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Historic Xiamen is packed with attractions, for peaceful moments or a rousing good time

Zhou Wuqiang offers an eclectic variety of early 20th century antiques and memorabilia, while the Red Dot Design Gallery is due to open near the airport this year

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 11:30am
UPDATED : Thursday, 14 June, 2018, 11:30am

Xiamen has plenty of attractions for residents and guests. Whether in search of a peaceful moment in nature or a rousing good time, the perfect answer awaits in this ancient port.

Art lovers can head over to Huamei Kongjian, a loft-like space in a repurposed factory that is now home to tea-houses, cafes and designer studios on 132 Huasheng Road. Check out the rotating series of exhibitions at Baqiu Gallery, which opened last year and was founded in part by a Chinese artist who focuses on traditional painting and local scenes. For a glimpse into the treasures of the city’s history, head over to Zhou Wuqiang, which offers an eclectic variety of antiques and memorabilia from the early 20th century. The venue needs a reservation to open, so call in advance. The upcoming Red Dot Design Gallery is expected to open in the second half of the year near the airport.

If a city walk beckons, check out Shapowei, a former fishing village that has been transformed into a hotspot for local artists and entrepreneurs. An eclectic array of shops and restaurants have replaced the area’s old fish merchants’ stores. Amble down Daxue Road and check out the sights, but come with an empty stomach because the snacks are amazing. Quench your thirst at Fat Fat Beer House, a local craft beer brewery inside a former engine room that serves some of the city’s best local beer.

One of the best sunset views on the island is from the fifth floor of the Starbucks across from the Lundu Ferry Terminal, although it does get crowded

Quiet moments abound even in the city. Xianyue Park offers rolling hills that are speckled with local temples. Jinbang Park is a narrow venue near the railway station that stretches up into the hills and offers trails all the way to the city’s eastern beaches.

Nature lovers will be thrilled by the city’s sunsets, which are particularly scenic by the coast and in the areas overlooking nearby Gulangyu. One of the best sunset views on the island is from the fifth floor of the Starbucks across from the Lundu Ferry Terminal, although it does get crowded. Higher views are available at the Conrad Xiamen in the Shimao Straits Tower.

An alternate but equally lovely view can be found at the myriad of cafes and restaurants on Coffee Street abutting Yundang Lake. For a cappuccino to match the view, check out Samadhi and its fourth floor veranda.

After dark, head out to one of the city’s many live music spots. Real Live is a concert venue in Shapowei that showcases bands and musicians on tour from China and beyond. The main stage offers a mix of bands playing everything from Chinese folk to Western heavy metal. The smaller stage presents jazz and indie musicians.

Down at Heping Matou, two nightclubs offer great live music. Soul Bar’s house band features Filipino musicians covering modern Chinese and Western pop and rock hits. One floor down is Hutaoli, which offers Sichuan food and live Chinese music.