Lighthouses of China: Hebei and Tianjin

Hebei (formerly spelled Hopei or Hopeh) is the province of northern China surrounding the independent metropolitan districts of Beijing and Tianjin. Its coast faces eastward on the Bohai Sea (sometimes called the Gulf of Chihli), a northwestward extension of the Yellow Sea lying west of the Liaodong and Shandong peninsulas. Qinhuangdao, China's second busiest port after Shanghai, is located in the northern part of Hebei. Binhai (formerly Tanggu), at the mouth of the Hai River in Tianjin, is another very large port; it is the closest seaport to Beijing.

The Chinese word for a lighthouse is dēngtǎ (灯塔). Lighthouses in China are maintained by the PRC Maritime Safety Administration. The administration is organized in several regional administrations; Hebei and Tianjin lighthouses fall under the Tianjin MSA.

The pinyin system for transliterating Chinese into Latin characters is now the international standard, but some locations continue to be known also under the spellings of older transliteration systems. The Chinese word for a lighthouse is dēngtǎ (灯塔). Jiao or chiao is a cape, dao, tao, yu, or hsu is an island, wan is a bay, and kang or gang is a harbor.

ARLHS numbers are from the ARLHS World List of Lights. CN numbers are Chinese light list numbers. Admiralty numbers are from volume F of the Admiralty List of Lights & Fog Signals. U.S. NGA List numbers are from Publication 112.

General Sources
MSA Aids to Navigation - Lighthouse
Two pages of photos of prominent Chinese lighthouses.
Lighthouse Appreciation
Posted by the Wenzhou MSA office in Zhejiang Province, this portfolio of photos includes several Liaoning lighthouses.

Nanshantou Light
Nanshantou Light, Qinhuangdao, August 2010
Panoramio Creative Commons photo by Y.W. Jiang

