Gulangyu, separated from Xiamen by the 500-metre-wide River, with an area of 1.77 square kilometers, enjoys the laudatory title, “Garden on the Sea.” The original name of the islet was Yuan Zhou Zi. In the Ming Dynasty it was renamed Gulang, meaning ”drum waves”, because the holes in the southwestern reefs hit by the waves make sounds like the drum beating.
No tourist can afford to miss one attraction located on the island —— the nation’s largest piano museum. Divided into two exhibition halls, the museum guides visitors through a vivid history of the instrument with displays and illustrations. All different types of pianos such as miniature pianos, automatic pianos, accordion pianos and round-shaped pianos, are on display.
The architecture in the islet varies in style, Chinese and foreign. Thus the islet has a laudatory title “the World Architecture Museum” which is covered in green all the year round. It is described as charming, elegant, secluded and serene. A great variety of villas stand shrouded by lush wood resembling numerous jadeites embellished upon a piece of verdant silk brocade. Hundreds of flowers grow on the Riguang Rock （Sunlight Rock） vie with one another for beauty. With the caressing sea breeze, it’s a quite cool place in hot summer. At the foot of the rock, there’s the Memorial Hall to honor the national Hero Zheng Chenggong.
Gulangyu is listed as one of the nation’s major scenic spots. The main sites of interest here include the Sunlit Rock, Shuzhuang Park, Gangzihou Bathing Beach and Memorial Hall to Zheng Chenggong, which are visited annually by millions of people from all parts of the country and the world.