Eco-friendly travel guide to Xiamen advises how to be a responsible tourist. Learn how to explore the attractions in a sustainable way and how to respect the local people and culture. Make your trip green by supporting locally owned hotels, organic restaurants and other businesses. Read more on how to protect the environment by making conscientious choices and how to travel green in Xiamen, China.
- Air quality: 4 / 5
- Exploring by foot: 4 / 5
- Exploring by bicycle: 4.2 / 5
- Public transportation: 4.3 / 5
- Parks: 4 / 5
- Outdoor activities: 4.5 / 5
- Locals' English level: 3 / 5
- Safety: 4 / 5
- Accommodation: US$130 - $150
- Budget per day: US$100 - $110
- 1 Responsible Travel
- 2 Air Quality and Pollution
- 3 Respect the Culture
- 4 Top 10 Places to Visit
- 5 Explore
- 6 Eat
- 7 Drink
- 8 Activities
- 9 Accommodation
- 10 How to Get There
- 11 Moving Around
- 12 Sustainable Shopping
- 13 Recycling
- 14 Work and Study Abroad
- 15 See Also
Xiamen is one of the most important port cities of the Republic of China. Earlier it was known as Amoy. Within a few years, Xiamen immediately started to become one of the most sophisticated cities, and the reason behind this is due to the huge seaside promenade as well as the infamous European architecture in the city. If you want to do responsible for traveling, then it is best if you follow all the sustainable practices that are important to follow to keep yourself safe and the city clean. For years, Xiamen is considered one of the most crucial parts of China. Xiamen is an open city, and you can visit the city anytime. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is a few things that you will need before traveling. The green health code, recent entry stamp, mask, and certificate of community.
Air Quality and Pollution
Luckily, the air quality in Xiamen is moderate thus, making it easy for travelers to enjoy a great time in the city. However, if you have issues with breathing, then it is best to take protection so that you can stay safe. One of the best ways to avoid issues with breathing is to carry a facemask. Both the government, as well as the locals here, have started taking various measures to keep the pollution under control. Whenever you are going out, make sure that you are covering your face. Besides, if you suffer from dust allergies, facemasks will make sure that you are safe while on the road. The best time to stay out is during the evening as you will be able to avoid heat and pollution to a great extent.
Respect the Culture
Xiamen is infamous among the tourists due to innumerable reasons since it is considered an international tourism city. The enchanting island, the glam look of the modern city along with the distinctive local customs. Hence, it is clear; the beauty of the city will no doubt mesmerize you to its extreme. The biggest distinction that you will find in the city is the blend of classical and modern folks. If you analyze closely, you will understand that the lifestyle of the locals here is interwoven with each other. Xiamen is the hometown of overseas Chinese as well as foreign citizens from the South Fujian, Southeast Asia, and Taiwan.
Top 10 Places to Visit
Tourists from different parts of the world visit the city of Xiamen and get a lovely experience. But if you want to make your trip more interesting, then you cannot miss the exposure to these 10 places.
- South Putuo Temple - This is one of the finest Buddhist temples, which was founded in the reign of the Tang dynasty. After coming here, you will understand the significance of the lord and his contributions during those days.
- Shuzhuang Garden - There is no doubt about the fact that this garden is about 103 years old. But it is still popular for the famous flowers and plants. Carry a camera with you to capture their pictures and make them your most precious memories.
- Hulishan Cannon Fort - In this fort, you would get various types of cannons, which have a greater significance. They were used in times of war and had contributed a lot. Just try it out and see how you get a fair knowledge about this particular thing.
- Gulangyu International Calligraphic Carving center - It is a center where you will get various calligraphy art designs and know about them briefly. You might not be fond of art, but after having a tour of this place, you will get more and more interest.
- Zheng Chenggong Memorial Hall - Do not go by its name because this is a palace dedicated to the most famous historian named Zheng Chenggong. His works are immortal and have some contributions from the past. Never miss it because this opportunity might not come again.
- Xiamen Undersea World - This is a live aquarium where you would get some of the prominent sea creatures. Go for it, and you will see something which you have never seen before.
- Hi Heaven - In this palace, you would get a fair idea about the kings and queens of China. And after getting the idea, you would feel like sharing it among your beloved persons. Make a double tick of this place in your travel diaries and mark it as a very important one.
