Gulangyu (Kulangsu) – Island of Piano

(Kulangsu) is a district of Xiamen, between southeast coast of China and strait of Taiwan.  The island is an UNESCO world Culture Heritage Site with about 2 km square in size and 20,000 residents.  Gulangyu is one of the popular tourist destinations in China.  Visitors can reach it by a few minutes by ferry from Xiamen.  The island of Gulangyu is pedestrians-only island, no cars or bicycles, only vehicles allowed are small electric vehicles that are local government permitted.

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Gulangyu was one of the five original treaty ports opened up to trade after the First Opium War (1842).   The consulates, churches, schools, hospitals were built by western communities.  There are architectures of both Chinese style and western styles have been well-preserved on the island for visitors to see and enjoy.

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There are several popular attractions in Gulangyu.  Sunlight Rock and Shuzhuang Garden are among of more famous ones.

With an height of 92.7m, Sunlight Rock is the highest point on the island.  People can observe a view of Xiamen island on top of Sunlight Rock. 

Facing the sea with Sunlight Rock sitting behind it, Shuzhuang Garden was once the private garden of Lin Erjia – a wealthy Taiwan merchant.  In 1955, the garden was donated to the government and became public garden.

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img_1761The piano museum inside Shuzhuang Garden is the largest piano museum in Asian.  The museum has two floors, and it displays over 70 old pianos donated by Youyi Hu, an Australian Chinese pianist and piano collector born in Gulangyu Island.

Mr. Hu’s collection is very precious, all pianos are over 100 years old.  For example, Steinway & Sons made in 1864 at USA, Bosendorfer made in 1849 at Australia, beautiful Pleyel made in 1868 at France.  Many of the pianos had survived the two World Wars, and even the piano candle sticks have a history over a hundred years.  A visit to the Piano Museum is a guide to the development of the piano over one hundred years.

Actually even not going to any museums and just walking around beaches or narrow stone streets, you can feel the wind from the ocean and experience the beauty of architectures and music!

 

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