Getting through a 5 hour plane ride is easy when your destination is: paradise. We decided to spend my birthday in a beach city and Xiamen found its way to the top of the list. Xiamen is extremely south, while our home, Shenyang, is extremely north. Thankfully both cities are on the east coast… but it would basically be like flying from New Hampshire to Cuba.
Being such a long trip, I was not surprised that I got out of a plane in a different world! Palm trees everywhere, scarce traffic, sandy beaches, plus it was 90 degrees at 11:00pm. Too hot? No way, I was loving it.
We arrived at our guest house, The Blue House Inn, at about midnight. The Inn was tucked back in a little wooded area, so It was a miracle we found it in the dark. For about 28$ a night this place was amazing. As you can see below, the rooms were great and we were about 50 feet from the beach!
This is a view from the roof
Being a vacation weekend, we didn’t have too much planned. The first night, we met some Europeans and Americans and just hung kicked it on the beach, enjoying the sound of the water, some local beer, and the site of a clear sky and lots of stars (a rarity in China). Here is a picture of the beach out front of where we stayed.
Needless to say, I was already more than satisfied with our choice of location. The following day, we headed to this small island off of the coast. This island was unique because it was strictly pedestrian, having no cars or bikes. Filled with European and Chinese architecture, plus great hiking and views, it was well worth the 1 minute speed boat ride over.
While the sun was setting, we ventured off of the island to grab a few drinks at this bar street we found. Every bar had a happy hour special, was right on the water, and had a different theme. We had a few drinks, listened to some live music, and then headed out for the night.
The next day, we stumbled across this awesome bar, guesthouse and venue called the dreamer house. We stumbled across this place and loved it. They had great views from the outside decks, good drinks and awesome live music. We caught a band that was a couple… the guy playing the harmonica and the guitar and the girl singing and playing the djembe. These are not traditional Chinese instruments but they somehow made some amazing Chinese music infused with African and western influences.
Another highlight of the weekend was the Temple Bar. This was an open air Buddhist temple that was recently transformed into an awesome coffee shop and bar. Nothing on the interior was changed at all except they removed the Buddha statues. I enjoyed my Johnnie Walker under the shelter of the temple while a slight summer storm rained through the open air portion of the temple… it may have been the recent presence of Buddha, but I was extremely relaxed and at peace.
Xiamen was an amazingly unique city, and a great escape from metropolis China living.