When thinking of China, I must admit I have never instinctively thought of beaches. Instead, I think of culture, impressive landmarks, skyscrapers, and breathtaking national parks. But China’s coastline is extensive, and there are countless beaches to visit. From the Bohai Sea in the northeast near the border with North Korea to the Gulf of Tonkin, where China borders Vietnam, China’s coastline is around 14,500 km (9000 miles) long.
Head to the subtropical island of Hainan in the south for some of China’s most beautiful beaches or to the shores of China’s Zhoushan Archipelago. China has a beach for almost everyone, including opportunities to surf, snorkel, kitesurf and, of course, make an obligatory sandcastle.
When you’re at a beach in China, don’t be alarmed to see many Chinese people protecting themselves from the sun. Expect to see elaborate full-length swimsuits and “facekini’s” (a sort of swimming costume balaclava for the face). And if you’re a foreigner, don’t be surprised if you are the centre of attention and expect to have at least a few locals ask to take a picture with you. So, take a break from the city heat and enjoy 20 of the best beaches in China.
- China Beaches
- 20 Best Beaches In China
- 1- Laolongtou Great Wall, Hebei Province
- 2- Silver Beach, Beihai, Guangxi Province
- 3- One Hundred Step Beach, Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang Province
- 4- Golden Pebble Beach, Dalian, Liaoning Province
- 5- Fujiazhuang Beach, Dalian, Liaoning Province
- 6- Sanya Bay, Hainan Island
- 7- Yalong Bay, Sanya, Hainan Island
- 8- Tianya Haijiao, Sanya, Hainan Island
- 9- Wuzhizhou Island, Hainan Island
- 10- Zhouzai Island, Shimei Bay, Hainan Island
- 11- Dadonghai Beach, Hainan Island
- 12- Huangcuo Beach, Xiamen, Fujian Province
- 13- Xichong Beach, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province
- 14- Golden Sand Beach, Qingdao, Shandong Province
- 15- Shimei Bay, Hainan Island
- 16- Bo’ao Bay, Qionghai, Hainan Island
- 17- Huihou Xunliao Bay, Guangdong Province
- 18- Shili Yintan Beach, Yangjiang, Guangdong Province
- 19- Wucai Beach, Weizhou Island, Guangxi Province
- 20- Sun and Moon Bay, Wanning, Hainan
- 20 Best Beaches In China
20 Best Beaches In China
1- Laolongtou Great Wall, Hebei Province
Hey, I thought this was an article about beaches? Well, it certainly is.
The Great Wall of China is about 21,196 km in length, stretching from the east at Shanhaiguan in Hebei Province and ends in Jiayuguan in Gansu.
The Laolongtou section of the Great Wall is where the wall meets the Pacific Ocean at the Bohai Gulf.
Nicknamed Old Dragon’s Head because it resembles a dragon drinking from the ocean (if you squint and use your imagination), Laolongtou marks the beginning of this impressive manmade structure and the location of the first beach on our list.
Laolongtou is the perfect place to combine Chinese history, a trip to one of the Seven Wonders of the World and a relaxing time at the beach.
It can’t get much better than sitting on a beach and staring at The Great Wall of China.
Laolongtou is near the city of Qinhuangdao. The easiest way to get to the wall and beach from Qinhuanghao is to take the number 25 bus directly to the scenic area.
Laolongtou Beach is at Shanhaiguan District, Qinhuangdao, China, 066206.
2- Silver Beach, Beihai, Guangxi Province
After you’ve explored Weizhou Island, stay in Beihai to explore Silver Beach, 8km from the downtown area.
This beach is a popular spot, with pearly white sand and a palm tree-lined backdrop that give you the feeling you’re in a tropical paradise.
At Silver Beach, you can partake in parasailing or take a ride on a speed boat.
Visit the 23m high spherical sculpture fountain that pays homage to music, credited as the largest musical sculpture fountain in Asia.
Silver Beach is in Yinhei District, Beihai.
3- One Hundred Step Beach, Zhoushan Island, Zhejiang Province
Zhoushan Island is an urbanised archipelago on the east coast close to the city of Ningbo and around 280km (174 miles) from Shanghai.
The beach has a little pagoda perched on the rocks overlooking the sand.
Swimming at the beach is only allowed between May and August up until 6 pm.
There are a couple of options to reach Zhoushan Island.
Fly into neighbouring Zhu Jia Jian Island, which has a small airport and take a taxi or the airport bus across the connecting road bridge to Zhoushan.
If you are coming from the mainland, from say Ningbo, you can also drive to the island via the connecting bridges that link the archipelago.
