Who needs Santa when you have Mermaids for Christmas!

I only slept for 3 hours last night. We have a wonderful Christmas Eve. I took tons of footage and photographs. By the time we finished our little Christmas countdown and video-edit, it was already 4am! Tiring but every second is priceless!

This is the first time I celebrate Christmas with my parents and Auntie Amy’s family overseas (outside Hong Kong to be exact). It is certainly great to have them around during this festive seasons. Our usual end year travel becomes noisier with joyful chattering, laughers and lots of blissful nagging.

As there is no public holiday in China during Christmas, Leon took 2 days off to accompany us. I felt guilty as he was working in between during our visit (and he paid for all our expenses!). Qiaoqiao and him planned a special Christmas Eve dinner for all of us. Knowing I am an avid blogger, he promised it will be a “spectacular” dining venue for me. I really appreciate their kind thoughtfulness and love.

We set off to the one-and-only-must-visit tourist attraction of Xiamen, Gulangyu Island (鼓浪屿). The island is only 2km2 and is home to about 20,000 residents. Gulangyu is famed for its mishmash of architecture and alleys of local eateries and souvenir shops.

The 20-minute 3-deck ferry from Xiamen was all packed with visitors. My first impression of the island reminded of Taipei Jiufen. Rustic with lots of sweet surprises at every turn. The old colonial buildings and confusing narrow lanes, Gulangyu is like a mini Venice of the East. There are just so many things to see and explore. We saw many Taiwanese eateries and souvenir shops. Price was surprisingly reasonable and we could bargain with the shop-keepers too.

Leon’s princess Zhuzhu was the star/spice of the day. She won our hearts with all her comical poses, little pranks and mischievous tantrums. Annoyingly adorable!

Thanks to our great hosts Leon and Qiaoqiao, we had the most unusual Christmas Eve countdown at a very unique restaurant. The dining place they booked exceeded our expectation. Surrounded by full-height glass- walled aquarium with many fishes, it was like dining under the sea. The buffet hall is incredibly huge with a wide range of dishes! I covered less than 50% of the spread. (Cost: RMB395/adult)

In my opinion, it wasn’t the wide selection of food that attracted the big crowd. I believe it was the magical enchantment of the restaurant’s resident-mermaids that lured everyone here. It was certainly very distracting to dine beside an aquatic stage filled with sensual aquatic dancers from Russia. The mermaids performed many graceful routines that drew almost 80% of the diners to the tank. They were eye candies and I have deep respect for them. One thing is for sure, this is not an easy job, especially performing in such a tight space. These mermaids are professional! Who needs Santa when you have Mermaids for Christmas!

What an eye-opening and mouth-watering treat from my dear cousins! Certainly, this will be one unforgettable Christmas Eve family dinner ever! We had the best of everything – great food, great dining concept and most importantly, with the presence of great company of family and friends.

This blog is dedicated to Leon and Qiaoqiao for being such a wonderful and thoughtful hosts! Thanks for the generosity and time! 

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