Attraction of the week

The Ancient City of Dali (Dàlǐ Gǔchéng, 大理古城), or Dali Old Town, is another great example of ancient and modern fusing together in China. The architecture is indeed ancient with...

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Silver Beach is 10 km (6 mi) from the city centre and its soft, silvery quartz sand stretches 24 kilometers to west . Regarded as one of the best beaches in China, it attracts numerous sea-lovers with its average year round seawater temperature of 23°C.   The beach is lined by a loose row of guesthouses, villas and restaurants. Surprisingly, the beach is rather quiet and not overrun by tourists as you might expect. The best time to visit is August and September although the climate is pleasant year around. Try to..

Weizhou Island, the largest volcanic island in the country measuring in at 24 km², lies 36 nautical miles from Beihai city. The volcanic stones, solidified lava formations and the wide crater provide some unusual scenery.  Eighty-five percent of the island's 16,000 residents are Hakkas (Kejia), who make their living from fishing and tourism. The island is a peaceful place to stroll the narrow streets of  the villages and visit the old Roman Catholic Church, a scale model of Notre Dame in..

Beihai Submarine World (Beihai Haiyang zhi Chuang) is a large museum with two parts.  One area houses the former Aquatic Products Museum which, next to Qingdao, is the earliest and largest aquatic products museum in China.   The second area has a large submarine to explore and a collection of reef fish from both the Pacific and Indian Oceans. One of the highlights of a visit is watching divers "dance" with the sharks.   And like all other tourist destination, there are the obiligatory kitsch elements, such as..

A great place for a relaxing stroll, ancient Seven Star Park (Qīxīng Gōngyuán, 七星公园) takes its name from seven karst peaks that correspond to the seven stars in the Big Dipper constellation. Covering 1.2 km sq (0.5 sq mi), the park's rocky landscape is riddled with a number of natural grottos and caves. Seven Star Cave (Qīxīng Jí Dòng 七星级洞) and Dark Dragon Cave (àn lóngdòng 暗龙洞)are two of the most popular, known for their impressive stalactites and stalagmites.  The peaks are..

This fascinating karst upthrust reminds some people of a towering wave, poised to crash down into the river below; others believe the name comes from the rock formation's interruption of the flow of the Li River. Either way, it's an impressive piece of geology, surrounded by rolling green hills and more karst peaks, water, caves, picturesque rocks, and gardens. You can clamber up stairs leading to Fubo Shan's summit for an excellent view of the city. Of particular note is the stalactite known as the Sword-Testing..

China's storied landscape is well populated by fantastically shaped natural features named for various mythological figures, especially animals. In fact, there are no doubt more famous rocks named after tigers, monkeys and elephants than there are actual tigers, monkeys and elephants remaining in what's left of the country's wilderness. One of the most famous is Guilin's Elephant Trunk Hill (Xiàng Bí Shān, 象鼻山), a striking natural arch that juts out into the Li River, bearing a clear resemblance to an..

From Longsheng, it's a one hour ride though buses will likely stop to pick up passengers waiting along the roadside and some also make a longer stop in a small village called Heping (Hépíng, 和平). Heping lies at the foot of the mountain where the terraces are situated and, if you're feeling spritely, you can jump off here and hike the well-worn trail to the Ping'an entrance gate (approximately 3 hours). Alternatively, sit tight on the bus (although a change of bus may be required, there's no additional charge)..

Guilin's celebrated Reed Flute Cave (Lúdí Yán, 芦笛岩) is just a 15 to 20 minute drive northwest of the downtown area. The cave's serpentine depths wind about within Guangming Mountain (Guāngmíng Shān, 光明山) and feature some remarkable rock formations. Each of these rock formations is named, rather extravagantly in some cases, for the thing it resembles—mushrooms, roses, lions, old men, etc. The cave itself is named for the green reeds growing inside, the same ones you might notice being used to..

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