Qinhuangdao (Chinwangtao) Lighthouses
Note: Qinhuangdao, at the mouth of the Tanghe river, is one of the largest ports of northern China. The harbor, known as Haigang, has developed enormously in recent years, and the international light lists have struggled to keep up with changes in the navigational lights. There may be additional lighthouses not described here.
Qinhuangdao East Channel/Southeast Approach Range Front (2)
1984 (station established 1973). Active; focal plane 33 m (108 ft); continuous white light. 29 m (95 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located near a large tank farm on the east side of Qinhuangdao. Site and tower closed. CN-1274; Admiralty F3948; NGA 18448.
Qinhuangdao East Channel Range Rear (2)
1984 (station established 1973). Active; focal plane 45 m (148 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s. 44 m (144 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. An MSA photo is at right, and Bing has a good satellite view. Skeletal towers to either side of the lighthouse carry lights defining the edges of the channel. Located in an industrial area about 1200 m (3/4 mi) north of the front light. Site and tower closed. CN-1273; Admiralty F3948.1; NGA 18452.
Qinhuangdao Southeast Approach Range Middle (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 43 m (141 ft); white flash every 6 s. Approx. 39 m (128 ft) white tower. NGA lists a concrete tower, but Bing's satellite view shows a tapered square skeletal tower with gallery. No photo available. Located in an industrial zone 1.95 km (1.2 mi) northwest of the front light. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3948.11; NGA 18448.1.
Qinhuangdao Southeast Approach Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 58 m (190 ft); continuous white light. Approx. 45 m (148 ft) octagonal concrete tower carrying a large observation room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Two tapered skeletal towers to the southeast, seen in another satellite view, define the edges of the channel. Located in an industrial zone 1.95 km (1.2 mi) northwest of the front light. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3948.15; NGA 18448.2.
Qinhuangdao Fuel Oil Pier Outer Head (2)
1990 (station established 1976). Active; focal plane 11 m (36 ft); white flash every 3 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The three oil pier lights appear to be identical. Located at the end of a long pier on the east end of the Qinhuangdao waterfront. Site and tower closed. CN-1266; Admiralty F3950.5; NGA 18432.
Qinhuangdao Fuel Oil Pier Inner Head (2)
1990 (station established 1973). Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); continuous red light. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a side pier on Fuel Oil Pier, about 600 m (0.4 mi) north of the Outer Head Light. Site and tower closed. CN-1267; Admiralty F3949.5; NGA 18424.
Qinhuangdao East Channel Middle Range Rear Light
Qinhuangdao East Channel Range Rear Light
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo
Qinhuangdao Fuel Oil Pier Innermost Head
1979. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a side pier on Fuel Oil Pier, about 600 m (0.4 mi) north of the Outer Head Light. Site and tower closed. CN-1268; Admiralty F3950; NGA 18428.
Qinhuangdao Coal Pier
Date unknown. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); light characteristic unknown. Approx. 11 m (36 ft) round concrete tower with lantern and gallery. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the end of a pier a short distance west of the oil piers. This light is not listed on the international lists or the Shanghai MSA list.
Qinhuangdao East Entrance West Breakwater
2009. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); red light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 13 m (43 ft) double post (ladder-like) steel tower with a large gallery and a triangular daymark at the top, painted white with red trim. A photo and a more distant view are available, and Google has a satellite view. Located at the end of a short breakwater at the harbor entrance. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3937.45.
Zhongxin Biao (Qinhuangdao Main Channel Range Subsidiary)
1986. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 15 m (49 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a square concrete pier. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a fuzzy satellite view. This is apparently an entrance light for the range. Located offshore about 2.5 km (1.5 mi) southeast of the Nanshantou lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CN-1278; Admiralty F3937.6; NGA 18420.
* Qinhuangdao Main Channel Range Front (2)
Date unknown (station established 1975). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); continuous white light. 30 m (98 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower, painted white. The tower carries a large triangular daymark, point up. A photo and a distant view are available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the Qinhuangdao waterfront about 600 m (0.37 mi) northeast of the Nanshantou lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. CN-1279; Admiralty F3937.4; NGA 18412.
* Qinhuangdao Main Channel Range Rear
Date unknown (station established 1975). Active; focal plane 48 m (157 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 47 m (154 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white vertical stripes. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Skeletal towers to either side of the lighthouse carry lights defining the edges of the channel. Located in downtown Qinhuangdao about 1.95 km (1.2 mi) north of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CN-1280; Admiralty F3937.41; NGA 18416.
* Nanshantou Tourist Pier
2009. Active; focal plane about 15 m (49 ft); white light, 1 s on, 1 s off. 12 m (39 ft) square tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white; the lantern roof is orange. A photo is at right, a photo of the light in action is available, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse replaced a light on a yellow post seen in Zhao Wu Jue's 2007 photo. Located at the end of pier extending from a plaza at the north side of the Nanshantou headland. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3937.2.
** Nanshantou (4)
1991 (station established 1890). Active; focal plane 59 m (194 ft); white flash every 15 s. 49 m (161 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, gallery, and a circular observation room, adjoining a semicircular 2-story concrete harbor control building. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Y.W. Jiang's photo is at the top of this page, another photo and a third photo are available, the Wenzhou MSA office has a good photo, Yu Shujiang has a photo, and Bing has a good satellite view. This is the landfall light for the port of Qinhuangdao. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1918, and another lighthouse was built under Japanese rule in 1942. The present lighthouse is somewhat endangered by erosion of the bluff on which it stands, and there was a project in 1993 to stabilize this slope. Located on a promontory ("Nanshantou" means "South Mountain Head") on the Qinhuangdao waterfront, just east of the traditional harbor entrance. Site open; the observation level of the tower is probably open as well. ARLHS PRC-047; CN-1285; Admiralty F3937; NGA 18408.
Qinhuangdao Pier A
1982 (station established 1976). Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); continuous green light. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The original light was removed after a ship collided with the pier in 1980. Located on the seaward corner of the main pier of Qinhuangdao's traditional harbor. Site status unknown. CN-1269; Admiralty F3945; NGA 18466.
Qinhuangdao Breakwater East End
1986. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); red flash every 4 s. 10 m (33 ft) round tapered fiberglass tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. NGA describes the breakwater as being detached, but it is now joined to land by a very broad industrial pier. Located at the east end of the main breakwater for Qinhuangdao's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. CN-1297.1; Admiralty F3942; NGA 18454.
Nanshantou Pier Light
Nanshantou Tourist Pier Light, Qinhuangdao, 2009
Nipic.com Creative Commons photo by gremlin
Qinhuangdao West Channel Range Front
Date unknown (station established 1975). Active; focal plane 31 m (102 ft); continuous white light. 30 m (98 ft) square cylindrical concrete tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. The lighthouse is flanked on either side by two skeletal towers presumably carrying additional lights; these may indicate the sides of the dredged channel. Located at the end of a pier in Qinhuangdao's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. CN-1302; Admiralty F3941; NGA 18468.
Qinhuangdao West Channel Range Middle (2)
Date unknown (station established 1975). Active; focal plane about 44 m (144 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s (?). Approx. 40 m (131 ft) cylindrical tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Skeletal towers to either side of the lighthouse carry lights defining the edges of the channel. This lighthouse is on the site of the former rear range light. The new tower is apparently shorter than the old one, which had a height of 46 m (151 ft). Located within the harbor area about 1 km (0.6 mi) northwest of the front light. Site status unknown.
Qinhuangdao West Channel Range Rear
Date unknown (2000 or later). Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s. 46 m (151 ft) cylindrical tower topped by a control room. Lighthouse painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Skeletal towers to either side of the lighthouse carry lights defining the edges of the channel. Located on the east bank of the Tanghe river, next to an interchange of a new expressway. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3941.1; NGA 18472.
Qinhuangdao Breakwater West End
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12.5 m (41 ft); continuous green light. 10 m (33 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located at the west end of the formerly-detached main breakwater. Site and tower closed. CN-1298; Admiralty F3942.1; NGA 18454.5.
Jinshanzui (2)
1991 (station established 1954). Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); two white flashes every 6 s. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower, lower half pyramidal and upper half cylindrical. Lighthouse painted white. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. The place name Jinshanzui means "golden spur." Located on a high promontory projecting into the gulf of Bohai about 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of Qinhuangdao. Site status unknown, but this site is probably accessible by road. CN-1308; Admiralty F3936; NGA 18476.

