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The shoreline of Xiamen is home to some beautiful, golden-sand beaches that are ideal for paddling or relaxing. Try the 10-km / 6-mile stretch of coastline from Xiamen University Beach to the International Exhibition Centre, which is conveniently linked by a scenic boardwalk. There are dozens of beaches along this part of the coast, ensuring no area becomes too busy and that a secluded spot is never far away. Facilities at Xiamen's beaches are good, with eateries and nearby attractions in plentiful supply. Fishing boats can be seen offshore and there are wooden pavilions along the boardwalk, providing rest areas for when the sun gets too strong. The Island Ring Road offers access to dozens of beautiful beaches, where it is also possible to hire a catamaran, go windsurfing or fly a kite.
Open: daily - 24 hours
Admission: no charge
Huli Hill Fort
Home to several interesting exhibitions, great views and imposing cannons, Xiamen's Huli Hill Fort is a fine example of China's coastal defence system of days gone by. Situated adjacent to the picturesque university, a range of unusual building materials were used in its construction, including sticky rice, clay, sand and camphor tree juice. Check out centuries-old weapons and the unique collection of exotic stones, which are amongst the main attractions showcased at Huli Hill Fort. On a clear day, you can see some of the nearby Taiwanese-ruled islands out across the water.
Address: Siming Nan Road, Xiamen, 361002
Open: daily - dusk to dawn
Underwater Sea World Come to enjoy fish from around the world from the safety of a glass tunnel, with over 10,000 marine creatures to view. Get up close with oceanic, as well as sea and river marine life, and learn about the habitat of these strange yet wonderful fish at the Xiamen Underwater Sea World. The opportunity to feed small sharks will thrill kids, but perhaps terrify some adults. This is one of China's best aquariums and brimming with fishy attractions, so if you are going to visit any one of them, this one is a particularly good choice.
This cave-temple takes its name after the two animal statues that are positioned outside of the cave's entrance. Mist is commonly seen exiting from the rock in the sweltering summer months, which creates the illusion that the deer are smoking. Constructed in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the views from the White Deer Cave attraction are very pleasant. The nearby Tiger Stream Rock Temple (Huxiyan) is also worth a visit for its picturesque setting amongst the hilly terrain.
The Gulangyu Island lies just a short distance from Xiamen's coastline and makes for an extremely popular day out. With many island attractions, highlights include cobbled lanes, period architecture, eateries of various descriptions, and particularly impressive views. The whole of Gulangyu Island is traffic-free, making it particularly pleasant to walk around. Look out for the dramatic Sunlight Rock and its cable car rides, the nearby Piano Garden and its unusual Piano Museum, and the imposing granite statue of Zheng Cheggong. Situated close to Gulangyu's ferry terminal, the Xiamen Underwater World is particularly popular and contains a host of marine and fish-related attractions, such as penguins, dolphins, sharks and seals.