To catch a Xiamen wave or windsurf - Visit Pingtan Island

Updated: 01 Oct 2008
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Pingtan Island, also named Haitan Island. ( 平潭or ) is located in the eastern Fujian Province. Being surrounded by sea, as it looks like Altar on the sea, it has been called “ Haitan Island” ( Altar on the Sea Island). It is only 68 nautical miles away from Xinzhu Port of Taiwan, the closest county to Taiwan on the Mainland.


The main island covers an area of 251 square kms, making itself the fifth biggest island in China, and the biggest island in Fujian. As the state key scenic spot, it enjoys the reputation as “ The number one sea beach in China” “ The number one wave erosion landform in the world”



The beaches at Pingtan Island


Pingtan Island is under charge of Pingtan County, and there lies Haitan Strait between the island and Fuqing City. Pingtan consists of 126 islets, the main islet being Haitan - an official tourist attraction. There are four bays and 28 beaches on Haitan alone.


The coast of the whole island twists and turns, the shore line is 408 kilometers long, more than 100 kilometers of it is high-quality sea sandy beaches.


The three great ocean strand sandy beaches are Changjiangao, Haitan Bay and Tannan Bay. They are in the north, east and south of the Pingtan Island, the sand quality is fine and white, the sea water is crystal clean and deep blue.


The most popular for wind surf and wave catching beaches are along Tannan Bay and Haitan Bay. These sandy beaches are about 40 kilometers long. The other beaches are also nice and beautiful, though some are primitive and full of granite rock formations



The Surfs


Pingtan Island is also known as East Mist because of the island is often enveloped in mist from the east during winter.


In winter, the island is very windy and cold. It is hence rid off summer tourists who are in search of cool waters. However, the wintery weather has brought diffrent beach activities. The season for windsurf and strong waves have just begun. The almost deserted beaches are God sent conditions for harden wind and wave surfers, as well as the huge and suitable beaches where these surfers could make proper use (and abuse) of their windsurfing gear.


The Siberian trade winds being funneled through the Taiwan Strait, often more than 30 knot wind is ideal for this wintery sport. The wind and surf conditions here are comparable to that of Penghu Island in Taiwan which are better known and hence more crowded spot.





Pingtan as a Tourist Spot


Pingtan is a very basic and peaceful place. There is a strong military presence in Pingtan, although it seems very well hidden. There is very little direct evidence of any military personnel. Spending from the young soldiers however, helps fuel a nightlife scene; though small, it is somewhat well known among Fujian province locals.


Since 2003, the annually held International Sand Sculpture Festival, Haitan Narcissus Festival and Fishermen Flavor Snacks Festival have attracted many visitors.


In 1996, the Haitan Scenic Spots were placed on China's Tentative List for UNESCO World Heritage Sites.


If you're a windsurfer or kite surfer living in Xiamen, the Pingtan Island trip is a must do. If you are just interested in seeing a relatively unspoiled and incredibly rustic piece of Southern China and meeting some beautiful, friendly folk to boot, it's also well worth the trip.



How to get there


Pingtan Island is nearest to China mainland at Fuqing in Fujian, the easternmost of the province. It is about 3.5hour drive from Xiamen before reaching the ferry terminal that would connect to Pingtan Island.


It would take another hour to cross over on the ferry and enter downtown Pingtan.


However, getting to Pingtan will be made easy upon the completion of the bridge sometime next year. The 5km Pingtan sea bridge which started construction end of last year will be completed by next year if it is on schedule.


The new bridge will connect Nianggong on Pingtan Island and Xiaoshandong of Fuqing. It will run off No. 305 provincial highway in Fujian.





SOURCE: Apple Travel




Apple Travel Xiamen Office (Main Office)
Address Shop 18-20,Guanren Rd (behind the Marco Polo Hotel)
361006 Xiamen,
Fujian Province, China


Reservations: (86-592) 5053122/ 5074177
Fax: (86-592) 5052948
Office Hours: Mon. - Fri. 08:30-18:00 Sat. 09:00-18:00 Sun. 13:00-18:00

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