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Sun, sea, sand and cycle

Date: 2012-10-21

   Sharing the same latitude as Miami in the United States, Xiamen is known as one of the most beautiful seaside resort cities in China. With its clean environment and picturesque natural landscape, it is no wonder that this sub-tropical paradise is dubbed "the garden on the sea".

   A 31-km Island Ring Road, which winds through the south and east shore of Xiamen Island, is a green belt that offers tourists an ideal place to cycle along beautiful seashores. For those who believe in fengshui, the ring road, which is backed by mountains and facing the sea, is on excellent and auspicious grounds.

   Riding along the coastal road, cyclists will be charmed by the sound of gentle waves breaking onto the sandy seashores, while they get to feast their eyes on exotic flowers and palm trees along the road. That is not all. Cyclists will be delighted to see egrets flying above them. Against the backdrop of the hills, the scene is heaven on earth.

   For those without a bicycle, this must-visit destination has bike rental services conveniently located along the scenic route.

   The road starts from Yanwu Bridge near Xiamen University and ends at Wuyuanwan Bridge in the island's northeast area. Tourists can ride bikes on a 6-7 meter lane for pedestrians and bicycles.

   The best stretch for cyclists is between Baicheng Beach near Xiamen University and the Xiamen International Conference and Exhibition Center, which has a view of Kinmen Island. The distance is about 10 km, one-way, which will take about an hour to cycle without stopping.

   Along the way, cyclists will pass the historic Hulishan Cannon Fortress, built in 1891 during the Qing Dynasty (1636-1911) and parks, such as Calligraphy Square and Music Square, where you will find sculptures.

   To take a break, get off your bike to feel the sand on the beach, take a swim or check out Yefengzhai Amusement Park, near Huangcuo Beach.

   There are restaurants, coffee shops and fruit/snack kiosks, along Baicheng and Huangcuo beaches, for a bite to eat.