Xiamen is one of the first Special Economic Zones in China and is an important center for trade and travel between the Mainland and Taiwan. Today it is an international port and a cross-strait trading center with more Taiwanese investment than any other city in the country.

Xiamen’s monsoonal subtropical climate is warm and humid in summer and cool and dry in winter. It is popular with tourists for its beach and lakeside restaurants and bars.

Xiamen History

Xiamen has a long and rich history. It is a popular destination for tourists, thanks to its vibrant culture and great nightlife.

Throughout history, Xiamen has served as a gateway for Chinese immigrants and traders. This has influenced the city’s present culture.

In the 19th century, Xiamen was a major trading port. It was the port of choice for hundreds of Chinese and Portuguese merchant ships, as well as British and Spanish vessels.

This was not an unusual situation for Fujian Province. For decades, the Qing Empire strove to curb mass emigration.

But by the mid-19th century, Fujian had become a Mecca for overseas Chinese and Taiwan people who were largely of Xiamen origin. This led to shady schemes and corruption.

In 1955 and 1958, mainland China escalated Cold War political tensions by shelling nearby islands held by Taiwan including Jinmen in what became known as the First and Second Taiwan Strait Crisis. The Nationalists responded by reinforcing Kinmen and shelling Xiamen.

Xiamen Culture

For a city in southern China, Xiamen is a rich source of culture. Its blending of marine civilization and mainland culture gives it an open character that welcomes all kinds of diversity.

Aside from its beautiful natural landscape, Xiamen is also famous for its delicious food. Its local cuisine is a blend of traditional Chinese and Western styles.

One of the highlights is stir-fried seafood with soy sauce and chili, served with a bowl of rice or a plate of noodles. This delicious dish is a staple for Xiamen residents, who like to enjoy it while sitting around drinking beer with friends.

In recent years, young artists and architects have returned to Xiamen to revive the city’s traditional craft traditions. They are also working to restore the city’s exceptional traditional Hakka architecture, known as Tulou.

Xiamen Food

The food and drink in Xiamen is an interesting mix of local and foreign flavors. You can find a wide range of Chinese and Western cuisines from the cities of Sichuan, Guangdong, Beijing and Chaozhou as well as some of the best pizza in China.

Some of Xiamen’s most famous street foods include Satay Noodles (Shacha Mian), Tu Shun Dong or Sandworm Jelly, Fishballs and Sweet Peanut Soup. If you are a fan of grilled seafood, try the delicious Oyster Omelette from a stall on Zhongshan Lu.

Another must-try snack is Glutinous Rice Wrap, which consists of glutinous rice, shrimp, mushrooms, pork and chestnuts wrapped in bamboo leaves and cooked for hours. This porridge is full of protein and has more flavor than you could imagine.

If you are looking for a bit more variety, you might want to try a meal at Joying Steak, which serves a wide range of western dishes. This restaurant has been in business for more than 20 years and has a great reputation.

Xiamen Nightlife

Xiamen is known for its pleasant weather, magnificent natural scenery, delicious Fujian cuisine and gorgeous nightlife. It is a great place to visit with family or friends.

During the day, Xiamen is a vibrant and artsy city but at night it starts buzzing with bars along the beach and night clubs in the city. It is a perfect mix of a peaceful coastal town and a busy modern city.

Tourists often stay at one of the many hotels in Xiamen for the night. The best places to stay include the Orient Bar, one of the oldest and most well-known bars in the city.

Another great place to stay is the Gulangyu Island Hotel, a short ferry ride from downtown Xiamen. The hotel has a beautiful garden and bay views, and the staff are very friendly and helpful.