Climbing the Sunlight Rock in Gulangyu Island, Xiamen (China) | Travel and Way of life Diaries


The highest peak of Gulangyu Island is the Sunlight Rock.

The Sunlight Rock (aka Ri Guang Yan 日光岩) is a Buddhist Temple constructed on Gulangyu Island (Xiamen) throughout the Ming dynasty circa the early 1500s. The temple worships Guanyin, the goddess of mercy.

The boulder lookout point has two massive rocks and when I climbed on prime of it I was rewarded with sweeping panoramic views of Xiamen downtown (Siming district) and the coastline stretch, the red rooftops of Gulangyu Island and even caught a glimpse of the Kinmen Islands.

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I guess you can say that all roads go to the Sunlight Rock on Gulangyu Island, these are the stairs going to the Buddhist temple entrance.

Moi at the gate.

The Sunlight Rock is the highest peak on Gulangyu Island and is the significant web site of interest that vacationers and nearby guests go to. It is also a Buddhist temple with a organic (man-produced) park in it. 1 of my ambitions on this trip was to climb the rock and see Xiamen’s panorama and the outlying Kinmen islands governed by Taiwan.

I had written about my journey from Xiamen (Siming District) to Gulangyu Island right here: In Just Significantly less than an Hour on Gulangyu Island

So as I climbed the Sunlight Rock, I saw lots of red epigraphic inscriptions written in Chinese characters on the enormous rocks. The oldest carving is mentioned to be about 400 years old on a rock close to the principal gate of the Buddhist temple. Scholars and popular individuals have left their personal inscriptions on the rocks as properly which have produced a specific cultural influence for this location. Maybe one particular of the factors why this location is pretty well-known amongst the nearby Chinese vacationers.

I basically discovered the climb to the prime therapeutic, equivalent to experiencing getting in a somewhat zen state, though I need to admit pretty differently. The touristic crowds had been not to be missed, of course, which I realised had been everywhere in Xiamen anyway. The climb was a healthier workout contributing to the adrenalin and mindfulness. Upon reaching the prime you get to see the views that will place you on a reflective mood.

Additional Gulangyu reading right here: Gulangyu Island (Wikitravel)

The vacationers on the island had been I feel roughly 95% Chinese coming from various regions in the nation. China does not truly rely on the outdoors globe for tourism, it has a lot more than a billion residents (2017 figures: 1.three billion)!

There is also a well-known nearby saying right here for guests: If you haven’t climbed the Sunlight Rock, you haven’t been to Xiamen.

Nicely, I am glad to know that I truly have been officially to Xiamen!

The rest of the photos beneath:

The Sunlight Rock temple.

Attractive architectural particulars of the pagoda roofs.

Yours actually right here…

There had been quite a few temples in the courtyard.

Painting upkeep going on with some of the paneled doors.

The lots of inscriptions on the enormous boulders as you climb to the prime.

Views of Gulangyu Island.

Moi with my souvenir photo of the inscriptions.

There had been lots of nooks and crannies to take your image from.

I produced it to the prime of the rock.

The views to Xiamen coast and Siming.

View down to the red-orange roofs of the Gulangyu mansions and homes and the Siming District of Xiamen.

Travel Period: December 2016
Location: Gulangyu, Xiamen (Fujian), China

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All photos had been taken by a point and shoot pocket camera or a smartphone.


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