saturday morning in beihai: a fancy brunch, a pearl & fish market and beibuwan square

Saturday, June 6:  This morning, I wake up in Mari’s apartment to the steady drizzle of rain and a foggy view of Beibu Gulf.  Mari has a busy day planned for us, and the forecast actually doesn’t call for much rain, so I’m hoping it will clear before we get underway.

the view from Mari's balcony on Saturday morning

the view from Mari’s balcony on Saturday morning

We head out of her apartment building to go to the fancy hotel next door (the name of which I’ve now forgotten) for brunch.  Just as we step out, we are caught in a deluge and we find ourselves wading through water over our ankles.  We walk for a bit, but then we decide we should return to the apartment and wait until the rain eases a bit.  We do that and, after having a cup of coffee, we head out again to brave the elements.

The hotel is lovely and the brunch spread is fabulous.  As her company has a special deal arranged with the hotel, we get quite a discount on the brunch.  We even run into a couple of her colleagues in the restaurant.

the hotel where we have brunch

the hotel where we have brunch

clouds in the lobby

clouds in the lobby

After breakfast, her driver takes us to the pearl and dried fish market.  The two markets are in one building, the pearls on the top floor and the fish on the bottom.

Beihai City is famous for pearls, especially southern pearls, and it has a nickname, Zhuxiang (the hometown of pearls). Southern pearls, likewise, have many varieties, among which Lian pearls produced in Hepu County are considered to be superb (China Highlights: Beihai Travel Guide).

According to China Travel Guide: Beihai Shopping, the genuine pearls from Beihai are called ‘Nanzhu’ (southern pearl): They are famous for their characteristics of dignity and burliness, roundness and smoothness, and a dazzling crystal luster. It is a must-have regional souvenir in Beihai, and it is often said that ‘the eastern pearl is not as good as the western pearl, and the western pearl is not as good as the southern pearl’.

I end up buying a lot of pearl earrings and a necklace, and Mari buys several pairs of earrings; we have fun trying to talk down the vendors, without much success.  That doesn’t stop us from buying, however. 🙂

After our pearl buying, we walk downstairs to the dried fish market, where we wander around and chat with some of the vendors.

dried fish market

dried fish market

schools of dried fish

schools of dried fish

Mari and the dried fish vendor

Mari and the dried fish vendor

me with the fish vendor

me with the fish vendor

relaxing on the job

relaxing on the job

dried sea corals?

dried sea corals?

close up of the coral

close up of the coral

dried fish for sale

dried fish for sale

fish vendors

fish vendors

After we leave the markets, the driver takes us to Beibuwan Square.  It’s an ordinary square, but it’s know for being quite active. Mari tells me that usually people are here dancing, singing, and relaxing, but today it’s quiet, possibly because it’s been raining off and on all morning. We do stop at Beihai’s only McDonald’s for a drink and an ice cream. 🙂

benches at Beibuwan Square

benches at Beibuwan Square

The fountain in the square is quite interesting, with statues of mermaids and a sea god, possibly Neptune, in the pool.

fountain at Beibuwan Square

fountain at Beibuwan Square

There are also some nice bonsai trees around the perimeter.

Bonsai at Beibuwan Square

Bonsai at Beibuwan Square

Beibuwan Square

Beibuwan Square

Neptune at Beibuwan Square

Neptune at Beibuwan Square

Me with Neptune

Me with Neptune

Mari and Neptune

Mari and Neptune

Beibuwan Square

Beibuwan Square

Globe building at Beibuwan Square

Globe building at Beibuwan Square

Once we leave Beibuwan Square, we head next to the Beihai Golden Bay Mangrove Ecotourism Region.

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Categories: Asia, Beibu Gulf, Beibuwan Square, Beihai, China, Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

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10 thoughts on “saturday morning in beihai: a fancy brunch, a pearl & fish market and beibuwan square

  1. I bet the stench was awful in that dried fish market, Kat.

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  2. A whole market for dried fish and there’s hardly a soul to be seen!

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  3. That is a very large and very flash hotel foyer.

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  4. I know it’s silly, but Mam always used to say ‘pearls for tears’ and I never wear them. I know! Us silly Brits 🙂

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    • I don’t know why I bought all those pearls, Jo, as I hardly wear any jewelry at all. I haven’t heard that saying “pearls for tears!” It definitely must be a British thing. xxx

      Liked by 1 person

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