Places to go
Silver Beach, (a few km outside town). Beach with grey-white quartz sand and well worth visiting, but do not expect clear blue water as the quartz sand makes the water appear quite murky, even though it is considered to be save for swimming. If you have the chance to stick around the beach after dark, you will be in for a wonderful sight. If the sky is clear and the light from the moon is shining on the water, you will be treated to the fluorescence of the seaweed that grows fairly close to the shore line. But the main effect is the reflection of the moonlight by the quartz sand of the beach. Free.
Night Markets. Locals enjoy staying up late and one of the best things to do in Beihai is just to wander around streets with food and market stalls. There are a couple of public parks that are open late and many locals head there at weekend nights to have a drink, do some dancing and just to meet their friends.
Cinema. Around the Beibuwan Square there are at least three locations for the cinema. At the top of two shopping malls. 1st one: Crossing of Changqing Road & Hai'an Road (3rd floor), 2nd one: Beibuwan Middle Road & Hai'an road (5th floor) and the third one is at the Beibuwan Middle Rd (4th floor). The first two are very new, where as the last one is slightly older.
Old Street, (take bus 3 for ¥2 from Beibuwan Square, they usually do not run after 9:30PM). The street is famous for its old colonial buildings, which are rotting away. This is the original site of the first Western trade centres in Beihai. Now there are quite a few bars there and a busy nightlife.
Underwater World, (halfway between the long distance train station and the Silver Beach along the route of bus 3). Oceanorama and exhibition center of shellfish and coral. A must-see for aquarium enthusiasts. Featuring over a thousand kinds of coral and shellfish, the combined complex also features a large collection of fish, sharks, and turtles, as well as a ten meter tall column-style aquarium. In addition to the sea life, there is also a large section on China's naval history, with some nods to foreign expeditions as well. Of particular interest is the exhibit on the Ming Dynasty Muslim-eunuch Admiral Zheng He, including a detailed comparison between his massive treasure ships and the comparatively tiny vessels of Christopher Columbus. While the ¥100 entrance fee seems a bit steep it is not difficult to spend 2-3 hours wandering through the complex, especially if one of the center's English speaking Chinese tour guides is available. Besides this the Oceanorama also has an extensive commercial wing for those interested in buying genuine pearls. The adjacent 4D Cinema is a bit of a tourist trap at ¥25 for a 15 minute film, but for those with a bit of extra cash to spend it is an enjoyable experience. Viewers may choose between several different movies to watch, including the supernatural Escape from Bane Manor. Sadly, there are no English subtitles.
There are a couple of music bars (disco's)in the city centre, for example The Nest not far from the main office of China Mobile near Beibuwan Square, and at Old Street and No ONE bar in the Triumph building opposite McDonalds and N0. 88 bar in Guizhou Rd, not far from The Nest. In some of these places you have to order a sixpack at a price range above ¥100 if you want a beer, in others you accordingly get charged more for a single drink. Music is usually trendy, noisy and very little room for dancing. As mentioned above there are 4 western owned bars: -The Rusty Nail in Haijiao Rd, Sports bar, pooltable, soccertable and darts boards. Noisy heavy music, but still on a level to make conversation. Canadian owner named Cy. -The Way Inn - Holland bar in Old Street. European pub style. pooltable, dartboards, soccertable. background music, golden oldies. great pizzas and burritos. Dutch owner named Tony. -William Shakespeare close to Silver Beach. Big restaurant (core biz) and small bar with draught beer.background music. English owner named Mark. -Lai Lai Tommy's at Waisha seafood area. restaurant in stand-alone mansion. Western food and bbq. background music. Chairs outside. Swedish-Australian owner named Tommy.