Summers in Beijing are very hot and wet as we know already. You have already been at amazing Hainan beaches for a holiday at some resort near Xiamen, Fuzhou or Qingdao? Or you were in your home country and didn’t have time to swim? If you are working during summer but you miss a seaside? It is not a problem. There is amazing Beidaihe resort located in Hebei province very close to Beijing and you can still feel the summer there. Beidaihe is on coast of Yellow Sea. If you don’t have time to stay overnight than you can catch a morning speed train and return in the evening as trip lasts only 2 hours. If you want to stay a night or tooyou can use this speed train as well. But if you prefer slower trains than it is better if you stay a night or two so you wont waste much time in trip as it lasts around 6h by slow train.
Town of Beidaihe belongs to district of Qinhuangdao city. Beidaihe doesnt have more than 70 000 citizens. Once it was a small village where fishing was main way to survive. It was discovered by British engineers who were building rails at beginning of XX century during foreign occupation of Chinese territories. Even there exists a postcard from this village that dates from 1903. Since founding of PRC in 1949 there were built resorts for Chinese communist leadership. Mao Zedong personally was coming there every summer. Since that time annually major party leadership goes there for a holiday but they do not just run away from heats and swim they make meetings there as well. Since second half of 80ies and economic reforms it started to be tourist attraction. More and more people could afford holiday on sea. So new smaller and bigger hotels, bars and restaurants were built in last 30 years there. Also infrastructure was built to easier connect the place- in 90ies there was built expressway from Beijing and after 2000 and speed rail. Beach extends for about 10km. It is very beautiful sand beach. There is even one pavilion at the end of the beach so you can rest directly next to sea in pavilion if there are too many people on beach. On another corner there is a small river that flows the sea known as Daihe river. When you enter water it isn’t deep for long but further it is deeper. Later its deeper and deeper but it is warm enough for swimming between June and October. Many people sit in shallow water in sand especially those with children or older people. Others sit a bit and relax and than swim a lot further from beach. But be aware don’t go too far as sea can be non-calm and waves can be strong so if you are not a good swimmer take care. Anyway sea is safe here and sharks and poisonous medusas are uncommon here.
You can walk next to sea on the rocky terrain, visit caves, hills, pavilions and visit hill known as Lianfengshan Park. It is only 150m high hill but it has beautiful forests around. On peak there is pavilion in which you can sit and view whole Beidaihe. You can see many beautiful houses, new built villas, hotels, beach and of course sea. Many fishing and trade ships can be seen and yachts as well. On mentioned hills there is Guanyin temple with few halls, cypresses and statues of Guanyin. Also on hills complex there are strange stones which allow only 1 person to pass between them. Also there are caves, villas… You shouldn’t skip this place.
Walking on beaches can be very nice as you can find many shells that were sunk from sea. I took at least 30 of them there. Nearby sea there are a lot of white pigeons. Some parks and wetlands nearby are full of them. Be aware of quicksand on some points- where sand is too wet and where there is a lot of water. There is warning sign and fence that doesn’t allow you to cross these areas but anyway keep your eyes open. Walking on promenade next above beach is nice idea. There are many white pigeons there fed by people. On clear they this experience is unforgettable.
Waiting sunrise on beach can be amazing experience. It seems that sun is coming out of sea.
There are other attractions nearby Beidaihe. One of them is Qinhuangdao Safari Park. It is a safari park which you can visit by a caged safari train or by your own car. That is not completely open safari like in wildness but animal species are separated by fence from each other. For example firstly you pass zone with tigers, than lions, bears… It is highly advised not to open windows or get out of car as you can be attacked by some of them. Drive slowly and enjoy watching them in almost natural habitat there are even tiger cubs. In another part there are herbivores put together as they do not harm each other. For example: zebras, giraffes, deers, chamoises…You can even get out of car and feed them. Only elephants and hippos are separated by electric wire and cage as they can be potentially dangerous for your car or yourself. Also you can find peacocks. There is large lake there full with cranes, storks, swans, wild ducks, mandarin ducks, pelicans, herons…
When it is about food here there is amazing choice of seafood. Of course there are other types of food but sea food is mostly eaten here. You can try various types of sea fishes, lobsters, shells, squids, octopods, shrimps… Especially nice are shark fins mostly boiled ones. Other mentioned sea products can be found: grilled, boiled, steamed, roasted, or as salad. They can be put on skewers such as squids with their tentacles.
If you stay for a weekend you must visit Qinhuangdao city. It has around 3 million citizens. It is city under quite fast development. Except modern avenues, shopping malls, restaurants, bars and nightclubs there are important historical and cultural sites. The most important place is Great Wall section- ending or beginning of Great Wall on eastern coast. It is known as Dragons Head. As wall enters sea you can cross over the fortification that reminds on dragons head. It was built during Ming dynasty. Nearby this section of Great Wall there are restored gates of old town.
There is also a drum tower. When I was there I heard drum I felt myself being in some 17th or 18th century as I saw actors dressed as Chinese soldiers from mentioned period. Also there is one temple on the sea. Its first halls start on beach while ending hole and pavilion are several meters above sea. I saw many people praying there. 2km from this section there is Ocean Park. There are many sea animals living there. I saw penguins there for the first time also sharks, dolphins, marlin fish… There is performance with beluga, dolphins, sea lion, orca whale.. You will see their amazing abilities.
Be sure if you come there you wont regret
Source of cover photo: http://www.sohu.com/a/140105321_398131?_f=v2-index-feeds