Beihai or Pakhoi, town (1994 est. pop. 135,500), Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region, SE China, an important fishing and trade port on the Gulf of Tonkin. Opened to foreign investment and trade in 1984, the city has large shipbuilding, food-processing, and marine product manufacturing facilities, and has acquired a reputation for harboring modern pirates. The chief pearl grounds of China are in nearby waters. The name sometimes appears as Pei-hai.
Beihai is also the ancient Chinese name for Lake Baikal

Beihai, in Cantonese called Bakhoi, is a prefecture-level city of Guangxi, China. Beihai means "north sea" in Chinese, meaning that the place is a seaport on the north shore of the Gulf of Tonkin. Between the years 2006 and 2020, Beihai is predicted to be the world's fastest growing city. Beihai has a large shipyard and is reputed to still be a pirate harbour. Beihai is known within China as a travel destination. While Beihai does suffer from pollution as much of China does, it is not nearly as severe as most other parts of the country.

It has a fairly active nightlife also containing western style bars. The dialect spoken throughout Beihai is "Beihua" a Cantonese dialect, although Mandarin is also known, or at least understood, by most of the population (Mandarin is the official language used in government, business and education above elementary level throughout China.)

  • Area: 3337 km², 957 km² urban centre
  • Population: 145,000 (2001), 135,500 in urban centre (estimated 2006: 305,000)
  • Municipal seat: Haicheng District
  • Geographic coordinates: 108°50′45″ - 109°47′28″ East, 21°29′ - 21°55′34″ North

It governs the islands of Weizhou and Xieyang, and is north of Hainan Island.


Beihai contains three districts and one county, which are subdivided into five urban sub-districts, 23 towns, 3 townships, 87 neighborhood committees, 343 village committees. (see also Political divisions of China#Levels)


After the 1876 Sino-British Treaty of Yantai, eight Western nations (UK, US, Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, Italy, Portugal, and Belgium) set up embassies, hospitals, churches, schools, and maritime customs. Today, 15 of these western buildings remain in Beihai. It officially became an international tourist spot (旅遊對外開放城市) in 1982.


Beihai is dominated by Han Chinese, with a few minorities such as ethnic Zhuang.


  • December 4, 1949: Beihai became a Communist Party of China town of Hepu County.
  • January 1951: a province-administered city of Guangdong
  • May 1951: entrusted to Guangxi
  • March 1952: officially administered by Guangxi
  • May 1955: Administered by Guangdong again
  • 1956: reduced to a county-level city
  • 1958: reduced to Beihai People's Commune of Hepu County
  • 1959: county-class town
  • 1964: restored to county-class city
  • June 1965: Administered by Guangxi again
  • October 1983: restored to prefecture-level city

Sister cities


Beihai has greatest high tides at September 1, with the tides being 5 meters (16 feet). Most ports have around 2 metres of high tide; Honolulu has 0.5 meter.

There is a spinning restaurant in the city.


External links

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