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AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian
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Favorite Fujian tourist sites , in order: Xiamen Quanzhou Longyan Hakka earthen houses Wuyi mountain Ningde
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1994 80 day 40,000 km drive to Tibet & backTibet in 80 Days!forty thousand kilometer drive around China
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AmoyMagic--Guide to Xiamen & Fujian
Copyright 2001-7 by Sue Brown & Dr. Bill Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books Common Talk Xiamen Dailys Weekly English SupplementXiamenguide Forum Guide to Xiamen and Fujian business tourism history culture cuisine entertainment investment Guide to Xiamen hsiamen amoy fuhken fukien
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Prof. Hong Buren
Xiamen's Living History Book!
(Thanks to Prof. Hong for the great black and white photos of Old Amoy at the bottom of this page! Please click the thumbnails for larger images!)

Laughter comes easily to Professor Hong Bu Ren, a merry little scholar with twinkling eyes—like an Oriental version of my mischievous grandfather.

Professor Hong’s ancestral home is Hui’an, but he is a third generation Xiamenese. In his youth, he spent 6 years at the Yang Yuan Elementary School (养元小学), one year at the TongWen Institute(同文书院), and 3 years at the Sino-U.K. Institute (英华书院).

While the Japanese occupied Xiamen from 1938-44, Hong studied the classics in the home of Lixi (李禧), the famous scholar. Young Hong’s imagination was fired by passionate debates between literati like Wang Xuan Xian (王选闲), Zhong Wen Xian (钟文献), and Shi Qian (施乾). But his life’s course was set by Teacher Lixi’s comment, “Data collection is crucial. No data, no history (史料非常重要).”

Prof. Hong now has two adjoining apartments crammed wall-to-wall with shelves of books, manuscripts and notes (I’m lucky my wife gives me one corner by the bed). This advisor to universities and governments chuckled as he showed me a certificate from Xiamen University, dated November 9, 2001. “I’m old and retired, but they still need me! I’m writing a 500,000-word history on Xiamen. If I don’t, who can?”

Hong is excited that scholars around the world are taking a keen interest in Xiamen’s history. “Xiamen is making many foreign friends again, just like the good old days! Of course, not all the old days were really that good…

Water Under the Bridge Professor Hong was headed for Fuzhou University to teach history when he was accused of ‘wrong thinking (错划).’ “I spent 22 years, from ‘57 to ‘79, as a common laborer (体力劳动). I forgot all my English.” His grin faded slightly, and he added, “But we Chinese are resilient. After Reform, I was ‘rehabilitated’ as if the 22 years had never happened!”

“Do you think much about the past?” I asked.
“No!” he said. “Dwelling in the past is useless. We were all learning. Besides, I’m too old now for anyone to care what I do. I make 3,000 Yuan a month, my wife and children are well off. What more could I want? I just hope now to leave something for society. That’s life!”

Yes, that’s life. And that’s China and the Chinese—a people who can bend without breaking, and will still be here 5,014 years from now!

Professor Hong has written many books, including the beautiful bilingual pictorial, "Old Photos of Xiamen." Many thanks to Prof. Hong for allowing me to share some of these photos on our website! (I also have a few hundred old photos of my own, which I'll add on a separate page when I get time).

Click Thumbnails for larger images! Hover cursor over thumbnails for brief description--or read Amoy Magic --Guide to Xiamen and Fujian and Fujian Adventure for more details. For modern photos, see Gulangyu Postcards! (NOTE: the Boston Tea Party litho is not from Hong Buren, but I tossed it in because the tea tossed overboard during this infamous affair was from Anxi and shipped out of Xiamen! Just think of it! Had it not been for Amoy's tea, American judges might still be wearing powdered white wigs like the wags in H.K.!

New Amoy Dock Company; begun in 1858 Bamboo church (1850s) Early Amoy Basketball team!  We've had basketcases for ages! Boston Tea Party--a lithograph, not from Hong Bu Ren, but I added it because this tea was from Anxi and shipped out of Xiamen!

