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6 Most Beautiful Beaches in China

China's continental coastline extends for about 18,000 kilometers (11,000 miles), and there are lots of beautiful beaches for holidays. The most popular beaches around China we recommend include those at Sanya, Xiamen, Putuo Island, Beidaihe and Beihai.

Best beaches in China

1. Yalong Bay — "The Oriental Hawaii"

Yalong Bay is the best beach in China. The sea is blue and the sand is soft. You are advised to go to the private beach of your hotel as the public beach is always crowded. Many international hotel groups have established top-end hotels in Yalong Bay.

Yalong Bay

  • Locations: Sanya on Hainan Island
  • Features:
    - 7-kilometer-long (4-mile-long), crescent-shaped white sandy beach.
    - World-class golf course perched in the most idyllic of settings.
    - Rolling green hills offering a cool, shady respite from the sunny beaches.
    - Many national and international hotels.
  • Weather: It is a perfect place to escape winter cold with an average temperature of 23 °C (73 °F) in January.
  • Recommended hotel: Horizon Resort Spa has 9 kilometer-long beach for its customers. It is near Yalong Bay Center Square and Yalong Bay International Golf Club.
  • Recommended tour: 5-Day Sanya Beaches, Li and Miao Ethnic Village and Nantian Hot Spring Tour

From Beijing to Yalong Bay: 5 hours and 40 minutes

Beijing Capital Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 5 hours
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Yalong Bay By taxi 40 minutes

From Guangzhou to Yalong Bay: 2 hours 20 minutes

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 1 hour 40 minutes
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Yalong Bay By taxi 40 minutes

More Information about Yalong Bay

2. Wuzhizhou Island — The first Commercial Diving Location in China

Wuzhizhou Island is the Maldives of China. The beautiful scenery all over the island includes 'Plants World' and the colorful 'Underwater World'. You can dive into the sea and discover the underwater world. But be warned: if you want to dive, you’d better get there early as there is always a long line.

Wuzhizhou Island

  • Location: Sanya on Hainan Island
  • Features: The sea below is excellent for surfing, and has an extensive reef. The areas to the north and to the west of the island are relatively flat, with sandy white beaches being the norm. The water along these shores is gin clear, with a visibility down to 27 m (90 ft). It is a real boon to scuba diving.
  • Recommended hotel: Wuzhizhou Island Resort Sanya is right on Wuzhizhou Island. Every day before the tourists arrive on the island and after they leave, you can have the island to yourself (with other Resort customers) to have fun on the beach.

From Beijing to Wuzhizhou Island: 6 hours

Beijing Capital Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 5 hours
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Wuzhizhou Island By taxi 1 hour

From Guangzhou to Wuzhizhou Island: 2 hours 40 minutes

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 1 hour 40 minutes
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Wuzhizhou Island By taxi 1 hour

More Information about Wuzhizhou Island

3. Beidaihe Scenic Area — "the Government's Summer Palace"

Beidaihe Scenic Area is also known as “the Mecca of bird watching”. Influenced by a marine climate, Beidaihe Scenic Area has a cool summer and warm winter. It is a good place to avoid the summer heat in Beijing. Go enjoy the gold sand and sunshine.

Beidaihe

  • Location: It is located south of Qinhuangdao City, Hebei Province, 300 kilometers (180 miles) east of Beijing.
  • Features: Beidaihe Scenic Area stretches for 13 km (8 mi) with bathing places in Bohai Bay. The beach is covered with fine yellow sand stretching some 100 meters to the sea.
  • Recommended hotel: Beidaihe Building 36 Haijing Hotel is a hotel that stands on the beach. It has the best views. The beach is right in front of the hotel.

From Beijing to Beidaihe Scenic Area: 2 hours 35 minutes

Beijing Railway Station – Beidaihe Railway Station By bullet train 2 hours 10 minutes
Beidaihe Railway Station – Beidaihe Scenic Area By taxi 25 minutes

More Information About Beidaihe Scenic Area

4. Gulangyu Beach — "Garden on the Sea"

Gulangyu Island is an island of leisure. It is an island of pianos — there are 600 pianos on the island, and a world architecture expo of interesting, well-kept buildings. Gulangyu Beach can show you the easy life. Slow down and take your time to feel the beauty of life. You can also go and see the historical sites around.

