Qinhuangdao - a beautiful Bohai Sea tourist destination
Spring Festival in January 1993 seems now like it was many years ago. I had reached Sanya at the southern tip of Hainan Island. The weather was idyllic, the surroundings so beautiful. I was alone on Dadonghai Beach, that vast stretch of sand sweeping towards Luhuitou Hill. If this was coastal Southern Europe it would be very busy. The area's potential was so obvious, but where were the people? That was 26 years ago and it's a very different scene from today.
While traveling along China's extensive coastline through the mid-1990's such thoughts repeatedly intrigued me. The beauty, the possibilities - but there was then little development. In July 1996 my explorations took in the historic walled town of Shanhaiguan. Part of Qinhuangdao where the Great Wall reaches the sea at "Old Dragon Head" (Lao Long Tou). Again, only a handful of people were present.
A few years later I witnessed changes. At Guangxi's coastal Beihai in 1999 the growth in domestic beach tourism was by then becoming significant. Sanya's Yalong Bay by 2001 had been transformed with several international brand hotels locating there. Indeed it was starting to resemble coastal Florida!