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A Tour to Silver Beach and Weizhou Island in Beihai

When we heard Beihai, our imagination always flies to a fascinating city boasting lustrous peals, beautiful Silver Beach, mysterious Weizhou Island and traditional fishing villages…… At April 14, 2008, we eventually explored Beihai personally. What a wonderful tour it was!

On arriving in Beihai city, we took the No.3 bus heading to the Silver Beach. Located in the southeast of the Beihai city, the Silver Beach is 10 kilometers from downtown, with a total area of 22 square kilometers. For thousands of years, fine quartz has been accumulating on Silver Beach, so called because it reflects the sun rays with a dazzling light, like a land of silver. Praised highly as the First Beach in China, it is famous for its extensive beach with fine and white sand, clean and warm water and gentle waves, as well as being safe and free from sharks in swimming area. After checking in and leaving our baggage in the hotel, we couldn’t help ourselves running onto the Silver Beach Resort. It consists of three sections: Beihai Silver Beach Park, Beihai Beach Park and Qiaogang Beach, which connect together stretching tens of kilometers, dotted with Ocean Sports and Entertainment Center, the villas and restaurants by shore. Among them, the Beihai Silver Beach Park and Beihai Beach Park cost 25RMB respectively. There are thousands of tourists of every skin color in every sort of swimwear: some lie on the beach, some swim, and some chat under beach umbrellas. We found that there are many pores in the silver-white even beach, from which many little sand crabs run out of. The lovely little things arouse our interest in grabbing them, which is of much fun. The boundless dark blue ocean is so limpid due to its great self-cleaning capability that objects more than two meters under seawater can be seen clearly. And it is really exciting to swim in the sea. Everyone, whatever their age or sex, went crazy, jumping and cheering in the waves, reluctant to leave, as if all the worries in daily life vanished at that moment.

The next day, we sailed to Weizhou Island, the biggest extinct volcanic island in China. It is located 36 sea miles off the Silver Beach, with an area of 25 square kilometers, which is also called "Great Penglai" (Penglai is a legendary fairy island in the East China Sea.).

After two hours sailing, the Weizhou Island completely emerged into out sight, as if it is a jade floating on the expansive ocean. Such scenery is really picturesque. We went on shore at the Nanwan Bay, a nature bay formed after a major volcano eruption, which opens to the south with the other three sides surrounded by cliffs. It seems like a huge crab wielding its pincers in the sea wrapping the pier to protect it from the gale and rainstorm on the sea. All sorts of fishing boats berth at the pier going and coming. On arrival, we immediately intoxicated at its unspoiled natural scenery, such as Volcano Relic, Coral Reef and various kinds of vegetation. Walking forward, we saw straight pines and huge cacti cover the cliffs which stand tens of meters high. Sea birds can be seen perched on the reefs or hovering over the waves, and the sea is so limpid that corals and other sea creatures are clearly visible. The seawater around the Weizhou Island is green like jade; when seen from afar, it is gradually changing into blue, dark blue until melts in to the sky. The scenery of volcanic lava and the magnificent crater is very unique; and the waves, currents and tides have eroded the coastal rocks into a wide array of forms: caves, trenches, cliffs, pillars. The rocks and reefs near the coast seems as life-like sculptures of seal, sea cow, whale, dolphin, crab, squid, sea horse, snail, jellyfish, which have won this island the label "Nature Aquarium". The sand of the beaches here is pure yellow contrasting sharply with the jade green sea. Walking barefoot on the soft sand, we could feel that the cool of the seawater transferred from our foot to the whole body, which made us totally forget the summer heat.

The fishing village is also very attractive. It boasts not only charming and gentle scenery, but also simple folkway without pesky salesmen rushing to the tourists, which usually happen in many other scenic spot. Walking through the simple village, we were really excited to find a Catholic Church constructed with a kind of special coral stones, earth tiles and wood. It is a fascinating church, built by French Paris Overseas Catholicism in 1869, with a total area of 774 square meters. It also has affiliated buildings such as monastery, school, hospital and orphanage. Surprisingly, this western-styled church and the traditional Chinese fishing village form a harmonious whole.

During the tour to Silver Beach and Weizhou Island in Beihai, we have found real relaxation and happiness.