|Beidaihe in 1997|
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.
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