British Consulate--it is now a great coin museum (for great coins) British Police -- since Xiamen was an International Community, it had its own foreign police force The Dutch Consulate was recently torn down and rebuilt in the original style (and is now used for shops)--which is practical, helping earn back the millions spent preserving Gulangyu's grand old international architecture

Dutch Milk Cows--the Dutch first opened up Xiamen many centuries ago, and of course they brought their cows for milk and cheese Foreign tombstones; Gulangyu had a large cemetery for foreign devils; A century ago, Amoy was the "white man's graveyard," thanks to malaria, cholera, dysentery, deng deng (deng deng being the most debilitating of the bunch) German Consulate (1870)

Gulangyu pie in the 1930s--a slippery affair!  They finally improved it--lots of "pier pressure," perhaps? Gulangyu International Police--included lots of Sikhs from India.  Those days are gone though; the Chinese probably got pretty Sikh of it! A sampan off Gulangyu in 1921

Amoy Harbor 1905 Hope Hospital, founded 1898 by American missionaries Japanese consulate (jail and torture chambers were in the basement)

Japanese soldiers searching Chinese as they board the Gulangyu ferry Rural Amoy children eagerly await the sweet seller Famous writer Lin Yutang and family on Gulangyu Islet

Gulangyu's Longtou (Dragon Head) St. was bustling even 80 years ago! Xiamen Mission School female pupils Xiamen's north gate; the city had a complete city wall until the 20s and 30s

Old Photos of Xiamen--a marvelous bilingual pictorial by Prof. Hong Buren.  Buy a copy!  I've bought over 20 myself to give as gifts Osaka Steamship Company in Old Amoy "Piggy House," where coolies were 'stored' during the trade in "pigs 'n poison" (opium and coolies) Trinity Church on Gulangyu Islet--a beautiful church, and even today packed out on Sundays

Horse racing on the grounds of what is now Xiamen UniversityChinese refugees hid from the Japanese in churches and hospitalsRuifang Ginseng store in old AmoyFather carrying sick twins to the hospital in baskets

Street scene in old Amoy, early 20th century Champion female swimmer in old Amoy Tianxian Hotel--a hot spot in Amoy in the 1930s
U.S. Consulate, built in 1844, burned down in 1904 Xiamen's Windrocking Stone; pushed off the mountain by German sailors about 90 years ago

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Fujian Photo Album!
Travelogues by Scott Ballantyne! (Xiamen ABB)

TRAVEL LINKS Hakka Earthen architecture Favorite Fujian Sites Photographs of Fuhken places like Zhangzhou, Longyan, Ningde, Sanming, Wuyi MountainFujian Foto Album AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and FujianXiamen Gulangyu Kulangyu Kolongsoo Kolongsu KulongsuGulangyu Guide to Fukien Fuhken Fujian Guides Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  ChinchewQuanzhou Zhangzhou  changchow Zhangzhou Longyan Yongding Liancheng Changting Amoy Tigers LianchengLongyan Wuyi Mountain Guide Zhuxi  tea Wuyi Mtn Ningde Taimu Mountain ZhouningNingde Putian Fujian Xianyou Mazu TemplePutian Sanming Scenic Wonderland Mingxi Gem bed rubies Sanming
Zhouning Carp VillageZhouning
Hakka Earthen architecture Taimu Mtn. Hakka Earthen architecture Roundhouses Fujian covered wooden bridgesBridges Hakka Earthen architecture Jiangxi Hakka Earthen architecture Guilin Help Build an online  community for foreigners.  Join the Xiamen Guide forumOrder Books
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Guide to Xiamen University Historic and modern, including departments -- Arts Science computers mathematics accounting management law department etc.
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Mystic Quanzhou -- the fabled port of Zayton ( or Zaytun Zaitun Zaiton ) from which Marco Polo sailed,  Sinbad the Arab visited.  Chinchew

AmoyMagic-- Travel , Resident and Business Guide to Xiamen and Fujian

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