Lighthouses of China: Héběi and Tiānjīn

Héběi (formerly spelled Hopei or Hopeh) is the province of northern China surrounding the independent metropolitan districts of Běijīng and Tiānjīn. 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. Qínhuángdǎo, China's second busiest port after Shànghǎi, is located in the northern part of Héběi. Bīnhǎi (formerly Tánggū), at the mouth of the Hai River in Tiānjīn, is another very large port; it is the closest seaport to Beijing.

Lighthouses in China are maintained by the PRC Maritime Safety Administration. The administration is organized in several regional administrations; Héběi and Tiānjīn lighthouses fall under the Tiānjīn MSA.

The pīnyīn 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. In pinyin jiāo (formerly chiao) is a reef or rock, jiǎo is a cape or headland, dǎo (tao) is an island; (tsu) is a small island, wān is a bay and gǎng (kang) 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
Navigation Aids Search
The Shanghai MSA provides this access to its database of information on navigational aids: enter a range of CN numbers in the lower pair of boxes and click on the search box below. All information is in Chinese.
MSA Aids to Navigation - Lighthouse
Two pages of photos of prominent Chinese lighthouses.
Lighthouse Appreciation
Posted by the Wēnzhōu MSA office in Zhèjiāng Province, this portfolio of photos includes several Héběi lighthouses.
World of Lighthouses - China
Photos by various photographers available from Lightphotos.net.
Chinese English Pinyin Dictionary
A useful tool for juggling the representations of Chinese names.
Lighthouses/Phares - China
Historic postcard images posted by Michel Forand.
Leuchttürme Chinas auf historischen Postkarten
Historic postcard views posted by Klaus Huelse.

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

Qínhuángdǎo (Chinwangtao) Lighthouses
Note: Qínhuángdǎo, at the mouth of the Táng river, is one of the largest ports of northern China. The harbor (Hǎigǎng) district 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Google has a satellite view. Located near a large tank farm on the east side of Qínhuángdǎo. Site and tower closed. CN-1274; Admiralty F3948; NGA 18448.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Google 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Google'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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo waterfront. Site and tower closed. CN-1266; Admiralty F3950.5; NGA 18432.
Qínhuángdǎo 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
Qínhuángdǎo East Channel Range Rear Light
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo
Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Zhǔhángdào Yǐndǎo (Zhongxin Biao, Qínhuángdǎo 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 Nánshāntóu lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CN-1278; Admiralty F3937.6; NGA 18420.
* Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo waterfront about 600 m (0.37 mi) northeast of the Nánshāntóu lighthouse. Site open, tower closed. CN-1279; Admiralty F3937.4; NGA 18412.
* Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo about 1.95 km (1.2 mi) north of the front light. Site open, tower closed. CN-1280; Admiralty F3937.41; NGA 18416.
* Nánshāntóu 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 Nánshāntóu headland. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3937.2.
** Nánshāntóu (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 Wēnzhōu 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 Qínhuángdǎo. 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 ("Nánshāntóu" means "South Mountain Head") on the Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo's traditional harbor. Site status unknown. CN-1269; Admiralty F3945; NGA 18466.
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. CN-1297.1; Admiralty F3942; NGA 18454.
Nanshantou Pier Light
Nánshāntóu Tourist Pier Light, Qínhuángdǎo, 2009
Nipic.com Creative Commons photo by gremlin
Qínhuángdǎo 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 Qínhuángdǎo's traditional harbor. Site and tower closed. CN-1302; Admiralty F3941; NGA 18468.
Qínhuángdǎo 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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. The lighthouse is near the left edge of a photo by Geert Herrema, and 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.
Qínhuángdǎo 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. A view across the river is available, and 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.
Jīnshānzuǐ (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 Jīnshānzuǐ means "golden spur." Located on a high promontory projecting into the gulf of Bohai about 12 km (7.5 mi) southwest of Qínhuángdǎo. Site status unknown, but this site is probably accessible by road. CN-1308; Admiralty F3936; NGA 18476.

Tángshān Lighthouses
Note: Tángshān 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 Tánggū in the Tiānjīn Metropolitan District.
Tángshān (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 Tángshān, at the northern entrance to Bohai Wan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3934; NGA 18494.
Tángshān (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 Tángshān waterfront. Site status unknown. CN-1314; Admiralty F3934.6.
Tángshān (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. Located 1.74 km (1.08 mi) northwest of the front light. Site status unknown. CN-1314.1; Admiralty F3934.61.
* Cáofēidiàn (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 Cáofēidiàn 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. Cáofēidiàn is a long sandy island about 16 km (10 mi) offshore and 55 km (35 mi) east of Tánggū. 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
Cáofēidiàn Light, Tángshān, 2009
Cáofēidiàn Tourist Bureau photo (no longer online)
Cáofēidiàn Xiǎogǎng
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 Cáofēidiàn's west harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3932.35; NGA 18497.

Tiānjīn Metropolitan District (Tiānjīn Shì) Lighthouses
Dàgū (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, and the Wēnzhōu MSA office has a photo. This is the landfall light for Bīnhǎi/Tánggū, 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 Dàgū, which had been replaced by the lighthouse in 1978, was refurbished and placed on display at Qīngdǎo in Shāndōng. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PRC-019; CN-1327; Admiralty F3908; NGA 18500.
Xīngǎng 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 Xīngǎng (Tánggū) harbor. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3911.8; NGA 18506.
Xīngǎng 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 Tiānjīn's Xīngǎng harbor. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3909.5; NGA 18501.
Xīngǎng 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. A view across the harbor is available, and 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 Tánggū (Xīngǎng 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
Dàgū Light, Tiānjīn, August 2012
PRC Xinhua News Service photo
* Xīngǎng 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. The lighthouse is flanked on either side by two skeletal towers carrying additional lights that indicate the sides of the dredged channel. A photo shows the five towers, several are at the left in a second photo, and Google has a satellite view. Located in the downtown area 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 Xīngǎng 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: Yantai Area

Return to the Lighthouse Directory index | Ratings key

Posted March 5, 2008. Checked and revised April 17, 2015. Lighthouses: 31. Site copyright 2015 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.