Foreign bookstore (Wai Tu Shu Dian 外图书店)

The best resource for English-language books on Kulangsu is this lovely, centrally located bookstore, where you can find a surprisingly diverse selection of Western reading material in English, as well as a vast array of beautifully designed Chinese-language printed matter. But the highlight of the store is the space itself: a spectacularly restored early-20th-century mansion […]

Listening to Kulangsu (Ting Gulangyu 听鼓浪屿)

My first introduction to Kulangsu was “Gulangyu Zhi Bo,” played by Jing. I had heard it at least fifty times before I ever saw Kulangsu, and before I even knew this was originally a song with words. It was my favorite song on Jing’s CD, which I played obsessively in my car when she was […]

Sunlight Rock (Ri Guang Yan 日光岩)

Kulangsu (Gulangyu)’s top tourist attraction and highlight, lording over the beautiful island. From atop Sunlight Rock, you can see the entire coastline and hilly landscape of the island as well as sweeping views of downtown Xiamen–and, on a clear day, even Taiwan’s Jinmen Island. An inexpensive ticket gets you into the park, where you can […]

Gulangyu Concert Hall (Gu Lang Yu Yin Yue Ting 鼓浪屿音乐厅)

The premier classical music hall on Kulangsu, China’s premier classical music island, the Gulangyu Concert Hall is proof that the best things in life are free. The diverse classical and traditional Chinese concerts held here on many nights of the week—from visiting symphony orchestras to traditional Chinese music to world-class visiting soloists—are all offered to […]