The last day of trip to Fujian province was spent in Xiamen. Jia pointed out that there were a few nice tourist spots to venture through while we made our way to the city. It's a very pleasant city with European architecture that reminds me of Malacca--and some sections are being completely rebuilt in the same style, which is a rarity in any city. Unfortunately, the sites we headed for were overcrowded with National Day tourists--the Buddhist temple was packed with noisey people throwing garbage everywhere.
We decided to escape the crowds and take a ferry to Gulangyu, an island that is officially part Xiamen. The island was also packed with noisey tourists. After our time in the quiet fields and Hakka villages, we weren't ready to see such swarms of people. We were highly disappointed.
Wherever we went, we chose the streets that didn't appear to have more than a dozen people. We were ocassionaly successful, but it was too much effort.
Gulangyu is a beautiful island with winding roads and European-style mansions. There are quite a few museums and parks, but there is an entrance fee for all of them--so, we skipped them. It certainly seemed like a place I'd enjoy at any time that isn't a national holiday in China.
For anyone interested in staying on Gulangyu, I would recommend it. There are a few guesthouses and small hotels scattered around the island. Unlike in the countryside, the restaurants on Gulangyu have menus.