(Xiamen, Fujian, China)
For a city that is not considered to be one of the world's top tourist destinations, Xiamen has a surprising collection of outstanding museums to titillate the knowledge-seeking side of visitors. Architectural wonders are explored at the modern Bridge Museum, while more traditional crafts and relics are showcased at Xiamen Museum.
One of the most unique museums in the region however is the Piano Museum, which traces Gulangyu's intriguing connections with the musical instrument. An altogether different perspective of Chinese achievement can be found at the Overseas Chinese Museum, another of Xiamen's one-of-a-kind gems. The main museums within Xiamen are shown below.
Address: Tianwei Road, Xiamen, 361001, China, CN
Located in Shuzhuang Garden, music lovers in Xiamen will enjoy the unique Piano Museum, which is home to almost 100 pianos, as well as many interesting piano accessories. Gulangyu has more pianos per capita than any other area in the world, hence it is commonly referred to as 'Piano Isle'. Early Protestant missionaries stationed on the island placed great importance on the piano, which in turn encouraged people to take up the instrument and invest in purchasing one. The island has home-grown many pianists, some of international acclaim, and there are abundant opportunities to enjoy musical performances.
Open hours: daily - 08:00 to 18:00
Address: Dongdu Road, Xiamen, 361004 China
Anyone with an interest in bridges or architecture will not want to miss this stimulating museum, which shows off Xiamen's feats of engineering. Among the region's bridges that are covered at the museum are Anping Bridge, once the world's longest, and Luoyang Bridge, with its gigantic slabs of granite joined together with oyster secretions. Less well-known wooden river crossings are also given a mention at the Bridge Museum, while around a third of the museum is dedicated to the impressive Haicang (Suspension) Bridge, which can be seen from outside.
Open hours: daily
Museum of Anthropology
Address: Siming Nan Road, Xiamen, 361004, China, CN
Tel: +86 0592 218 6211
Part of Xiamen University, this educational institute's fascinating collection of anthropological artefacts has been available for public viewing since 1953. Covering the evolution of mankind and culture, the exhibitions at the acclaimed Museum of Anthropology span from pre-history to the present day. A must-visit on any historian's itinerary, this museum provides an in-depth insight into Xiamen's cultural history, with something to appeal to all ages.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 11:00 and 15:00 to 17:00
Overseas Chinese Museum
Address: Siming Nan Road, Xiamen, 361005, China, CN
Tel: +86 0592 208 5345
Centrally located close to the popular Zhongshan Road, the idea for this museum was put into action by Xiamen's patron of education, Tan Kah Kee. Tracing the achievements and works of Chinese citizens overseas, the Overseas Chinese Museum serves to celebrate their accomplishments through the showcasing of more than 7,000 artefacts. Worthy of an afternoon on your itinerary, the museum gives a unique perspective on the influence of locals who have immigrated to distant lands, while there are also some ancient historical art works exhibited.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 16:30
Address: Gubagua Road, Xiamen, 361001, China, CN
Tel: +86 0592 206 3005
The city's largest museum, Xiamen Museum offers visitors thousands of artefacts, which are culturally or historically important, from centuries-old war weapons to porcelain and jade ornaments. The large building itself dates from the early 20th century and takes its name, Eight Trigrams Tower, from its red circular roof. Easily accessible, the Gulangyu Islet museum can be accessed by a short ferry ride from Xiamen Island.
Open hours: daily - 08:30 to 17:00