In the last report, you saw the house we bought in Beihai, in this one I want to show you the area of Beihai itself, the area immediately around our home. Firstly, as is common in China, the house is built as part of a compound, which means an area which is walled with gates and security, the idea being only people that live there can get into the compound making it more secure. A compound always has a communal outside and ours is no different… this is our compound:
Nice, hey? We bought an electric bicycle to get around, and just five minutes from our garage door takes us past a local market to ‘our beach’. These photos are all on ‘our beach’ and yes, it is normally this empty!
The crabs are excellent – they scamper over the beach in front of you, diving down into holes as you approach, popping back out as you go past! Thank you, Juliet, for this superb photo – mine didn’t work! Beihai is famous for an area called ‘Silver Beach’. This is a little further from our home, perhaps 15 minutes on the bike. It is a glorious long white-sand beach, a little busier than ours, but still with plenty of room as the photos show.
Beihai is also famous for its old town. Zhongshan Street and Zhuhai Street are the two oldest streets in Beihai, built around 1883. Since Beihai became a commercial port in 1876, a number of western companies from countries such as Britain, France, Germany and Holland set up their businesses around this area. The architecture reflects its colonial past with an interesting mix of Chinese and European influence and some extraordinary contemporary structures. It's also the ideal place to stock up on bargain-priced souvenirs.
So there you have it, Beihai – our new home. Hope everyone likes it.
Trevor & Shanhong