Wednesday, July 15, 2009
It's small. Very small for china, w/ less than 1.5 million people.
It's doesn't feel particularly modern or developed, but still feels very convenient.
Lots and lots of little back streets to explore.
Major influence from Taiwan, which translates into cutesy and hipster shops crammed into unexpected corners.
A surprising # of veg restaurants. one buddhist monastery.
And... an adjacent island with population 15,000 w/ a ban on any cars and motorcycles. It's too fucking cool. Well, i admit, when you get off the ferry, it feels like you're walking in a bloody shopping mall, but outside of that area, it quiets down and looks and feels strangely European.
The island, Gulangyu, is just a 10 minute ferry ride from the rest of Xiamen, and the ferries run pretty frequently. And i hear from one unconfirmed source, that the water is clean enough for swimming.
My hotel is on the island, btw.
The whole Xiamen thing seems great except for the creppy hair cut i got 1/2 an hour ago. So you'd think Xiamen would hold on to me long enough for my hair to grow a centimeter or so, but alas, i'll be gone after just one day.
i'm off to meet my girlfriend in Nanning! And i'm stoked that i had some hassles finding a ticket, but managed to get a 28 hr train ride there. Stoked.
In Nanning we'll hang out w/ her friend, and to got the famed Guilin together. don't know Guilin? Google Images will be happy to show you why it's reknowned.
Anyhow, from Guilin me and her friend will ride bikes about 80 km to Yangshow, the hippy villa i'm stoked to hang out in. Um, i'll tell you about that after i get there.
ps, This morning, on the tail end of a overnight train, coming thru the city outskirts, i just felt happy. It was nice.