Xiamen is situated on the southeast coast of Fujian Province and at the estuary of Jiulong River. It lies at 118 degree 04' 04'' east longitude and 24 degree 26' 46'' north latitude. At the back of Xiamen lies the Zhangzhou-Quanzhou Plain and facing Xiamen across the Taiwan Strait are the Taiwan Island and the Penghu Islands.
Xiamen City comprises Xiamen Island proper, Gulangsu (Gulangsu Island) and the coastal part of north Jiulong River. It has a land area of more than 1699.39 square kilometers and a sea area of 300 square kilometers.
The island proper covers an area of 128.14 square kilometers, with a length of 13.7 kilometers from south to north and a width of 12.5 kilometers from east to west which is the fourth largest island of Fujian province. The Xiamen Harbor, which is a harbor of the strait type, has a coastal line that zigzags to 234 kilometers. Many other islands scatter all along the outside of Xiamen Island and hills and mountains surrounded inside this charming place. It is a natural harbor with deep water that is ice-free all the year round. Xiamen has always been an important seaport of foreign trade of southeast coast ever since the ancient times.
Xiamen has a subtropical climate. It is generally mild and temperate with abundant rainfalls. It has an average annual temperature of approximately 21degrees. Winter in Xiamen is not harsh while summer is free from extreme heat. The city has an average annual rainfall of about 1200mm, mainly concentrated on the months from May to August. Wind power measures between Grade 3 to 4 in general, with northeast wind representing the dominant wind direction. Because of the air currents resulting from the difference in temperature in the Pacific, Xiamen is affected by typhoon three to four times annually on average, which mainly comes during the months from July to September.
In May of 2003, authorized by the State Council, Xiamen adjusted part of administrative districts layout. Main contents are as follows: First, Combine Siming District, Gulangsu Island and Kaiyuan District as a whole district named Siming. Original 3 districts are administrated by Siming District. Second,Xinglin District street office and Xinglin town are administrated by Jimei District.Xinglin District is renamed as Haicang District. Third, set Xiang'an District which administrates five towns originally belong to Tong'an District, They are: Xindian, Xinyu, Maxiang,NeiCe and Dadeng. Currently there are six districts under the administration of Xiamen: Siming, Huli, Jimei, Haicang,Tong'an and Xiang'an.
Except majority of Han Chinese in Xiamen, there are also has other more than 20 different ethnic groups such as Hui, Manchu, Zhuang, She, Miao and Goashan etc. Because of geographic environment and historical background, Xiamen has lots of returned overseas Chinese and their families, and oversea Chinese with Xiamen registered permanent residence from Macao, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
Lying in the sub-tropical Zone, Xiamen has maritime climate and congenial, spring-like weather in four seasons. The city receives abundant sunshine (a total of 2,276 hours annually), a big blessing for those planning to go sunbathing on the beach. The annual average temperature here is 20.8 degrees C. The coldest month, February, never goes below 10 degrees C.
People can enjoy the bright sunlight, the gentle breeze, the lush plants and the colorful flowers all year round. It is one of China's top ten cities suitable for human habitation with its high development in culture and education, its economic prosperity and its picturesque scenery. It is also a famous hometown for overseas Chinese.