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Thursday, September 24, 2015


I have heard of this place since I was young from my late grandma and father and has seen many photographs of it.  It seems to be a must visit place whenever they  visit their ancestral village at Houwei, Xinglin District, Xiamen.  Jimei district is next to Xinglin district.  So here I came too when I visit my ancestral village in September 2015.
Jimei is located in the north of Xiamen Special Economic Zone, 17 kilometers from the city center. It is opposite to Xiamen Island and is at the foot of Tianma Mountain facing the sea on three sides. 
This is the place where the annual Dragon Boat Festival is held.
Jimei is the hometown of Tan Kah Kee [Chen Jiageng 1874-1961], a renowned educator and leader of overseas Chinese.
It is one of the four most popular tourist sites of Xiamen City, especially for its academic atmosphere as well as pretty natural and social sights.
The most remarkable feature is the Jimei Study Village founded by Tan Kah Kee in 1913, the only one in China. It occupies an area of over 25 acres on a variety of various levels and schools ranging from primary to higher education and from traditional to vocational schools.
Jimei University was formed by the amalgamation of five former colleges. It is now Xiamen City's major center of education and culture and has been given the general designation of Jimei Study Village. 
The buildings of Jimei Study Village are a combination of eastern and western styles, facing the beautiful seashore and they are attractive places for visitors. Recently, Jimei Study Village has been selected as a protected cultural relic of the nation together with another spot in Jimei, Ao Yuan. Ao Yuan, lying on the southeastern seashore of Jimei, was built in four years from 1950. 
The Jimei Liberation Monument of 18 meters height and the tomb of Tan are sited in Ao Yuan. There is a corridor extending from the entrance to the garden. The side walls of the corridor are inscribed with groups of carvings. In addition, various kinds of stone inscriptions can be found all over the garden.  I saw one photograph of Malaysia's first prime minister Tuanku Abdul Rahman with Mr Tan Kah Kee [1955].  Compared to the gorgeous structures in Jimei, a two-storey building appears simple and plain, this is the former residence of Tan Kah Kee. 
Tan Kah Kee had made many contributions to the educational undertakings.  He had set up more than 100 schools, his lifestyle was always frugal and simple. To the west of Mr Tan's residence is a display charting his life story. Guilai Tang is to the south of the former residence of Tan Kah Kee. It was built with the wish of Tan Kah Kee, that is to provide a place for the overseas Chinese to get together when they returned to their homeland.
Guilai Tang was finished one year after Tan Kah Kee’s passing. It occupies an area of more than 4,000 square meters and the main body is in a traditional palace style. In front of Guilai Tang, there is Guilai Yuan constructed in 1983, and a bronze statue of Tan Kah Kee stands in the garden.
In addition to the spots mentioned above, there are Jiageng Park, Dragon Boat Pond, Yanping Gulei, Crocodile Garden, etc worth paying a visit.

Admission Fee - RMB30

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