- Lonsun Crocodile Zoo - This zoo is wonderful and has some famous crocodiles in China. Just visit here and get an opportunity to interact with them by making a firm friendship.
- Bifengwu - It is a river where you can go boating and get to discover the whole city. Whoever misses it always regrets it throughout their life and curses themselves.
- Xiamen International Conference & Exhibition Center - Here you will get the best exhibitions of arts and various other activities. There is no such person who misses it because of a place like this nowhere else.
Now when we talk about exploring the city, then these ten places are not enough. You should try out some city parks and museums which can give you a different level of enjoyment.
- Jinbang - This park is for all those people who love to go for a long walk. Come here during the afternoon, and you will get happy with its calm ambiance.
- Bailuzhou - You can visit here for a family picnic and have a nice leisure time. Spend valuable time over here and get rid of all the depressions of your life
- Xiamen Tianzushan Forest Park - Without any doubt, we can say that this park is awesome and gives you the real meaning of nature. Visit here and get a relaxation, which you might have never imagined earlier.
- Gulangyu Wanshi - Here you will get a wide variety of cactus plants and know about their features. In the beginning, you would never understand its relevance, but after exploring it, you will know about it in full detail.
- Baicheng - The water of this beach is pure, and you would love to have a bath in it. Come here during the daytime and feel the presence of real seawater.
Unfortunately, you would not get any famous landmarks in the city of Xiamen. But do not worry because here the museums are only called a historical landmark.
- Gulangyu Piano Museum - This museum is known for the ancient pianos which were used in the 19th century. Have a tour of this place, and you will know the relevance of music in those periods.
- Xiamen Science and Technology Museum - If you see this place, then you will feel like getting absorbed because of some scientific objects. Go through them carefully, and you know the reason behind the experiments of science.
Want to know about some of the dishes that are popular in Xiamen, make sure that you are researching about the dishes you must try. From sweet and sour pork to Kung pao chicken, you will get a wide variety of dishes. Republic has a long history when it comes to individual features to exquisite dishes. Chinese cuisine is considered one of the most important parts of Chinese culture. The innumerable traditional dishes that you will find in the city is popular for the flavor, aroma, appearance, and finally the taste. Chinese cuisine is infamous for adding unique flavors, spices, especially pork since it is one of the staple items for all the locals. From Sichuan Pork, dumplings, chowmein, to Peking roasted duck; you will get almost everything here.
Traditional Local Restaurants
If you are a sucker for trying out some of the unique traditional foods of China, then the traditional restaurants in Xiamen are the best place where your taste buds can get something unique to relish. Compared to the modern remixed dishes, the traditional dishes here have huge demand. Locals here are always interested in trying some of the best-rated traditional dishes. Besides, travel enthusiasts always show interest in trying out the local foods too. Let us check out some of the popular traditional local restaurants in Xiamen.
- Chaofucheng restaurant - If you want to taste some of the exquisite and delicious traditional foods, Chaofucheng restaurant is one of the best restaurants to visit. Foods served here are best rated since you will find locals coming here every evening to taste the local foods, and you can join them too.
- Xiamen Alai Traditional Xianfanguan - It is yet another most popular traditional restaurant where you can taste some delicious and scrumptious Chinese foods. The ambiance of the place and the piping hot food delivered here is undoubtedly the best.
Vegetarian and Vegan
Do not worry if you are a vegan and you are in Xiamen. Apart from pork, you will also get some outstanding vegetarian dishes. The lip-smacking dishes will no doubt make you feel overwhelmed. From Chinese ravioli to dumplings, you will get everything here. Let us check out some of the most popular vegan restaurants you must visit in Xiamen.
- Fan Jie Vegetarian Desserts - From sesame peanut candy to veg dumplings, make sure that you are trying out all the veg dishes that are popular in the restaurant. The service that you will get here is outstanding. Besides, the ambiance is stunning here.
- Lok Siu Kui Vegetarian - Vegan dishes come with some outstanding choices of items and here. Lok Siu Kui Vegetarian is one of the best-rated vegan restaurants that you will get in Xiamen. The dishes here are quite affordable, and the quality of the food is outstanding.