Gulangyu

  • Location: It is a tourist island off the southeast coast of Siming District, Xiamen, Fujian Province in Southeast China.
  • Features: It is renowned as "Piano Island" or "The Island of Music" because of its reputation for musical appreciation. It has many natural bathing beaches with fine sand and gentle waves.
  • Recommended hotel: Gulang Villa Hotel is near the pier and is very convenient for tourists. It has a great environment and it is very close to the beach.
  • Recommended tour: 4-Day the Gulangyu Island and the Hongkeng Earthen Buildings Tour

From Xiamen City to Gulangyu Beach: 20 minutes

Xiamen City – Xiamen Ferry Terminal By taxi 10 minutes
Xiamen Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Island By ferry 5 minutes
Gulangyu Island Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Beach By taxi 5 minutes

From Xiamen Railway Station to Gulangyu Beach: 33 minutes

Xiamen Railway Station – Xiamen Ferry Terminal By taxi 23 minutes
Xiamen Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Island By ferry 5 minutes
Gulangyu Island Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Beach By taxi 5 minutes

From Xiamen Gaoqi Airport to Gulangyu Beach: 45 minutes

Xiamen Gaoqi Airport – Xiamen Ferry Terminal By taxi 35 minutes
Xiamen Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Island By ferry 5 minutes
Gulangyu Island Ferry Terminal – Gulangyu Beach By taxi 5 minutes

More on The 5 Best Beaches in Xiamen

5. Tianya Haijiao — Picturesque Beach Scenery

Tianya Haijiao (Heaven's Edge Sea's Corner) in Sanya, on South China's Hainan Island, is one of the most romantic and picturesque beaches in China. It is considered to be the southernmost tip of China. It is a must-see attraction for new Chinese couples because of old Chinese literature saying: 'I will follow you to Tianya Haijiao', which means the couple will be together forever.

Be warned: this place may be very crowded all year round.

Tianyahaijiao

  • Location: Sanya on Hainan Island
  • Features: A park that is arranged along a fantastic beach that is dimpled with large stones, some in grotesque shapes. It is filled with mystery touch because of an old legend.
  • Weather: It has an average year-round temperature of 25 °C (78 °F).
  • Recommended hotel: Narada Resort & Spa Sanya owns its private beach. The hotel and beach are one. Customers can avoid the crowds and relax here.

From Beijing to Tianya Haijiao: 5 hours 20 minutes

Beijing Capital Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 5 hours
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Tianya Haijiao By taxi 20 minutes

From Guangzhou to Tianya Haijiao: 2 hours

Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport – Sanya Phoenix Airport By plane 1 hour 40 minutes
Sanya Phoenix Airport – Tianya Haijiao By taxi 20 minutes

More information about Tianya Haijiao

6. Putuoshan Island

Putuoshan Island not only has a rich religious culture, but also romantic beaches. It is honored as 'the purest land in the world'. Walking on the beach and picking up a shell, you can find tranquility in the sound of the sea. Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach are the two most famous beaches on Putuoshan Island.

putuoshan island

  • Location: It is located about 150 km (100 mi) southeast of Shanghai, in the west of the island prefecture of Zhoushan, Zhejiang Province.
  • Features: It has many beaches among which Hundred Step Beach and Thousand Step Beach are the two major ones. Putuo Mountain is located on the island, one of the Four Sacred Mountains of Buddhism.
  • Recommended hotel: Landison Hotel Zhoushan is a five-star hotel on Putuoshan Island. It is located near Thousand Steps Beach and Fayu Temple. The hotel offers a free hotel shuttle bus for customers.

