A trip to Beihai for Sunshine and Beach
I visited Beihai with two other friends in May last year. Beihai is a coastal city in the south of Guangxi Province. It is famous for seafood, pearls, and of course the Silver Beach. A very small island called Weizhou Island (涠洲岛) is one of the major attractions near Beihai. Silver Beach and Weizhou Island are the two attractions while visiting Beihai.
See introduction of Beihai City at http://www.chinahighlights.com/beihai/
Because there is not much to visit in Beihai, we had a quite relaxing tour. So I think Beihai is suitable for people who look for leisure. Our schedule is as follows:
Day 1 Morning flight from Guilin to Beihai. Visit Beihai Underwater World and Silver Beach.
Day 2 Ferry to Weizhou Island. Stay one night.
Day 3 Ferry back to Beihai City. Afternoon flight back to Guilin.
Transportation from Guilin to Beihai:
Flights within the province are usually operated by small airplanes that can seat about 53 passengers. The flight takes 50 minutes. It feels a bit bumpy during the flight, and the meal onboard is very simple and can be ignored. Overall the flight was safe and we arrived at Beihai Airport at noon. Note that passengers who take flights within the province can ride the airport bus for free to and from the airport by showing their flight tickets or boarding pass to the bus attendant.
Of course if you are not used to small airplanes, there are buses or trains too, but they take a much longer time. It takes about 7 hours by bus, and for taking train, you will first need to arrive at Nanning (capital city of Guangxi Province) and transfer train to Beihai. The overall train ride takes about 8 hours excluding the layover time.
Beihai Underwater World
Beihai is a city by the sea. The underwater world is a famous attraction of the city. There are English descriptions, and many exhibitions as you can see in many other aquariums. It cannot compare with those in Beijing or Shanghai. If you have enough time and budget, visiting it is good to kill time. But if you don’t, ignore it.
Silver Beach is a must-see attraction in Beihai. As its name tells, it is famous for the soft and fine white sand. It is free of charge, and you can bring your own swimming suit, glasses, swim ring etc. These can also be rented or sold there. In the afternoon, when the sun begins to come down, many local people and tourists pour there to enjoy the beach and the sea. You can take public bus No 3 or by taxi to get there.
Day 2 Weizhou Island
Transportation from Beihai to Weizhou Island:
By ferry. There are slow and fast ones. The fast ones take 1 hour and 20 minutes, and the slow ones take 3 hours to Weizhou Island. People usually take the fast ferry. The fare is 120 yuan for a single ride. The boarding point for the ferry is Beihai International Passenger Port (北海国际客运港). You can take public bus No 3, or by taxi to get there. Beihai is a small city, so it is recommended that you take a taxi to your destination. The ferry sails 8:30 every morning, and tickets should be bought one day in advance.
It was a bit windy on the sea that day and the ferry was sailing fast. Passengers were very excited about the sailing and hoorayed when the ferry goes up and down, but about 5 minutes after sailing, many began to throw up. It’s a very funny scene that the ferry attendants were very busy passing out clean bags to passengers during almost all the sailing.
Finally we survived and arrived at Weizhou IslandJWeizhou Island is the largest and youngest volcanic island in China. Many local villagers turned their houses into guesthouses to accommodate tourists. There are also hotels. Tourism is a newly developed industry on the island, and also because of its location, services and facilities at hotels and guesthouses are basic. Tourists can charter a mini van to tour around the island, but the most popular way is to ride a bike. You can see large fields of banana trees on the island. The main attractions are the catholic church (more than 1500 years), many beaches which I forget about their names, volcano geopark and marine corrosion sea shores.
Seafood is less expensive than in the city. We went to the local market to buy fresh seafood, and bought it back to where we lived and asked the hostess to cook for us. They only charge 6-8 yuan for each dish as cooking fee.
This day we planed to catch the sunrise. We lived very close to the beach so we walked to the spot which is best to watch the sunrise. There are many dogs on the island. A small dog followed us all along. After the sunrise we got back to our place, had a short rest and packed to catch the ferry back to Beihai. Usually if you have booked accommodation on the island, when you arrive and leave the island, the host or the hotel will offer transportation to pick you up. In the afternoon, we boarded the flight back to Guilin.