This post is being written months after the visit described below.
While our iteniary showed a two day stop in Xiamen it actually was only a day and a half. Which turned out to be just fine as this city of 5 million had the typical shrines and temples but frankly just as tends to happen in Europe with cathedrals, we were about templed out! As our friend Peggy says, it’s an ABC tour-another bloody church. In this case, an ABT tour! 😂
The included tour here was another panoramic tour with stops at a beautiful park with a lake and the aforementioned Buddhist temple.
The park is focused on the lake which includes their version of the the little mermaid.
The park itself was lovely and I’m sure even more so when all the flowers were in bloom.
At the entrance to the park was a sculpture of a Dragon Boat. The lake is used for races and practice. The carving style reminded me of the modern facade of Sagrada Familia in Barcelona. When we lived in Houston, one of my coworkers was on a dragon boat team, it was great fun to watch their races. I wish one had been taking place while we were in Xiamen.
From the park we headed to the temple. Our guide was new (it was her first day) so while knowledgeable she was very timid. When one couple didn’t return at the appointed time, she spent at least 30 minutes trying to locate them even though she had no idea who she was looking for. Turns out they had decided to leave the temple early on another. Tour bus without telling anyone. When they reboarded our bus at our last stop they got some nasty looks from those who stood and waited while our guide looked for them. Oh well, it was the only instance of that sort of rude behavior so I guess we should count ourselves lucky.
The temple compels was beautiful but crowded-this was the last day of the holiday as I recall.
I was particularly impressed with the ancient carved and painted details of the buildings. Especially in contrast to the very modern buildings of the city in the distance – see the title shot of this post.
From the temple we were driven to Xiamen’s pedestrian only shopping street where we had free time. We walked down it but enjoyed our time on the back streets more.
On the small backstreets we saw the local food shops where the dishes were washed in tubs on the street and we watched a woman making dumplings? Spaetzle?
From there we returned to the ship and had a relaxing afternoon, evening and morning before departing for our last port of Hong Kong. As I recall, rather than go ashore the last morning, we did laundry and packed up all but our Hong Kong clothes.