XIAMEN The southeast Chinese seaport is being seen as an alternative to Sanya for its lower rates and ample offsite experiences, a number of hoteliers told Mix.
Dell has its regional headquarters here, and other multinational companies are discussing plans to set up operations here. Where businesses grow, corporate groups follow and the destination is witnessing a growth in the business events sector. Thus, many hotels are expanding their meeting facilities.
This boomtown is a far cry from a city whose development was once limited because of its proximity to Taiwan and the tense cross-strait relations. The thawing of the political situation has resulted to a sharp rise of investments in the city.At the end of the long day, the port city offers groups a vibrant nightlife scene.
Rock the night away
Beaches here might not be as nice as those in Hainan, but all the waterfront areas have been put to good use. One example is the nightlife hub of Haiwan Gongyuan (Bay Park), on the west coast of Xiamen Island, facing the mainland.
Tell the taxi driver to drop you off at Xiti Lu, and you will see a few giant nightclub/disco venues. But where you really want to go is towards the waterfront pedestrianised area that feels like it could be West Coast US. What first greets you is the music. Many of the lineup of venues here feature live bands performing on elevated platforms looking out to the outdoor tables. When Mix was there on a warm Friday night, rock tunes were pumping from Havana Beach (www.havanaxiamen.com), and while seated customers enjoyed the show amid conversations, others took to the dance floor and sip mojito between songs.
Next door, For Me & You 2 (www.meandyou2.com) features a band with a “Big Mama” lead vocalist, who really knows how to work the crowd. At the other end, JJ Bar and Grill (www.jjxiamen.com) draws quite a crowd with its rodeo bull.
The cost of living in Xiamen is lower than many big cities in the country, and it is reflected in the nightlife as well. A drink at a bar in this area costs about RMB40 (US$6.3).