While I was in Xiamen, I happened to find out there was a place to eat vegetarian food on Gulangyu Island (also known as the "Piano Island" because it has more pianos per capita than any other place in China).
The tour guides did not know about it, but I was able to find out their phone number from the Internet. It is not an ordinary restaurant, but rather a Seventh-Day Adventist retreat. The retreat is focused more on the health aspects of what one does during their life than the religion, though all the staffs believed in that particular form of Christianity. You can stay there as long as you want. I had one night where I did not book a hotel beforehand in Xiamen, so I stayed overnight then.
Like many places in Gulangyu, it was hard to find. There are street names, but you soon find out that the next street over has the same name as the one you happen to be walking on. If you hit a cross street, it also has the same name. Guidance by locals was not particularly helpful either. It is much easier if you take a ferry that goes to the back of the island rather than the front – but such ferries only leave once an hour rather than something like every 10 minutes or so.
The island has no traffic. Automobiles, lorries, bicycles, etc. are all banned. Heavy objects are transported in hand-drawn carts. The people that move the carts are quite strong – in many places the street is not a street, but a staircase. The view from my room:
The main draw for me was their food as well as the history behind it. For Christian believers, they point out that back in the time of Adam and Eve, people lived to be a thousand years old. They did not eat meat or any of the other junk that is commonly eaten these days. Once people began eating meat and other animal products, natural lifetimes decreased to less than 1/10 of what they were ages ago.
I actually knew a bit before for another reason – John Harvey Kellogg, inventor of breakfast cereal, was a Seventh Day Adventist. He was very strict, never even copulated with his wife. Because he was against commercialisation, one of the people that stayed at his sanitorium, a man by the name of Post, actually introduced breakfast cereals into homes across the USA. The Kellogg’s brand known today was actually begun by John Harvey’s brother. Anyhow, some of the people that site the benefits of colon cleansing rely on various controversial statements made by John Kellogg back in day.
I eat vegetarian because I feel much better when I do so. I did not leave disappointed. Check it out!
Lunch (yes, excellent quality red rice!):
The people said it is the best vegetarian food you can get in China, and I’d have to agree! I need to find one of their cookbooks. Amongst other things, they do not use any refined oils. They put peanuts in many recipes, which is enough oil to make the food not stick to their pots and pans.
If I had stayed longer, they might have gone more into other health aspects of life. For example, they claim you should not lie down after eating, since that is the most likely way to get a heart attack. I am not sure if there is any scientific backing of that point. Also, sleep before midnight is twice as good as sleep after. That I don’t find surprising at all… but it could be because you are going to bed earlier, whereas the time you get up probably doesn’t change as much.