Weizhou Island is located in the ocean to the southeast of the city of Beihai, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. It is the biggest and youngest volcanic island in China, famous for its sea, sun and sand. A seabed of living coral, a warm volcanic bay, temples and kind islanders make it so warm that any time of the year is great to visit.
Dongchu is the webmaster of Wenzhou' biggest website and he has released diverse information about the island. As an expert on everything on the island, Dongchu shared his experience and recommended popular and romantic places to visit.
The park is at the west point of the island, located on Eyu Mountain. It is as high as a 12-story building and very colorful. The bottom of the mountain is of exquisite volcano tuff, and then, the top is black breccia terrane. The top of the mountain was formed during the last volcanic eruption 7,000 years ago.
It is not easy to walk on the terrain. Rocks and holes are everywhere, so be careful. Colorful coral is scattering around in shades of green, blue, brown, purple, yellow and white. Since the site is far from the volcanic area, few people know about it.
Sesame Beach (Zhimatan)
The best time to go to Sesame Beach is in the early morning. It is the best place on the island to see the sunrise. Rocks in brown, yellow, black and blue dot the beach. When the tide comes in, colorful shells are hidden in its white foam, as well as many crystal soldier crabs.
You will understand why the beach is named Sesame Beach. Because of the volcano erupted, numerous lava pods burst out and crashed onto the beach.
The beach actually is not a real one, but formed by lava flow. Standing there, you can imagine how thousands of years ago, when the volcano erupted, lava flowed out into the ocean.
Weizhou Island is a natural volcanic island, and the humanities are rarely its focal point, but the Catholic church is worth a visit. The symbol of the church on the map is interesting and totally different from other markers.
The church is magnificent with its wooden black board, desks and chairs in a hall on the second floor. It was built for children to study before the island became a tourist destination.
In the 1860s, French churchmen came to Weizhou Island to proselytize, and founded the church in 1870. The architecture is typically Baroque, and most of the islanders are devout Christians.
Diving is a new activity on the island. There are two places that offer it. One is near the Nar Camera for 180 yuan. Private buses will take you out to the diving point.
The other club is run by Mongolians and is better for more experienced divers.
The price is 200 to 400 yuan, but it can be haggled down to 100 yuan.
Everything beneath the sea surface is interesting and strange. But be careful not to touch coral or unknown creatures, they may be poisonous. The best time to dive is from 3 to 4pm.
It's easy to find a place to live on the island. If you want to view all of Nanwan Bay, you can choose the Penglai Hotel. Rooms with a sea view cost around 180 yuan per day, but the facilities are ordinary and the food is expensive.
Private family hotels are nice to live in and cost around 20 yuan per day. These family hotels are located near the sea. You can go to buy food at the nearby market yourself and cook with the hotel owners.
If you want to enjoy the trip and save money, Guanhailou is recommended. It will cost 100 yuan for a standard, clean room. The service here is well-rounded.
Getting to the island
To go to Weizhou Island, first go to Beihai. From Beijing, you can take a direct flight to Nanning, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region. You can travel to Beihai from Nanning by plane or train, then head for the island by ship.
Ships leave every morning at 8:30am from Beihai to Weizhou Island, and return at 3:30pm. Tickets cost 120 to 180 yuan per person.
(Beijing Today by Jackie Zhang September 19, 2007)