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Beihai, Guangxi

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IF you are looking for a beach resort during the Spring Festival but want to avoid the crowds and high prices of tropical island province Hainan, Beihai City in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region is a good option for a short break.

With 24 kilometers of white sand stretching along the north coast of Beihai, Yintan Beach is hard to resist. So slow down and forget your hectic urban life; enjoy some laid-back sunbathing to the hypnotic sound of murmuring waves.

Boat trips are available from Beihai to nearby Weizhou Island, China’s largest but youngest volcanic island. Many visitors are drawn by its exotic lava landscapes shaped by the waves.

It's fun to explore either on foot or by bicycle ― and of course try to chase the sun set. Newly married couples often have their wedding photographs taken on the island.

Weizhou Island is also home to abundant seafood, including crabs, sea urchins, whelks, sea cucumber and abalone. Local restaurants will cook your catch for you, for a small fee.

If time permits, take a walk along Beihai's Old Street, featuring 15 or so Western architecture styles dating back to the 1900s, and experience a piece of old-time island life.

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