Located at the southeast coast of China, Xiamen is a tourist city of Fujian Province, almost half way between Shanghai and Hong Kong. Although most of the city is located on Xiamen Island, it extends to the smaller island Gulangyu and the mainland areas Jimei and Haicang. Just East of Xiamen Island are the islands of Quemoy and Little Quemoy, which are governed by the Republic of China based in Taiwan.
Xiamen is a major commercial city in Fujian Province and among the five Special Economic Zones in China. The city has been granted the provincial-level authority to enjoy direct budgetary and financial ministration by the Central Government. Xiamen itself is a mix of old and new, with historic architecture, winding alleyways and parklands centered particularly around the Western region and the waterfront. Xiamen’s primary economic activities include fishing, shipbuilding, food processing, tanning, textiles, machine tool manufacturing, chemical industries, telecommunications, and financial services. The city also benefits from investment capital from Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan.
The population of Xiamen is approximately 3.5 million people.
Xiamen has a subtropical oceanic climate. Xiamen weather is mild and pleasant most of the year. Winters are mild, requiring only sweaters or light coats in the coldest month, January (average 11′C). Summers are free from extreme heat, although thin clothes are needed during the peak summer season. Xiamen gets at its hottest in July, reaching up to 37′C.
The Xiamen dialect (Amoy dialect) originally comes from the Southern Fujian province (in Southeast China), in the area centered around Xiamen. It is highly similar to Taiwanese, and is widely known as Hokkien in Southeast Asia. Although widely spoken, the official language of doing business in Xiamen is Mandarin.
Things To do:
- Xiamen’s Botanical Garden is a nature lover’s paradise
- The Buddhist Nanputuo Temple, dating back to the Tang Dynasty, is considered a national treasure.
- Xiamen is also famous for its history as a frontline during the war with Kinmen (also known as Jinmen or Quemoy) 50 years ago. One attraction for tourists is to view Kinmen island, a few kilometres away and under Taiwanese control, from Xiamen island.
- Perhaps the most attractive place is Gulangyu Island, which prohibits motor vehicles and includes intriguing scenery, historical relics and architectures of varied styles.
Xiamen is the host of the China International Fair for Investment and Trade held annually in early September to attract foreign direct investment into the Chinese mainland.
Since Xiamen turned into a Special Economic Zone two decades ago, the city has made remarkable progress by having allured 23.09 billion U.S. dollars of foreign investment. Investment from overseas has contributed nearly 70 percent to the increase of the city’s economy.
Did you know?
Xiamen was the port of trade first used by Europeans in 1541. It was China’s main port in the 19th century for exporting tea, and the dialect used in the city was the basis for the way Chinese came to be written and translated into English.
Xiamen has won the titles of “National Garden City”, “National Sanitary City”, “Model City for Environmental Protection”, and “National Outstanding Sightseeing City”.
Xiamen is the world’s largest sunglasses manufacturing base, exporting 120 million each year.