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The Best Beach In China

A good beach in China?

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Over the past twelve years I’ve been up and down the coastline of China. I know the country’s beaches. They are usually massive mudflats, industrial spewage sites, land reclamation areas, luxury condo lots, or face-kini clad, garbage strewn, bride laden recreational zones. In all scenarios they are not really places that you want to be. 

The Chinese are bad at beaches — real bad. 

So I was not expecting much in regards to beaches when I came to Kinmen island for the first time in 2012. While not administered by Beijing it’s basically the same culture. 

I walked around a few of the beaches on the sides of the island that faced towards mainland China and I was not surprised to find then chock full of garbage. 

No worries. Beaches were not what I came here for. 

But then when off walking on the other side of Greater Kinmen — the side that faces away from China — I came upon something truly special: a massive, wide, beautiful, and empty beach. It stretched for miles and miles uninterrupted. There were only a few fishermen raking clams. It was a site that’s becoming so rarer and rarer. 

The beach was not only not ruined by people but had all the perfect natural conditions: roughly 300 meters wide or so, depending on the tide, with the soft sand extending far out into more or less clean(ish) blue water. 

I go back to this beach whenever I come back to Kinmen. Now that I’m staying here for a while I come with my wife and kids regularly. 

There are now some temporary vendor tents, and a nice size crowd comes down just before evening to go for a stroll in the surf after the sun ceases being so hot. It’s a nightly local hangout in the summertime. Kids run around everywhere. There are benches and picnic tables set up where you can sit back, crack open a cold beer, and watch the ships pass by on the rolling waves in the distance. 


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Filed under: Beaches, Kinmen, Travel Diary

About the Author:

I am the founder and editor of Vagabond Journey. I’ve been traveling the world since 1999, through 91 countries. I am the author of the book, Ghost Cities of China and have written for The Guardian, Forbes, Bloomberg, The Diplomat, the South China Morning Post, and other publications. has written 3717 posts on Vagabond Journey. Contact the author.

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VBJ is currently in: New York City

8 comments… add one

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  • becida July 23, 2017, 12:53 pm

    That was a nice post, It’s good to see how the common in my world is different in others. Speaking of different I had to look up “face-kini”,. that is different!

    On a side note, you’re writings remind me of youtube. I stop for one thing & get sucked in, the next thing I know serious time has passed!

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    • VagabondJourney July 23, 2017, 10:44 pm

      Thank you! Those face-kinis are nuts. Sometimes beaches try to ban them. There’s a good example on this page here: http://www.vagabondjourney.com/lianyungang-beaches/.

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      • becida July 24, 2017, 11:56 am

        That was a good write up, thanks. I did wonder about the brides all dressed in what looked (to me) as traditional western bridal gowns.
        I realized that I’ve no idea how the white bridal gown thing came to be traditional ‘anywhere’.

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  • Az July 21, 2019, 4:08 pm

    Taiwan is its own country, it’s not part of China. Please don’t oppress/bully Taiwanese by doing what China does and saying Kinmen is part of China without considering our pain as Taiwanese people…

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    • Wade Shepard July 22, 2019, 10:54 am

      Isn’t the name of your country the Republic of China?

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      • Az August 9, 2019, 10:19 am

        Our country is called Taiwan. Period.

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        • Wade Shepard August 9, 2019, 11:09 am

          The official name of your country is the Republic of China. Look it up.

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        • Wade Shepard August 9, 2019, 7:20 pm

          On top of that, the people of Kinmen don’t even say they’re from Taiwan. For them, Taiwan is the big island that has Taipei. They say they’re from Fujian.

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