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Xiamen Facts

Written by Kelly PangUpdated Jan. 12, 2021
Xiamen yejing

Name: Xiamen (厦门; Xiàmén /xee'ah-men/)
Meaning: 'gate to the mansion'
Previous names: Amoy, Tongan, Siming


  • Old architecture and relaxing atmosphere at Gulangyu Island
  • Modernized, clean environment
  • One of China's five Special Economic Zones
  • Ranked as China's "second-most suitable city for living" in 2006
  • A major city across from Taiwan with substantial Taiwanese investment

The China International Fair for Investment and Trade (CIFIT) is one of the most important in China.

Main Attractions


Chuxi earthen building cluster

The city is on the coast of Fujian Province and has long been an important port city open to foreign trade. It was controlled and developed by the British Empire from the mid 19th century until 1912.

  • 960-1279 During the Song Empire period, the city was a port open to foreign trade.
  • 1387 A Ming general built a fort to guard against pirates.
  • 1650-1660 Koxinga fought against the invading Manchus from the area.
  • 1841 British troops captured the city and created one of their oldest settlements in China.
  • 1938-1945 The Japanese army occupied the city.
  • 1980 Xiamen was declared to be one of the four original Special Economic Zones.


  • Significance of the city: It is now a major port city and industrial pioneer heavily invested in and influenced by foreigners and especially Taiwanese and people of Chinese descent outside the Chinese mainland. It's port and airport are among China's top twelve busiest such facilities.
  • Nearby cities: Quanzhou (66 km/41 mi), Fuzhou (209 km/130 mi), Meizhou (370 km/230 mi)
  • Municipality terrain: The main part of the city is on the island of Xiamen. The terrain is composed of islands and some hilly Chinese mainland area between a river and the sea.
  • Main rivers: Jiulong River

Location Information

  • Municipality location: East China.
  • Municipality population: 3,530,000
  • Municipality area: 1,573 sq km (607.3 sq mi)
  • Municipality population density: 2,245/sq km (5,814/sq mi)
  • Urban area: 136 sq km (52 sq mi)
  • Urban population: 1,861,289
  • Urban population density: 13,685/sq km (35,794/sq mi)
  • City center: Nanhu Park on Xiamen Island (24.48N, 118.10E)


Gulangyu island
  • Annual average low temperature in January: 10 °C (50 °F)
  • Annual average high temperature in July: 32 °C (89.6 °F)
  • Humid subtropical climate; annual precipitation: 1,350 mm (53 in)

Xiamen's climate is monsoonal humid subtropical. It has hot and humid summers and short cool winters. Most people would consider the weather and air quality pleasant.


  • Average annual income: 64,413 RMB (9,438 USD)
  • Development: developed. The city is a pioneer for electronics and engineering machinery. It's port and airport are among China's top twelve busiest such facilities.
  • Industry: 49% tertiary industry (financial services), 50% secondary (electronics, machinery), 1% primary (agriculture)
  • CBD: 24.49N, 118.11E
  • Shopping Streets: Zhongshanlu Pedestrian Street, Ladies Street (fashion), Longtou Road, Fushan Business Circle


  • Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport is conveniently just 10 km from city center. It is one of China's top 12 busiest airports for passengers and cargo.
  • 2 regular train lines (relatively slow)
  • 1 bullet train line
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