Tangshan Lighthouses
Note: Tangshan is a highly industrialized city at the northern entrance to Bohai Wan (Bohai Bay). Bohai Bay is the westernmost extension of the Bohai Sea; the shallow, semicircular bay leads to the port of Tanggu in the Tianjin Metropolitan District.
Tangshan (Jingtang)
Date unknown (probably recent). Active; focal plane 40 m (131 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 35 m (115 ft) round tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the east side of Jingtang harbor, the harbor of the city of Tangshan, at the northern entrance to Bohai Wan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3934; NGA 18494.
Tangshan (Jingtang) Entrance Range Front
Date unknown (2009?). Active; focal plane 39 m (128 ft); continuous white light. 36 m (118 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with horizontal red and white bands and carrying a diamond shaped daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This is another triple-tower range; in addition to the centerline range towers there are secondary towers marking the port and starboard sides of the channel. Located in a coal storage yard on the Tangshan waterfront. Site status unknown. CN-1314; Admiralty F3934.6.
Tangshan (Jingtang) Entrance Range Rear (2)
2011. Active; focal plane 64 m (210 ft); continuous white light. 59 m (194 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower, painted with horizontal red and white bands and carrying a diamond shaped daymark. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. This light was relocated farther from the front light; Google has a satellite view of the earlier location (note the very long shadow of the tower). Located 1.74 km (1.08 mi) northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. CN-1314.1; Admiralty F3934.61.
* Caofeidian (Shaleif'ien Tao) (6)
1998 (station established 1886). Active; focal plane 24 m (79 ft); three white flashes every 12 s. 21.5 m (71 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a round concrete base. Lighthouse painted with black and white horizontal bands. There's a good 2009 photo, China Daily has a good photo (about 1/3 the way down the page), another photo is available, and Google has a satellite view. According to MSA, this is the 4th lighthouse built on the island, but a page formerly posted by the Caofeidian Industrial Zone Management Committee said it is the 6th. The original lighthouse here, a 13.5 m (45 ft) octagonal masonry tower, collapsed sometime after 1925 due to erosion. The second light, a 13.5 m (45 ft) skeletal tower, was destroyed in 1944 and replaced in 1950 by a skeletal tower; a larger tower was built in 1962 and a still larger one, the 23 m (75 ft) skeletal tower still listed by NGA, was built in 1965. Caofeidian is a long sandy island about 16 km (10 mi) offshore and 55 km (35 mi) east of Tanggu. Since 2006, the shallow area northwest of the island has been filled for development as an industrial area. Located at the southern end of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CN-1323; Admiralty F3932; NGA 18496.
Caofeidian Light
Caofeidian Light, Tangshan, 2009
Caofeidian Tourist Bureau photo
Caofeidian Xiaogang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 10 m (33 ft) round concrete tower painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. It appears that this light is often obscured by moored ships. Located at the elbow between two piers at Caofeidian's west harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3932.35; NGA 18497.

