January 27, 2012

Short Trip to Shishi City, Xiamen

Got to travel to Shishi, Xiamen! Shishi(石狮) is "Stone Lion" in English or Chio Sai in Hokkien Chinese. It is a young city located at the southeast coast of Fujian province between Xiamen Special Economic Zone and Quanzhou. 
Ancestral Home

Known as a clothing or garment city in China, the city has thousands of garments factories. Since the 1980s Shishi developed its textile industry as well as its clothing industry. It has become one of the top textile and clothing producers in China. 

Modern Shishi
Shishi City is going through a dramatic transformation. All of their main roads are being expanded, lots of plants are being planted, new signs and traffic lights. Their roads have wide bicycle and pedestrian lanes which I really like. If you drive around Shishi you'll see lots of construction and lots of open spaces which I'm sure lots of investors would be interested in after seeing their roads.  They are also building lots of recreational areas like a huge park in the middle of the city. You can really see the dedication of the Chinese government to make their cities greener. Sorry I have few pictures, but just imagine, the roads here are even better and wider compared to roads in Makati, Alabang or even Fort Bonifacio. Considering that this is a provincial city, I'm quite amazed.
huge intersection
Huge Center Island with Trees
Stoplights with Timers

Shishi Pedestrian Street Mall is a huge residential complex with commercial spaces below. There are lots of shops and restaurants. The place is even used as a recreational ground with people dancing aerobics and even ballroom dancing. More on Shishi Pedestrian Street Mall.
Shishi Street Mall

While in the street mall, we ate at a local Chinese restaurant called Shi Wei Ji.
Shi Wei Ji Chinese Restaurant
After eating dinner we ordered milk tea at Sweet Milk Tea.
Sweet Milk Tea

Ancestral Homes
Shishi City is fast developing but surrounding the city is small rural villages. One of these villages is Ang-Kut, which is my ancestral home town. Hometowns in Shishi are usually based on one's surname. For example our Chinese surname is 洪, Ang in Hokkien or Hong in Mandarin. And our village is Ang-kut. Most if not all of the people who lives in Ang-kut has the same surname. 

This house is actually were my great grandfather and grandfather lived. Most of it is already retrofitted with marble pillars and cement.
Ancestral Home
Altars remembering our great grandfather.
Marble is abundant in Shishi with mountains and mountains of it surrounding the city. So marble is the cheapest material to build houses. Most of the houses in our village is made from either brick or marble. Knowing that marble doesn't really age much, old houses from when I was a kid still looks the same now. Even the streets are made with marble.
Marble houses
Marble Streets
Being a rural town, my relatives also has small garden where they plant their vegetables.

Passing by Jinjiang City
When we were going back to Xiamen Airport we passed by Jinjiang City and saw some interesting things. 
Identical Rizal Monument in Jinjiang
There is an identical monument of the Philippines' national hero in the City of Jinjiang. Why in Jinjiang? Dr. Rizal's great grandfather was actually from Siongque Village, Jinjiang City, Fujian Province, China. It was built to commemorate Dr. Rizal’s Chinese ancestral roots. The monument is identical and surprisingly higher that the Rizal Monument in Manila.
China's Rizal Monument

SM City in Jinjiang
SM City Jinjiang or 泉州晋江SM国际广场 in Chinese is an expansion of SM prime holdings which has 50 or more shopping malls in the Philippines. Expansion in China is not a surprise since SM owner Henry Sy is a Filipino-Chinese who was actually born in Ankhue, Jinjiang County (now city). I still remember this particular SM when I was a kid. Back then, it was the only building in the area, there was very few cars and the mall looked empty. But I guess now the place is developing and SM is now a success there. Henry Sy really had eyes for the future.
SM City China
SM City Jinjiang

Passing by Xiamen 
Although we usually land at Xiamen Airport when going to Shishi City, I have never walked around Xiamen City. One of my to-do list next time I visit Shishi City. My cousin just drove us from Shishi straight to the airport so I just took some snap shots of the city, specifically their huge university buildings. First thought that came to my mind when I saw these buildings was that our universities in Manila has nothing like these.
Xiamen University
Xiamen University

Xiamen International Airport
Xiamen International Airport is pretty old but I can say it is very well maintained and is being constantly updated with new features. Unlike the worst airport in the world, our very own Ninoy Aquino International Airport.
Xiamen International Airport
There are actually constructions in front of the airport. I'm assuming its an expansion.
Xiamen International Airport Expansion
Some other pictures of Xiamen International Airport.
Flight Schedule Screen
Boarding Pass
Waiting Area and Gate Terminals

How to go to Shishi City:
Self-driving: From Xiamen Airport go take Quanxia Expressway (Quanzhou-Xiamen Expressway), turn to 308 Provincial Road at Jinjiang Exit (泉厦高速路晋江出口处) to Shishi.

We have never actually commuted around Shishi. Our relatives usually fetch us and tour us around with their own personal cars. I did some research and here are some ways to get to Shishi from Xiamen. 
  1. Take a bullet train: Start from Xiamen Railway Station to Jinjiang Stop, take a taxi there.
  2. Take a long-distance bus: Start from Wucun Long-distance Bus Station to Shishi Long-distance Bus Station, take a taxi there.
  3. Use a travel agent. Renting a van packaged with driver is the next best alternative.


melvin said...

sana makita ko ang terracota warriors balang araw.how close can you to the statues?

Unknown said...

Are there terracotta warriors in Xiamen? I don't know e..

Anonymous said...

Shishi is a rather boring city..

Anonymous said...

I was in Shi Shi for a year plus and I must say that Shi Shi is a rather boring place. Basically those people who are wealthy, will only wake up around near noon and their favorite past time is drinking tea during the day and going to nightclubs at night. The men in Shi Shi city are uncouth and rather male chauvinists. Talking loudly and shouting at their women in public are common sights.