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Bei Gang – A small island within an island.

Beigang island is located at the mouth of Dongzhai Port in Puqian bay, in the northeast corner of Hainan island. The island covers an area of around 2,330 acres and houses around 1,550 residents.  

The island is home to Beigang village, which is one of only three small fishing villages on the island. The Island survived the Qiong zhou earthquake which happened more than 400 years ago in 1605, it was originally connected to the land but became an island within an island after the earthquake.

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In 2013, the per capita annual net income of the island residents was about 15,000 yuan, which was much higher than the annual per capita annual net income of 8342 yuan in the province.

Fishing is the main source of income for residents on the island. Fishermen will usually go out to fish during the night and return in the morning.

In July 2014, the village survived another natural disaster, the “weimason” typhoon which was a level 17 super typhoon. This was the first time in over 60 years that Hainan had been hit by a typhoon of this magnitude.

Around 70% of the houses on the island suffered serious structural damage and 123 fishing boats were either sunk or destroyed. Additionally, when the typhoon hit, 70% of households were flooded, with water levels rising as high as 1.5 meters. The island suffered a total loss in damages of 25 million yuan. Luckily there were no casualties.  

In recent years, thanks to various members of the Hainan provincial, and Haikou and district government departments, the island has undergone redevelopment with investment in new fishing boats and reconstruction of damaged property.

Regarding the issue of safety of the villagers in Beigang Island, the Haikou Municipal Party Committee and Municipal Government contemplated relocating residents from the island to Binhai village, Yanfeng town. However, locals from the island refused to leave, they couldn’t accept the proposed change to their livelihood. Being a small island there was very little land for farming and for generations, residents of Bei gang had made their living from the sea.  

Two friends on the boat to Puqian

Transport to and from the island is by boat from the Puqian side, the boat ride takes around 5 minutes and costs 2 yuan per person. The ferry boat runs throughout the day and the last boat back to Puqian leaves at 17:50.

Children waiting at Puqian harbor to catch the boat to Beigang island

There’s an elementary school on the island, classes are small and supplies are limited. Teachers travel to the island each day by ferry to get the school. According to multiple sources online, one teacher has been teaching there for more than 26 years now and the ferry crossing to the island is free for him. Nowadays many of the children catch the early morning ferry off the island to study in nearby towns.

Hai wen bridge.

On the 18th March 2019, Hai wen bridge opened to traffic from Haikou to Wen Chang. The bridge crosses over Bei gang island but presently there is no off-ramp to access the island from the Bridge. During the construction of the bridge, the people of Bei gang island used the engineering bridge to access the Haikou side. For more information on Hai wen bridge click here.

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