Xiamen is an important Chinese port on the coast of the Taiwan Strait at the mouth of the Nine Dragon River. The city has historically been known as Amoy, and was one of the treaty ports established for trade in the 19th Century. As such, it was China’s main port for the valuable export of tea. In the 1980s, the Xiamen region was named one of four Special Economic Zones by the People’s Republic, ensuring its prosperity and growth since that time. Most visitors enjoy a short ferry ride to the small island of Gulangyu, also called Piano Island, which was once the enclave of the early European trading community. Its traffic-free streets, lined with Victorian period European style homes, offer panoramic views of the harbor and Xiamen and its various neighborhoods. Another must-see attraction in Xiamen is the sprawling Buddhist Nanputuo Temple complex. Scenically set between the sea and the steep peaks of Mt. Lao, the four main buildings are elaborately decorated pagodas containing many Buddhist statues. Notable are the Devajara or Hall of the Heavenly Kings, with its immense Laughing Buddha, and Dabei Hall, the Hall of Great Compassion, with statuary depicting the 1000-armed bodhisattva Avelokitesvara. The Mahavira Hall holds statues representing the Buddhas of the Past, Present and Future. In the Sutra-Keeping Pavilion is an extensive collection of Buddhist documents, statuary and relics. A climb up the slopes of Mt. Lao behind the temples rewards visitors with breathtaking views of the city and harbor.