beihai’s silver beach & sunset on beibu gulf

Saturday, June 6:  On our last stop of the day, Mari is excited to take me to Beihai’s famous Silver Beach.  She tells me to prepare myself as it will be a beach unlike any I’ve seen before. According to Travel China Guide, Silver Beach “is reputed to be the best beach in China for its advantages of even length, fine and white sand, clean and warm water and gentle waves, as well as being safe and free from sharks in swimming area. When the sun shines on the river, the water is just like silver glistening on the surface which creates a dreamlike view.”

The first thing we see at the entrance is several ladies wearing facekinis.  According to Wikipedia a facekini is a mask designed for swimmers and beachgoers which covers the head and reveals only the eyes, nose, and mouth. People mostly use it to protect themselves from UV rays while in direct sunlight and from jellyfish while at the beach.  The mask is made of stretchy fabric commonly used in bathing suits and it comes in different colors and patterns.  It’s often worn with an accompanying long-sleeved body suit.

In the facekinis worn by these ladies, their noses and mouths are covered, so maybe it’s a knock-off version of the original facekini invented by Zhang Shifan, a former accountant from the coastal Chinese city of Qingdao. Facekinis are under mass production in China and are available in local swim stores near beaches.

ladies wearing the Facekini on Beihai's Silver Beach

ladies wearing the Facekini on Beihai’s Silver Beach

We head through the entrance and walk down a long walkway to reach the beach.

Entrance to Silver Beach

Entrance to Silver Beach

the walkway to the beach

the walkway to the beach

Near the walkway is a bathing suit shop.  I’m surprised by the number of people we encounter who are not at all prepared for a day at the beach; they don’t seem to mind at all that they don’t have bathing suits. 🙂

bathing suits for sale, in case you forgot yours. :-)

bathing suits for sale, in case you forgot yours. 🙂

In typical Chinese fashion, the beach is swarming with people.

on the beach

on the beach

I love how some of the girls wear their fancy dresses and shoes to the beach.

umbrella magic

umbrella magic

crowds at Silver Beach

crowds at Silver Beach

inner tube heaven

inner tube heaven

hanging under the umbrella

hanging under the umbrella

Of course there are those wearing wedges and hats who are messing about with their electronic devices.

picture taking with the iPad

picture-taking with the iPad

Some people even come in their business attire.

business attire

business attire

I pause for a moment to get a picture of my bare feet with the beach sandals.

beach shoes and bare feet

beach shoes and bare feet

And Mari poses in the midst of the bathers.

Mari with the beachgoers at Silver Beach

Mari with the beachgoers at Silver Beach

Some people seem more attired for an important meeting than a day at the beach.

More business attire at the beach

More business attire at the beach

But luckily there are many who also know how to play in the sand and swim in inner tubes.

Hanging out

Hanging out

Enjoying the season

Enjoying the season

Chinese beachgoers

Chinese beachgoers

I’ve never seen a lifeguard stand like this one before.

taking a stroll

taking a stroll

phone addiction under the lifeguard stand

phone addiction under the lifeguard stand

The lady below didn’t seem to notice the bathing suit shop at the entrance and just decided to take a dip in her fancy dress.

life buoys

life buoys

shoes set aside

shoes set aside

And as we leave the beach, we see some stride-bys in front of the Silver Beach Tourists Novelty Shop.

Silver Beach Tourists Novelty Shop

Silver Beach Tourists Novelty Shop

Mari has to catch a flight to Shanghai tonight, but she has kindly offered to let me stay in her apartment without her.  We stop at a fancy hotel for an early dinner and then she packs up her stuff and has her driver take her to the airport.  I know the code to get in and out of her apartment, but frankly, I’m tired from our busy day and I just decide to settle in and read my book, The Sandcastle Girls by Chris Bohjalian.  I also take a number of pictures of the beautiful sunset over Beibu Gulf from Mari’s balcony.

Sunset at Beibu Gulf

Sunset at Beibu Gulf

sunset in Beihai

sunset in Beihai

sunset at Beibu Gulf

sunset at Beibu Gulf

sunset on the gulf

sunset on the gulf

sunset

sunset

sunset

sunset

boats in the gulf

boats in the gulf

boats at rest

boats at rest

day at rest

day at rest

boat crowds

boat crowds

abandoned dock

abandoned dock

cotton candy clouds

cotton candy clouds

pink clouds over the dock

pink clouds over the dock

cloud mania

cloud mania

day is done

day is done

Finally, I drift off to sleep.  I’m to get up early tomorrow morning to take the ferry to Weizhou Island.  Mari has arranged for her driver to take me to the harbor and drop me off.  He will then meet me around 3:00 or 4:00, whenever I return, and drive me back to Nanning.  What a wonderful hostess Mari has been for someone she just met in one short weekend in Xi’an. 🙂

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Categories: Asia, Beibu Gulf, Beihai, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, Silver Beach, Travel | Tags: , , , , , | 14 Comments

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14 thoughts on “beihai’s silver beach & sunset on beibu gulf

  1. Kat, that beach is my idea of hell. Do they charge to go on the beach there? I went to a magnificent beach in Sanya, Hainan, which was free.

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    • I know what you mean, Dai. I hate crowded beaches like these. Luckily they didn’t charge to go there. Basically every place in China was crowded except the rice terraces! I was so happy to have my year there come to a close just because of the weather and the sheer numbers of people! I never made it to Hainan. I’m glad to know it was magnificent. Too bad I missed it! 🙂

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  2. That beach is the perfect people-watching paradise! Was there a cafe or similar where you could just sit and watch the world go by? I’m not sure about the face-kinis – they look like something from a sci-fi movie.

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  3. It looks like it could be a beautiful beach, but… all those people! Yikes. I think I could use a facekini. I can’t stand wearing sunscreen. I don’t go to the beach without it, but it would be nice to have some other way to protect my face without slathering zinc all over.

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    • You’re right, it might have been a pretty beach without all the people, Robin. I had a hard time dealing with the huge crowds in China, but it was definitely an experience I’ll never forget. I don’t think I would wear a facekini; I’d prefer to wear sunscreen. I’d be too hot! I even get hot wearing a hat or sunglasses. 🙂

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  4. Wow, what a gorgeous view you had from the balcony. The facekinis are a bit weird. I think I would feel a tad claustrophobic behind one of those.

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    • Luckily I did have gorgeous sunset views from the balcony, although the next morning’s views were pretty gloomy. The facekinis are very weird, I think. I’d feel very claustrophobic! Koreans wore them at the beach too!

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  5. What a bizarre beach, Cathy! Could it be more differenet than mine? 🙂 I hate those face mask things! What a strange old world we live in 🙂 Hugs, darlin’! Thank goodness for your sunsets (and I loved the black and white shot too!

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    • It was such a bizarre beach, Jo! Not my thing at all, though interesting because of the strangeness of it all. I don’t like those face mask things either! I’m glad you liked my sunsets. I was glad to find a bit of beauty in the drab weather there in Beihai.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. Differenet? Some kind of new internet? 🙂

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  7. No wonder the Chinese love our almost deserted beaches after the crowded ones over there. Those facekinis must be so hot. I’d be sweating buckets under them. What an amazing year you had and you fitted so much into it.

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