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