The trend of street foods is something that you should try even if you do not consider eating in restaurants. Starting from delicious dumplings to Manchurian balls, you will get everything. The alleys in Xiamen are filled with some mouth-watering street food outlets. Here are some of the popular street foods that you must try in Xiamen.
- Jianbing - Also known as Chinese Crepes, Jianbing is no doubt one of the most popular street foods and the locals here eat Jianbing as breakfast. You can find them in almost every food outlet near subway stations as well as tourist attractions.
- Cifantuan - These are popular rice-filled balls and some outstanding local ingredients. Some of the common ingredients include aha cai or pickled vegetables, rousing or pork floss, etc.
The traditional drinks that are available in Xiamen are no doubt delicious. Therefore, make sure that you are trying out the popular drinks in Xiamen. Hence, you can understand how outstanding Chinese cuisine is. If you are a coke lover, then you might not have any problem since you will get soft drinks almost everywhere. However, if you do not like coke, then you do not have to worry. You will get a wide range of delectable drinks as well as coffees. Besides, locals in Chinese always love enjoying hot tea. Apart from that, if you are interested, you can also try out some exotic wines and cocktails here. Many bars and breweries are there in the city where you can get the chance to taste the best quality drinks.
Tap water is a safe option to consider if you are planning to visit Xiamen. As the pollution levels in the city are moderate, you can consume tap water. However, to be on the safe side, it is always a good idea to opt for the packaged drinking water since the chances of getting any bacterial infection are less with the packaged drinking water. In the afternoons, especially due to the rising temperature and heat, you might feel the urge to drink water. Make sure that you are carrying a water bottle whenever you are out. Alternatively, you can also buy packaged drinking water as it is the best and the safest option. Most households in the city opt for the water purifiers to be on the safe side. You will come across many small shops selling soft drinks, and you can buy them to quench your thirst too.
In case you love spending time amidst a laid-back ambiance, then organic cafeterias are one of the best options. The reason behind this because organic cafeterias make foods with some sustainable raw materials. Not every city has become accustomed to the concept of an organic cafeteria. From delicious food items to healthy yet delicious drinks, you will get almost everything here. Even though if you do not find cafeterias in Xiamen, then it is best if you move out of the port city. Let us check out some of the best-rated organic cafeterias here in the city.
- Loving Hut - The environment of the Loving Hut is one of the best-rated organic cafeterias that you will find in Xiamen. It is one of the best and elegant organic cafeterias where you can get some of the delicious and delicate dishes. Make sure that you try out the spinach ‘pork steak’ rice and vegetarian ‘meat floss’.
- Dafang Vegetarian restaurant - One of the oldest restaurants that you will come across in Xiamen. From delicious hot and cold coffee, you will come across some scrumptious breakfast and lunch options to try. It is a perfect organic cafeteria where you can visit with your friends and family members to enjoy a great time.
Breweries can be your place if you like trying out some outstanding and carefully crafted beer. Xiamen is the home to some of the most favorite breweries where both locals, as well as the tourist enthusiasts, visit to try out the drinks. From crafted beer, year-old whiskies, exotic cocktails, and loads of delicious appetizers, you will get almost everything here. Let us check out some of the admired breweries in Xiamen.
- FatFat Beer Horse - Located in the Sha Po Wei Road it is one of the most hyped-about breweries that you will come across in Xiamen. Apart from the crafted brewery, you will get some appetizing cocktails as well. Besides, the range of toothsome snacks you will get here is a must-try item.
- Friends Restaurant - It is more of a restaurant than a brewery, but you will always get a chance to taste some best quality craft beer. Besides, you will get some delicious options in the snacks and appetizers; do not forget to try them too.
Xiamen is filled with innumerable activity options that you can try alone or with your friends. As the city is filled with modern and traditional cultural vibes, you can understand that you will get to enjoy some thrilling activity options. Over the years, tourists have been coming to the taking part in the unforgettable activities of Xiamen. From shopping to exploring the tourist attractions, you can take part in various activities. Let us check out some of the popular activities to try in the city.
