Kulangsu (Gulangyu): discover the historic pedestrian-only island where east meets west

Discover the culture and history of an island whose magnificent views and seductive beaches have been shared by Chinese people and Western people for more than 150 years. In this section of our visitor’s guide, you’ll take a photo tour of the unique Minnan-European fusion architecture that arose out of the long friendship between East and West, giving the island’s winding cobblestoned streets a distinctly Mediterranean feel. Experience the rich traditions of a place where walking is still hallowed, where crickets still chirp, where not even bicycles are allowed to spoil the peaceful pace of life.

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Kulangsu cuisine: fresh local seafood with the authentic spice of the southern tropics

The island’s alluring tropical cuisine begins with the fresh, healthy, local seafood that comes in from fishing boats every morning. Kulangsu is most famous for its oyster omelette, but many authentic local and Minnan specialties will compete for your attention: imagine fragrant steamed shrimp, savory clam custard, spicy garlic-chili razor clams, Indonesian-influenced peanut satay soup, and for the more adventurous palates, sea-worm-wasabi jelly. Even at the fanciest places in town, the vibe is casual, the people are friendly, and the beer is cheap. Welcome to seafood-and-spice paradise.

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Kulangsu hotels: shaded by banyan trees, the romantic mansions of yesteryear

There’s a reason Kulangsu is famous for honeymoons: its winding alleyways and majestic arched palaces have an unmistakably European grace, its beaches are some of the cleanest and most tranquil in China. The experience begins where cars end: you replace honking horns and urban smog with the sounds of splashing waves, sunny breezes, bustling food stalls, and classical music. Spend a day, a week, or a month exploring the island’s numerous tree-shaded cafés, sampling the local seafood, turning off your alarm, and waking up every morning to a symphony of birdsongs.

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