Gu Lang Yu Island

On April 18, 2011, in Beaches, Cool Places, Travel Info, by Emily Yang

If you cannot stand such a quick-fixed life, just jump out of it and book a fight of China Southern Airlines to Gu Lang Yu Island – a wonderful destination for your China tours. Gu Lang Yu Island is located just southwest of Xiamen City. Visitors can reach it by steamship from Xiamen City in [...]

If you cannot stand such a quick-fixed life, just jump out of it and book a fight of China Southern Airlines to Gu Lang Yu Island – a wonderful destination for your China tours.

Gu Lang Yu Island is located just southwest of Xiamen City. Visitors can reach it by steamship from Xiamen City in about 5 minutes. Gu Lang Yu Island is renowned for its delicate natural beauty, its ancient relics, and its varied architecture. The island is on China’s list of National Scenic Spots, one of the 35 key National Scenic Spots and also ranks at the top of the 10 most scenic areas in Fujian Province.

During the Ming Dynasty, the island was called “Yuan Shan Zhou Island”. It got its present name from the huge reef surrounding it. When the tide comes in, the waves pound the reef and it sounds like the beating of a drum. Thus the island came to be named “Gu Lang Yu”. Gu in Chinese means “drum”, and “Lang” means “waves”.

During the later Ming Dynasty, the troops of national hero Zheng Chenggong were stationed here. After the Opium war in 1842, 13 countries including Great Britain, France, America, Germany and Japan established consulates, churches, hospitals, banks and schools here, turning the island into a common concession. In 1942, Japan occupied the island until the end of the war of Resistance against Japan.

Gu Lang Yu Island has about 20000 permanent residents, all of whom enjoy a comfortable, relaxing life. Only electric-powered vehicles are permitted on the island, so the environment is free from the noise and pollution of combustion engines.

Breathing the clean air, appreciating the ever-present green trees and lovely flowers, anyone here can feel like they are in heaven. With classical and romantic European-style architecture, the island truly deserves to be called the “Architecture Museum”. It is also known as the “Cradle of Musicians” and “Island of Music” because of its reputation for music appreciation.

The Island Ring Road, which circles the island, allows you to fully enjoy all the sights of this small but charming island.

At the foot of Sunlight Rock stands the Memorial Hall of Zheng Chenggong, built in honor of the hero’s feats which include expelling the Dutch colonists and reoccupying Taiwan. Wandering up the steep rock path, visitors will see many profound inscriptions left by poets, the oldest of which dates back to over 400 years. This is the main cultural sight on the hill. Continuing on, you will see the preserved training grounds of Zheng Chenggong’s troops. Near the field is a huge rock bridging two cliffs, forming a natural entrance to a cave. This is called “Old Summer Cave” (Gu Bi Shu Dong) where you can feel a pleasant cool breeze. It’s the perfect viewing spot to qppreciate the scenery of Gu Lang Yu Island. A fantastic panorama of Xiamen City, including Nanputuo Temple, Xiamen University, Hulishan Battery, etc. is within view.

If you are also interested in travelling to Gu Lang Yu Island, you can just visit chinatraveldepot.com for more information about China Tours, China Flights, and China Hotels, etc.

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China Eyewitness Travel Guide II: Gu Lang Yu Island

On October 26, 2010, in Cool Places, Cultural Experience, Must-sees, by Guo Nai

When you just come to China for a wonderful China Tours, you must go to the South-east Coast of China. It is very worthy for people to relax and enjoy. Book a China Flight to visit Xiamen, Fujian Province, and spend your vocation in Gu Lang Yu. Gulangyu ”Drum Wave Islet” is a car free island off the coast [...]

When you just come to China for a wonderful China Tours, you must go to the South-east Coast of China. It is very worthy for people to relax and enjoy. Book a China Flight to visit Xiamen, Fujian Province, and spend your vocation in Gu Lang Yu.

Gulangyu ”Drum Wave Islet” is a car free island off the coast of Xiamen, Fujian province in southern China, about 2km2 in area. It is home to about 20,000 people and is a very popular tourist destination.

Visitors can reach it by ferry from Xiamen Island in about 5 minutes. Gulangyu Island is renowned for its beaches and winding lanes and its varied architecture. The island is on China’s list of National Scenic Spots and also ranks at the top of the list of the ten most-scenic areas in Fujian Province.

Xiamen (formerly known as Amoy) became a treat port resulting from China’s loss in the First Opium War and the Treaty of Nanking in 1842, hence the predominantly Victorian-era style architecture throughout Gulangyu Island, where 13 countries including Great Britain, France and Japan established consulates, churches, and hospitals. Gulangyu was officially designated an International Settlement in 1903. In 1942, Japan occupied the island until the end of the War of Resistance against Japan. The Amoy dialect of Hokkien is spoken on the island.

As a place of residence for Westerners during Xiamen’s colonial past, Gulangyu is famous for its architecture and for hosting China’s only piano museum, giving it the nickname of “Piano Island” or “The Town of Pianos” or “The Island of Music”. There are over 200 pianos on this island. The Chinese name also has musical roots, as gu lang means drum waves so-called because of the sound generated by the ocean waves hitting the reefs. Yu means “islet”.

In addition, there is a museum dedicated to Koxinga, Haidi Shijie Marine World, a subtropical garden containing plants introduced by overseas Chinese, as well as Xiamen Museum, formerly the Eight Diagrams Tower. The island of Gulangyu is a pedestrian only destination, where the only vehicles on the islands are several fire trucks and electric tourist buggies. The narrow streets on the island, together with the architecture of various styles around the world, give the island a unique appearance.

Gulangyu is unique in China as a “Traffic Free Island”. It is connected to the main Xiamen island only by ferry. Neither cars nor bicycles are allowed, and the peaceful island provides an alternative to the hectic life in Xiamen City across the river, although the recent introduction of electric tourist buggies is felt to be damaging the island’s charm. Freight is pulled on wheeled buggies up the often steep lanes by strong teams of men.

It is really wonderful to visit Xiamen in August, September and October. Visit chinatraveldepot.com for more information for your China Tours.

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