- Visit Gulangyu Island - Gulangyu Island is one of the best-rated tourist locations that you can if you are planning for a vacation in Xiamen. You will come across ma y attractive spots here, and among them, one of the best rated is Sunlight Rock as well as the Shuzhuang Garden. Gulangyu Island is most popular among the tourists for some of the beautiful beaches as well as the winding lanes.
- Hulishan Fortress - A spectacular site covered by walls built out of granite. The impressive gates situated near the southern tip of the infamous Xiamen Island will no doubt blow your mind. The fort occupies almost thirteen thousand square meters. Hulishan Fortress is the best place if you want to know more about Mind and Qing Dynasty.
Yoga and Retreats
Yoga retreats are something that will relieve off your stress and anxiety. As the Chinese culture follow Buddhism, they believe in practicing yoga as well as other forms of stress-relieving activities. If you are visiting Xiamen, you will come across some of the best-rated yoga retreats where you can practice some unique yoga sessions as well as therapy sessions to make you feel relaxed. Let us check out some of the popular yoga retreats in the city.
- Ananta Yoga - This is one of the oldest yoga classes that you will find in the city. Here the traditional hatha yoga is taught. Apart from that, other different types of workshops on yoga, therapies, as well as other exercises are taught here as well. The biggest advantage is here you will get both Indian as well as Chinese teachers.
- Ashtanga Yoga and retreats - It is yet another popular yoga and retreat center where you can learn some typical yoga that will relax your mind and body. Besides, you will come across some amazing treatment options for your body.
No matter wherever you are traveling, comfortable accommodation is something which every traveler search for. Xiamen is filled with some best-rated hotels, hostels, guesthouses, and apartments where you can always enjoy a comfortable stay without any issues. If you are interested in knowing about the locals in Xiamen, staying with the locals is the best option. You can try to request the locals to let you stay with them since they are here are quite friendly. Alternatively, you can also book them beforehand. For example, you can book them from Airbnb. Apartments in Airbnb are well furnished, clean, and comfortable. Before you are booking the rooms here, make sure that you are providing some identity proof.
The demand for green hotels is quite high these days since these hotels offer some of the best amenities that you could have ever imagined. These hotels are best designed for maintaining environmental conditions. Green hotels practice sustainable habits that are good and eco-friendly. Besides, if you want to enjoy a secluded vacation away from the hustle and bustle of the city, then the green hotels are the best option. Let us check out some of the best-rated green hotels in Xiamen.
- Green Tree Inn Xiamen University Hotel - This is one of the top-notch green hotels you will come across in Xiamen. Here you will get some amazing amenities that are eco-friendly. Besides, you will get free breakfast, WiFi, etc. You will get bicycle rentals, free car parking, luggage, etc.
- Kempinski Hotel - Although it is more of a five-star hotel, here you will get some amazing facilities that are not only the best quality but also eco-friendly. Talking about the amenities, you will get some outstanding features like free WiFi, laundry services, free breakfast, etc. The sustainable practices, which the hotel focus deserve appraisal.
Hostels and Guest Houses
As already mentioned, Xiamen features some outstanding hostels and guesthouses, and if you do not want to spend huge on the five-star hotels then nothing can be better than the hostels and guesthouses. If you are worried about the quality services provided in the hostels, you need not worry since the amenities are equally comfortable and best quality. Make sure that you are checking every detail about the hostels or the guesthouses you are booking. Here are some of the best-rated hostels and guesthouses in Xiamen.
- Xiamen Locanda International Youth Hostel - Located in the Siming District, Xiamen Locanda International Youth Hostel is one of the top hostels where you can stay comfortably for the rest of the trip. From air-conditioned rooms to free WiFi, you will get everything here. Besides, if you want to meet fellow travelers, then hostels are undoubtedly the best place.
- Shicheng Hostel - Another most popular hostel in Xiamen where you will get a free breakfast option, separate bathrooms, and free WiFi. You have to make the bookings for this hostel in advance especially if you are traveling in season.
Vacations are always enjoyed best when planned with your friends. Besides, you can play with your family members too to make some unforgettable memories. When it comes to accommodation, you might face issues getting accommodation; therefore, it is the best idea to opt for the apartments. It will become easy for you to accommodate everyone in the apartment rooms. Either you can plan after reaching Xiamen regarding this or to be on the safe side, it is always a good idea to book them online. For example, Airbnb is one of the best places where you will get verified rooms. The location of the apartments is just right since you will be able to access public transportations.
