Articles tagged "amoy" | Gwulo: Old Hong Kong

Articles tagged "amoy"

A brief history of international Amoy


First let's clear up the various different English versions of Amoy's name.

Traditionally, though Chinese pronunciation varied according to your dialect, everyone wrote things the same way. So, the place we're talking about is 廈門. If you lived there you spoke the local dialect of Hokkien, and pronounced it something like "Amoy". If you're from Beijing you say "Xiamen", today's official name. And if you're Cantonese it sounds like "Ha-moon". Just to add to the fun, in simplified Chinese it is now written 厦门.

I'll use Amoy.

Amoy's International Settlement

We're just back from a long weekend in Xiamen, or Amoy as it used to be called. It was opened to British trade in 1842 by the Treaty of Nanking, the same treaty that ceded Hong Kong to the British. And though Amoy's international settlement never matched Shanghai or Hong Kong for size, it beats them soundly in one respect - most of the old settlement is still standing today.

Here's a summary of our weekend. I'll start with a brief introduction to where it is and its history, then cover what we saw in the old town and the international settlement (as you'll see, they were in nearby but separate locations). There's alsoa bonus entry on a tunnel network I stumbled upon, and some notes on getting there and around.

On with the history...

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