Introducing Gǔlàng Yǔ
A 10-minute boat trip from Xiàmén, Gǔlàng Yǔ is a relaxing retreat of meandering lanes and shaded backstreets, set in an architectural twilight of colonial villas and crumbling remains. It’s well worth spending a few days exploring the place.
The foreign community was well established on Gǔlàng Yǔ by the 1880s, with a daily English newspaper, churches, hospitals, post and telegraph offices, libraries, hotels and consulates. In 1903 the island was officially designated an International Foreign Settlement, and a municipal council with a police force of Sikhs was established to govern it. Today, memories of the settlement linger in the charming colonial buildings that blanket the island and the sound of classical piano wafting from shuttered windows. Many of China’s most celebrated musicians have come from Gǔlàng Yǔ.
The best way to enjoy the island is to wander along the streets, peeking into courtyards and down alleys to catch a glimpse of colonial mansions seasoned by local life. Most sights and hotels are just a short walk from the ferry terminal.
Gǔlàng Yǔ destination guides
South China Getaway
Enter a world of both natural wonder and big city glamour. Discover friendly people, a passionate food culture, historic sites and deep-seated traditions on this all-encompassing southern China expedition. Meet rural people and city folk, chow down on local delicacies and world-class fare and explore the wealth of history and modern developments of this mighty nation.
Beijing to Hong Kong
China really does have it all: tranquil countrysides offering jaw-dropping natural scenery and invigorating hikes, neon cities boasting incredible food and scintillating nightlife and points of historical, artistic and cultural interest at every turn.