Sunday, May 25, 2008

Trip to Gulangyu Island

Ferry heading back to Xiamen.
Statue of Zheng in the distance.
Stairs to get to statue.
Statue of Zheng from rock outcropping.
Walkway around the base of the Zheng Statue.
Statue of 5 children in the park
Narrow street on the island.
Bonsai like tree at the harbor.
Cargo boat on the wharf being loaded.

On Sunday we made an excursion to Gulangyu Island, which is a smaller island off of Xiamen Island accessible only by ferry. My friend, Ann, Michael, and their children escorted us there as that is the location of the Catholic Church in Xiamen. (More on the church later).

Leaving the university, it took a bus ride (2 RMB cost since the air-conditioning was on) and about a five minute ferry ride (free to get to the island, but 8 RMB on the way back). The weather was again hot and humid, but was not too bad if you could stand in the breeze. Our plan was to go to church on the island and then the students would be free to explore the island and make their way back to the university. After church, the students went off on their own and I had lunch with my friends on the island. After lunch, they needed to get back to the university, so I explored a bit of the island, did some shopping, and returned just before the thunderstorms hit.

One focal point of the island is Haoyue Garden which also contains a large statue of off Zheng Chenggong. It is 16 meters high and carved out of 625 pieces of white granite; it is the largest stone carved figure in China. It is quite an impressive sight from the mainland and even more impressive up close.

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