Situated in the Gulf of Tonkin in Guangxi Province, the picturesque Weizhou Island is a popular place for water sports and enjoying the summer sun.It is 36 nautical miles to the southeast of Beihai. Weizhou and Xieyang islets are separated from each other by sea for nine nautical miles and known as the Greater and Lesser Fabled Abodes of Immortals. The beaches are good for swimming and the islets feature marine abrasion rocks of fantastic shapes.
With around 10kms of sandy beach to choose from, most visitors to the island spend their time soaking up the sun on the sand or scuba diving in the aquamarine water, particularly at the northern end of the island. Snorkeling is also popular as the underwater world is simply teeming with life. Other popular water sports here include kayaking, windsurfing and swimming.
However, those who can bear to drag themselves away from the beach for a while and explore Weizhou will find plenty of local charm here. The local Catholic church was built in 1869 and is a pretty example of Baroque architecture. There are some spectacular viewpoints scattered around the island and as the roads are in good condition, a great way to explore is by hiring a bicycle or motorbike.
There are plenty of places to spend the night on the island. A good option is one of the upmarket hotels overlooking Nanwan Bay. Those on a tight budget can save money by staying in a modest family hotel and by buying fresh seafood from the local market and cooking it in the hotel kitchen.
Access is from Beihai, where there is an airport with connections to the international airport in Beijing (50 minutes). There is a bus straight from the airport to Beihai pier, with ships leaving for Weizhou Island every day (40 minutes).