Gu Lang Yu (鼓浪屿 aka Drum Wave Islet) is a tiny islet just 10 minutes from Xiamen. China has islets and islands aplenty, but Gu Lang Yu packs in the tourists for two things:
- It’s full of lovely Victorian architecture (quite like TsingTao come to think of it) as Gu Lang Yu became a treaty port because China lost the First Opium War
- There are no cars, bicycles or motorised conveyances on it. The only way to get around is by your own two feet.
The red bricks make for a nice change of urban scenery where buildings are white tiled into sterility.
One should explore Gu Lang Yu by wending through the sandwich-like alleyways and into people’s courtyards…
…where paper and bamboo lanterns hang high in alcoves to welcome tourists to part with yuan for the inside look. Of course, where there were Europeans, there are churches -- beautiful white constructs of stone, stained glass and Gothic frescos.
Sadly they’ve all been converted into Retirement Homes for the aged and infirm.
Of People & Sunsets
Somehow folk living outside of cities make for great photo ops with taciturn old lady resting her back,
young ‘uns striding along the beach,
or friends arguing over tides and she who sells seashells by the seashore.
Here’s a truth: you just can’t beat sunsets over the beach.