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● Xiamen

Xiamen


Xiamen, formerly romanized as Amoy, is a sub-provincial city in southeastern Fujian, China, beside the Taiwan Strait. It is divided into six districts: Huli, Siming, Jimei, Tong'an, Haicang, and Xiang'an. Altogether, these cover an area of 1,699.39 square kilometers (656.14 sq mi) with a population of 3,531,347 as of 2010. The urbanized area of the city has spread from its original island to include parts of all six of its districts, with a total population of 1,861,289. This area connects to Quanzhou in the north and Zhangzhou in the west, making up a metropolis of more than five million people. The Jinmen or Kinmen Islands administered by the Republic of China lie less than 6 kilometers (4 mi) away.

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Climate

Xiamen has a subtropical climate, which is generally temperate with abundant rainwater. It has an average annual temperature of approximately 21 centigrade. There is no intense heat in summer and no extreme cold in winter in Xiamen. The city has an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm (47 inches), mainly during the months from May to August. Wind power reaches Grade 3 to 4 in general, with northeast wind representing the dominant wind direction. Owing to the air currents resulting from the difference in temperature in the Pacific, Xiamen is hit by typhoon three or four times annually on average, which mainly occurs during the months from July to September. Xiamen is suitable for traveling all year round, and the best seasons are spring and autumn.


Geography

Xiamen is a sub-provincial city in southeastern Fujian whose urban core grew up from the port of Xiamen on southern Xiamen Island, now located within Siming District. It now also includes Gulangyu Island and the rugged coast of the mainland from the northeast bank of the Jiulong River in the west to the islands of Xiang'an in the east. Xiamen Island lies about one degree north of the Tropic of Cancer. It is divided between Huli District in the north and Siming District in the south. Siming also includes Gulangyu. Its mainland territory is divided among Haicang, Jimei, Tong'an, and Xiang'an districts.

In the 19th century, Xiamen's harbor on Yundang Bay was considered one of the world's great natural harbors. Land reclamation has since been used to fill in the mouth of this inlet, turning it into Siming District's Yundang Lake. The municipal government is located on other reclaimed land beside it.The nearest point of Lieyu in the Jinmen Islands, still controlled by the Republic of China from Taiwan, lies only 6 kilometers (4 mi) off Xiamen Island.

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Transportation

Railways

Xiamen Railway Station's south entrance.

Xiamen is served by the Yingtan-Xiamen Railway, Longyan-Xiamen Railway and the Fuzhou-Xiamen High-Speed Railway, which are connected to China's national railway network. Direct passenger trains are available from Xiamen to Shanghai, Nanjing, Hefei, Fuzhou, Nanchang and Yingtan. The completion of the Xiamen-Shenzhen High-Speed Railway in late 2013 expanded train services to destinations to the west and southwest.

The Xiamen Railway Station on the island of Xiamen is connected to the mainland by a railway bridge.

The Xiamen North Railway Station is located in Jimei District.

The Xiamen East Railway Station will be located in Xiang'an District


Air

A Boeing 737 bearing the egret livery of XiamenAir at Xiamen Airport.

The Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport in northeastern Xiamen Island is a main air hub in East China with flights to over 90 domestic and international destinations. Among airports in China, Xiamen ranked among the top 11 for passenger traffic, top 8 for cargo traffic and top 10 for air traffic. It can handle 27 million passengers annually. The airport is the headquarters hub of Xiamen Airlines.

Xiamen has direct flights to most cities in China, Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan, and major cities in east Asia like Tokyo, Osaka, Seoul. Intercontinental flights to Amsterdam, Sydney, Melbourne, Vancouver, Seattle(stopover Shenzhen), Los Angeles have been started from 2011. Xiamen also hold a strong network to southeast Asia cities like, Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, Manila, Jakarta, Cebu and Singapore, to server the large communities of southern Fujian's overseas diaspora and the increasing tourism flows.


Ferries

Xiamen has passenger ferry service to cities along the coast of China as well as the neighbouring island of Kinmen (Jinmen) to the east, which is administered by the Republic of China on Taiwan. These ferries are all served from the Wutong Ferry Terminal to Shuitou Pier, Kinmen on the north-east side of the Xiamen Island (quite distant from downtown Xiamen), ferries to Jinmen take 60 minutes. There are facilities in both directions allowing for quick transfers between Xiamen Gaoqi Airport (for Mainland destinations) and Kinmen Airport (for Taiwanese destinations), which is very popular with large tour groups.

The Heping Wharf Ferry Terminal on the south-west side of Xiamen Island offers short 5 minute boat rides to the island of Gulangyu however this is only accessible by Xiamen residents. Tourists and non-locals must now take a longer 20 minute ferry ride from the main International Ferry Terminal, also called the Dongdu International Terminal, on the south-west side of Xiamen Island., as of 20 October 2014 with a fare increase from 8RMB to 35RMB. This has been in order to reduce tourist numbers accessing the island in an effort to conserve it. This terminal used to have ferries, taking 90 minutes, to Kinmen Island but were ceased in 2014.

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Cuisine

As with much of southern China, the staple foods of Xiamen have long been rice, seafood, pork, sweet potatoes, various pickled vegetables, and bok choy. Its traditional dishes form a branch of southern Fujianese cuisine, with Taiwanese influence. It is particularly well known within China for its street food and snacks. A local specialty is worm jelly( tǔsǔndòng), a gelatin made from a kind of marine peanut worm.


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