Category Archives: Xiamen

6 Things I Learned From My Independent Travel

On my last day in Xiamen, I reflect back on the entire trip and the lessons I’ve learned along the way!

Friday, November 7th, 6:28pm

Well, the last day of my independent travel is here! Long story short, I spent the morning in a cafe, made my way over to the ferry, and then got a little lost, but I’m now safely at the airport ready to catch my flight back to Shanghai.

Since this was my first time traveling solo, everything was new, I only knew that I was doing half the time, and lots of things didn’t quite turn out the way I thought they were going to. Xiamen tested the limits of my ability to problem solve (in Chinese), and I definitely learned a lot from the experience. So in no particular order, here are the 6 life lessons I picked up while traveling solo.  Continue reading 6 Things I Learned From My Independent Travel


Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 7

I spend the last full day of my trip exploring Gulangyu! I hit famous attractions like Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, and Haoyue Park. For dinner, I enjoy snack foods on Longtou Road!

Thursday, November 6th, 11:38pm

I spent the entire day exploring Gulangyu, and I don’t have a lot of energy left. A pedestrian-only island is cool in theory, but I definitely started to miss vehicles with wheels by mid-afternoon.

Sunlight Rock

This morning, I didn’t really have a set plan or anywhere in particular where I wanted to go, so I headed to Sunlight Rock, thinking that it’d make for a good starting point. When I made it to Sunlight Rock, I had to buy an entrance ticket, and I actually ended up purchasing a pass for all of the famous Gulangyu attractions for 100 RMB. Continue reading Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 7

Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 6

I enjoy a low-key Wednesday and spend the afternoon singing karaoke! Then I hop on a ferry over to the pedestrian island of Gulang. No cars, bicycles, or motorcycles allowed!

Wednesday, November 5th, 11:35pm

Happy Wednesday to me! By 12:00pm, I’d said goodbye my dark hotel room (which was fine at first, but after five nights I was ready to move on) and was on my way to karaoke.

Xiamen KTV

If you’ve been following along since my summer in Hainan, you’ll know that I absolutely adore going to KTVs by myself. It’s like singing in the shower times fifty. I have so much fun being silly and trying out songs that I’d never perform in front of other people.

The KTV took a while to open, and I waited for so long that I started to doubt whether singing karaoke was worth all the trouble. Just as I was about to give up, the KTV came to life and I got a huge room all to myself for 44 RMB, which I considered a great price. Continue reading Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 6

Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 5

On day four in Xiamen, I take an afternoon trip to the Botanical Gardens, then head over to the beach to watch the sun set!

Tuesday, November 4th, 11:38pm

Tuesday in Xiamen dawned bright and clear. Not that I could tell, what with the no windows thing. Oi. I’m definitely ready to switch hotels.

I think I’ve been hit with a bout of travel fatigue. I was not in the best of moods today, and for whatever reason, I’ve been really out of sorts over the littlest things. But another one of the perks of traveling alone is that no one has to put up with me and my mood swings. Yay?

The Botanical Gardens


I woke up late around 11:00am, and hopped in a taxi for the Botanical Gardens. The gardens themselves were beautiful: lots of shady trees, bright flowers, and pretty walking paths. The botanical garden was so huge that I had to skip over some of the attractions since I hadn’t worn my sneakers and my poor feet could only take so much. Continue reading Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 5

Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 4

I take it a bit easier on Monday and explore South Putou Temple. I climb up to the top of a huge hill overlooking the Xiamen to get a beautiful view of the city and the sea, and then I blog from a cafe off Zhongshan Road!

Monday, November 3rd, 6:11pm

Whew. I am tired. And it’s only 6:00pm! What is wrong with me? Are twenty-year-olds supposed to want to go to bed at 8:00pm? I don’t even know why I’m so exhausted; I didn’t really do all that much today! But anyway, onto my recap of the afternoon!

South Putou Temple

When left the hotel around 11:00am this morning, I hopped on a bus heading to South Putou Temple. I had originally planned to hit both the botanical garden and the temple in one day, but my plans are constantly changing, and nothing ever ends up quite like I expect it to. Ah. The beauty of solo traveling.

IMG_5581 While the temple itself was pretty, I quickly realized that it was a tourist trap. (I was tipped off by the souvenir shops where the prayer wheels should be.) After spending a week in Qinghai, the temple did not impress me, but then again, I wasn’t expecting it to. I hadn’t come to South Putou Temple for the Buddhist culture; I was there for the hill overlooking the city. Continue reading Xiamen Independent Travel: Part 4