Huandao Road a.k.a Island Ring Road (环岛路), Nanputuo Temple (南普陀寺) and Xiamen University (厦大) are among the top must do attractions in Xiamen. Needless to say that means these places are crowded with tourists as well, just like Gulangyu (read our visit to Gulangyu here).
The view from Huandao Road, overlooking the graceful mountains.
These 3 places are near each other, with Nanputuo Temple being adjacent to Xiamen University. So we started our day with a relaxing stroll along the beautiful seashores of Huandao Road. Huandao Road is a 10km ring road, so most people will rent either a tandem bike or triple bike to move around. It was quite a beautiful sight seeing couples or friends cycling together. Same as Gulangyu, the Huandao Road is also a popular spot for pre-wedding photo shoot. Thank God that it's 10km long, hence tourists were not gathered at the same spot, which we were able to enjoy the cool breeze air, accompanied by the slightly cloudy sky, blue water and beautiful seashores.
These bricks were arranged into some Chinese words, which I wasn't sure of its meaning. :P
Enjoying the cool breezy air of the beautiful Xiamen.
Tandem bike available for rent, complete with mini canopy. :)
Brother Bear made a new friend. The uncle spoke simple English. :)
Some nice photography spots of Huandao Road.
The Music Square of Huandao Road.
You will see lots of vendors whom you can rent a bike from for just a small fee.
Our favourite spot. The girls were busy searching for some nice and unique stone and the boys were busy throwing the stones into the sea.
They enjoyed moving round in this electric wheel cart.
My scarf was not spared. It was windy, so it had become the girls' toy. :P
We proceeded to the super crowded Nanputuo Temple after lunch. Nanputuo Temple is a Buddhist temple founded during Tang Dynasty. It's surrounded by the graceful sea and the Wulao Peak behind the temple. The Wulao Peak is a small mountain range that rises on the island. Here, you will be able to enjoy the wide picturesque view of Xiamen and its surrounding district. We were told that Nanputuo Temple has many deep caves and verdant woods as well, which we were too tired to explore, as the place was too crowded. See for yourself the size of the crowd in the pictures below and these were after much effort to avoid the angle with super packed crowd. :)
Nanputuo is a very serene place, especially if we have the opportunity to come on a less crowded day.
Spot me. :D ROFL
Brother Bear was fascinated by the majestic elephant statue.
In front of the main temple built during the Tang Dynasty.
They had refurbished the interior.
After snapping some pictures in Nanputuo Temple, we walked over to Xiamen University. It was already in the evening, around 4.30pm, hence there were lesser crowd in the campus. Phew... thank God. Xiamen University is described as the most beautiful university in China, officially founded in 1921. The campus is picturesque with beautiful scenery and parks and is now one of main attraction in the heavily-touristed Xiamen.
Can you spot the gorgeous black swan?
Most of the students are travelling by bicycles. Lovely sight!
We spent our day exploring these 3 places. After we went back to the hotel, Brother Bear asked to go for a swim and the sisters asked for a soak in the bathtub. Kids always know how to enjoy life the best, this is true, haha...
Awesome food and service! Must try!
After taking our refreshing bath, we hired a car to SM City Mall (SM城市广场), which is strategically located along a busy crossroad - Jiahe and Xianyue Road in Xiamen. SM City Mall is owned by SM Prime Holdings, the largest retail and mall operator in the Philippines. The mall houses over 500 shops featuring local and international brands. We had our super lovely dinner at a chained Chinese restaurant, called Shandong Laojia (山东老家) and did some shopping before we went back to our hotel. It was a wonderful day in Xiamen! :)