Couchsurfing is one of the best ways if you want to explore any city and in Xiamen, you will get many Couchsurfing communities and local hosts post about it. If you are interested, you have to send a request to the host and once it is accepted, you can come and stay with other fellow travelers. Indeed staying away from your house for long is tough; however, with Couchsurfing, you can always feel at home with your fellow travelers. However, make sure that your profile is valid otherwise; your request might not be accepted. Besides, try to send the request at least one month before your vacation so that you have enough time on your hands. When exploring Xiamen, you will meet many Couchsurfers. The community also organizes many events and you can always take part in them. Besides, if you are not ready to spend huge in fancy hotel rooms, then Couchsurfing is the best option.
Adventure lovers always seek fun and thrill, and for them, nothing can be better than going on campaigning. Imagine how you would feel if you have to wake up to beautiful mountains, gushing streams of the waterfall, and soothing wind. Yes, you will get this excitement if you go on camping. Xiamen is undoubtedly one of the best cities where you can enjoy the thrill and fun of camping. Before you are touching down the city, make sure that you are searching for a few of the best camping places in the city. Also, make sure that you are taking your friends camping. If you want, you can also arrange for a bonfire and enjoy some piping hot barbeque. Overall, the camping experience can be fun in Xiamen. You will come across many camping spots in Xiamen and the surrounding atmosphere of the place is undoubtedly the best since you will be able to relax and unwind amidst nature.
How to Get There
Various ways are there to reach Xiamen and if you are traveling from other countries then you might have to consider the flight route, which is the easiest and the best way to reach Xiamen. Make sure that you are researching about the different ways of reaching the city. Besides, you will get a public transportation option to reach the city. However, you have to carry all your valid documents for traveling without which you might face issues. Also, make sure that you are checking out the ticket prices so that you can get the best deals.
Many countries and cities have direct flights to Xiamen; however, the fight ticket rate depends on the time when you are planning for your vacation. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is there are no direct flights that fly from India. You have to opt for break journeys if you are from India. The nearest airport in Xiamen is the Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport.
A public bus facility is available for all those who would be making interstate traveling. If you are planning to get a bus facility when planning for traveling from another country. Public buses are quite a cheap option if and the best option since you can avail them anytime throughout the day. If you want to travel by public buses, make sure that you are crossing the state border after which you will get options for public buses.
The railway connection in the city is quite good, which means if you want to enjoy the train ride, make sure that you are riding the local trains that run in the city. The ticket rates in the city are quite affordable. Compared to the bus route, the train route is much more fun and interesting if you want to make your trip memorable. Make sure that you are checking all the ticket rates before booking. If you are worried about whether the train remains overcrowded, then you are mistaking. The trains are available frequently thus; you will not see that the trains are overcrowded.
Even though the concept of hitchhiking is not popular; however, many countries are there that are being accustomed to the concept of hitchhiking. Similarly, you will see that hitchhiking is quite famous in the city. If you travel through the countryside, you will find many vehicles are picking up families. The only thing that you have to keep in mind is that the vehicle will not stop in every location. Therefore, you have to find out the right locations where the vehicles usually stop for picking up. Apart from that, if you are carrying luggage, make sure that you are careful about it.
There are various other ways by which you can explore Xiamen. Among them, walking and bicycling are a few of the common ones, which most travel enthusiasts opt for. If you want, you can also opt for public buses, electronic buses, or trains as well.
Xiamen is a blend of modern and traditional culture thus making the city more interesting. The enthralling history along with the eye-soothing beauty of the city will no doubt make your travel to Xiamen successful. From beaches, landmarks, to the monuments, you will get almost everything here. A perfect city to enjoy ten to fifteen days away from the stressful and hectic days. Apart from exploring the history, if you are a real foodie, then you will come across plenty of food stalls where, from traditional Chinese items to the remixed items, you will get everything.
Xiamen is an infamous port city and you will get to see something that will keep your stress away. If you want to explore the city, then nothing can be better than waking through the cities roads and alleys. However, if you are planning to cover four to five spots, then it is always the best idea to opt for the rented cabs or public buses. Besides, if you want to go on shopping, make sure that you are booking cabs otherwise things might become tough for you.
