Over 200 swim across LuJiang Bay in celebration of Gulangyu island listed as UNESCO world heritage

Updated 2017-07-23 10:38:52 Xinhua

More than 200 swimmers crossed the one-kilometer LuJiang Bay in Xiamen on Saturday to celebrate Gulangyu island entering UNESCO world heritage list.

They started from the beach of Gulangyu island and finished at the dock of Xiamen.

Chen Tianci, a Gulangyu island resident, told Xinhua that ocean swimming was important memories for many Gulangyu residents, as many islanders chose to swim across the sea in the past instead of taking ferries for saving money.

"My family have resided on the island for four generations. Many islanders are very familiar with cross-bay swimming," the 50-year-old Chen said. "We know the tide and it is very easy to swim to the opposite bank."

Gulangyu, famous for its historic settlements, representing a variety of local and international architectural styles, and natural sceneries, was announced as UNESCO World Heritage on July 8 at the 41th session of the World Heritage Committee.

Cross-Lujiang swimming was initiated in 1931 and only 54 swimmers attended the first edition. Xiamen last held the event in 1995.

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