Gulangyu Island is located in the southwest of Xiamen City, covering an area of 1.87 square kilometers, surrounded by the vast sea with reef rocks and meandering coastline. It is the Mother Nature itself that creates the bright and timeless inland sceneries, and the main scenic spots in Gulangyu Island are the Sunlight Rock, Shuzhuang Garden, the Piano Museum and Bright Moon Park. With the transmission of Christianity in the middle of 19th century, western music was introduced into Gulangyu Island gradually, combing with the graceful living atmosphere and forming the traditional music style on the island. There are many world-famous musicians from Xiamen such as Lin Junqing, Yin Chengzong and Chen Zuohuang. Gulangyu Island is accredited with “Hometown of Music” and "Island of the Piano" in 2002 by Chinese Musician Association because almost each family has a piano on the small island. Gulangyu Island is also very rich in cultural relics, among which the best-preserved one is the relic of the national hero Zheng Chenggong’s. The Cliffside Inscriptions in the island are still well-preserved after long years’ exposure to wind and rain. Now let’s introduce the attractions in the island one by one.
The Sunlight Rock
The Sunlight Rock, as the highest point of Xiamen Island with 92 meters above the sea level, is located in the south of Gulangyu Island. So you can get bird’s view of the whole Xiamen City on the peak. There is a Memorial Hall for Zheng Chenggong who stationed his troops in the island and named it the Sunlight Rock, which was in memory of his feats of expelling the colonists from Taiwan. There are lots of scenic spots along the way to the top of the Mountain, such as “a piece of tile”, "Ancient Cave of Summer Resort” “Dragon’s cave at the Egret River”, "Dragon’s Head Hill Relics”, "Platform for Training Sailors”, "one hundred meters high platform”. The rocks are craggy with verdant trees and pavilions on the top of the mountain. Stepping on the top of the mountain, you will get a vantage point for sightseeing of Gulanyu Island. Seen from the Sunlight Rock, Guanglangyu Islang is just like a ship, anchoring in the vast ocean, up and down with so much fantasies and imagination.
The Sunlight Rock lies in the south of Gulangyu Island in Xiamen City. You can take a ferry to Gulangyu Port in 7 minutes from Zhongshan Road and then take 10-minute walk there. Every 10 minute there will be a ferry from 5:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. The open hour is from 8:15 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening every day.
Shuzhuang Garden, as a complex of Chinese traditional garden, located in the south of the Sunlight Rock, attracts visitors from all over the global. It was built by the rich merchant Lin Erjia from Taiwan in 1913 in memory of his hometown. You can look for quietness from movement and look for movement from quietness in this little garden.
The main features of the Shuzhuang Garden
Shuzhuang Garden covers an area of 20,328 square meters, among which the water area takes up 3,352 square meters and the building area takes up 2,451 square meters, and the little garden creates the infinite space with a limited area. It was divided into two parts: the Garden of Hiding the Sea and the Garden of Making-Up Hills. Shuzhuang Garden is delicately designed to symbolize three important characteristics in gardening--hiding elements, borrowing from the surroundings and combining movements.
The essence of hiding elements means that the ocean was hidden from your view, and you won’t see the vast ocean until you walk into the door and turn left. The sea water was introduced into two ponds through a bridge.
Borrowing from the surroundings means wisely using available natural sceneries to create aesthetic atmosphere for the visitors, including borrowing from the reefs in the bay, the shapes of the shoreline and the bridges as well as the pavilions in different levels, even the sound of the ocean and the shadows of the verdant trees. The whole panorama will change from one place to another, which forms a wonderful picture.
The combining movements refer to building the pavilions beside the rocks and connecting the caves with well-decorated pavilions according to different topographies. The little garden will be magnified several times, which creates a feeling of harmony and peace.
Shuzhuang Garden is located in the south of the Sunlight Rock of Xiamen City, so you can take a ferry to Gulangyu Port in 7 minutes, and then take 10-minute walk there. Every 10 minute there will be a ferry from 5:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. The open hour is from 8:15 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening every day.
Bright Moon Garden
The Bright Moon Garden, located in the east of Fuding Rock in Gulangyu Island, covers an area of over 20,000 square meters (23,921 square yards), which is in memory of the feat of Zheng Chenggong for expelling the Dutch colonists. The stone statuary of the national hero Zheng Chenggong was completed in August, 27th 1985, which is 15.7 meters (51 feet) high and weights 1,617 tons and composed of 625 pieces of granites together. Beneath the statue is the Fuding Rock that is 29.5 (97 feet) meters above the sea level, stretching 30 meters（9８feet）into the sea．Fuding Rock is standing majestically along with the Jian Rock and Yindou Rock in the sea. In the garden there are also groups of reliefs that are made of bronze, representing the grand spectacle of expelling the colonists by Zheng Chenggong and his troops. The architectures in the Ming Dynasty (1368- A.D.1644 A.D.) style form an enticing picture with the sea, the mountain and the trees.
The Bright Moon Garden, located in the east of Fuding Rock in Gulangyu Island in Xiamen City of China. You can take a ferry to get Gulangyu Port in 5 minutes, and then take 10-minute walk there. Every 10 minute there will be a ferry from 5:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. The open hour is from 8:15 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening every day.
The Piano Museum
The Piano Museum, built in January of 2000 with an area of 450 square meters, is opposite to the Sunlight Rock in Gulangyu Island of Xiamen Cit. Gulangyu Island ranks the first place in piano ownership per person in China though it is very small in size. The museum can be divided into two floors, which displays more than forty old pianos from different periods and different nations, and there are very rare gold-gilded piano and vertical piano as well as the old hand-operated piano in the world. There are 30 old pianos, and the oldest one in the museum is more than 200 years old, which is produced by Clementik Company in the early 19th century. The youngest piano is from the US with an age of 100 years. All the pianos are different from each other in design and are made very delicately with veins that are just like ink paintings, and each of them is a work of arts in essence. As the music starts, the visitors can immerse themselves into the melody and go into a world of fantasy.
The Piano Museum is in No. 45 Huang Yan Road, inside Shuzhuang Garden at Gulangyu Island of Xiamen City. You can take a ferry to get Gulangyu Port in 5 minutes, and then take 10-minute walk there. Every 10 minute there will be a ferry from 5:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. The open hour is from 8:15 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening every day.
Hi Heaven, built in 1921, is an old but delicate colonial building, which is a perfect model of combination of western and Chinese culture. As one of the ten villas in Gulangyu Island, Hi Heaven is the only one arranged symmetrically along the axis on the island. It was purchased by an overseas Chinese Huang Xiuliang from the Foreigner Club in the consession and then he constructed it, among the whole buildings in Hi Heaven the central one is the most special and unique.
The main features of Hi Heaven
Actually, there are 5 old villas in Hi Heaven, which can be divided into 3 sections that are open to the public. The first section has been developed into a cafe bar with Southeast Asian flavors, in which the visitors can enjoy relaxation and leisure. The second section has been developed into the Center of the Southern Ancient Music and Puppet Performances, where you can appreciate the highly skilled young puppeteers spinning plates and throwing batons to one another. The visitors can also enjoy the rare workmanship of puppet making in this section. The third section is the most distinctive one and has been developed into Architecture Art Museum of Gulangyu, mainly displaying some anecdotes of former famous people and the old stories of the house, which are very nostalgic.
Hi Heaven is in No. 38 of Fujian Road (near the Catholic Church) in Xiamen City. You can take a ferry to get Gulangyu Port in 5 minutes, and then take 10-minute walk there. Every 10 minute there will be a ferry from 5:30 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening. The open hour is from 9:00 in the morning to 7:00 in the evening every day.