Established in 1921 by Tan Kah Kee (a.k.a. Chen Jiageng), a rubber magnate and Xiamen native, Xiamen University is lauded as the very best in Fujian—and its campus is certainly one of China’s most photogenic. Relive your college glory days (without term-paper dread) with a tour of the gorgeous park-like grounds: the Conrad concierge can arrange for a student guide to accompany you (when available), or just take a stroll on your own, ideally after 5 p.m. when the visitor lines have thinned out. Sitting pretty in the foothills below Nanputuo Temple, the leafy, sea-facing campus is dotted with traditional Chinese-style buildings where law, fine arts, economics, journalism, and chemistry classes are taught. Follow in the footsteps of renowned scholars who’ve walked these ornate halls, including the celebrated Chinese author and educator Lu Xun. You’ll want to pause at the Furong Art Tunnel near the East Gate to snap shots of its kaleidoscopic, graffiti-splashed walls. Duck inside the air-raid bunkers cleverly converted into bike-repair shops, and taste homestyle Chinese food (or jiachangcai 家常菜) at a bustling university café.
Xiamen University is just a 10-minute walk from the Conrad. Visitors are permitted in limited numbers during the days when classes are in session, so note that queues can run quite long on weekday afternoon. The Conrad concierge can pair guests with a student for a private tour (when available); otherwise, arrive after 5 p.m. (or on weekends) for minimal waits and fewer crowds. A passport or Chinese national ID is required for admittance to the university.
XIAMEN UNIVERSITY厦门大学: 422 Siming Nanlu, Siming district; www.xmu.edu.cn/en