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“Cultural visit” 4 of 5 stars
Review of Gulangyu Island

Gulangyu Island
No.6 Lujiao Road, Siming District, Xiamen 361002, China
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Ranked #1 of 258 things to do in Xiamen
Attraction details
Senior Reviewer
10 reviews 10 reviews
4 attraction reviews
Reviews in 8 cities Reviews in 8 cities
14 helpful votes 14 helpful votes
“Cultural visit”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed January 4, 2013

You have to visit Gulangyu Island if you are in Xiamen! The place is rich in history. One advice is to get a tour guide to bring you around the island and also visit the villa of the yesteryears. It is an eye opener. Don't miss the puppet show! Most of the guides speak mandarin. I am not sure if there are English or other languages guide. It would help as they can explain in greater detail of the places you visited. The seafood is just ok. After visiting all the historical sights, it would be worth the while to stroll and shop around. The architecture is beautiful and no wonder it used to be called "Heaven on Earth". Indeed must pay a visit to this island. It is only 5 mins by ferry and try not to go during the weekends as it is very crowded. If you have children, visiting the underwater world would be a great visit too. It will take about 30 to 45 mins for this visit so plan your itinerary carefully if you only have half a day in this island.

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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English first
3 reviews 3 reviews
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

Too busy and crowded, high prices, dirty streets due to un-controlled street vendors. Don't be fooled there are no cars but there are golf carts and they are not driven well on the narrow streets.

Visited August 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Top Contributor
70 reviews 70 reviews
35 attraction reviews
Reviews in 22 cities Reviews in 22 cities
60 helpful votes 60 helpful votes
“might have been a great place in the past”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed December 29, 2012

one of the AAAAA rating destination -- http://en.cnta.gov.cn/html/2008-11/2008-11-16-10-27-72978.html ... meaning it's on par with other famous travel must-sees such as the terracotta warriors, the three gorges, the temple of heaven, etc

in terms of history and architecture, this gulangyu would be ranked high up, definitely a must-see place ... a small island with myriad of architecture styles due it's place in the history of China.

during our visit, it seems there's much commercialism - with persistent tour guides jostling for business and lots of retail shops

many of the sites require additional fees for entry - i think there's also a "package version"

we engaged one of the "licensed local guides" (who was very persistent)

her tour, although informational, was quite boring and catered more to those who were looking to shop and take photos (to show i have been here) rather than slowly understand the historical significance of each building and culture of the local residents

a good place to visit, but get away from the harbour area as quickly as possible to avoid the guides ... print information guides diy and walk around by yourself is better

Visited December 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Senior Contributor
22 reviews 22 reviews
14 attraction reviews
Reviews in 18 cities Reviews in 18 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“A Stroll for the day”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed December 18, 2012

If you have 4-5 hours to spare and need an easy and lazy stroll with fresh air, try to visit this island. On reaching there, try to go clockwise so you can enjoy the sunset by the time you reach the other side of the island.

Besides a few historical sites and beaches, there rest are man-made attractions which you can skip if needed to. Try food from road side stalls as these hawkers do offer tasty and reasonable price fritters.

Pay homage to a famous gynae doctor who made this island well known. Admire her humbled clothings and lifestyle which remind one's purpose in life.

This island has everything you need on a sunday!

Visited November 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 1
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Xiamen, China
17 reviews 17 reviews
6 attraction reviews
Reviews in 6 cities Reviews in 6 cities
9 helpful votes 9 helpful votes
“Paradise...no more”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed December 17, 2012

Gulangyu used to be a lovely island but those days are no more. Finding anything worthwhile on the island is a task. Some old buildings still hold some charm but the addition of hideous blue and yellow hotels and cheesy stores with overpriced, made by the millions nik-naks make it a disaster. The public toilets are dirty with feces blocking the toilets and wash basins. The water surrounding the island is grey brown from the bilge from passing ships. The authentic Xiamen food is awful and overpriced. Hotels are ridiculously overpriced. If you want to go and look for interest, stay at a hotel in the city and ferry over during the week when it is less crowded. Avoid traveling here during major holidays.

Visited September 2012
Was this review helpful? Yes 2
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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