Discover Xiamen
with Cathay Pacific

Southeastern China’s tropical port town has dialled down since it’s days as a trading hub along the maritime Silk Road, but the laid-back vibe is all part of its charm.
With glorious beaches, colonial buildings, hot bars and restaurants, and a creative scene that flies under the radar, Xiamen’s attractions are diverse and never ending. It has lively street markets, impressive temples and a blooming art zone in a former refrigeration plant in Shapowei. Plus, it serves as a springboard for surrounding islands like Gulangyu, the hill station of Wuyishan and the Unesco World Heritage–listed tulou — round houses in the countryside that house Hakka and southern Fujianese communities.

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Explore Shapowei Art Zone

Renovation of a refrigeration plant turned this former fishing village into a blooming creative zone filled with artist studios in former shipbuilding warehouses, a skate park, cafes, bars and boutiques. Galleries and museums have since flocked to the area including the Zhangting Art Museum, the Qianji Gallery and Three Shadows Xiamen Photography Art Centre.

Walk the Xiamen Health Trail

Opened in 2020, this 23-kilometer elevated pathway threads its way past Xiamen’s most scenic spots. Join locals weave their way through mountainous landscapes and urban areas as the Fujian coastal town turns gold. The health trail was designed by Dissing + Weitling, who created the Xiamen Bicycle Skyway, China’s first elevated cycle path and the world’s highest cycle bridge.

Head to the beach to soak up the sun

A Xiamen holiday isn’t complete without a trip to one of the urban beaches. Pearl Bay is among the most scenic, surrounded by vibrant green hills. In the morning, locals head to Baicheng Beach to fish, while long Guanyin Mountain Beach is home to China’s annual national beach volleyball tournaments.

Visit the Huli Shan Fortress

Walk south from Xiamen University to this sprawling German gun artillery that was built in 1894, which enjoys spectacular views of Dadan Island and Erdan Island of Jinmen by telescope, and look down on Baicheng Beach’s powdery sand and blue sea. On site, the Rongguang Museum has an extensive collection of firecrackers, guns, swords and natural stones from around the world.

Wander through the Wanshi Botanical Gardens

The Xiamen Botanical Garden is nestled in the Wanshi Mountain and is one of China’s most famous with more than 1.8 million trees and over 6,300 kinds of tropical and subtropical plants. First built in 1960, the garden is home to some of Fujian’s favourite temples, including the Heaven’s Border Temple, the Wanshi Lotus Temple and the Eternal Peace Rock Temple.

Take a tour of a temple

First built into the Wulao mountain range, at the foot of Wulaofeng (the Mountain of Five Old Men) in the Tang Dynasty, the South Putuo Temple enjoys serene surroundings beside the Lu River and faces out to the sea. Much of what now exists was built in the early 20th century, and continues to be used by monks who reside in the neighbouring monastery. Join them for daily chants in the Treasured Hall of Great Majesty.

Hike through Wuyishan

About 2.5 hours by high speed rail from Xiamen, the Unesco-listed Wuyishan Park is worth travelling for. Hike through the tea-terraced valleys of the Wuyishan Park resort, before stopping at the Dong Ha Pao gardens for a cup of tea. Enjoy impressive views from Da Wang Peak, a rickety bamboo raft ride, and 400-year-old Song Dynasty Buildings in Xiamei and Chengcun villages.

Day trip to the Fujian tulou

Surrounded by rice, tea and tobacco fields in rural Fujian are 46 round buildings constructed by Hakka and southern Fujianese people between the 15th and 20th centuries. Populated by around 800 people each, the Unesco World Heritage–listed fortified mud structures look inwardly into a large open courtyard.

Spend the day on Gulangyu Island

This tiny pedestrian-only island, an 8-minute ferry ride from the coast of Xiamen, has glorious beaches, natural scenery and impressive Victorian-style buildings from the concession-era when Western imperial powers settled during the opium wars. It’s also home to a famous Piano Museum, as a result of Gulangyu having the most pianos per capita in China.