Beihai is connected by flights to Beijing (3 hr.), Guangzhou (50 min.), Guilin (45 min.), Shenzhen (1 hr.), Shanghai (2 hr.), Hong Kong (1 hr. 20 min.), Guiyang (1 hr.), and Kunming (1 1/2 hr.). Tickets can be purchased at the CAAC office at Beibuwan Xi Lu, second floor of Minhang Dasha (tel. 0779/303-3757) from 8:30am to 8:30pm. Buses depart from here for the airport (30 min.; ¥10/$1.30/65p), which is 24km (9 miles) east of town, 2 hours before scheduled departures and also meet incoming flights. Taxis to the airport should run ¥50 ($6.50/£3.25).
From the railway station (tel. 0779/320-9898) located between downtown and Silver Beach, twice-daily trains run to Nanning (3 hr.), where there are more extensive connections to the rest of China's rail network.
From the long-distance bus station (tel. 0779/202-2094) on Beibuwan Lu, air-conditioned luxury buses run to Nanning (2 1/2-3 hr.; ¥50/$6.50/£3.25) every half-hour from 6:50am to 9pm. Express buses also run to Shenzhen (11 hr.; ¥230/$30/£15) at 8:20pm; to Guangzhou (10 hr.; ¥180/$23/£12) at 8:45am and 8:55pm; and to Guilin (7 hr.; ¥150/$20/£9.75) at 8:40am and 9:10pm.
A daily 10-hour ferry to Haikou on Hainan Island departs at 6pm from the Beihai Guoji Keyun Gang (International Ferry Terminal; tel. 0779/388-0711). A standard room with shared bathroom costs ¥233 ($30/£15). A daily boat also runs to Weizhou Dao (2 1/2 hr.) at 8:30am and returns at 3pm. A sleeper berth costs ¥70 ($9.10/£4.55), while seats in second and third class cost ¥40 ($5.20/£2.60) and ¥35 ($4.55/£2.30) respectively. During high season, a fast boat, the Jinghai Hao, leaves at 8:30am. The fare is ¥120 ($16/£8).
Santana taxis cost ¥7 (90¢/45p) for 3km (2 miles), then ¥1.60 (20¢/10p) per kilometer. Motorcycle taxis charge ¥3 (40¢/20p) around town and ¥6 to ¥8 (80¢-$1.05/40p-50p) to Silver Beach.
Bus no. 3 (¥2/25¢/15p) runs from downtown to Yin Tan (Silver Beach), while bus no. 2 runs from the railway station north past Waisha to the ferry docks in the western part of town.
Bike rentals at Ba Da Bike Club, Bei Bu a Zhong Lu, Opposite Yin Bing Guan (tel. 0779/203-2334).
Banks, Foreign Exchange and ATMs -- The Bank of China (open Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 2:30-5:30pm) is located on Beihai Dadao between Guizhou Lu and Sichuan Lu. An ATM is available.
Internet Access -- The Beihai Library at Min Zu Da Dao 61 (tel. 0779/562-3636) is an impressive 50m-tall (164-ft.) geodesic dome. Unfortunately, the design is the only impressive thing about it: The glass invariably leaks and the bookshelves are about as well stocked as a thrift shop. Still, they do have a quiet Wangba, charging ¥2 (25¢/15p) per hour, just west of the Guotong Gouwu Zhongxin (Guotong Shopping Center). Dial-up is tel. 163.
Post Office -- The main post office (open 8am-8pm) is at the southwestern corner of Jiefang Lu and Woping Lu.
Visa Extension -- The Shi Gonganju (PSB) is located at Zhongshan Lu 213 (tel. 0779/209-1811; Mon and Fri 2:30-5:30pm and Tues-Thurs 8am-noon and 2:30-5:30pm, 3-6pm June-Sept).