Tianjin Metropolitan District (Tianjin Shi) Lighthouses
Dagu (Taku)
1978 (lightship station established 1878). Active; focal plane 36 m (118 ft); white flash every 10 s. 38 m (125 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern, mounted on a round concrete pier. Lighthouse painted white with narrow red horizontal bands; lantern painted white. A photo appears at right, a 2011 photo is available, the Wenzhou MSA office has a photo, and the Transport Ministry has a page for the lighthouse. This is the landfall light for Binhai/Tanggu, located about 16 km (10 mi) east of the harbor entrance. Construction began in 1971 and lasted seven years. Riprap was installed around the base in 1998. The station is staffed by rotating crews of two keepers. In 2011, the 100-year old lightship Dagu, which had been replaced by the lighthouse in 1978, was refurbished and placed on display at Qingdao in Shandong. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PRC-019; CN-1327; Admiralty F3908; NGA 18500.
Xingang Cicum Pier
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass tower, colored with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a short breakwater at the roll on/roll off terminal for trucks and autos on the northern branch of the Xingang (Tanggu) harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3911.8; NGA 18506.
Xingang Oil Pier East
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft) red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 15 m (49 ft) round barbell-shaped fiberglass tower, colored with red and white horizontal bands. Han Zhao Yang has a distant view, but the light is apparently too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located at the oil terminal on the south side of the entrance to Tianjin's Xingang harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3909.5; NGA 18501.
Xingang Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 28 m (92 ft); white light occulting once every 5 s. 28 m (92 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower carries three black diamond-shaped daymarks. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. The lighthouse is flanked on either side by two skeletal towers carrying additional lights that indicate the sides of the dredged channel. This is the entrance range for the harbor of Tanggu (Xingang is the name of the harbor subdistrict). Located on the south side of the harbor, just west of a slight bend in the waterway. Site status unknown. CN-1332; Admiralty F3910; NGA 18504.
Dagu Light
Dagu Light, Tianjin, August 2012
PRC Xinhua News Service photo
* Xingang Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 52 m (171 ft) square skeletal tower. The tower carries three black diamond-shaped daymarks. No photo available, but Google has a good satellite view. The lighthouse is flanked on either side by two skeletal towers carrying additional lights that indicate the sides of the dredged channel. This is the entrance range for the harbor of Tanggu (Xingang is the name of the harbor subdistrict). Located on the south side of the harbor, 1.7 km (1.1 mi) west of the front light. Site status unknown, but the light should be visible from a nearby major street. CN-1333; Admiralty F3910.1; NGA 18508.
Bomaike Wharf
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); green light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical fiberglass tower colored with green and white horizontal bands. Liu Hong Yan has a distant view, but the light is apparently too new to appear in Google's satellite view. Located on a wharf in the south basin of Xingang harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3911.5; NGA 18527.2.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southwestern Liaoning | South: Northeastern Shantung

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Posted March 5, 2008. Checked and revised April 17, 2014. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2014 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.