Bicycles are the best option to explore the city if you are planning to do more responsible travel. Besides, if you want to avoid crowds, then nothing can be better than riding bicycles. You will notice that most people in Xiamen opt for bicycles since not only it is a cheap option and does not cause pollution too. You will come across many shops giving bicycles on rent.
The trend of electronic vehicles is quite high in the city since the government has come up with various plans to keep the city free from pollution. Also, the electronic buses are quite comfortable since the buses do not remain overcrowded. Hence, you can always try traveling in the electronic buses whenever you are planning for exploring the city.
If you are not ready to spend huge on the rented cars, then nothing can be better than opting for the public buses. Rental cars might charge you depending on the distance you are traveling. Besides, you will be able to save money and spend it on doing all the favorite activities. Public buses in Xiamen are convenient and never remain overcrowded. Public buses are available throughout the day and travel throughout the entire city, which makes it one of the convenient options.
Tram, Train and Subway
The tram and train route in the city is quite developed in the city, thus making it convenient for everyone. If you want to travel from one city to another, then you can always choose trains and trams over the public buses. Besides, traveling from one state to Xiamen is no doubt easy since the inter-state train route is versatile and you will always get trains after every five to ten minutes.
The concept of sustainable shopping in the city quite famous since you will come across many stores as well as outlets selling sustainable clothes, accessories, as well as home decoration items. Make sure that you are investing in them since they are not only useful but will help in keeping the environment pollution-free. The city is gradually being accustomed to the concept of sustainable shopping and the locals here support it a great deal. The process of the sustainable items is cheaper than the normal items since these are made with environment-friendly items. Sustainable shopping is a great step to make people aware of the environment.
Chinese dishes are a weakness for almost everyone since the essence and flavor of the dishes are no doubt mouthwatering. Yes, the food markets in the city are heaven for all those who loves cooking and from here, you can buy all the secret ingredients, which the locals use for their dishes. From raw materials to spices, you will get almost everything here. Therefore, make sure that you are buying all the ley ingredients important to make perfect Chinese dishes at your home. Besides, you can also buy some of these secret ingredients as a souvenir for your friends or family members who love cooking.
Flea markets are a weakness for all those who are interested in shopping more at a wholesale rate. If you are interested in shopping for some amazing outfits and home decoration items, then nothing can be better than shopping in the flea markets. From home decoration to affordable yet fashionable clothes, you will get everything here. Besides, you can also get some items for your friends or family members, especially the ones that are famous in Xiamen.
Second Hand Stores
Second-hand stores are yet another best option where you can shop for some outstanding items. Locals in Xiamen believe in shopping from the thrift stores, especially they need some vintage items that too at a cheap rate. If you have the same interest, then the second-hand stores are the best option since you will get mind-blowing vintage showpieces as well as home decoration items in these stores.
The trend of eco-fashion is quite high in the city since the locals here believe in keeping the environment healthy. Besides, the eco-fashion items are quite cheap and made of better quality items than the normal ones.
To keep the city surrounding clean recycling is the best option since it will not only keep the city clean but the pollution levels will come down too. Locals here maintain rules and do not throw away litter here and there. It is better if you follow all the rules diligently being a responsible traveler.
The waste generation in the city is high since the population is high in the city. However, various waste management systems are there which efficiently help in supporting the waste management systems.
Work and Study Abroad
Many eligible students as well as workers from outside countries come here for education as well as employment opportunities. You will find some prestigious institutions that offer the best education to the students. Many reputed companies are there that employ eligible candidates looking forward to working with MNCs.
Colleges and universities here offer exclusive scholarship programs for the students who are interested in continuing with their further studies. You will find that students from every corner of the world come here to take admissions.
Women in Xiamen are mostly working and therefore they look for such people who will look after their kids. Au pair is one such service where you can get efficient caretakers who will look after the kids and maintain the other important activities in the house.
Many organizations have come forward in the city to take care of and preserve the rich tradition and the culture of Xiamen. You will come across many NGOs as well as other reputed organizations who are taking care of upholding the dignity of the city.