Weihai is a prefecture-level seaport city located on the northern coast of Shandong Peninsula, about 65 kilometers east of the city of Yantai, and situated near the eastern extremity of the peninsula. During the Qing (CE 1644-1911) Dynasty colonial period, or during the period in which trade and territorial concessions were forced upon China as part of the 1858 Treaty of Tiensin - more commonly known by the Chinese as the Unequal Treaties (the first such treaty was the 1848 Treaty of Nanking between the government of the UK and the Qing government) - the city of Weihai, leased by the British for 99 years, was known as Weihai Garrison.
The city was also known by the British as Port Edward, just as the corresponding port located on Liaodong Peninsula on the other side of the Bay of Bohai (Shandong Peninsula to the south and Liaodong Peninsula to the north form a set of pincers, as it were, that embrace the Bay of Bohai), Lüshun, leased by the Russians for 99 years (though the Russians lost the port to the Japanese as a result of the surprisingly swift Japanese victory in the Russo-Japanese war of 1904-05, aka the Manchurian Campaign, since Manchuria was the prize that was fought over), was generally referred to by the Brits as Port Arthur, though the ordinary British sailor, with typical straightforward foot soldier humor, nicknamed the city of Weihai "Way High".
The Topography of Weihai
The topography of Weihai can be described as part littoral (coastal) plain and part gently rolling hills. The coastline is a myriad of small bays, promontories and inlets, as well as islets, which makes the seashore infinitely more interesting to explore than a featureless seashore if you happen to be fond of a stroll by the sea in search of colorful stones, unique seashells, etc., or if you're into a romantic venue to take a walk, hand-in-hand, with a lover, or if you simply need a relaxing pause in an otherwise busy schedule.
The Weather of Weihai
Weihai's weather is almost as unique as its coastline, with mild winters, chilly springs, ideal (neither cold nor excessively hot) summers and moderate autumns. Because of the effects on the weather of the adjacent seas (the Bay of Bohai to the northwest and the Yellow Sea to the southeast), Weihai gets more than its share of precipitation (in the form of rain), a factor that contributes significantly to the lushness of the natural landscape and which explains why Weihai is a verdant "garden city", reminiscent of the verdure that one sees in the west of England, between London and Plymouth.
The city of Weihai and its environs have a lot to offer the active tourist, beginning with the attractive vistas of the city itself. There are also mountains within view that are dotted with ancient temples and bestrewn with grotesquely shaped rocks, there are thermal springs, mysterious, snaking rivers, and there are seascapes with submerged reefs and gorgeous sandy beaches interspersed with yet more grotesque rock formations.
Three scenic sites in the greater Weihai area worth emphasizing are the following:
A cape that lies near the city of Rongcheng in the Cheng Mountains on the outer extremity of Shandong Peninsula - or about 75 kilometers, as the crow flies, southeast of Weihai. Chengshantou, which ends abruptly in steep, craggy cliffs that look out onto a deep blue sea accentuated by frothy white waves has been dubbed 'China's Cape of Good Hope' and 'the place where the sun rises over China'.
This beautiful, 3-kilometer-square forest-covered, museum-like island lies only 4 kilometers from the harbor area of downtown Weihai. Over half of the island is covered in forests and wooded areas (mainly the black pine, Pinus thunbergiana, more commonly known as the Japanese Black Pine), while the rest is taken up with museum-piece military buildings (the centerpiece is a War Memorial Hall) and a smattering of British colonial-period houses. Liugong Island is known as 'the birthplace of China's first modern navy'.
Weihai International Beach Resort
This Mediteranean-style beach resort with a 3-kilometer-long beach is ranked among China's best bathing beaches, based on a number of factors, including the quality of the sand, the water's purity and its suitability for swimming. There is just about every type of accomodation imaginable at Weihai International Beach Resort, from the most expensive hotels to self-contained apartments, and in every price class.
Cuisine of Weihai
Remember to check out the many restaurants in the area when you visit Weihai. The cuisine of the Shandong area belongs to the ancient Lu Cuisine "school", one of the eight great cuisine schools of China. Lu Cuisine is composed of two styles, one of which, the Jiaodong style, is characteristic of coastal areas, including Weihai, and which specializes in seafood. The nearby city of Yantai, only about an hour's drive (65 kilometers, as indicated above) west of Weihai, has its own wine vinyards (Yantai Weilong Grape Wine Company) that produce excellent wines which compare favorably to Bordeaux wines and which are enjoyed throughout China, and are also a budding export item.