Lighthouses of China: Jiangsu and Shanghai

The Chinese province of Jiangsu (previously spelled Kiangsu) extends southward from the base of the Shandong Peninsula to the mouth of the Yangtze River. The great port of Shanghai, now the center of one of the world's largest metropolitan areas, was built on the Huangpu River, an estuary on the south side of the Yangtze just above the mouth. Metropolitan Shanghai has been separated from Jiangsu as a provincial-level metropolitan region, Shanghai Shi.

Lianyungang, a city at the northern end of Jiangsu, has been developed as a major port to relieve some of the pressure on Shanghai. Between these two ports, most of the Jiangsu coast is quite low and marshy, historically attracting little navigation and having no lighthouses. Recently, however, a containership terminal with a new lighthouse has been built at Dafeng in the center of this area.

Lighthouses in China are maintained by the PRC Maritime Safety Administration. The administration is organized in four regional administrations; Jiangsu and Shanghai lighthouses fall under the Shanghai MSA. 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. Due to competing systems for transliterating Chinese into Latin characters, there are always several possible spellings for the names of places in China.

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 Mark Search
This page searches a long light list for all of China posted by the Shanghai MSA office. Enter a range of CN numbers in the lower pair of search boxes.
China AMS Topographic Maps
A fine collection of U.S. Army Map Service maps of China, in English, posted by the University of Texas Library.

Sheshan Light
Sheshan Light, East China Sea, Shanghai
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo

Lianyungang Prefecture Lighthouses

Ganyu County Lighthouses
Pingdao (Pingshan) (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 56 m (184 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 11 m (36 ft) round cylindrical tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. Sun Xiaoliang has a distant view, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. The photo suggests that the present lighthouse is at least 20 m (66 ft) tall. Located on an island about 6 km (3.5 mi) northeast of Cheniushan (next entry). Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CN-2001.01.
Cheniushan (Cheniushandao) (3)
1987 (station established 1936). Active; focal plane 87 m (285 ft); white flash every 12 s. 22 m (72 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery. Lighthouse painted white, lantern red. 2-story crew and office building (1992). A Shanghai MSA photo is at right, and a view from the sea is available, but Bing has only a distant satellite view of the island. The original lighthouse was an 8 m (26 ft) round steel tower. The second light was mounted on a triangular skeletal tower built in 1952. Cheniushandao is an island in the Yellow Sea about 50 km (30 mi) northeast of Lianyungang. Located on the highest point of the island. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PRC-016; CN-2001; Admiralty F3806; NGA 18756.
Niujiaodao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); white flash every 4 s. 5 m (17 ft) round cylindrical tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available. Located on an islet off the southwestern tip of Cheniushandao. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. CN-2001.02; Admiralty F3805.99.
Cheniushan Light
Cheniushan Light, East China Sea, Lianyun
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo
Zhupengkou (Zhupeng Kou)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); four red flashes every 8 s. 12 m (39 ft) round fiberglass tower, painted with red, white, and yellow horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located on the north side of an estuary entrance about 20 km (13 mi) north of Lianyungang. Site status unknown. CN-2002; Admiralty F3805.5.
Shawangkou Left (Ganyu)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 11.5 m (37 ft); red flash every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located at an irrigation and drainage facility at Ganyu, about 16 km (10 mi) north of Lianyungang. Site status unknown. CN-2004.03.

