Like any great seaside town, Xiamen is ideal for exploring on two wheels, not least for the 20-plus miles of coastal bike paths that meander beside the Huandao Island Ring Road. Rent yourself a single or tandem bike, or buzz off on a two-seater electric model (note: helmets are not provided), and consider starting the ride with a quick, revivifying dip in the East China Sea at Baicheng Beach 白城沙滩. From here, once you’ve dried off, you’ll follow the cycling trail across a bridge purpose-built for bikes. Stop to soak in the views from the adjacent wooden pedestrian boardwalk, dramatically perched above the lapping sea below. Pedal on till you reach the sleepy seaside town of Xitouxia 溪头下村. Look for the multi-tiered roof of the charming café Bujian Miss Coffeé 不见, and cool off with a drink on the outdoor terrace. Once refueled, navigate the busy crosswalk to reach Zencuoan 曾厝垵村. This former fishing village is today better known for reeling in tourists to its labyrinth of food stalls and gift shops; however, there’s still fresh and worthy catch to be had at Jiali Seafood. A giant bust of Chairman Mao gazes down on diners as they select their fish from the gurgling tanks, loaded with live crab, geoduck, abalone, shrimp, and schools of colorful fish. Our go-to choice: steamed squid dipped in soy sauce, and/or a platter of razor clams with black bean sauce. If you’re not overwhelmed by choices already, there’s also a menu of mincai (local Xiamen specialties) and Cantonese dim sum.
Hop in a taxi to Baicheng beach just outside Xiamen University’s seaside entrance. Cross the expressway using the pedestrian overpass to reach the beach and look for the bike rental stands. If crowd-adverse, weekdays are best for a ride.
BUJIAN MISS COFFEE 不见咖啡厅: 23 Huandao Lu, Xitouxia, Siming district; +86-592-596-3777; open 10 a.m.–12 a.m.
JIALI SEAFOOD RESTAURANT 佳丽海鲜大酒楼（环岛路点 : Across from Zencuoan on Huandao Lu, Siming district; +86-592-219-5777; open 10:30 a.m.–2 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.–9 p.m.