Beihai covers a total area of 3,337 square kms with a population of 1.25 million. The city was named "Beihai" because it was surrounded by sea to the north. Beihai City is located at the southern end of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region and on the northeastern bank of Beibu Gulf. The whole city is surrounded by the sea on the south, north and west side. It has two islands, Xieyang and Weizhou which is about 20.2 nautical miles away from the city proper. It was first used in the time when Emperor Kangxi was in reign in the Qing Dynasty. Since Emperor Jiaqing came into power, it has been called "city".
In 1876, Beihai was formed as one of the earliest trading ports that was opened to the outside according to Sino-British Yantai Treaty. When People's Republic of China was founded in 1949, it became a town under the jurisdiction of Hepu County. In April 1984, Beihai was approved as one of the fourteen coastal cities in July 1987, and Hepu County was put under the jurisdiction of Beihai city of Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region.
Backed by the great southwest region of China, Beihai City faces the Southeast Asia, with Guangdong province, Hainan Island, HongKong, Macao and Vietnam in the surrounding area. Due to the geographic advantages, Beihai has abundant tourism resources with oceanic tourism resource in the leading position. A perfect oceanic tourism system consists of seawater, beach, islands, ocean treasure, mangrove forests, coral, ocean civilization, beach sports and shipping liners. Today, Beihai has become an important seaside tourism city in the south of China.
The various minority nationalities, such as Zhuang, Miao and Dong, etc., have been living in Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region from generation to generation. They have all developed their unique folk traditions and cultures. Over ten minority nationalities have been living harmoniously together with the same identity of Chinese culture, while preserving their own traditions, fineries, foods, festivals and religious beliefs respectively, even their own oral and written languages.
The terrain slopes from north to south. A group of hills stands in the northeast and northwest and plateau and plain lies along the southern coast. In the city proper, more than 70% of the land lies in the seaside plain with an average height of 10-15 meters above sea level. Major scenic spots include Silver Beach, Shankou Mangrove Forest Nature Reserve, Dongpo Pavilion, Guantou Ridge Tourism Resort, Piglet Ridge, Draining Curtain, Underwater Colored Ribbon.