Lianyun District (Lianyungang City) Lighthouses
Note: Lianyungang is a seaport at the northeastern corner of Jiangsu. Formerly known to westerners as Haichow, Lianyungang was one of the first Chinese ports opened to commerce with the West. The city proper has a population of more than 700,000.
Linhongkou
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14.5 m (48 ft); one short and one long green flash every 6 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Located at the entrance to a small estuary on the west side of Lianyungang. Site status unknown. CN-2004.1; Admiralty F3803.2.
Xugou Range Front
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 50 m (164 ft); continuous red light. 49 m (160 ft) triangular pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery, one of three identical towers. The towers carry a hexagonal daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A sunrise photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view that shows the three towers clearly. These towers define the right side, center, and left side of the entrance channel. Located on a pier projecting into the west end of Lianyungang's eastern harbor. Site status unknown. CN-2027.54; Admiralty F3803.4; NGA 18779.3.
* Xugou Range Rear
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 81 m (266 ft); continuous red light. 24 m (79 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery, one of three identical towers. The tower carries a hexagonal daymark, painted white with a black vertical stripe on the range line. A photo of a nearby park shows parts of two of the towers, and Bing has a satellite view that shows all three towers. As in the case of the front range, these towers define the right side, center, and left side of the entrance channel. Located 1330 m (0.83 mi) due west of the front light, on the rocky peninsula that separates Lianyungang's traditional western harbor from its newer east harbor. Site open, tower status unknown. CN-2027.55; Admiralty F3803.41; NGA 18779.31.
* Yangwotou (Yangwodao) (3)
1995 (station established 1936). Active; focal plane 125 m (410 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 16 m (52 ft) robust square cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, rising from a cross-shaped 1-story keeper's house. The lighthouse, covered with tiles, is white with narrow red vertical stripes as shown in the photo at right; lantern painted red. An undated MSA photo is at right, a 2008 photo and a distant view are available, and Bing has a satellite view. This lighthouse is on Yangwodao, an island about 15 km (10 mi) east of Lianyungang. The island is connected to the city by a long roadway crossing the breakwater that shelters the new (eastern) harbor; it appears to be a popular resort area. The original lighthouse was replaced in 1957. Located at the east end of the island. Site probably open, tower closed. ARLHS PRC-070; CN-2006; Admiralty F3804; NGA 18760.
Lianyungang Main Channel A Range Front
1993. Active; focal plane 27.5 m (90 ft); continuous red light. 22 m (72 ft) tapered square skeletal tower with gallery and a diamond-shaped daymark, mounted on a square platform supported by piles. Bing has a satellite view, revealing that the area around the light is being filled and additional towers, two on either side, accompany the original lighthouse. Located south of Yangwodao. Site status unknown. CN-2007; Admiralty F3800.7; NGA 18777.
Yangwotou Light
Yangwotou Light, Lianyungang
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo
* Yangshandao (Yangshan Dao)
2009. Active; focal plane 18 m (56 ft); red light, 2 s on, 2 s off. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Bing has a satellite view. Yangshandao is a small island, now joined to the mainland by fill, at the southeastern edge of Lianyungang. Located at the end of a pier projecting from the south side of the island. Accessible by walking the pier. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3800.912.
Kaishandao (3)
1995 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 47 m (151 ft); white flash every 5 s. 12.5 m (41 ft) two-stage round cylindrical concrete tower with gallery. Lighthouse covered with tiles colored white with red trim. A photo is at right, Lester Xu has a 2013 closeup photo, and Sun Xiaoliang has a view from the sea, but the island is barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. This is the first full-size lighthouse at this location; a small post light was removed in 1991 and replaced in 1993 by a 5 m (17 ft) skeletal tower. Kaishandao is a small island in the Yellow Sea about 45 km (27 mi) east of Lianyungang and 20 km (12.5 mi) northeast of the mouth of the Shanhou river. Located on the highest point of the island. Site status unknown. CN-2042; Admiralty F3798.
* Yanwei Gang (2?)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); three green flashes every 10 s. 8 m (26 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower, painted with black and white horizontal bands. No photo available; Bing's satellite view may show an earlier skeletal tower. Located on the north side of the entrance to Yanwai, a small port on the mainland opposite Kaishandao. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3799.
Kaishandao Light
Kaishandao Light, Lianyungang
Mengxiang.org Encyclopedia photo

Yancheng Prefecture Lighthouses

Binhai County Lighthouses
* Zhongshan He
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 16 m (52 ft); two red flashes every 6 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower, colored with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, but Google has a satellite view. Located on a short pier at Zhongshan. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3797.69.
Biandan Hang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); three white flashes every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round concrete tower, colored with red and white horizontal bands. No photo available, and the tower is apparently too new to appear in Bing's satellite view. Located on the south side of the inlet at Biandan. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3796.1.

Sheyang County Lighthouse
Sheyang (Sheyanghe Kou)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 27 m (89 ft); two white flashes every 12 s. 25 m (82 ft) square tower with gallery. NGA describes this as a skeletal tower, but it appears enclosed in Bing's satellite view. No photo available. Located on the north side of the harbor entrance at Sheyang. Site status unknown. Admiralty F3795; NGA 18779.4.

Dafeng City Lighthouse
* Dafeng
2002. Active; focal plane 44 m (144 ft); three white flashes every 20 s. 40 m (131 ft) round cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and a large round observation room, attached to a 4-story building. The tower is unpainted white concrete; lantern painted red. A photo is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Dafeng Port is a new containership terminal in the Dafeng municipality on the central coast of Jiangsu. The deepwater port facilities are located on an artificial island about 6 km (3.5 mi) offshore, connected to the mainland by a long bridge. The lighthouse is near the mainland end of the bridge. Site open, tower status unknown. CN-2066.98; Admiralty F3794.19.

