Gu­lan­ngyu is pop­u­lar among tourists for its colo­nial ar­chi­tec­ture and at­trac­tions such as the Pi­ano Mu­seum

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drop you off at Xiti Lu, in front of a few gi­ant night­club/disco venues, but where you re­ally want to go is to­ward the water­front pedes­tri­an­ized area where a lineup of places of­fer live mu­sic and out­door seat­ing.

Among them Ha­vana Beach (www. ha­vanax­i­a­men.com) seems to have the best dancers among its clien­tele, as ev­ery­one swings to the tunes and sips mo­ji­tos in be­tween songs. Next door, For Me &You 2 (www.me­andyou2.com) fea­tures a“Big Mama”band whose lead vo­cal­ist re­ally knows how to work the crowd. At the other end, JJ Bar and Grill (www.jjx­i­a­men. com) draws quite a crowd with its rodeo bull. A drink in this area costs about RMB40 ($6.60). ZENG VIL­LAGE Once a quiet vil­lage for the Zeng clan, this vil­lage has now be­come a tourist area, with many quirky shops sell­ing home dec­o­ra­tions and col­lectibles. The for­mer an­ces­tral hall has been con­verted into Tem­ple Café (www.tem­ple­cafe.com), and other venues pro­vide a real chill-out at­mos­phere. Food ven­dors are ev­ery­where and for not more than RMB20 ($3.30) you can eat to your heart’s con­tent, but if you want to in­dulge, seafood restau­rants near the water­front such as Ji­a­fuyuan (tel +86 592 251 3900) of­fer live seafood cooked to or­der. De­pend­ing on what you re­quest, a meal here starts from about RMB100 ($16.50) per head.

Just across the road from the restau­rant is King­soak Cel­lar (www.king­soak.cn) on the beach­front, which serves af­ford­able Western dishes along­side a wide se­lec­tion of wines, in­clud­ing choices from the New World for less than RMB300 ($50) per bot­tle. Many booths right by the win­dow look out to sea, and the over­all at­mos­phere is re­lax­ing.

If fur­ther re­lax­ation is on the agenda, Hai­wan Gongyuan (Bay Park), on the west coast of Xi­a­men Is­land, boasts a nightlife scene that would not seem out of place on West Coast Amer­ica. The taxi driver will

Where to stay

INDIGO One of the new­est in­ter­na­tional ho­tels in town, IHG opened the 128-room prop­erty un­der its bou­tique Indigo brand last year. The in­te­rior dec­o­ra­tion is built around mo­tifs in­spired by Xi­a­men’s his­tory as well as col­or­ful paint­ings of leg­endary Chi­nese char­ac­ters. The ho­tel of­fers four meet­ing rooms, a restau­rant and a li­brary. dis­played through­out the in­te­rior and the key­card also gives the guest free ac­cess to Gu­langyu Pi­ano Mu­seum.

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