Golden Rush: Finding Zhuhai’s Most Idyllic Sandy Beaches

Golden Rush: Finding Zhuhai’s Most Idyllic Sandy Beaches

Zhuhai is not only known for being a very pleasant coastal town on the southern edge of Guangdong Province, but also for having a selection of rather wonderful beaches. Not only that but there’s a smattering of islands just off the coast with even better beaches, relatively untainted by the dirty sandals of tourists. Here we bring you four of the best.

1) Golden Beach 珠海金海滩 View In Map
Golden Beach is one of Zhuhai’s premier beaches, and is so called because of its beautiful golden sands, which are a unique feature of this area. The 3,000m long beach features sand that is clean and soft and there are even places to go carp fishing (not in the sea, obviously). The area is a holiday entertainment area, thus there are other tacky sights and things to do aside from playing in the sand or splashing on the beach, including ‘Valentine Island hunting’, The First Frog of South China Sea rock, fishing areas, ‘Labyrinth Adventure’, commercial streets, barbeque areas, beach volleyball, horse-riding, motorbike racing, laser tag and marine boating. If that doesn’t satisfy your need for a seaside whimsy, there are plenty of accommodation options including tourist villas as well as hotels.

The beach is situated around 30km outside of the city centre, along Sanzao in Jinwan District. It can be reached easily by direct bus routes, which take around two hours.

Add: Golden Beach Leisure Spot, Sanzao, Jinwan District, Zhuhai
Beach admission: 20 RMB
Getting there: Take bus No. 201, 204, 205, 206, 207, 602, 605, 608 or 609 from the city centre and change at Huxin Lu onto the 704 bus which takes you straight there.

2) Hebao Island South Bay Beach 荷包岛大南湾沙滩
Hebao Island (meaning Purse Island in Chinese, presumably because of the shape, not because it’s pickpocket heaven) is plunked between the Huangmao Sea and the Pacific Ocean, with an area of about 13 km² and a coastal circumference of roughly 28 km, surrounded by crystal clear waters. The island boasts eight bays, including the wonderfully-monikered ‘Booty Bay’ (藏宝湾), Southern Bay, and Sweeping Bay. Several beaches are popular with tourists, the largest of which being Southern Bay, with soft sands and special areas dedicated to swimming and splashing about in the waves. Visitors also can surf, go fishing, pick mussels, and indulge in all manner of beachy pursuits.

In the evening you can chase sand crabs that scuttle across the beach, have a BBQ, sing outdoor karaoke (is anywhere sacred?!), have a bonfire and do other ‘fishing village’ activities like catching fish with hand-pulled nets. Purse Island is a place you can really get back to nature. Of historical note, Purse Island was used as a South China Seas military base during the war, and it still retains a number of military installations such as bunkers, shelters, observation decks etc, which can all be explored, adding to the unique character of this island.

NB: Visitors must carry a valid form of ID at all times; when taking a boat, it will be inspected.
Beach admission: 15 RMB
Getting there: Take the boat from the Hebao wharf behind the Customs Tower in Zhuhai Port; it takes at least 30 minutes to get there. An express ferry is 60 RMB; slow ferry is 40 RMB.

3) Shangchuan Island 上川岛
Found in the south-east of Gaolan Island in west Zhuhai, this charming resort has over 12 beaches spanning 30 kms including East-Coast beach, Flying Sands (飞沙滩), and Silver beach (银沙滩). Flying Sands boasts crystal clear waters and inviting sands, including a long spit that stretches into the ocean (giving the place its name), and waves that lap endlessly over the shores. The beach resort now boasts new amenities including showers and washrooms, beach villas, and many seafood restaurants where you can snack on freshly-caught produce from Poseidon’s great cooking pot. Possible activities include surfing, swimming, fishing, and beach volleyball, and for the thrill-seekers there’s parasailing and paragliding, jet-skis, banana-boating, and donuts (the inflatable rubber kind, not the edible kind). For fish-enthusiasts there is a fine aquarium here, and it’s also possible to go snorkeling in the shallows on the hunt for sunken pirate ships and whatnot.

As one would imagine, seafood is in abundance here, but particularly good are the lobster and grouper fish. Besides that there’s everything you’d expect: you will not leave here feeling hungry! (unless you hate seafood, then what are you doing here in the first place?) 

Getting there: There are scheduled shuttles from Shanju wharf to Shangchuan Island (Sanzhou wharf), leaving from the Shanju – Sanzhou port (山咀码头—三洲港) at 09:30, 11:00, 14:00 and 16:00 daily. There are additional shuttles during holidays and peak season.
Price: Express boat 31 RMB; regular boat 21 RMB

4) Dong’ao Island, Nansha Bay (东澳岛南沙湾)
Dong’ao Island is smack bang in the middle of Zhuhai’s Wanshan archipelago, and can proudly say that it has completely retained its natural charm, boasting deep blue waters, verdant forests, and pearly-white sands. There are three beaches accommodating three bays here: Nansha Bay, Dazhu Bay and Xiaozhu Bay, with the most popular being Nansha with a wide, flat beach and soft delicate sand. The beach is quite well sheltered from the big bad ocean and the waves that do cruise in here aren’t terribly big, so you can be sure your kids won’t drown in a gurgling saline hell. Dong’ao is a good spot for surfing, swimming, bathing, diving and sailing, and the beach is known by old locals as ‘Diamond Beach’. There are accommodation facilities on the beach, but be warned-from May to October is the busy season and on weekends you won’t find a hotel for love nor money, so it’s imperative you either book ahead, or go during the week.

Getting there: Take the ‘East District No. 2’ (东区二号) luxury passenger ship from Zhuhai Xiangzhou dock, and after 50 short minutes, you’ll arrive at your destination. Boats leave Zhuhai at 09:10 and 14:40, and return from the island at 13:00 and 16:45.
Price: 66 RMB (plus 5 RMB for shuttle service when on the island)

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Keywords: Chinese beaches Guangdong beaches best beaches Zhuhai


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