A 6-minute ferry ride from Xiamen in southeast China’s Fujian Province, Gulangyu is a small, car-free island with 20,000 residents. Celebrated for natural beauty as well as its varied architecture and multicultural history, it was for a time the only international settlement on Chinese soil outside of Shanghai. More than 2,000 buildings from the colonial era of the island’s history remain intact. Western music took strong root here after being introduced in the international settlement days, and Gulangyu is sometimes nicknamed “Piano Island” for having the highest piano ownership per capita in the nation. China’s only museum dedicated to pianos has operated here since 2001.
Date of Inscription: 2017