Xiamen was by far my and many more on the trips favorite city to explore through. Arriving in Xiamen was at the end of two and a half busy busy weeks. Xiamen is also located on the shores of the lovely Pacific ocean nestled in a subtropical yet bustling city. Unfortunately we were not here for much time, but it was used to our fullest advantage. As described in one of the previous posts I was deathly ill because of what I choose to eat in Xiamen, but this doesn’t mean that I also had other amazing foods that settled well and kept me craving more.
Xiamen as you probably know by now is home of seafood and knows how to cook it well no matter how ill oysters tend to make people hahah #choops. Our first meal in Xiamen was of course in a hotel and filled with many other foreigners. Our tour guides change every city and we have to remind them again and again that we are not their usual tourists and wish to be taken down dark allies to be fed in dives that serve China’s best and wildest meals! This is at least what I would request 🙂 Dreux however took a few of us to the island Gulongru one night to dine of delicious seafood. We wandered around for about an hour and a half between the narrow ally ways searching for a restaurant that looked pleasing and still open as it was a Sunday night. I guess the idea of things closing early on Sundays is universal!! We stationed ourselves at a classic seafood restaurant with tables outside and took our time in hand picking out what sea monsters we wanted to eat. They were cooked up and served piping hot. We sampled three different crabs, clams which were amaaaazing, and some other vegetables and tofu dishes. I packed some tissues which came in big handy for the whole table as we sat in the center of a bustling ally filled with shops, restaurants and bartering foreigners. This island is very touristy but much like Fisherman’s Warf a good kind of tourism that is tranquil and eclectic specific to that area!
Xiamen was full of traveling and in between day one and three we traveled out to Chengwu to see one of the last walled cities in China. This used to be very common in China and with the spread of modernization the walls are either torn down or expanded. This sit has been of course altered in order to suit foreign tourists, but was gorgeously landscaped. After touring for a while many of us spent the rest of the afternoon as mermaids on large rocks boarding the Pacific Ocean.
Back in Xiamen we now have one day left to enjoy our favorite city and a few of us decided to hope back over to Gulongru, the island. I was reluctant throughout the trip to repeat visits because when you are only in a country for a month there is only so much we can see, however, we loved the island, plain and simple. Fei, Stephanie, Mary and I ventured to the island in search for Hong Guar a restaurant in the home of a couple located tucked away in the hill. Here we sat on their second story porch over looking the rest of the old architecture talking about how fast the trip has gone by and sipping on fresh mango and papaya juices. We opted to choose from the hand written menu a cluster of dishes to share. There was a superb squid that was cooked to perfect, small clams in a sauce with a little kick, a fish ball soup, shredded soil beans (or potatoes) and for dessert we munched on individual pumpkin “cakes”. We walked to the streets and ended up at a small cafe, Marron Cafe, for drinks and air conditioning! This cafe was so unique and adorable with small post-its covering the walls. We all spent time drawing our own post-its to add to the decorations. Here is where the title of the post comes from. Mary and I ordered drinks ‘Free Cuba’ which was indeed a Rum and Coke, while Mary had an ‘Out of the Amazon’. While day dreaming and drawing I wrote our drinks on a post-it that come out as ‘Free Cuba out of the Amazon’, quite clever I know 🙂
The rest of the night is explained in detail in my previous post. They were a little out of order but when you live in a cave-esque hotel room the internet is rough so you get what you get!
The next day was back to Beijing where the trip had a very fast ending, but every minute was lived out fully, as always.
Bon appétit .