Nantong Prefecture Lighthouses

East China Sea Lighthouses
Note: These lights are on reefs in the East China Sea north of Shanghai. Aside from their value in warning ships away from these hazards, they also assist China in contending with South Korea for control of these waters.
Macaiheng
2010. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 6.5 s. 26 m (85 ft) round drum-like tower with gallery, mounted on three massive piles. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome black. A photo is at right. Located on a shoal about 65 km (40 mi) east of Dafeng. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CN-2067.26; Admiralty F3794.199; NGA 18779.85.
Waikejiao
2010. Active; focal plane 26 m (85 ft); white flash every 5 s. 26 m (85 ft) round drum-like concrete structure with gallery, mounted on three massive concrete piles. The tower is yellow, piles white. A photo is available (about 1/3 the way down the page, just after the photo of the Macaiheng lighthouse). Located on a shoal about 100 km (60 mi) southeast of Dafeng. Accessible only by boat. Site open, tower closed. CN-2067.27; Admiralty F3794.172; NGA 18779.9.

Tongzhou District Lighthouse
Dongzao Gang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 19 m (62 ft); two green flashes every 6 s. 14 m (46 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery. A very distant view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Dongzao is a traditional fishing port, but a new industrial harbor is being developed on the east side of the town. Located on a breakwater on the west side of the entrance to the new port. Site status unknown. CN-2069.5; Admiralty F3794.13.

Qidong City Lighthouses
Note: A city of more than one million people, Qidong is on the north side of the mouth of the Yangtze River, opposite Shanghai.
* Santiao Gang
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 14 m (46 ft); white flash every 4 s. 8 m (26 ft) round concrete tower colored with black and white horizontal bands. A very distant view is available, and Bing has a satellite view. Located on the south side of the city, on the northernmost mouth of the Yangtze about 16 km (10 mi) from the sea. Site open, tower closed. Admiralty F3793.84.
Macaiheng Light
Macaiheng Light, East China Sea, Yancheng, 2010
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo

Shanghai Lighthouses

Shanghai Approach Lighthouses and Lightships
Lightship Changjiang Kou (Yangtze Delta)
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10.5 m (34 ft); white flash every 6 s. 22 m (72 ft) steel lightship, painted red. Fog bell. Located about 42 km (26 mi) southeast of the Sheshan lighthouse. CN-2099; Admiralty F3752; NGA 18792.
Sheshan (Shaweishan)
1871. Active; focal plane 70 m (230 ft); white flash every 6 s. 17 m (56 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, painted black. This is the traditional landfall light for Shanghai. An MSA photo is at the top of this page, and Google has a distant satellite view. Almost certainly this is the original lighthouse, prefabricated in Britain for the Customs Marine Department. The tower was restored in 1986. Located atop a small island about 35 km (22 mi) east of Chongmingdao and the Yangtze delta. Accessible only by boat. Site status unknown. ARLHS PRC-057; CN-2076; Admiralty F3762; NGA 18780.
Jigujiao (4)
Date unknown (station established 1986). Active; focal plane 52 m (171 ft); white flash every 5 s. 52 m (171 ft) elliptical cylindrical concrete tower mounted atop a 5-story concrete building, all standing on a large concrete pier. An MSA photo is at right, and the light station is just barely visible in Google's distant satellite view. We need better information on the history of this station. The 1996 lighthouse was a 9 m (30 ft) round fiberglass tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, mounted atop the concrete building. Located on a reef about 30 km (19 mi) southeast of the Sheshan lighthouse and 40 km (25 mi) east of the Shanghai entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. CN-2098; Admiralty F3763; NGA 18784.

