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September 15, 2018

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An enchanting land of sand, sea, sunsets — and mud

DOTTED with harbors and islands, surrounded with vast areas of mudflats, Xiapu County along a stretch of the East China Sea coast in Fujian Province is an enchanting getaway for travelers and photographers.

With a coastline of 480 kilometers, the Xiapu mudflats cover more than 667 square kilometers, making them one of the country’s biggest mudflats.

Locals mainly make their living from fishing and other marine-related work. Bamboo poles, fish nets and stone columns are set up in the mudflats to dry kelp, seaweed, oysters and other fruits of the sea.

As the sun rises and sets, the tides rise and fall, the mudflats put on different colors from rosy pink to bright red; golden yellow to ocean blue.

Xiaohao Village, about 19 kilometers from downtown, is a little harbor nestled in the gentle arms of green mountains.

Its beach is not that smooth — broken up by several streams, creating a rough texture that forms various mudflats in the golden light of an evening sunset.

A step back in time

A little further on is Huazhu Village. On high land, it offers visitors a bird’s-eye view of the sea, the beach and islands. If it’s a cloudy day, the sea surface looks like it’s covered in a soft, white cotton blanket. Like a painting, entering the scene is like stepping back in time.

Beiqi Village near downtown is also a charming fishing village, offering colorful scenery and a taste of traditional rural life. It was once ranked one of China’s most beautiful 80 places and draws 200,000 tourists every year.

Yangjiaxi is famed for its maple trees, bringing brilliant color and light to the village during the quietest time of the year. It’s also known for its banyan trees. When the sunlight is just right, travelers can capture the moment when the light goes through the lush tree leaves and the ground is checkered with sunlight and shade.

Beidou is the nearest beach from downtown Xiapu.

In the evening, it’s busy with weary fishermen back from a hard day and groups of housewives repairing and weaving the nets for their husbands.


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