If you hear someone say that he or she is going to the Red Beach in Panjin, China, don’t start dreaming of a vast sandy beach with waves kissing the shore. Why? Because this is what it’s not!
People call it a sea of red. And this is what makes this stunning Chinese beach a tourist attraction, where thousands flock every autumn. Located in Panjin in the Chinese province of Liaoning, about 370 miles east of Beijing, this beach is actually the world’s largest marshy wetland, covering about 51 square miles of the area.
What’s so special about this wetland is it turns crimson every autumn, making it one of the most visually stunning places on the earth. The eye-popping red color is due to seablite, a type of succulent seepweed that only grows in the saline type of habitat found along the river. This weed is ideally suited to the saline conditions of this wetland.
Come autumn and the seablite grows and matures into a vast sea of red, covering all 51 square miles of the area! Imagine scanning the area and finding it flushed with scarlet hue as far as the eye can see. This carpet-like effect is because the weed densely covers the surface, literally turning it into a red carpet, making it a ‘red carpet beach’.
A red-carpet treatment indeed! This has put this, one of the best-preserved wetlands in the world, on the tourist map.
Although the marshland gets its vermilion color in autumn, when the weed matures, it’s also a treat to watch the lush green weed transform itself into crimson with the approaching season, giving it a breathtaking effect. It’s as if someone has spilled a can of red paint over miles and miles of green expanse.
Turning this beach into a tourist destination started way back in 1984 with the inception of Panjin city. Building a jetty over this state-protected nature reserve was one of the bright ideas to showcase this scarlet landscape to the public.
Thus, for the convenience of tourists, the Chinese authorities constructed a jetty over this marshland to allow them to ‘walk’ upon its ‘red carpet’. Today, this 6,500-foot long wooden jetty not only enables visitors to go over the marshland but also protects the weed from getting trampled due to the footfalls.
It’s not only the Panjin Red Beach that attracts tourists, but also its rich wildlife and birds. It’s home to 400 wildlife species and around 250 species of migratory birds, of which 20 are protected, including Saunder’s gull and Red crane.
It’s easy to reach this beach, as it’s well connected by both road and rail. Besides trains and other road transportation, a minibus also plies from Panjin to the Red Beach Resort from where one can catch a tuk-tuk, taxi or minibus to the Red Beach area. The nearby international airports, Shenyang TaoXian International, Dalian ZhouShuiZi International, and Jinzhou XiaoLingZi, cater to international tourists. Guided tours are also available that includes transportation.
So, if you’re bored of visiting the over-commercialized tourist destinations that have now been done to death, Red Beach comes as a much welcome change.