From Hangzhou to Putuoshan Island: 3 hours 30 minutes

Hangzhou East Railway Station – Ningbo Railway Station By bullet train 1 hour 20 minutes
Ningbo Railway Station – Yuzheng Pier By taxi 2 hours
Yuzheng Pier – Putuoshan Island By speedboat 10 minutes

From Shanghai to Putuoshan Island by train: 4 hours10 minutes

Shanghai Hongqiao Railway Station – Ningbo Railway Station By bullet train 2 hours
Ningbo Railway Station – Yuzheng Pier By taxi 2 hours
Yuzheng Pier – Putuoshan Island By speedboat 10 minutes

From Shanghai to Putuoshan Island by plane: 1 hour 10 minutes

Shanghai Pudong Airport – Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport By plane 50 minutes
Zhoushan Putuoshan Airport – Wusongzhi Pier By taxi 10 minutes
Wusongzhi Pier – Putuoshan Island By speedboat 10 minutes

9 Top China Beach Tips

If you are planning a visit to any of the above beaches, there are a few must-know tips:

1. Avoid public beaches during the most crowded times.

Beach camping is becoming a famous activity in China beachesBeach tents at a less-crowded beach on Tantou Island, a great Shanghai weekend getaway. 

Popular beaches in China accommodate huge numbers of Chinese day tourists and holidaymakers, especially during the school summer holidays in July and August.

To avoid the crowds, we recommend visiting a private hotel and resort beach. 

Here are some other tips for avoiding crowds and queues:

  • Try and visit the beaches on weekdays. Most popular beaches are only jam-packed on weekends and holidays.
  • Arrive early and beat the crowds. Most beaches open 8am - 6pm.
  • Identify and visit the less crowded beaches.

2. Drink more water

In summer, average midday temperatures are over 30°C (86°F) throughout most of the country. Northern provinces in China experience Summer from June through to August; in the south, it's mid-May through September. China's summers are more hot and humid than in the West, so probably you will perspire more but experience less of a cooling effect. Keep hydrated throughout the day by carrying and drinking lots of water.

3. Protect yourself from tropical/sub-tropical UV radiation.

China beaches are generally closer to the equator than in N. America/Europe, so the sun's UV rays are stronger than most Westerners are used to. Especially when the sun is overhead around midday, you are advised to protect your skin and eyes when visiting the beach. Consider bringing sunglasses, a beach tent / sun shelter, high UV factor sunscreen, light clothing, and a sun hat.

4. Bring sandals and shoes to protect your feet

Chinese beaches are often more covered in rubbish than Westerners are used to, due to a lack of the trash bag habit with Chinese and trash washing ashore from rivers etc. When you are on the beach, you need to protect your feet from sharp debris or unhygienic trash as well as rocks and shells that will cut bare feet. Slip-on flip-flops and sandals that can be emptied of sand easily are comfortable options.

5. Bring a trash bag

Especially if you find a nicer beach, but even if you are amongst littering locals, please bring along a trash bag to put all your waste containers and so on in. Be part of the solution not part of the problem.

6. Bring some money with you.

Some beaches have extra highlights and facilities around them for visitors as well as entry fees. For instance, Tianya Haijiao has two large rockscapes where people take photographs. The entry fee is 80 RMB. 

7. You will need to book a reservation when visiting some Chinese beaches.

Police/security checkpoints are in place at large public beaches to limit numbers and ensure a safe and orderly experience for visitors. You should know that some beaches in China require foreigners to have identity documents with them to be checked before accessing the beaches. Dameisha Beach in Shenzhen, for instance, requires both locals and foreigners to book ahead of time to get their entrance tickets.

If you do not want to carry around your identification documents with you, you could take a picture and save it on your device. This will allow you to get into the beaches hassle-free.

8. Choose a beach with shark nets.

Swimmers and surfers should consider visiting beaches that have shark nets. The shark nets will limit you to enjoy the safe and shallow waters. Hong Kong's Top 10 Beaches are mostly equipped with shark nets.

9. Keep your personal possessions safe.

At Chinese beaches, there are no lockers (or not enough) to store your belongings. Therefore, we recommend you have a "spare person" to look after your valuables when you enjoy swimming or playing.

Touring China's Beaches with Us

Golden Island beach in QingdaoGolden Island Beach in Qingdao, famous for its beer, offers a beach experience that many Westerners will find more familiar: discover China's beaches with us.

It is difficult to find your way around China if you don't know Chinese, but we are here to help. We specialize in discovery your way. Our most popular China beach tour plan is:

  • 5-Day Sanya Beach tour — Tour the most beautiful beaches in southern China. Relax in the clear tropical waters under the cloudless sky and enjoy the exotic beach scenery.

We can tailor-make your China tour to include your preferred beach experience.