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4- Golden Pebble Beach, Dalian, Liaoning Province
If you want a more commercialised and developed beach vibe, then Golden Pebble Beach is the place for you.
Golden Pebble Beach is located just 600m from the Disney-like Hilton Dalian Golden Pebble Beach Resort, 60km from Dalian city.
The Golden Pebble Beach is part of an impressive development area that is home to a theme park, a golf club and a range of beach activities.
This beach has several deck chair rental options and boat ride excursions.
Golden Pebble Beach is at No 57 Hai Bin West Road Economic, Dalian City, Liaoning Province.
5- Fujiazhuang Beach, Dalian, Liaoning Province
Another of Dalian’s beaches is Fujiazhuang Beach to the city’s south.
The beach looks out onto several islands, including West Dalian Island.
Boats bob on the ocean, creating more of a small-town vibe than some of Dalian’s other more popular beaches.
If you’re searching for a beach-specific holiday, you are better off heading to some of the other beaches on this list but if you are searching for a break from Dalian, then heading to Fujiazhuang Beach is the perfect day out.
6- Sanya Bay, Hainan Island
If you’re looking to be in the heart of Hainan Island, then relaxing on the sands of the Sanya Bay is the spot for you.
Located on the south coast directly south of the city, Sanya Bay has 22km (13.7 miles) of sandy beach.
While there, check out the 108m (354 ft) high imposing statue of Guanyin of Nanshan.
Sanya Bay in peak season can be extremely busy, so you may wish to venture further along the beach to the quieter end away from the city.
Sanya Bay in Hainan Island.
7- Yalong Bay, Sanya, Hainan Island
Not to be confused with Vietnam’s Ha Long Bay, Yalong Bay is a spectacular sandy white beach in southeast Sanya.
Yalong is often referred to as the ‘Hawaii of China’ because of its crystal clear waters, white sandy shores and palm trees.
The beach is around 22km east of Sanya and there is 7 km of soft sand shores to explore.
8- Tianya Haijiao, Sanya, Hainan Island
Another of Hainan Island’s breathtaking beaches is Tianya Haijiao, which is 50 minutes (by car) west of Sanya.
Several mismatched sized rocks line the beach, two of which are engraved with the Chinese characters 天涯海角 which translates to, “the ends of the earth”.
Legend has it that a young couple from rival clans fell in love, and to escape the hostilities at home, they ran until they reached Tianya Haijiao.
Right at the “end of the earth”, the couple vowed to love each other forever but troops from their clans had found them, and the lovers were forced to jump into the crashing waves.
People believe that two of the rocks at Haijiao are the couple in a different form, forever side by side, facing the sea.
Tianya Haijiao is at China, Hai Nan Sheng, San Ya Shi, Tian Ya Qu, 天涯镇 邮政编码: 572029.
9- Wuzhizhou Island, Hainan Island
China tends to nickname places after existing places worldwide, and Wuzhizhou is no exception, dubbed the ‘Maldives of China’.
Wuzhizhou Islands shores offer some of the best snorkelling around, with clear waters and pearly white sands to complement the turquoise ocean.
From Sanya, take the number 28 bus to Wuzhizhou Ferry Pier, from which a boat ride to the island takes 15 minutes and costs around ¥140 for a return trip.
Wuzhizhou Island is off the south coast of Hainan Island in the Haitang District, northeast of Sanya.
10- Zhouzai Island, Shimei Bay, Hainan Island
This undeveloped island offers quiet beaches and pristine waters, with few people.
Fish and various coral can be seen even in the shallower waters, so be sure to bring your snorkel.
The downside is there are no facilities on the island, so come prepared for a true Robinson Crusoe adventure.
Zhouzai Island is off the east coast of Hainan Island.
11- Dadonghai Beach, Hainan Island
Dadonghai Beach is the perfect place to spend the day relaxing on a beach lined with coconut palms.
Dip your toes in the water and sip a coconut drink while soaking up the Sanya sun.
Oh, and watch out for the pigs!
Several cute little pigs are known to roam this beach and investigate your picnic lunches.
Later, stroll along the boardwalk, which is set behind the beach and then enjoy some of the freshly caught crab meat from one of the seafront restaurants.
Dadonghai Beach is 6km from the Sanya city centre, Hainan Island.
12- Huangcuo Beach, Xiamen, Fujian Province
Gulangyu Island is located just across from the port city of Xiamen, right across the water from Taiwan.
Huangcuo Beach is situated on the south coast and is much more peaceful than other beaches on the island.
As the tides can sometimes change, many locals choose not to frequent this beach, leaving a peaceful beach for those who choose to go.
Huangcuo Beach is on Gulangyu Island in Xiamen, Fujian.
