[ Amoy ] In the Island Full of Pianos – Gulangyu

 

[ 迷失. 鼓浪嶼 ] Lost in the Island full of Pianos.
Piano = A keyboard instrument.  Piano = [Italian] Take it slowly.

Gulangyu is a small island but it’s full of exotic colors. It was home to the many of the foreign embassies and it’s one of the places in the world with the highest concentration of piano. You won’t see any cars or bicycles on this island; it’s simply not allowed. You might feel that you cannot stay here for long but you’ll see: this tiny place slows down your daily pace. You need to stroll on the quiet streets, take in the scenery of this artisy island and listen to the sounds of quiet music playing behind the old brick walls. An…

afternoon is not enough. You need to be here for a day or two and you must avoid the touristy streets (full of shops) because that certainly ruins the place for you.

Street full of different architecture.

Ordinary houses but somehow they look quite different.


Stores on the commercial street selling all kinds of living seafood. But apparently you could be spending a lot more here than you would on seafood restaurants by the shore of Xiamen island.


Huge sea snail. It’s about the size of 2-people’s heads.

Does this look familiar? It looks somewhat similar to the building near Fort San Domingo in Danshui (Taiwan; on http://blog.yam.com/perladipace/article/14188054) right? Well, this was, like Fort San Domingo of Danshui, built by the Dutch.

Tea time by the ocean. Wouldn’t it be perfect?
Shuzhuang Garden (蘇莊花園) was built by a wealthy Taiwanese named Lin Erjia in 1913. The layout of the garden was modelled after his father’s vill in Banqiao (板橋) in the Taipei County of Taiwan.

Buildings in the garden.

 


Views inside the garden by the sea.

Walking on the bridge by the ocean. There are a lot of people doing water sports (diving, surfing, banana-boating, water bike, etc.) by the beach.


Walking toward the Gulangyu Piano Museum on the hill. It’s still part of the garden.

The Piano Museum entrance. The museum has a beautiful collections of pianos by a Gulangyu person who now lives in Australia. There are about 95 pianos in display in this museum.


The piano collection in this museum come from Enland, France, Germany, U.S., Austria, Australia, etc. A lot of these are very precious antiques. You’d be amazed by the collection. It’s even better when you take a guided tour (part of admission ticket) through the museum. The guide will also demo on some piano and you can definitely hear the differences among the pianos. Visitors cannot take photos in the museum as these are still the private property of the owner.


The museum has 2 exhibition buildings and 1 exhibition stairway. I like the set up of the display but it makes me wonder whether the wood will crack or the paint will fade with the direct sunlight shining on it everyday.

We got lazy and took the eletric car to get back to the harbour. It was then that I realized I missed some of the most beautiful streets. But it was too late. Oh well, there’s always a next time (I hope!)
There are only 3 gas powered  cars on the island – 2 fire trucks and 1 garbage truck. There are several electric cars but those are only for taking visitors around the island. Even bicycles are not allowed so people living on this island can only walk home or to other places.


Waiting for the ferry across to the Xiamen Island (廈門島) – their city centre.


Then we went to Zhongshan Street (中山街) – the famous shopping street in the centre of the city. The old buildings are quite ornate.


Zhongshan Street was even more crowded than usual because it’s almost Chinese New Year and people would come here to buy things for the new year celebrations from these temporary stands.

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