Oh I do like to be beside a rather smoggy seaside… but at least it was the first time since arriving in China that I was able to go outside without a coat and not freeze!
We arrived late at night so only got a brief tour before bed but when we woke up it was a delightful 23 degrees! Xiamen is a university city on the coast and we stayed on an Xiamen island which is beautiful.
With only one day in Xiamen we were pretty rushed so started at a local temple and hike up to the viewing point of the city – many stairs in the heat left us all very sweaty!
In the distance you can faintly see Taiwan as we are only 2 miles away but the smog inhibits much of the views!
Our next stop was to a hillside fort which was built after England invaded Xiamen to protect the city against any further invasion – we were also told that it’s the biggest cannon in the world, though I’m not too sure if that’s true!
The afternoon brought about one of the strangest experiences of my life. I have heard before about people getting trampled to death in China and I can now see how it happens.
Our plan was to get a 20 minute ferry across to a local island. We arrived and when the check in was called went to go and queue like patient British people do. This plan didn’t last for long as you were pushed and shoved out of the way with some people clinging on to the gates for dear life desperate to be at the front. Then the gates opened. It sounded like a plane was taking off. About 100 people sprinting as fast as they could at the boat to get the best views with the rest of us who were walking being trod on and barged for going slow!
The island was beautiful despite the strange journey there. Shops, beaches and statues made it feel like we weren’t in China anymore – apart from the 50 couples having wedding photos here!
Back to the countryside we go next to stay in the traditional Toulu roundhouses, then one night in Shenzhen before we cross back into Hong Kong – I can’t quite believe how fast it’s gone!