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Magical island of Gulang Yu

by on Feb.22, 2013, under China

  • Sumo

Gu Lang Yu is a superb magical island off the coast of Xiamen in the Fujian Province of China. To reach it you take a ferry from Xiamen. It’s a very different type of island and definitely worth a visit!

Gu Lang Yu has colonial history. It’s got a musical flair too! In order to actually get to Gu Lang Yu you first need to get to Xiamen, itself an island. The odd thing is that as soon as you get to Xiamen, you will then board another ferry over to Gu Lang Yu, that is, if you want to go there! You can stay in Xiamen of course, it’s a big city. But Gu Lang Yu is honestly worth a ferry ride across to.

How do you get to Gu Lang Yu? – The only option at present (and probably for the future) is by ferry from Xiamen. Get yourself to the waterside harbour at Xiamen and the ferry terminal is hard to miss. Make sure you just find the cheapest ferry to Gu Lang Yu – the cheapest one often doesn’t go direct, it takes you on a tour round the island first before you land.

This by the way is totally worth doing – you get longer on the boat and you get to relax and check out the views. It’s was a bright “sunshiney” day when we were there and the views were exceptional. The ferry cost us 15 RMB each for a return (in March 2012), but the prices vary and I’ve heard you can get a free ride at off peak times if you stand. It gets busy.

What can you see and do there? – Gu Lang Yu may be a small island but it’s not short of tourist options that’s for sure and here are my highlights (there are plenty more – you can go running if you like!):

1. Climb to Sunlight Rock – Climbing to the highest point of the island of Gulang Yu is recommended. Sunlight Rock is the English translation and the views are exquisite and the exercise of the climb up is also good for you. To get there basically follow signs for Sunlight Rock climb when you are on the island and you will find it, through the flurry of cobbled streets. Entrance to walk up there is a fee of 60 RMB which also includes a small memorial hall. It’s a rip off and it’s over-priced, especially for China, BUT I’d say do it as the view is spectacular as you can see.

2. All the Colonial Buildings – these buildings all over the streets of Gu Lang Yu have influences from all over the world. The architecture can be seen bearing similarities to Britain, Japan, Holland, Italy and Spain! It’s a real special thing to see and rare to get this in China.

3. The little cobbled streets – narrow, busy and with plenty of cafes and restaurants to keep you amused. It doesn’t even feel like you’re in China!

Just by walking round Gu Lang Yu you will appreciate the finer things in life – such as how pretty and wonderful the street architecture and layout is. Although this type of thing may be common in Europe, it’s almost unheard of in parts of China. Walk slowly and take it all in!

4. The Music Influence – Gu Lang Yu is famous for its music. It has been nicknamed ‘Piano Island’ by locals and the Chinese. Lots of famous pianists come from Gu Lang Yu, which is incredible as its a very small island. When I was there I saw a free music parade and festival.

* There are also museums, colonial residences, a cable car ride, a Protestant church and a waterfront garden as well.

Where to stay on Gu Lang Yu? – There’s a hostel on Gu Lang Yu which is difficult to miss, it’s on one of the main streets when you arrive by ferry and is prominent. It’s a Hostelling International – it’s probably the cheapest option on the island.

So there you have it – a very brief but essential guide to the island of Gu Lang Yu in Fujian Province in China. Whether you choose it as just a day trip, or an overnight stop, you will enjoy it. It’s just that little bit different to the China we are used to!

To read more articles like Gu Lang Yu Island head to Jonny Blair’s excellent website Travelling Northern Irishman for regular travel stories and tips.. This article, Magical island of Gulang Yu has free reprint rights.

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    My name is Harry Delgado and I am a full time Internet and Small Business developer and marketer. Over 30 years in the Computer systems development, programming, hardware installations and support. Currently making a living from blogs like HJDS Computer Services , HJDS Investment Group and HJDS BlogBiz. You can connect with me via social media sites at Facebook - LinkedIn - Twitter - YouTube.

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