Yuan Zhou Chinese Tea Courtyard (Yuan Zhou Cha Yuan 园洲茶院)

One of the most exotic yet accessible experiences for tourists on all of Kulangsu is a visit to this stunningly restored family mansion, which has been converted into a tea house where you can sample a diverse array of local teas.

Here you can also sit down for formal tea service at one of the wondrously knarled tree trunks-turned-tables in one of the back rooms, or simply browse around the inside and outside of the mansion and its courtyards, and imagine the life of a wealthy local family a century and a half back in time.

Take time to notice the smooth and graceful curves on the arched roofs, typical of the old Minnan architectural style and none other. From certain angles, in certain of the mansion’s many connected courtyards, this architecture is not just harmonious and historic: it is just heartbreakingly beautiful, a shrine to elegant design that speaks across generations, a timeless homage to a lost era of grace and gentility.

Address: 25 Zhonghua Road, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China



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X-Readspace (Xiao Xue Tang Chong Dong Shu Dian 晓学堂虫洞书店)

The Chinese name of this masterfully renovated two-story brick mansion, adjacent to Hai Tian Tang Gou Mansion, literally translates to “Worm Hole Bookstore.” But this business is hardly just a bookstore: the core belief of the founders is that globally disparate civilizations can interact with each other across time & space…beginning right here.

The Worm Hole Bookstore claims inspiration from the “inherited core culture” of the 13 countries who set up consulates on Kulangsu Island over the last century.

The expansive garden surrounding the beautiful old building has been redone in spectacular modern fashion, refurbished in early 2017 to set dramatic juxtaposition between garden furnishings and the landscape beyond.

A live music program is set to begin sometime in 2017.

Some tables in the garden are also set up for elaborate traditional Chinese tea service.

Inside, the store includes a “reading laboratory” and builds on the time-travel theme in various ways, while still keeping ties with Kulangsu and Minnan culture.

The coffee bar keeps with the wormhole theme as well. Coffee drinks are expensive, but the atmosphere is completely one-of-a-kind.Books are only the beginning; cute or fascinating non-book souvenirs and luxury care products abound throughout the store and its many alcoves.

Upstairs is a gallery with rotating sci-fi-themed exhibits and some lovely private and semi-private spaces.

Address:34 Fujian Road, Gulangyu Island, Siming District, Xiamen City, China



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