The coastal city of Xiamen, in southeast Fujian Province, has long been a favorite destination among Chinese hipsters, who have playfully been christened as wenyi qingnian.
The city, with a rich and diverse cultural charm, is home to some of the most influential litterateurs and musicians in modern China.
The well-renowned Xiamen University has fostered veteran writers such as Lin Yutang and Lu Xun, both considered pioneers of Chinese contemporary literature.
Gulangyu, China’s famed “piano island,” is undoubtedly the city’s top travel destination. It was listed as a World Cultural Heritage Site by UNESCO this year. The island is home to some of the nation’s most influential Chinese musicians such as pianist Yin Chengzong.
The island also plays host to China’s largest piano museum, with a huge collection of antique pianos, especially the oldest which is more than 200 years old. The piano ownership per capita of this small island, around 1.78 square kilometers, ranks No. 1 in China.
Gulangyu is lined with 19th-century European-style mansions, adorned with beautiful leafy seaside promenades and free of vehicles.
Xiamen has a long shimmering coastline, which inspires bloggers and independent designers to share their beautiful moments.
“Xiamen is small, so its diverse natural and cultural landscapes in the picture look dense, with layers,” says Li Shixiong, a lecturer on photography at the School of Journalism and Communication in Xiamen University.
The university’s main campus, surrounded by the bay in Siming District, southwest of the city, is known as “one of the most beautiful universities in China.” It faces the sea, with mountains at its rear, and is adjacent to the glorious South Putuo Temple, built in the Tang Dynasty (AD 618-907), one of the most attractive temples in South China.
The campus, founded in 1921, is surrounded by thick diverse plantation thanks to Xiamen’s subtropical weather. The trees are tall and exuberant, especially the banyan trees, a plant whose seeds can germinate, spread and grow on other saplings and forestry shrubbery.
According to lecturer Li, the most beautiful scene is on the Qingming Festival in early April, when a vast red expanse of kapok is in blossom.
Travelers are recommended to visit the campus as early as possible in the morning as there are no crowded travelers taking pictures at the time but only students rushing to classrooms on bicycles.
The dormitory building is eye-catching and the balconies are often filled with colorfully aired clothes, revealing the latest fashion trend.
Old architecture traced back to the 1920s is a highlight of the campus. Its style is named after the university’s founder Tan Kah Kee, a philanthropist who was active in Southeast Asia.