On Tuesday we spent the day at Gulangyu. This is an island that does not have any cars or motor vehicles on it which = awesome.
We took a 5 minute, free (surprise!) ferry to the island from Xiamen and were greeted with the same touristy mumbo-jumbo that exists across Mainland. The island was, however, reminiscent of Europe and *more civilized* cultures. It was a charming place to visit. We walked around forever and ate more seafood oddities and climbed up the "Sunlight Rock Park" to see a bird's eye view of the island and blue waters surrounding. It was gorgeous, even being surrounded by a million people and their screaming children. The best part about Gu Lang Yu (besides being incredibly cute) was that the cool thing for Chinese tourists was to buy cowboy hats. I have never seen a Chinese person wear a cowboy hat before and when we were sitting at lunch Jennie said, "what are they, a bunch of cowboys?" And I looked around and realized, there must be a sale! haha, I'm not sure what about Gu Lang Yu makes people want to buy cowboy hats, but it sure was entertaining for a good 4 hours.
Our friend Wesley (a chinese teacher in Shenzhen - whose home village we all visited last October Holiday, exactly a year ago) had biked from Shenzhen to Xiamen with a group of his friends. This journey took over five days to complete and he conveniently arrived in Xiamen the day before we were to leave. Him and two pengyou's hopped on over to the island to join us for dinner. One of the fellow bikers happened to be a co-worker of Jennie, and neither knew that each other would be there, which was a cute surprise. We ate (surprise!) seafood and then wandered to a "snack street" as if we needed to eat more. Did I mention the food is great there?! haha. We had peanut soup, which was probably one of the most delicious things I have ever eaten. Ever in my entire existence. We walked around and chatted in a beautiful mix of English and crappy Chinese until the bikers were tired and went to their hotel. The Crew (jennie, nick, and I) decided to eat more and so we got some mango ice (literally shaved ice covered in slices of mango and mango juice stuff) and practically had to roll ourselves back to the Xiamen University dorms. It was cool to see Wesley after a year. We decided to visit every October holiday, which might mean next year he is coming to America! haha. Who knows. This world is crazy.
Trip update: complete.
Info on Gu Lang Yu: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulangyu_Island