dong caves which contain inscriptions dating from the Ming period (1368-1644).
Cangjing Ge Pavilion
In Cangjing Ge Pavilion there are some interesting writings and a bell from the Song period (960-1279). In the University of Xiamen is a memorial to the writer Lu Xun, who lectured here in 1926-27.