i live under a rock

Memories of Xiamen, China

I finally got around to editing my photographs from China. If you've been following my blog, then you'll know that Elle and I went to Asia for her sisters wedding. We got to explore Taiwan, eat all the amazing food there and drink the bubble tea and experience the hot springs. We got to explore the hustle & bustle of Hong Kong city, from the packed night markets and bargaining with local vendors, to eating some of the best won ton noodles in the world.

It was truly an experience not to be forgotten. Xiamen was no different, it was an amazing place, filled with history, culture and food (very different, but great food). Avon and Sean were such great hosts, they took us to some of the more touristy places. We got to visit Xiamen university, which is super pretty and has a lot of old Chinese buildings. We were taken to a sort of ship graveyard, these old ships were turned into seafood restaurants, serving up some of the most interesting seafood meals I've eaten. We ate sea bamboo, which is actually a sea worm although it wasn't that bad but some of my friends would disagree haha. Snot fish is another delicacy, it's texture is so soft that it literally falls off the bone, it's an acquired taste that's for sure.

Despite all the pollution and smoke in Xiamen, it still has a lot to offer. We went to Swan lake, and I saw some very pretty black swans for the first time. We were also taken to a maze, made of bamboo. So simple, but oh so fun. The bowling alleys close at 2am in Xiamen, so our host Sean took us for a game to show us his provincial skills. What a mistake it was for me to challenge this masterful player, lesson learnt. I got my ass kicked, badly. As in most Asian countries, the karaoke is very big there, and so we headed to a very fancy karaoke, come private dining place. Wow. Was I impressed, we had our own room with our very own hostess who attended to our every need. The food was outstanding, my favourite was the sushi platter which was served on a bed of ice and decorated oh so awesomely. The whiskey came out, and we all started to get singing happy. What a night to remember.

Xiamen has a great bike culture and some very artsy areas, and when I say artsy I mean hipster, who knew there would be hipsters in China too. But I loved it, I can't for the life of me remember what the area was called, but it was filled with artisian coffee shops, shops with all sorts of stationary, a lot of it inspired from One Piece (For the non nerds who don't know what One Piece is, it's a Japanese anime spanning hundreds and hundreds of episodes, I prefer Naruto but that's an essay for another time). The streets were filled with street vendors, selling everything from crab on sticks, durian (the stinkiest fruit ever), custard cakes, one of my favourite things (it's Taiwanese, just like my beautiful wife Elle, yes that's right, I'm sappy so what).

One thing about China, is that every place is different so it was great experiencing different parts of it. My first trip to China was Foshan City, which is incredibly different. But let's save that for another time.

I could go on forever about my time in Xiamen, but I think these photographs should do.

Dillon Kin

Dillon Kin is the founder of I Live Under a Rock. He writes about travel, life in Cape Town. Dillon is a foodie, coffee snob and photographer.

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