Jimei (集美区, Jíměi) is a town in Fujian. It is administratively a part of Xiamen and shares many features of Xiamen, including a common public transportation system. However, Jimei is geographically distinct, not located on Xiamen Island but on the mainland to the North. The center of Xiamen is on the island; Jimei is the most populous and developed of several suburbs on the mainland. There is a map in the Xiamen article.
Getting to Jimei from international and distant Chinese destinations usually involves travelling first to Xiamen, and from there going to Jimei.
Xiamen Gaoqi International Airport (XMN) is located in the North part of Xiamen Island, only a 10-minute car ride from Jimei. They have connections to all over China, as well as connections to important Asian destinations. KLM also provides a thrice weekly flight to Amsterdam. See Xiamen#By_plane for more.
City buses #50 or #105 go from the airport to Jimei.
Xiamen North Railway Station, also called Gaoqi Station is a large railway station located in Jimei. It provides bullet train services to all the main cities along the Fujian coast and beyond that north to Hangzhou and Shanghai or south to Shantou and Shenzhen.
From Xiamen North Station there are local buses running into Jimei City Center.
By long-distance bus
A way to get directly Jimei from faraway places is to use the Jimei Long Distance Bus Station which is conveniently located in central Jimei. It has bus services to most places in Fujian, as well to some places in other provinces.
Most long distance buses between Xiamen and anywhere to the North go via Jimei and stop at this station. Buses from the South, however, generally go via Haicang and have a stop there instead.
By local public transit
Jimei shares a local public transit system with Xiamen and the other suburbs.
A fast way to get between Jimei and Xiamen island is to use the Bus Rapid Transit or BRT, line K1. The BRT is a bus system that runs on an elevated road only for BRT buses, and functions almost like a subway. The BRT connects Xiamen Island with some places in Jimei, including Jimei Sports Center, North Jimei, and Xiamen North Station. For more, see general info and map.
Jimei is also well connected to many different points on Xiamen Island by a large number of regular buses. Route 959 is especially useful, going from Central Jimei to important places on Xiamen Island like SM Plaza, Xiamen Railway Station and Xiamen University.
Taxis are another alternative. Going from right downtown on Xiamen Island to the far side of Jimei could run well over ¥100, but most trips would be less. In particular, Xiamen airport is on the North side of the island, close to Jimei, and a run from there to central Jimei might be only around ¥40.
Jimei is a fairly small place, and most interesting sights are usually in walking distance from each other. Nevertheless, there are many ways to get around for longer distances.
A cheap and efficient way to get around is to use the local bus system. Jimei has the same bus system as Xiamen, so there are mostly modern buses that run often. However, there is almost no English signage, so it can be hard to get around if you can't read Chinese.
It can be harder to find a taxi in Jimei then on Xiamen Island, but they still exist. Few taxi drivers speak English, so if you don't speak mandarin it is a good idea to let your hotel/hostel staff write down your destination in Chinese characters.
Motorcycle taxis are common, and can be found waiting for customers at large bus stops and other important meeting places. They provide an exotic and cheap way of travelling through Jimei. Beware though that it is not the safest way to get around, as the drivers like to speed up whenever possible.
Most Jimei attractions can be found in the Jimei City Center, and there is no real reason to go to the suburbs unless you just want to go there to see how everyday life can be in those places.
- Jiageng Park (嘉庚公园) (down by the water, facing Xiamen Island). Also called Kah Kee Park. A beautiful park in memory of Tan Kah Kee (Chen Jiageng), a rubber baron who made an enormous fortune in Malaya and founded both Xiamen University and Jimei University, originally a trades school. The park contains the Jimei Liberation Monument, Mr. Tan's former residence, and his mausoleum.
- Jimei University, also known as Jimei Study Village is the academic center of Jimei, located close to the city center. Founded by Tan Kah Kee in 1913, it contains several schools ranging from primary to higher education
- Xiamen University of Technology (XMUT) has its new main campus in Jimei, out near Xiamen North train station. There is also an older, smaller campus on Xiamen Island.
- Guilai Tang was built in 1962 as a meeting place for overseas Chinese to get together. The main body is built in traditional palace style. Located close to Jiageng Park.
- Lam Soon Crocodile Farm (南顺鳄鱼园), Dragon boat pool no.107 east. Several pools with various types of crocodile, a crocodile products hall, multiple western-style ornamental pavilions, a large stone model and so on.
- Water Garden Expo Park (Zhongzhou Island) (Bus #3 from Xiamen University or #2, 51, 66 or 534 from bus station near Gulanyuy ferry). The park has a land area of about three square km (750 acres), and consists of five exhibition park islands, four ecological landscape islands and two peninsulas, including the main pavilion, Chinese Education Park, Marine Culture Island, Spa Island and other functional areas and related facilities. adults ¥60, students 48, seniors & children under 1.2 m free.
Shigu Road is a major commercial street in Jimei, where one can find many different stores. There are usually many small market stands where one can find cheap clothing items, electronics, and food.
The shopping center Jimei Dakang Shijie can be found very close to the Jimei Sports Center BRT Station.
A relatively good choice of eating places can be found in Central Jimei, most of them around Shigu Road (especially the southern section of the road.) There are some quite good restaurants, including Haopengyou (Good Friends), which provides good and affordable Chinese food.
Thanks to its university, Jimei has also some foreign eating places around the southern part of Shigu Road, which include an Italian and a Thai restaurant.
Cheap joints which serve standard Chinese fried noodles and baozi (steamed buns) can be found all around Jimei.
Take-Away Coffee is a nice café located at 103 Shigu Road. Despite the name, it is also possible to sit down and drink at the café.
Jimei doesn't have an extremely large range of places to stay, but there a few choices. Another alternative is to stay on Xiamen Island where there are more choices, but that means a 20-60 minute bus ride to the Jimei city center.
- Jinjiang Inn, 175 Xunjiang Road. No. Jimei. Located in Jimei Study Village as a part of the well-known Jinjiang Inn chain. Provides good and affordable hotel rooms in a location close to the city center. Chinese Breakfast included. Prices around ¥200-250.
- MT Inn is a boutique style hotel along the Yinjiang road with good communications, and a short walking distance from Shigu Road. Rooms starting from ¥198.
- Xiamen Jingmin North Bay Hotel is located close to the Jimei city center, and offers high-quality rooms with flat-screen TVs. The hotel has spa and a fitness center, as well as a tennis court and a karaoke bar, among other features. Free pickup from Xiamen Airport. Rooms starting from ¥758.