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Top 5 Photo Spots in Xiamen | China

  • Written by Skye Vadas

Welcome to Xiamen- A Travel Guide for Photo Enthusiasts

Named China’s “most romantic leisure city” in 2011, Xiamen is a beautiful port city in China’s Fujian province that also features a plethora of places for shutterbugs to take gorgeous photos.

Like its famed Northern cousin Shanghai, Xiamen’s cityscape is peppered with influences from both the East and West. Modern skyscrapers tower alongside ancient Chinese structures. Lush gardens can be found next to hip cafes and boutique hotels. 

An idyllic seaside promenade known for its focus on art, culture, and heritage, Xiamen is also famed for being the ancestral home for numerous overseas Chinese. 

For travellers who love to take beautiful photos, the team at Pan Pacific Xiamen has put together an awesome list of spots to take incredible photos. Read on!


Begin Your Journey at the Beautiful Nan Putuo Temple

Address: 515 Siming S Rd, Siming Qu, Xiamen Shi, Fujian Sheng, China, 361005
Telephone: +86 592 208 8554
Opening hours: Outer Mountain Gate: 3am to 8pm, Inner Mountain Gate: 3am to 6pm

Founded during the Tang dynasty, Nan Putuo Temple (also known as South Putuo Temple) is one of the most photogenic destinations in Xiamen. Attracting believers and non-believers alike, this expansive place of worship spanning 25,000 square metres is set against the majestic Wulao Mountain.

The temple today is still active with chanting monks and fervent worshippers. Filled with halls and pavilions with intricate carvings, imposing statues of buddhas, and stunning murals, Nan Putuo Temple offers plenty of photo opportunities for travellers.

Round off your visit with a short hike up the steps at the back of the temple. Look out for ancient stone carvings among the rocks and trees, and see if you can decipher the wisdom contained in these relics.

Feeling famished after your climb? Dine at the vegetarian restaurant in the courtyard, along with the resident monks.

Get directions to South Putup Temple

Take a Serene Ferry Ride to Gulangyu Island

Feast your eyes on one of Xiamen’s most beautiful islands—Gulangyu, also known as the “garden on the sea”, or Kilangsu.

A visit to Gulangyu Island is akin to travelling to the past. This pedestrian-only island is a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site, and can only be accessed via an eight-minute ferry ride from downtown Xiamen.

Known for its photogenic beaches, meandering lanes and colonial architecture, the best way to experience the island’s natural and cultural treasures is to wander around its rustic settings. You will come across quirky shops, museums and other buildings built in its characteristic Amoy Deco Style of architecture (from the early 1900s). Strolling along the beach and gazing out into the open sea is an excellent way to end your trip to Gulangyu.

Get directions to Guangyu Island 


Snap Insta-worthy Photos at Ding'aozai Cat Street

Address: Ding'aozai Road, Siming Qu, Xiamen Shi, Fujian Sheng, China, 361210

Fond of photographing felines? Cat lovers will find a “purr-fect” slice of paradise at the Ding’aozai Cat Street.

This winding cobble-stoned lane near the Xiamen University Campus is filled with highly Instagrammable cat art. Around 20 life-sized cat statues dot the short street, which is lined with quirky cat graffiti and brightly coloured murals. Virtually every building facade is covered with feline images⁠—even the telephone poles!

The street was transformed by local artist Guo Mingming, who was inspired by the local fishing village culture⁠—apparently, cats used to accompany fishermen in their daily lives. As the city modernised, however, it began to lose its uniqueness. To prevent this, Mingming employed his eclectic artworks to restore the village’s charming tradition.

Get directions to Ding'aozai Cat Street


See Stunning Student Art at Xiamen University

Address: 422 Siming S Rd, Siming Qu, Xiamen Shi, Fujian Sheng, China, 361005
Telephone: +86 592 218 0000
Recommended visiting hours: 11am to 1pm

Do you know that Xiamen University has one of the most beautiful campuses in China?

Ideal for photographic sojourns, the centrepiece of the university’s landscape is the tranquil Furong lake, framed by lush trees and bushes. The picturesque campus itself is at the foothills of mountains with its main entrance facing the ocean.

Scenic campus aside, the most interesting part of the university lies in its tunnel. A large underpass extensively decorated with street art by its students, the Furong Tunnel is ideal for photography. 

The campus is open to the public for free, but do remember to bring along your passports for checks at the gate.

Get directions to Xiamen University


Ready, Aim, Shoot - Cannons (and More) at Hulishan Fortress

Address: No.2 Zengcuo'an, Siming District, Xiamen, China 361002
Telephone: +86 592 209 9603
Opening hours: 7:30am to 6pm

War history buffs would delight in the military displays of ancient might at the Hulishan Fortress. A key historic and cultural site, the biggest highlight here are the 50 iron cannons from the Ming (1368 to 1644) and Qing (1644 to 1911) dynasties.

Visitors can also explore the sprawling compounds of the fortress. Sneak a peek at how soldiers from the past worked and lived⁠—explore the fortress’s barracks, a secret tunnel, sentry platform, ammunition depot, trench and other war-time structures.

Arm yourself with food and drinks though, as a visit here can easily take a few hours.

Situated on top of the Huli Hill overlooking Xiamen city, Hulishan Fortress lets you admire the sweeping cityscape and provides plenty of opportunities for content! 

Get directions to Hulishan Fortress


Are you visiting Xiamen? Receive complimentary breakfast for two and 20% on in-room dining when you book by 31 August 2019 with Pan Pacific Xiamen. Up to 2 kids below six years old enjoy complimentary stay and dining.  Book now!


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