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The Island Ring Road

TheIsland Ring Road(环岛路)

There are several ways to explore a town and its surroundings. One of the most fun ways to get to know Xiamen is to hire a bike andgo for arideon the Island Ring Road. Thewell-constructedbicycle lane beside the road offers you theopportunityto explore the island on your own.

There are different places to hire tandems or other bikes here in Xiamen. If you want totakea trip on the Island Ring Road, you might start at Xiada Baicheng厦大白城(Take Bus 950 to XMUTSimingcampus from where take Bus 48 to its terminal atHulishan Fort (Hulishan Pao Tai湖里山炮) andXiada Baicheng厦大白城is just next to it). Opposite the beach, on the other side of the road, there is one place to hire tandems. It is hidden behind a white fence, but if you look through an opening you willsee various bikes. Try to get a new one, because some of the hills waiting for you are hard to get overonone of those old tandems. Besides that place, there are several more shops where you can hire bicycles on the Island Ring Road, so you can decide where to start your trip. Close to almost every bus-stop after Xiada Baicheng(厦大白城), you will find a bicycle shop.

Once you’vestarted your trip, you will recognise why hiring a bicycle is such a good idea. With a fresh wind in your face, the sun on your skin and a beautiful landscape to look at, a trip with the bicycle really means some fun (even more fun with a tandem, of course).

The bicycle lane alongside the seashore leads you to wonderful beaches, parks and several tourist attractions.Along the Island Ring Road, you canvisitthe Taiwan Folk Village, the Music Park, Hulishan Fort and others. Large lawns beside theroadoffernice spotsto relax and to enjoy theocean views. If you get hungry you can take advantage ofthe many restaurants along the route. At the Rasa Sayang International Clubre-energize yourself with a cup of coffee on their wooden sun-terrace.

Besides the major tourist attractions such as the Taiwan Folk Village or the International Conference & Exhibition Centre, there are small treasures everywhere along the Island Ring Road. Sculptures of all kindsare worth a second look,and the forests which cover the hills along the routewill tempt you away from the coastal path to explore inland.

You should definitely take advantage ofXiamen’s beautiful weatherand get to know another facet ofthe city. No matter how crowded thecentre might be, you will find a quietspotout here. So pack yourstuff, find a friend,and hire a tandem.