Friday, May 31, 2013

China's Beidaihe on list of top 100 world beaches

Beidaihe in 1997
Beidaihe, a beach in northeast China, just made CNN's list of the 100 best  beaches in the world. Beidaihe ranked No. 60. It's a summer resort for top Chinese officials and is also popular with Russian tourists.

It's a couple of hours by fast train from Beijing.

I visited Beidaihe in 1997 when I was working as a foreign expert copy editor for China Daily. The Foreign Experts Bureau decided August in Beijing was too hot for foreigners, so they treated foreign experts throughout Beijing to a week in Beidaihe. We had to pay 100 yuan, then the equivalent of about $8, for the trip. This included round-trip train fare, hotel room, three meals a day and sightseeing throughout the area. We foreign experts pretty much got the red-carpet treatment during that trip. I remember seeing miles of roadblocks, with police standing every few yards on each side of the road,  to keep traffic off the roads as our buses were passing through.

The hotel was just a couple of minutes' walk from the beach, which was crammed with thousands of sunseekers and umbrellas. I promptly dubbed it Hawaii of the East, though that name now better applies to Hainan Island in South China. I was surprised Hainan did not make the list, though another of my favorite beaches, Bandon, Oregon, did make the top 100 beaches in the world.

Are you going to China?

If you're planning a trip to China, check out my website, Cheryl's China, and feel free to email me if you have any questions about travel in China.