Xiamen is the largest city of Fujian province although the capital is Fuzhou which is two hours by high speed train from Xiamen. Many Filipino-Chinese trace their roots in Fujian and this is evidenced by their Fookien dialect which can be heard everywhere in Xiamen.
Xiamen is an island city connected to the mainland by bridges. Cebu Pacific flights from Manila to Xiamen are always on sale and this is the main reason for me to visit this city. A two hour flight will take you to Gaoqi International Airport.
Upon exit, taxi drivers compete for passengers emerging from the airport. Don’t entertain them and proceed directly to the taxi stand to the left. Taxis use meter and is preferable to write your destination in Chinese. If he doesn’t turn on the meter, get down and find another one. There is always a taxi that would use a meter. Taxi ride to the city center takes around 20 minutes and cost 40 to 60 yuan.
As an island, Xiamen is a city set on the beach. Too bad, the weather wasn’t good during my visit.
Xiamen’s traffic is always flowing even during rush hours. I was quite amazed considering this is a realtively big city. Well, by Chinese standards, this is a tiny city. Public transportation is excellent.
If you can read Chinese, you will be able to enjoy riding in a bus for only one yuan, or the ever-efficient BRT (bus rapid transit). The BRT is elevated just like MRT but buses ply through instead of trains. Fare starts at 1.50 yuan.
Xiamen University is right in the city center. The public can stroll around the campus for free but only during specified hours. In the afternoon, it starts at 4pm. Identification is required upon entry. I guess this is to avoid people from disturbing the students. To avoid this hassle, entering the campus anytime is possible through the gate along Huandao Road. Pretend to be a student and you’re good to go.
I love the university atmosphere whichever university it is. I feel like I am a student again. Xiamen Univesity campus is decent in many ways. It resembles a big park with many greens and a pond. At the edge of the campus is a one kilometer tunnel. I walked the length of the tunnel which only pedestrians and bicycles can enter. Apparently, it’s just one of the exit from the university.
Because I was on tight budget, I went to the university canteen but apparently only students can dine in the main canteen as they use student cards for payment. I’m not sure how that works. I saw students tap their cards for payment.
I asked one student where can visitors dine and I was pointed to a nearby smaller canteen called Nan Guang canteen. Meals start at 15 yuan.