China // Hebei and Tianjin //

The beaches

On Beidaihe’s three beaches, stirring revolutionary statues of lantern-jawed workers and their wives and children stand among the throngs of bathers. Middle Beach (中海滩, zhōnghăi tān), really many small beaches with rocky outcrops in between, is the most convenient and popular. Enter the beach at the popular intersection of Haining Lu and Zhonghaitan Lu and it will cost you ¥8, but wander a hundred metres in either direction and you can get on the sand for free. The promenade at the back is much like any in the world, lined with seafood restaurants and soft-drink and ice-cream vendors. You can also hire bicycles here for up to three people on one machine (a thrandom?) at ¥20/30/40 per hour, depending on the number of saddles, plus ¥200 deposit. West Beach (西海滩, xīhăi tān) is more of the same, but a little quieter. East of the resort, stretching 15km to Qinhuangdao, is East Beach (东海滩, dōnghăi tān), popular with cadres and sanatorium patients for its more sedate atmosphere. The beach is long enough for you to be able to find a spot where you can be alone, though much of the muddy shoreline isn’t very attractive. At low tide its wide expanse is dotted with seaweed collectors in rubber boots.