Weizhou Island a volcanic wonder

Updated: 2013-01-17 10:40

By Liu Xiangrui (China Daily)

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Our day trip to Weizhou Island was a journey of discovery, as the volcanic isle welcomed us with many attractions apart from its natural beauty.

The mysterious isle, a 60-minute drive from Beihai, drew few visitors until it was developed into a tourist attraction recently.

Weizhou Island a volcanic wonder

Sunshine sanctuary 

Covering an area of 26.88 sq km, it is believed to be one of the largest and youngest volcanic isles in China. The island was listed as a national geological park in 2004.

Evidence of volcanic activity is well-preserved and visible all over the island, though the last eruption occurred several thousand years ago.

We were captivated by bizarre volcanic landscapes at Crocodile Park. The entire island is shaped like a crawling crocodile, with its long tail flung to one side.

As we walk down to the beach from the island's spine, we get a chance to track past eruptions by observing rocks formations along the way.

At the top, rocks are softer and lighter colored because they were able to cool down gradually after an eruption. Lower down, rocks appear dark brown, almost black, indicating that they were formed as the lava is suddenly quenched by sea water.

Hilltops are covered with much vegetation, but there is not even a blade of grass on the lower parts.

We walk down the zigzag steps carved into the slopes and suddenly, the vista opens up into a wonderful sea view as we reach the viewing platforms. Time for pictures!

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