Saturday, June 6: After Mari and I visit Beibuwan Square, we head to the Beihai Golden Bay Mangrove Ecotourist Region. I don’t know what to expect, as I don’t even know what mangroves are.
Later, I find on Wikipedia: Mangrove that mangroves are types of trees up to medium height and shrubs that grow in saline coastal sediment habitats in the tropics and subtropics —mainly between latitudes 25° N and 25° S.
We hop in the open air banana-yellow tram shown below, and drive down a long road by the bay, where we’re deposited at a boardwalk that meanders through the mangroves.
Mangroves are salt tolerant trees (halophytes) adapted to live in harsh coastal conditions. They contain a complex salt filtration system and complex root system to cope with salt water immersion and wave action. They are adapted to the low oxygen (anoxic) conditions of waterlogged mud (Wikipedia: Mangrove).
They are often referred to as “forests in the sea.” The mangrove tree’s seeds remain hanging on the mother tree until saplings appear. Some then fall into the mud and take root, while others are carried to other areas by seawater. The mangrove tree has speedy reproduction and growth. Eventually the tree roots and branches mix up, creating a kind of natural beauty (Roam China: Mangrove Forest).
From the boardwalk, we can see mudskippers and fiddler crabs skittering around in the muddy swamp. We can see a pavilion and the sea and acres and acres of the dusty mangroves.
We continue our stroll, and I for one am looking forward to following the boardwalk out to the pavilion near the sea.
However, we soon find there is no longer a pathway as it has fallen into disrepair.
As we look out to sea, we can spot a fisherman slowly making his way back to the road.
At the end of the mangrove area, we hop on the tram again. It drops us at the end of the park, which we think will have something else interesting to see. In fact, it is just a disheveled children’s playground and picnic area, so commonly seen in China. We do encounter some fashionably dressed ladies on motorbikes.
We find this old boat on the shore and pause to take some photos.
Finally, we get back on the tram to return to the park entrance. Mari wants to take me to Beihai’s famous Silver Beach, a surprisingly strange place!