Gang Zai Hou Beach (Gang Zai Hou Sha Tan 港仔后沙滩)

This is the biggest and most popular beach on Kulangsu. It was once a popular spot for outdoor concerts. Stand in the middle of Gang Zai Hou’s golden sands, and you’ll be surrounded on all sides by wonders. To your left, lies a thicket of bearded coconut palms, the graceful green-roofed pagodas of the Shu Zhuang Garden[link] and Piano Museum[link], the triumphant red Marine Garden Hotel[link] on the hill above, and beyond that, the steel gray sails of Xiamen’s Shi Mao towers across the strait.

To your right sits a string of pleasant restaurants, cafés, bars, and simple inns. Everywhere there are street vendors selling fresh coconuts and mango juice. Behind you, facing the beach, above a canopy of palm trees, looms one of the most magnificent views of Sunlight Rock. Gang Zai Hou is often crowded, but for good reason: for many visitors it is Kulangsu’s most iconic image, everything the island wrapped up into one unforgettable landscape.

Address: Gangzaihou Road, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China



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Wedding beach (Guan Hai Yuan Hai Tan 观海园海滩)

When you’re on the most romantic island in China, some spots can be overwhelmed with romance. This small, pretty beach at the end of Tianwei Road is a classic perch on the Kulangsu coast, in part because of the incredible number of couples posing for wedding pictures on the beach every day. On an average afternoon, you’re likely to see 5-10 photo shoots.

This takes away from your chances of sunbathing in peace, but on the other hand, who can complain about so much romance? For a more secluded experience, take the footpath past the old Guan Hai Yuan harbor (to the left of the beach if you’re facing the ocean) for a tour of some of Kulangsu’s grand faded villas and some even more romantic views of the isolated rocky shoreline.

Address: Guanhai Road, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China



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Wang Hai Yuan Hotel and Café (望海苑)

This simple establishment has one of the most enviable locations in Kulangsu: right on Gang Zai Hou beach, the island’s largest and most frequented, but on a calmer side of it, not far from Guan Hai Yuan Harbor.

The café on the ground floor is worthy place for an air-conditioned beach break, whether it’s for coffee, a beer, or a simple meal. Facilities are rustic by Western standards, but prices are reasonable and the vistas from the sea-view category rooms are amongst the most escapist on the island.

Address: West Side Gangzaihou Beach, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China



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