Beihai means north to the sea. The city became a colony and an open trade port after the Qing court signed the Yantai trading Agreement with British government in year 1876. As one of the fourteen open coastal cities, Beihai has now grown into a trading center in Guangxi province - with a history of trading with Malaysia, Indonesia and Burma.
Beihai was declared an open city in 1984. Its industries include machine shipbuilding, glass, aquatic products processing and off shore petroleum drilling. Tourism is on the rise in Beihai. For most travelers it is a stop on the way to Hainan or to Vietnam.
The city is positioned on a broad peninsula and so the main seafront coast is to the north of town. The older part of town is along the seafront and on Zhongshan Lu, where mouldering colonial buildings add to the sleepily tropical atmosphere. The harbor feels best in the morning when the fresh catches arrive, and there's a fabulous fish market here selling every type and part of sea life imaginable.
Beaches and islands constitute the biggest attraction in Beihai. The Silver Beach is the ideal place for beach-lovers to relax and soak up the sun. On the volcanic Weizhou and Xieyang Islands you'll find an atmosphere of tranquility and mystery.