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Qi Ao Dao

Atop one of Qi Ao island’s lofty peaks, the intrepid climber may glimpse the haze of a city skyline; Zhuhai, Shenzen, Macao, even Hong Kong. Chinese locals from these cities come here for the fresh air but discover much more. You should come not just for the reviving air but for the vistas, the charming locals, the exploration and the adventure!

Qi Ao Dao Map


In January 2001, the impressive Qi Ao bridge linked this island with mainland China for the first time in its 4500 year inhabited history. Pottery pieces dating back to this age (around 4500-5000 years ago) offer proof of ancient island inhabitants. Providing a focal point to the current village, a white stone street stretching over 1000 meters, was reportedly built by the British. Why? Because in October 1833 around 50 British troops invaded the island. After a resounding Qi Ao victory, locals ordered the road to be built as recompense for damages. A statue built to commemorate the skirmish can be found in the village (6). Unfortunately this story, along with most of Qi Ao’s history, exists only in verbal retelling. Qi Ao’s future, however, is more carefully scribed; thanks to the bridge and to other smaller investments, tourism is thriving, business booming and infrasctructure increasing. Blink and you won’t recognise it.


Catering to a broad spectrum of age and requirement, Qi Ao’s three schools swell the island population. They are Zhuhai International School (3), the Experimental School Attached to Peking University (1) and a local school in Qi Ao village. You’ll meet numerous chirpy students on the 85 bus.

Expect to meet a fair few students on your visit to Qi Ao.


If you’re prepared for a hike, Qi Ao offers thrillingly isolated beach coves. If not, prepare to share your accessible beach with many others. The island’s best beach (iii) is sculpted, maintained and adorned by restaurants and facilities, yet you’ll have to share this tiny cove with at least a dozen families and twice as many wedding photographers. Head further afield to find heavenly secluded beaches (v, vi), albeit somewhat spoiled by layers of washed-up rubbish. Beaches (i, ii, iv) are easily accessible for a quick walk, or maybe a BBQ. The most enjoyable parts of a trip to one of Qi Ao’s beaches are the walks there, the viewpoints and (at beach [iii]) the people-watching.

The secluded beach (v) is excitingly secluded, although this photo misses its rubbish piles.


Walk A – 30minutes – Medium – Passing Qi Ao’s most frequented beaches and restaurants, this coastal path offers a taste of Qi Ao’s rocky watersides without straying too far from comfort. Finish up at Qi Ao village or head on to…

Walk B – 40minutes – Hard – There’s no path round this headland, but the rocks are scaleable for those with a bit of bravery and some sturdy footwear. Follow the ‘No Fires’ signed path across the road from the 85 Bus terminal, pass through a tiny fishing settlement and then get clambering over the large rocks to beach (vi). Climb this one only at low tide and stay on the higher, drier rocks.
A rocky access route round the headland takes you away from the touring crowds.

Walk C – 30minutes – Medium – A steep and jungly pathway links this secluded beach (vi) with the hilltop statue park (8). Beginning at the top, take the concrete steps downward, and trust the path as it degrades into overgrown muddy slopes. Beginning at the bottom, follow your nose heading up West until you reach any of the uphill pathways.

Expect great views at Qi Ao’s high points.

Walk D – 30minutes – Medium – Before you reach the summit-top statue, take this left turn downhill for access to another fantastic beach (vi). It’s a fairly windy path, made for vehicles. Watch out for wildlife!

Dancing butterflies will accompany your walk through jungle-y pathways.

Walk E – 15minutes to 1hour – Easy – Decked pathways at the Wetland Nature Reserve (9) make for a pleasant stroll with natural eye candy of the insect variety.

Walk F (and G) – 1hour – Easy – Discover Qi Ao’s hidden farmlands, accessible by these two dirt paths. Mostly flat, this path takes you past lakes, rural homes and farmlands. From the bridge it’s possible to take a staircase to the path.


With bike paths practically as wide as the roads, Qi Ao offers excellent cycling potential. Approaching the island you cross the grand suspension bridge and descend into the main town. A smooth track runs around the town to various attractions. If your calves can handle the incline, it’s also possible to cycle up to the high point statue (8). The best offroad path is (F), or the slightly more challenging (G), both of which will take you past local houses and farms. Stock up on water from the shop in the Village, by La Auca (2) or at the Wetland Reserve (9).

Qi Ao’s bike paths are wide and welcoming.


Wetland Nature Reserve (9) – Stroll around a newly-built sprawling network of raised pathways. Below you, a fascinating watery landscape of plants, crabs, fish and more. At the entrance to the ever-expanding complex you’ll find some maps and English signage, along with a small restaurant and snack shop.

Brand-new walkways help visitors explore the wetlands.

Ollywood Film & Television Cultural Centre (7) – Either the ‘H’ fell off, or somebody, for some reason, wished to avoid copyright infringement. Either way, this ‘park’ has literally no connection to Hollywood, Film or TV. Simply, the name encourages foreigners to pay the 10Y entry out of curiosity. In fact, the price is worth paying anyway – a walk or drive to the top reveals a lofty statue, whilst an even more adventurous walk back down to the beach on the Eastern side is a joy. At the top you’ll find cold drinks and at weekends a ‘shoot the balloon’ fairground game.

Ollywood Film & Television Cultural Centre

Resistance Statue (6) – In 1833 fifty British troops invaded Qi Ao, and were resoundingly unsuccessful. Even dogs remained defiant, as evidenced by this fantastically emotive statue.

Resistance Statue in the village.

Apple Go Karting (5) – If Zhuhai’s International F1 Circuit has inspired you to put pedal to metal, Qi Ao’s (slightly smaller) track might set you on your way.


La Auca (2) – Lounge on La Auca’s seafront deck enjoying the restaurant’s varied menu of Chinese and European fare.

Sea-side Seafood Restaurant (4) – Feast on Zhuhai’s freshest and tastiest seafood while watching the wedding photography on Qi Ao’s clearest beach.

Lakeside Restaurant (10) – Just one of the many family restaurants to the West of Qi Ao village, this one has a super waterside setting.

Refreshments (8, 9, Village) – Drinks and snacks are available at these locations.

Getting There & Away…

The 85 bus is the only bus route to Qi Ao. It runs from 6am-8pm, costs 2Y, terminates in Tang Jia and stops at all the marked turn-offs en-route.

Taxi – Car/Bike
Backseating on a bike from Tang Jia should cost you 10Y, while a car will cost 15-20Y.

Wide roads and pathways link Qi Ao to the rest of Zhuhai. Head north from Tang Jia over the bridge.


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