Beidaihe

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Transportation: Train from Beijing (5hrs), Shenyang (5hrs), Tianjin (4hrs), Shanhaiguan (1hr) and Qinhuangdao (30mins) are available. There are minibuses connecting Beidaihe, Shanhaiguan, and Qinhuangdao. Public transportation is available on bus No.5 (Beidaihe Railway Station to the Middle Beach), and buses No.3 & 4 from Beidaihe to Shanhaiguan (Stops at Qinhuangdao in the way).

Beidaihe is one of Qinhuangdao's scenic seaside resorts, situated around 300 km (186 mi.) east of Beijing on the Bohai Gulf. The resort was originally popularized by European diplomats, missionaries and businessmen around the turn of the century. Around half a century later, Chairman Mao had a visit and liked the place so much that he acquired a residence there. In subsequent years Beidaihe became very popular as a summer getaway location for Party fat cats who would often choose it as a destination for meetings and conferences.  Hu Jintao, in an effort to project an image of frugalness, put a stop to Party members using Beidaihe as a conferencing location in 2004.

 
These days most of Beidaihe's visitors are ordinary, fun-loving tourists, usually well-heeled Beijingers who only visit during the warmer months when the temperature is around the mid-20s and the water is warm. The township is virtually deserted when the weather turns cold.


Beidaihe has three beaches, Middle Beach, which is actually many small beaches separated by rocky outcrops, is the most convenient and popular. West Beach is more of the same, but a little quieter. The beach is long enough for you to be able to find a spot where you can be alone. At low tide its golden sands are popular with rubber-booted seaweed collectors.


At the beach's western tip is Pigeon Nest Park, a twenty-metre-high rocky outcrop named after the seagulls fond of perching here. It's a popular spot for watching the sunrise. Birdwatchers can observe an array of migratory storks including Oriental White, Red-crowned, Hooded and White-naped storks, as well as some Siberian Cranes, during Spring each year.

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