Nan'ao Island AAAA Eco-Tourist Area(Jade in South Sea, one of Shantou's Eight Sights)
Nan'ao is a county on the sea and lies 11.3 miles northeast of Shantou. Composed of 23 islands including Nan'ao Island, Nanpeng Archipelago and Lemen Archipelago, the county owns 111.5-sqkm land area, 4,600-sqkm sea area and 99.2-km coastline. The highest peak of 588.1m on the main island is also the summit of Shantou Prefecture. As a national AAAA tourist attraction and the only offshore county in Guangdong Province, Nan'ao boasts perfect island environment, abundant farm produce and unparalleled natural scenery. Over 50 cultural relics and 60 beaches are ready for tourists.
Qing'ao Bay: Located at the east end of Nan'ao Island, Qing'ao Bay is 11 km from the county town and is a fairly well-known tourist resort in East Guangdong. Hidden among the green hills, the crescent bay is a natural flat swimming beach with white fine sand and blue sea water.
Zongbing Fu (Regional Military Command's Headquarters): This is the Nan'ao commander's office in the Ming and Qing Dynasties. Located in Shen'ao Town, it was first built in the fourth year of the Ming Wanli Emperor's reign (1576 A.D.) and was rebuilt in 1983. Nan'ao Island is located at an important communication point between East Guangdong and South Fujian. As the frontline of coast defense, the island has been a place with military presence for centuries. In the Ming and Qing Dynasties alone, 172 regional commanders and vice commanders took office here. Nan'ao Island belonged to Guangdong Province. However, from the 24th year of the Qing Kangxi Emperor's reign to the Republic of China (1912-1949), the regional commanders stationed on the island were actually in charge of all the coast defense of Fujian and Guangdong Provinces and Taiwan Island.
Jinyin Island (the Treasure Island): This is a small but mysterious island to the northeast of Nan'ao Island. No bigger than 1000 sqm and composed mainly of rocks in various exotic shapes, the island is said to be the place where Wu Ping, a well-known Nan'ao pirate in the Ming Dynasty, buried his treasures. There is also a proverb about the location of the hiding place which is "clear of the water when the tide is high but 3 feet flooded when the tide falls". For centuries, the words have remained a mystery.
Song Well (a water well from the Song Dynasty): This well is on the southeast beach of Nan'ao Island, and was dug out in the Song Dynasty. Towards the end of the Southern Song Dynasty (1276 A.D.), the Yuan Dynasty army broke into Lin'an (today's Hangzhou), the Southern Song capital, and the royal family had to flee to the south. When they arrived at Nan'ao Island, they dug three water wells in the beach, one for the Emperor and named the Dragon Well, one for the ministers and named the Tiger Well and one for the soldiers and named the Horse Well. Due to landscape changes, however, only the Horse Well can be found today. And this well can do magical things. Frequently flooded as it is, the water in it remains fresh once the tide recedes. In the proximity of the well lies over the relics of Taizi Lou (Prince's Mansion). This prince refers to Zhao Bing, the younger brother of the last Southern Song Emperor Zhao Gang.
Qing Soldiers' Cemetery: This 3000-sqm graveyard was built in 1993 in the northeast of Nan'ao Island, and relocated here were the remains of 199 officers and soldiers who were stationed in Taiwan and Penghu Archipelago during the reigns of the Qing Daoguang Emperor and Tongzhi Emperor and buried in their garrison when they died on duty. And their tombstones are arranged to form two big Chinese characters Zhong Hun (Loyal Souls).
Source: Website of the Municipal Tourism Bureau