Good Eating on Piano Island (Gulangyu)

No. 8 on Fujian Road

  Find the small park (街心花园) first , ask for 福建路8号(Fu2jian4Lu4), just keep going. It’s a building in a sunken courtyard.
It’s a one-man private kitchen. Lao Chen (Old Chen) takes order, washes, prepares and cooks all by himself. There’s no menu so you tell him what you want. He often needs about two hours notice. You can ask your tutor or somebody at the hotel to give him a call 15880277984. I often order 蒸鳗鱼(steamed eel) 猪颈肉(roasted pork nape) 辣炒海虹/贝类(chilly stir fired mussles/shellfish) 烧茄子(home-style eggplant) 炒时蔬 (fried vegetables)

Food stall
鼓浪171闽台小吃at 龙头路171号 (Longtou Lu)

  At the small park (街心花园), ask for Long2Tou2Lu4, then look for a two-story yellow building (the first one), the stall is in front of the house. Most of time it’s a middle-aged couple at the stall. They have really fresh and clean boiled octopus in wasabi sauce. The round jelly cake is made of a sea worm. Their fresh juices are very good too. If you want to try street food, this is a safe place to try. The family has been living on the island for generations.

Local style cake 金兰饼店
Jinlan Bakery

  The island is full of shops selling local style cakes, but this is the best because they bake from their home and only sell for a few hours a day. The cakes are often warm when you buy them. It’s in the neighborhood of my apartment. If you get to the Trinity Church (三一堂), when you face the church, you’ll see a stairs on the right. Take the stairs and keep walking straight, or ask for Nei4Cuo4Ao4(内厝澳),pass the police station and keep walking (this is one of the most beautiful roads on the island). Once you get down the hill, ask for the bakery. If people don’t know the bakery, ask for the temple (庙) first. This bakery may not be worthy going, but the neighborhood is very local and not touristy yet.

Things to do on Piano Island (Gulangyu)

How to get there

  Tell the cab driver to go to the ferry: 鼓浪屿轮渡gu3 lang4 yu3 lun2 du4. There’re ticket booths on both sides of the ferry station. Don’t throw your ticket/coin away as you’ll need it on your return trip.

Where to go

  It’s touristy on many parts of the island especially if you turn left after getting off the ferry. The best time to visit is early morning or early evening when the island returns to its charming self. Just walk around and get lost. If you’re really lost, ask for ferry (轮渡lun2 du4) and you’ll find your way back. The alleys are like labyrinth and they all lead to the ferry somehow.

The only place I’d recommend is the organ museum. 风琴博物馆(feng1 qin2 bo2 wu4 guan3) Adr: 鼓浪屿鼓新43号 Some of the instruments are super big.

After you leave the museum, keep walking uphill and you’ll find some of the quietest streets on the island.

Good Eating in Xiamen

The coffee street 咖啡街
or ask for
Marco Polo Hotel 马哥孛罗酒店

  There are many western-style café and restaurants. The few across street from the hotel are probably the oldest and the best, including a Japanese restaurant and an Italian restaurant.

If you face the Japanese restaurant (back to the Marco Polo Hotel), walk toward your right and you’ll find a popular local/Cantonese style restaurant at the end of the street called Chao2Fu2Cheng2. (潮福城) Add: 湖滨北路28号建业大厦裙楼1楼 5058688

If the line is too long at Chao Fu Cheng, you can go to this chain seafood restaurant Shu1You3 (舒友海鲜大酒楼) 50 meters away. Easier to ask for direction.

Spicy Squid Place Xiao3You2Yu2小鱿鱼

  It’s a street vendor style restaurant. Get there before 6 to avoid long lines (book in advance if you can). You may need a local to take you there as their menu is in Chinese only, and you’ll need to order fish and other seafood from a wet booth. You can also show them these four dishes, and it should be enough: 水煮小鱿鱼(中)(squid, medium size)、干锅包菜(cabbage)、石锅螺片豆腐(Conch in hot Toufu pot)炸猪颈肉(pork neck) .

Grassroots Restaurant
Cao3Gen3Tang2 草根堂 Add:思明区凌香里26号别墅莲花公园对面

  Home-style restaurant in an old house. The cuisine is from northern Fujian Province. Can’t remember if their menu is in Chinese but they’re definitely in photos. Make a reservation as there’s always a line. They have both indoor and outdoor seating. Here are four recommended dishes: 酸辣鱿鱼(Sour&spicy squid),冰镇苦瓜蘸蜜(frozen bitter mellon dipped in honey)醉鸡 (drunken chicken)荷塘小炒 (fried lotus roots,etc.)酸芛猪肚 (preserved bamboo shoots fried with pig tripe) 时蔬杂粮饭 (vegetable and rice) drinks: 1.自制酸梅汤 (Chinese summer drink, sweet & sour) 2. 自酿酒home-made wine

Rong2 Yu4 Seafood Restaurants 荣誉海鲜大酒楼
Add: 海湾公园店)
0592-2127979 & Jia1 Li4

Seafood Restaurant
Add: 海湾公园店)

  Both are chain restaurants that serve seafood dishes as well as local and Cantonese dim sum. The restaurants are located next to a park and with a few other decent restaurants nearby. The menus are in English.

Local snack restaurant
Add: 思明区中山路22-24号

  You’ll see a huge collection of local snacks at this restaurant. You’ll need to buy “coupons” from the cashier (60-80 yuan for 4). Then you go to the food stand and point at the snacks you want to order. (don’t wait for the fried squid next to the cashier. There’s always a huge crowd in front of it. Not worthy it).

Portofino Italian restaurant at the Millenium Hotel
+8659-22023333 x6616

  The buffet next door is not bad either.

Things to do in Xiamen
Xia Men University
  Xia Men University is considered the most beautiful college campus in China. It’s a nice place to walk around.
Huan Dao Lu
环岛路 huan2 dao3 lu4
  Huan Dao Lu is a beautiful stretch of well-paved and designed roads that could be translated as Ocean Highway. You can either bike, jog or walk there. There are two places that are easiest to tell cab drivers:

Seaview Resort (海悦山庄Hai3 Yue4 Shan1 Zhuang1) . If you face the ocean, make toward your left. It’s nicer.

Music Square (音乐广场 yin1 yue4 guang3 chang3). If you face the ocean (and the Piano Island), make toward your left. Keep walking for about 300 meters, you’ll see a restaurant, you can walk down there and you’ll find the stilted walking trail. It goes on for a long long stretch.