Tuesday, October 12, 2010


Click the pix for larger picture.
Xiamen is located on an island in the province of Fujian. Since tons of information is available I'm not going to get redundant so you can read about it here.
It shares some similarities with my home city in that they are both are seaside cities that have similar climates, but the differences were more pronounced. The biggest difference is that Xiamen is much better looking. It has been rated the cleanest city in China by the Chinese government for several years. There is a big effort by all to make it this way. There are public service ads encouraging civic pride and cleanliness. Motorcycles have been all but banned (a big source of air and noise pollution). There is a large foreign population, estimated at around 5,000 due to its big port, its proximity to Taiwan, and the presence of many foreign firms. So it is a fairly wealthy city. Most of the buildings I saw were newer and in good shape. Streets and sidewalks are wide and in excellent repair. Lovely parks abound.
One of the nicest features I found were the lack of blaring horns. There is a 50 RMB fine for honking your horn. This has not seemed to have handicapped the local drivers at all and they seem to be able to get from home to their destination without the need of this vital driving tool that is so essential to the Zhanjiang driving population.
We stayed with an old college friend of mine at his place across from the beach. The beach is small, and covered at high tide, but there is a boardwalk along much of it, although it suffered in a recent typhoon. There is an outdoor theater, with traditional shows nightly. We enjoyed a nice opera performance, although I had no idea what was going on, not unlike western operas.
The locals enjoy a better standard of living than most, with good wages and reasonable housing costs. They have a laid back attitude, and have a great pride in where they live. After a few days in Xiamen, I found I could envision myself living there too.

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