Sunlight Rock Scenic Area in Xiamen

Why is Sunlight Rock Scenic Area So Special?

Sunlight Rock is the most famous scenic spot in Xiamen. Also known as Huang Rock, Sunlight Rock is the most famous scenic spot in Xiamen. A saying goes: “It will be a trip to Xiamen in Vain without climbing Sunlight Rock“.

Brief Introduction of Sunlight Rock Scenic Area

Situated at the top of Dragon Head Hill in the central by South of Gulangyu Island, Sunlight Rock consists of two huge rocks, one horizontal and other vertical. The two rocks leaning on with each other, with a horizontal of 92.68 meters, form the highest spot of Gulangyu Island. A huge rock is piercing into the sky. The lofty and rugged rocks in the mountain form many caverns and gullies, while pavilion, kiosks and terraces are tucked away in the lushly growing woods. 

History of Sunlight Rock Scenic Area

When Zheng Chenggong, a national hero, recovered Taiwan, his troops were stationed here, leaving behind a lot of moving stories. Climbing the hill along the steps, tourist will see Lotus Nunnery, and some stone inscriptions– “A Heavenly Abode on Gulangyu Island,””No. 1 on the Egret River,” and “Ancient Summer Resort Cave,” the Longtou Mountain Fastness of Zheng Chenggong and the ruins of the drilling terrace on water. 

What to see in Sunlight Rock Scenic Area?

Oldest Carvings

Sunlight Rock’s oldest carving was inscribed about 400 years ago on a rock near the main gate and reads, “Gulang Dongtian”: “Gulangyu-a Fairyland.” The 100-year-old characters to the left read, “Lujiang Diyi (鹭江地邑)“. The horizontal characters, “Tianfeng Haitao (天风海涛)“, carved in 1915, suggest that you can hear both roaring wind and raging sea as you climb Sunlight Rock.

Sunlight Rock Temple

Sunlight Rock Temple, one of Xiamen’s four most important temples during the Ming and Qing Dynasties, was built between 1506 and 1521 and called Lotus Temple. It was rebuilt in 1596 and renamed Sunlight Rock Temple, and is now dedicated to worship of Guanyin, goddess of mercy (a formerly male deity whom Chinese women changed to female over 1,000 years ago because they felt male deities were unsympathetic to their needs).

Sunlight Rock Scenic Area is Xiamen’s premier tourist attraction. There is a saying that if you haven’t ascended Sunlight Rock, you haven’t really been to Xiamen.

Best Seasons to Visit Xiamen

Xiamen has a subtropical climate, which is generally temperate with abundant rainwater. It has an average annual temperature of approximately 21 centigrade. There is no intense heat in summer and no extreme cold in winter in Xiamen. The city has an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm (47 inches), mainly during the months from May to August. Wind power reaches Grade 3 to 4 in general, with northeast wind representing the dominant wind direction. Owing to the air currents resulting from the difference in temperature in the Pacific, Xiamen is hit by typhoon three or four times annually on average, which mainly occurs during the months from July to September. Xiamen is suitable for traveling all year round, and the best seasons are spring and autumn.

How to get to Shuzhuang Garden

Travel with ChinaDragonTours (top recommended)

If you want to get out of the traffic and hassle of navigation, you can book a private tour package that includes visiting, dining and transfer from us. Our local guide and driver will escort you to Sunlight Rock Scenic Area in Xiamen in the fastest and most convenient way and take care of all the details. You just have to focus on the visiting.

Independent Traveler

Transport from Xiamen City to Gulangyu Island

The ferry departs every 20–30 minutes and takes about 8 minutes.

Piers Departs Yuan
Xiagu–Neicuo’ao (厦鼓码头–内厝澳码头) Winter: 7:20–17:20 Summer: 7:20–18:20 50
Xiagu–Sanqiutian (厦鼓码头–三丘田码头) Winter: 7:10–17:30 Summer: 7:10–18:30 35
Songyu–Neicuo’ao (嵩屿码头–内厝澳码头) Winter: 7:30–17:50 Summer: 7:30–18:50  30
Lundu–Sanqiutian (night cruise) (轮渡码头–三丘田码头) Winter: 17:50–23:45 Summer: 18:50–23:45 35

Useful Travel Tips

  1. .Avoid visiting during school holidays and Golden Week in October as there will be large numbers of local tourists.
  2. To protect tourism resources on the islet, motor driven vehicles are forbidden to run on the streets, except for a small number of sightseeing storage battery cars for carrying tourists. Therefore the islet is quiet without the noise of traffic, making tourist have fun to stroll on the streets. When all the neon lamps are lit in the evening, the whole islet is elegantly decorated, presenting beautiful scenes different from the daytime.
  3. Learn more detailed information at Gulangyu Island Ferry Schedule. Visitors can reach it by ferry from the ferry terminal in Xiamen. Local residents are allowed to use a shorter 5 minute ferry to/from Heping Ferry Terminal. Tourists and non-locals must now take a longer 20 minute ferry ride from Dongdu International Terminal.
  4. Climbing up to the summit will take between 20 and 40 minutes, depending on your speed and the tourist traffic, but it’s not to be missed, even on a day trip to Kulangsu (Gulangyu) from Xiamen. Best is to go just before sunset, when the crowds thin, the daytime heat dissipates, and the lights start to twinkle across the bay. The view from Sunlight Rock gives the best perspective on why so many people call Kulangsu (Gulangyu) China’s own Mediterranean Island.

Nearby Attractions

Edited by Bella Ren/任新月