Getting around Gulangyu Island with my parents - Part I 

Written by Jul 23, 2012 22:35
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It has been a long time since my last visit to Jiuzhaigou with my parents. After last visit to Jiuzhaigou, my parents have noticed that traveling is very interesting.

This June, my parents told me that they couldn’t stay at home anymore. “It is too boring”, they said. See? They wanted to go out for a visit. So I planned another family trip. I asked where they wanted to go. They just said “a place to relax but not far from home”. “Ok, let’s go to Gulangyu Island. It’s not far from Hangzhou but a good place to relax”, I told them after searching on the internet for 40 minutes. They agreed.

Honestly, I have no interests in those so called romantic sites on the island, for example, café. The old buildings on the island are my favorites. In order to seek a nice place to stay, I spent several hours on the internet and finally booked Miryam Villa (It is an old villa but becomes a hostel now).

You know why I chose this hostel? My dad prefers to stroll randomly when he arrives at a tourist site. But I have no interests in tourist attractions except some amazing natural landscape. Thus, he can go anywhere on the island and I can stay at the villa if I do not want to go out.

Day 1 Hangzhou-Xiamen-Gulangyu Island (settled down at the Miryam Villa)
Day 2 Spent a whole day on the Gulangyu Island
Day 3 Gulangyu-Xiamen (stayed at Haiyue Hotel)
Day 4 Spent a day in Xiamen City
Day 5 Xiamen-Hangzhou

Transportation: The flights from Hangzhou to Xiamen are cheap. So we flew from Hangzhou to Xiamen and took high speed train back to Hangzhou.

Day 1
Our flight departed past 10 o’clock and arrived at Xiamen Airport at 12:00. It’s too hot here. Getting out of the airport, we got on a taxi and headed for the ferry terminal. The driver was talkative. My dad chatted with him happily until we arrived at the ferry terminal. It cost us about CNY 30.

Tip: Some tourists say that some taxi drivers might detour so that they pay more for the taxi cost. Thus, please take the metered taxi.

Sigh! There were swarms of tourist at the ferry terminal. But my parents were excited. They urged me to buy the ferry tickets. I put CNY 24 into the ticket window and then got three round plastic coins.

“Do we get on the boat with these plastic coins? ”, I asked. “Yes, the plastic coins are the ferry tickets. Please keep them in a safe place because you need them when you get back by ferry.”, the clerk said.

I still doubted if the clerk was right before we got on the boat. Well, we passed the checkpoint successfully with the plastic coins. The clerk was right.

I didn’t know why there were so many tourists after the Children’s Day. We didn’t have seats on the boat. After five minutes, we arrived at the Gulangyu Island. Then I followed my GPS on my mobile phone to locate my hotel. Google Map was excellent. We found Miryam Villa easily.
Gate of Miryam Villa

Miryam Villa was built in 1919. Its owner was Sugar King Kwok Chun Yeung. Now it has changed into a hotel. The sea view suite was expensive. So we stayed at the standard room at first night. It was dark and damp in the room. We regretted a bit but didn’t change another room.
rest area

My mom and I sorted our luggage in the room and my dad went out to explore the alleys. Fifteen minutes later, we got everything down. My mom suggested we just sit in the courtyard and have a good rest. My dad went back nearly 18:00 and then we decided to have dinner at Niu Rou Xiang (a beef noodle restaurant).

On our way to Niu Rou Xiang, I saw many buildings full of history.

Finally, we came to Niu Rou Xiang. My dad likes noodles very much and I have heard that Niu Rou Xiang’s beef noodles are famous. That’s why we came here. However, my dad was a bit disappointed because the sanitary condition was not good. When the beef noodles were served, he was clearly disappointed.
Beef Noodles

Tip: The beef noodles are highly recommended. It costs CNY 18 per bowl. However, you may ignore it if you are very picky on the sanitary condition.

Niu Rou Xiang also sold seafood BBQ. The crab was sold according to its size, CNY 30 for the smallest, CNY 40 for the medium size and CNY 50 for the biggest. I picked up a medium sized crab. Honestly, the crab didn’t taste very well because it wasn’t fresh.

Beside the Niu Rou Xiang was a small shop. It sold fresh juice. I bought fresh orange juice, mango juice and a mixture of sugarcane and lemon. They were all good.
Ma La Sang (Fresh Fruit Juice Shop)

Gulangyu Island has numerous kinds of snacks. However, my stomach is limited. I wish that I could taste all snacks on the island.
Kang Jia Long Tou

Fried Oyster

Poria cocos cake

Day 2

Miryam offers free breakfast. But I never thought that I couldn’t eat it up because they served too much. The breakfast included several kinds of toasts, fried eggs/omelette, muffins, fruit salad and fresh juice. It was a good feeling to have breakfast in the courtyard.
breakfast at Miryam Villa

After the breakfast, we changed into the sea view suite. It was much better than the standard room we stayed last night.
a huge bed (2.2 meters wide)


In the afternoon, we decided to get around the island. It was very hot outside. The beaches were full of people. We were frightened and decided to go toward north. We passed by a university and found that there were fewer people. On the streets were some cute sculptures.

empty villa


cute musician

hermit crab

Xiamen City

We kept on walking on the road and noticed that more and more tourists showed up. Suddenly, we realized that we already arrived at the ferry terminal. On each side of the road were locals who sold seafood. We compared the prices, chose a seller and bought two crabs, six shells and 500 grams shrimps from him. Then we came to a local’s house and asked if they could cook our seafood. They said “Yes” but charged us CNY 25.
cooking seafood for us

Time to have dinner. My dad told me that he wanted to eat some dumplings. Then we kept walking to seek the dumplings. At the restaurant, my dad and mom ate their dumplings while I stayed hungry. My dinner was the seafood and I wanted to eat them up when we got back to our hotel.

However, I overestimated myself. I kept eating until the midnight but still failed to eat all the seafood.
my dinner

 More Xiamen Travel Reviews
1. Memories of My Trip to Xiamen on National Day Holidays in 2011 STEVENLEE Jan 7, 2012 01:08
2. The beaches of Xiamen XIAMENOLDTOWNHOSTEL from China Apr 21, 2011 04:56
3. The HOUSE 1, my favorite place to go in Xiamen STEFFANY from USA   Sep 1, 2010 05:57
Comments (2)


Dec 21, 2012 13:41 Reply

Ms.BUTTERSCOTCH from Philippines said:

Hi Littlepeach, thanks for sharing this very detailed and wonderful experience. From the ferry, how do you get to the place wi the oyster cake? We plan to go there in a few days but my mother has some difficulty to walk.

Dec 22, 2012 19:36

Well, it's difficult to find Kang Jia Long Tou. It is located on the No.189, Longtou Road. I found it with the help of my cellphone GPS. The ferry terminal on the island is very close to Longtou Road. But Longtou Road is very long.


Oct 13, 2012 00:04 Reply

Mr.JAMES COLLINS from Canada said:

Thank You, for a Wonderful Story,about You and your Mom and Dad! The Food, looks Delicious! and Plentiful! Xiamen City,looks very Modern,yet you describe it as Casual.Thank You, once again,for a Tour around Gulangu Island,and a Good Villa,you stayed at!

Oct 14, 2012 20:29

Thank you, James. You can get there for a visit if you are interested. But never come there during any Chinese festivals or holidays.

Duing this National Day Holidays, the Gulangyu Island was full of tourists. I saw a picture and felt I was lucky to go there earlier.

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