Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Xiamen Highlights

Our long weekend in Xiamen was good. It was really nice to get away from the now familiar Shanghai sights. Here are some highlights from our trip...

Day 1: After insane amounts of transportation (taxi, bus, plane, van, ferry & tram) we arrived finally on Gulong Yu, an island right next to the island of Xiamen. Both are located west of Taiwan. Our hotel in Gulong Yu was the only 4 star hotel on the island, but was definitely not what Scott and I would
consider 4 stars. There were no elevators!!! We were on the third floor, so that got a little annoying with Timmy and stroller in tow all the time. The island itself was only worthy of a day trip, but we enjoyed the time anyway.

We were traveling with 7 of Scott's coworkers, all young/our age single people. They were
traveling cheap, so they stayed at a hostel. We joined them for a few meals and got to experience what traveling cheap means to a twenty-something Chinese person! Some of the places we ate at I would have never thought to set foot in, much less actually eat at. The first meal in Gulong Yu was delicious. Since these islands are in the ocean, lots of seafood. Some
good, and some gross.

Day 2: We took the ferry back over to Xiamen and found our new hotel, much nicer. We searched the internet on our phones for "American Restaurant Xiamen" because after two cheap Chinese meals, we were ready for a burger! We found some place called the Red Armadillo, but it didn't exactly have an address. We decided to go anyway and hunt it down. After an hour long taxi ride, and glorious tour of the southern coast of the island, the taxi driver dropped us off on the side of the road. We had no idea where this place was. We started wandering and after about ten or fifteen minutes, a really sunburnt white guy yells down the road at us, "Red Armadillo?" Sweet. We followed him to his home, which I should have taken a picture of because I can't even begin to describe it. Definitely not your normal restaurant. He was an American expat, who has been in Xiamen for 8 years. The food was delicious, and we talked to the owner (sun burnt guy) for a while. It was super relaxing, complete with Jimmy Buffet on the stereo and a view of the beach.

After lunch, we went to the beach. Due to a recent typhoon, the water wasn't what we
considered swim worthy. So we played in the sand, walked down the coast and watched 4 different engaged couples take wedding pictures on the beach. In China it is a thing to hire a photography company to take pictures of you
and your fiance in different wedding attires at different locations. Many are like costumes, some are more traditional wedding garb. Either way it was fun to see. While we were people watching the brides, everyone in Xiamen was watching us! Timmy seems to create a scene wherever he goes. Its really annoying. On our last day Scott and I both actually hit someone for touching Timmy because she wouldn't back off.

Day 3: We went to the 10,000 stone botanical gardens, but we didn't stay long or take very many pictures. It was ridiculously hot, so much that Scott and I were drenched in sweat and the whole place was full of stairs. Not exactly fun with the stroller. Not to mention the intrusive people that want to touch Timmy. This is where the hitting incident took place. So we made a short loop through the gardens and retreated back to our hotel for some AC. After some shopping with our Chinese friends, and lunch at the highest Pizza Hut in the world we came home.
For the rest of our pictures, click here.

1 comment:

nelso said...

Have you ever asked your friends why everyone wants to touch Timmy?

If it's for good luck you can set up a stand and start his college fund, $50.00 US for one touch of his hand.