13- Xichong Beach, Shenzhen, Guangdong Province
While at Xichong Beach, you genuinely feel like you are on an island with luscious green hills as a backdrop, clear waters, and impressive sunsets.
Xichong Beach is far from the city of Shenzhen, around 80km southeast, on the Dapeng Peninsula to escape from the hustle and bustle.
So after spending a few days visiting the bustling city of Shenzhen, it’s a perfect long weekend getaway.
14- Golden Sand Beach, Qingdao, Shandong Province
Golden Sand Beach is on the southeast shores of Phoenix Island in Qingdao and is home to the annual Qingdao International Beer Festival.
Qingdao has been the brewing location of the famous Chinese beer, Tsingtao, since 1903.
Tsingtao beer is produced nowhere else in the country, and hence Qingdao has become synonymous with the green tinned beer.
Golden Sand Beach is a long beach populated by locals and tourists throughout the summer months.
Between 15 July and 7 August, the beach makes way for the famous beer festival, celebrating Chinese brewed beer and many international brands.
It’s the Chinese equivalent of Oktoberfest.
So, if you are in China looking for a beach, beer and party vibe, then Golden Sand Beach is your place.
Golden Sand Beach is in Qingdao, Shandong Province.
15- Shimei Bay, Hainan Island
Just a 40-minute drive southwest of the city of Wanning is Shimei Bay.
There are several affordable resorts in the area, so you can spend a couple of days taking in the bay’s beauty.
Popular activities on the beach include paragliding and fishing.
Unlike some of the other beaches on the island, Shimei Bay is still relatively pristine as few visitors journey to its shores.
Shimei Bay is on Hainan Island.
16- Bo’ao Bay, Qionghai, Hainan Island
Bo’ao Bay lies on the east of Hainan Island, where three rivers, Jiuqu, Longgun and Wanguan, meet and flow into the South China Sea.
Located close to Qionghai, this is a perfect spot for photography enthusiasts, as you can watch plenty of kitesurfers enjoying their time on the water.
If you’re new to kitesurfing, give it a try at one of the local kitesurfing schools.
17- Huihou Xunliao Bay, Guangdong Province
The sandy shore of Huihou Xunliao Bay stretches for about 11km.
Xunliao Bay has some of the most pristine waters in the eastern part of Guangdong.
Collect tiny shells on the beach, enjoy drinks aboard one of the traditional wooden boats or drink cocktails at one of the resort hotels.
Huihou Xunliao Bay is at Hui Dong Xian, Hui Zhou Shi, Guang Dong Sheng, China, 516367.
18- Shili Yintan Beach, Yangjiang, Guangdong Province
Shili Yintan Beach is a 16km sandy white coastline known as Shili Silver Beach.
Two Marina Bay Sands-like buildings dominate the coastline, where China’s construction culture juxtaposes with the beautiful natural coastal landscape.
Rent a sea kayak or race around on jet skis. There are plenty of water sports activities to keep you entertained here.
Shili Yintan Beach is at Jiangcheng District, Yangjiang, China, 529536.
19- Wucai Beach, Weizhou Island, Guangxi Province
The picturesque Chinese island of Weizhou is one of the crowning jewels of the Gulf of Tonkin.
Wucai Beach is located on the island’s east and isn’t your traditional white sandy beach.
Weizhou is a volcanic island, so the beach is made of black sandstone and has a distinctive rocky volcanic shoreline.
The coastal area of Weizhou Island is truly unique, and a beach such as Wucai is a real rarity in China.
To reach this picturesque island, you have to take a boat from the Beihai International Passenger Port Station.
Boats depart thrice daily at 8.30 am, 11.30 am and 3.45 am and return to Beihai at 10 am, 2.30 pm and 5 pm.
20- Sun and Moon Bay, Wanning, Hainan
The Sun and Moon Bay, otherwise known as Riyue Bay, is on the southeast coast of Hainan Island.
Riyue Bay is close to Wanning and just over an hour from Sanya.
If you are a surfer or interested in learning to surf, check out Sun and Moon Bay.
It’s the best place to surf on the island, and it also hosts a couple of international surf competitions each year.
The beach at Riyue Bay is not as frequented as those surrounding Sanya, making for a more peaceful getaway.
For more things to do in China read:
- 25 Famous Landmarks in China
- Best Time To Visit China
- 20 Ways To Celebrate Christmas In China
- 20 China Beaches For Your Bucket List
- 20 Things To Do In Guangzhou
- 21 Places To Visit In China
- 7 Things To Do In Xiamen
- 7 Amazing Xian Attractions
- Yangtze River Cruise
- Inner Mongolia In Winter
- Places To Visit In Yunnan