Formed by volcanic eruptions about 7,000 years ago Weizhou Island has a unique geological and geomorphologic landscape. The sea around Weizhou is rich in corals and other aquatic animals. Its subtropical monsoon climate with an average annual temperature of 22.6°C and an annual average rainfall of about 1380mm causes moderate summers and mild winters.
Except for Chinese national holidays Weizhou Island is not heavily touristed. Chinese tourists come here on daily trips and over weekends, but rarely stay longer. The island offers various scenic spots, a Gothic-style catholic cathedral, good and inexpensive seafood and wide beautiful beaches. It is ideal for relaxing and having a rest. Even the nightlife on Weizhou is less revelry than having a good time in one of its bars located in South Bay (NanWan) or a nice BBQ while enjoying the summer breeze from the sea.
If you travel with foreign bank cards, bring enough cash for your entire stay on the island. The only ATM on the island (in NanWan) will accept Chinese bank cards only and the local bank branch does not exchange foreign money either.
When planning a trip to Weizhou the weather forecast should be checked in advance. During heavy sea Weizhou Island can neither be reached nor left due to no ferries driving.
English is not widespread on Weizhou. As English is a school subject younger local people and children will be pleased to have a little English chat with foreign visitors. The dialect on Weizhou differs greatly from northern China's Mandarin. However, there are quite a lot of people who speak Mandarin, too.
Ferries to Weizhou depart daily from Beihai International Passenger Terminal (北海国际客运港) scheduled at 8:30AM, 12:00 AM and 3:30PM at take between 60 and 90 min. First class ¥180/trip. Second class ¥150/trip. In tourist season there may be more ferries, and during heavy sea, none. Check local sources for an updated schedule. The ticket counter closes 15 minutes before departure, and due to possible lengthy ticket queues it is advisable to arrive with plenty of time to spare.
Crocodile HillThis scenic spot is located in the Volcanic Park in the west of South Bay. Crocodile Hill can be reached either by walking or by taking a shuttle bus leaving at the Volcanic Geological Museum (¥20/trip). Tricycle drivers, motor cycles and bicycles are not allowed to enter the Volcanic Park. The island's entrance ticket must be shown to enter Crocodile Hill. Crocodile Hill has a round walk partially on wooden steps and planks that starts and ends at Crocodile Pharos and passes by the Seaview Pavillon, the Statue of Tang Xianzu, a volcanic vent, the Marine Pit, Canggui Cave, the Pirate Cave (Zeilao Cave), the sea arch, the Moon Bay, the Fall-In-Love-On-Weizhou-Island spot, coral sedimentary rocks, the Lover Bridge, the Moon Plaza, and the Sea Pier as well as craters and tree fossils.
ShiluokouShiluokou is located at the western coast of Weizhou Island. Its long sand beach, the clear water and its coral reefs made it the most famous beach on Weizhou. On its managed beach are deck chairs, cold beverages, seafood BBQ and water sports available.
Multicolored/Colorful BeachIn low tide's sunrises this volcanic stone beach located at the east coast of Weizhou Island offers a breathtaking view when the sun is dazzling reflecting on the wave cut wet stone surface.
Catholic Cathedraladdress: ShèngtángThe Catholic Cathedral in the middle of Shengtang Village was built over a decade in 1853 by French missionaries. It is made of coral sedimentary rocks from the sea bottom and built in neo-Gothic style.
Saint Maria ChurchThe Saint Maria Church is a small Gothic-style Catholic Church located in Chengzai village. It is less famous than the Catholic Cathedral but still opens its doors for Sunday Mass.
Sanpo TempleSanpo Temple in Weizhou's South Bay is also known as Tianhou Temple. After it collapsed due to landslides it was rebuilt a few years ago. The former temple was built in 1732 to chase away the evil and bring peace to the island. Local fisherman still come to the temple to pray for good luck, a good catch and a safe home coming from the sea.
Coral ReefsThe sea around Weizhou Island is rich in corals. They can be seen in low tide periods, while diving or joining a tour with glass bottom boots in West Beach (Shiluokou).
Xieyang IslandXieyang Island is a smaller island located 9 nautical miles to the southeast of Weizhou Island. Its total area is about 1.9 km². A small path leads from its north to its south. It is famous for its birdlife and peaceful atmosphere and home for a little more than 100 people. The passage from Weizhou to Xieyang is including backpassage between ¥750 to ¥1,200 a boat, which can be shared by up to 12 passengers.
Banana PlantationsBeside seafood, bananas are the most important goods produced on Weizhou. Banana plantations can be found beside the roads all over the island. The very tastefully fresh small and sweet bananas just cost a few yuan for a kilo.
Drippy RockSo named for a set of cliffs that drip water long after a downpour. Also the location of some nice beaches, and some on-beach eateries.
Having fun on the beachesWeizhou offers some of the best (and emptiest) beaches in China. However, because they don't have lifeguards, children and people unable to swim should not play in the sea unattended!
DivingWith instructor. All the material is provided. 30 minutes for around ¥130. Booking at your living place, in South Bay or at Shiluokou.
SailingThe Piggy Bar Hostel in South Bay offers attended sailing on a small sports sailer.
HikingExploring Weizhou Island by foot is fun. And because it is not very big, it's almost impossible to get lost.
South Bay Seafood Marketaddress: South Bay RoadThe island's main marketplace for seafood, with the largest range and lowest prices. Pick your selection, take it home and cook it up – or pay a fee at a restaurant and have them cook it for you. Other grocery items can be purchased in the surrounding shops, which offer the largest range of products on the island.
ATMaddress: South Bay Road, close to the dockside of the marketRural Agricultural Bank of China. This ATM does not accept international bank cards. China unionpay only.
ATMRural Agricultural Bank of China's second ATM.
- As in other places in China, websites and apps like ctrip list accommodation for Weizhou.
- Hotels and smaller guest houses are scattered all over the island, but the majority is located at the South Bay and the village near the Shiluodi Beach, where you also find restaurants, bars and coffee shops.
ta julyphone: +86 7796016295address: DīShuǐCūn No. 28 (滴水村28号)Probably the only designer-architected hostel on the island – ta july (七月) took a traditional style large-brick Weizhou home, cut away a layer and re-imagined it with large glass panels, and a modern design while still highlighting the traditional construction. Coupled with reasonable prices, and a young (former backpacker) management team who cook a variety of local delicacies each night (which you can share – just let them know ahead of time, and chip in for your share of the raw ingredients), and you have a winner. 5min walk to the beach (with sunsets, when there's no smog from the mainland), and 25min walk to Crocodile Hill. Stay in a dorm for less than the price of a Chinese coffee, or rent one of their three private rooms, two with a sea-view balcony.
Lodgings with Wi-Fi internet access are becoming increasingly prevalent on the island, so it shouldn't be hard to find one to stay at if you wish to stay connected during your trip.
China Postaddress: South Bay