Gulangyu Island, China

bya Gabrielle at 3:40 PM



When I got this card, I was excited because it was my first card from China.  When I read the back of the card, and found out where it had come from, I was even more excited.  Of all of the places in the world that a postcard could have been sent from, this postcard was sent from Xiamen, China, the city I lived in for six months.

Gulangyu is a beautiful little island.  I loved to go there and just walk around because it was quiet – at least once you got off the ferry and ran past the vultures trying to sell you over priced crap.  They loved to try and sell you those annoying magnetic rocks.  It was also quiet because cars are not allowed on the island.  If you want to go anywhere, you either have to walk or take an electric golf cart – which isn’t free.  The island is small, though, so walking isn’t a big deal.

Also, when you are on the island, you sorta feel like you have been transported somewhere in Europe because almost all of the buildings look like the one above – very Victorian.  Why are there Victorian style buildings on a Chinese island?  Well, the island was populated by foreigners for many years following the Treaty of Nanking in 1842.  Most of the buildings were offices and residences of Consulate-Generals.

Guylanyu is particularly famous for its Piano Museum – the only one of its kind in China.  I didn’t visit the museum when I was there, but I’m sure it’s nice.  There are speakers throughout the island that constantly play piano music.  It’s very relaxing.

Another awesome thing about Gulangyu are the trees.  Compared to many other parts of China that I saw, Gulangyu has lots of old trees.  You can sorta see how big they are in the picture.

If you ever find yourself on Gulangyu, I suggest that you either bring some bug spray or leave the island before the sun starts to set.  When I was there I was attacked by the most ferocious mosquitoes.  For a week, I had the biggest, reddest, itchiest mosquito bites that I have ever had in my life.  Mosquitoes don’t normally bother me too much, but man, these were absolutely horrible!

The back of the postcard said the name of the building was Eight Diagram Pagoda, but I don’t think that is right.  For one, the building does not look like a pagoda at all.

If you are visiting Xiamen, you can take the ferry for free to Gulangyu, but when you want to leave, you have to pay one yuan to get back.  Tricky little devils, eh?  You also have the choice to take the ferry, or pay a little extra to take a speed boat.  Unless you are in a huge rush, take the ferry.

Oh, and if you haven’t noticed, I have uploaded all of my postcards.  To see them, click on the photo tab and then click gallery.

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