Jigujiao Light, East China Sea, Shanghai, June 2004
PRC Shanghai Region Maritime Safety Administration photo
Zhong Jun (2)
1994 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 9 m (30 ft); three yellow flashes every 12 s. 9 m (30 ft) rectangular skeletal tower, mounted on a concrete pier and carrying an enclosed lantern-like structure that houses tide gauging equipment. Entire station painted bright yellow. Located about 5 km (3 mi) offshore and 16 km (10 mi) southeast of the Shanghai entrance. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. CN-2165; Admiralty F3767; NGA 18816.
Lightship Jiuduan
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); two white flashes every 10 s. 23 m (75 ft) steel lightship, painted red. Shanghai MSA has photos in an article on the 2009 refurbishment of the ship. A fog bell from this ship is displayed in the Customs Museum in Taipei, Taiwan. Located about 10 km (6 mi) offshore and 20 km (13 mi) southeast of the Shanghai entrance. CN-2141; Admiralty F3768; NGA 18824.
Niupi Jiao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 12 m (39 ft); six quick white flashes followed by one long white flash every 10 s. 12 m (39 ft) round cylindrical tower. According to NGA the upper half of the tower should be painted yellow and the lower half black, but it appears all yellow in 2012 photo. This is also a tide gauging station. Located on the north side of the entrance channel for the Yangtze. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. Admiralty F3754.2; NGA 18808.

Shanghai Area Lighthouses
Hengsha (Hengshadao, House Island)
Date unknown (around 2002?). Active; focal plane 57 m (187 ft); white flash every 8 s. 56 m (184 ft) square cylindrical white concrete tower supporting a 3-story harbor control center. An MSA photo is at right, a distant photo is available (click on the photo for a better view), and Bing has a satellite view. Located at the southeastern tip of Hengshadao, in the mouth of the Yangtze River. CN-2130; Admiralty F3754.69; NGA 18829.
Lightfloat No. 24, Yuanyuansha
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 15 m (49 ft); white flash every 6 s. 15 m (49 ft) square skeletal tower with gallery, mounted on a round equipment shelter, all riding on a circular lightfloat 13 m (43 ft) in diameter. Fog horn. This lightfloat (also called a superbuoy or a lanby) replaced the lightship Yuanyuansha sometime around 2010. As of May 2013, Bing's satellite view still showed the lightship. The fate of the historic vessel is not known. Located in the mouth of the Yangtze about 8 km (5 mi) west of the Hengsha lighthouse. Accessible only by boat. Site open, vessel closed. CN-2157; Admiralty F3770.5; NGA 18834.

Hengsha Light
Hengsha Light, Yangtze River, Shanghai
PRC Maritime Safety Administration photo

Wusungkou (Hetang) (3)
1999 (station established 1928). Active; focal plane 17 m (56 ft); white flash every 5 s. 20 m (66 ft) round cast iron tower with lantern and gallery, mounted on a round stone base. Lighthouse painted white, lantern dome red. Jens Schott Knudsen's 2009 photo appears at right, Alex Vickery has a closeup photo, a 2012 photo is available, the lighthouse appears on a 2006 postage stamp, and Google has a satellite view. The Shanghai MSA has a photo of the original light, which was replaced in 1988 by a plain round tower painted with red and white bands. Located at the entrance to the Huangpu River, standing at the end of a long, curving breakwater that diverts the Yangtze's sediment away from the Huangpu entrance channel. Accessible only by boat. Site and tower closed. CN-2227; Admiralty F3780; NGA 18840.
* Wusungkou (Huangpu Entrance) Range Front
1977. Active; focal plane 32 m (105 ft); continuous red light. 30.5 m (100 ft) square pyramidal skeletal tower with gallery. The tower also carries a red and white slatted trapezoidal daymark. Google has a satellite view. NGA lists a pair of range lights showing continuous red lights. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu about 600 m (0.4 mi) southwest of the Gaoqiao harbor control center. Site closed, but the tower should be easy to see from anywhere nearby; tower closed. CN-2234; Admiralty F3781; NGA 18848.
* Wusungkou (Huangpu Entrance) Range Rear
1977. Active; focal plane 34 m (112 ft); continuous red light. 35 m (115 ft) square tapered skeletal tower with gallery. The tower also carries a red and white slatted trapezoidal daymark. Google has a satellite view. Located 210 m (230 yd) west southwest of the front light. Site closed, but the tower should be easy to see from anywhere nearby; tower closed. CN-2234; Admiralty F3781; NGA 18848.
* Gaoqiao (3?)
1966 (?) (station established 1955). Active; focal plane 23 m (75 ft); yellow flash every 4 s. 21 m (69 ft) "concrete structure," according to NGA. MSA shows a square concrete skeletal tower and describes the tower as an "observation post." Google's satellite view shows a large silo-like structure. More information is needed. Located on the east side of the Huangpu River, at the sharp bend in the river north of downtown Shanghai. Site status unknown. CN-2242; Admiralty F3785; NGA 18857.
* [Shanghai Signal Station?]
Date unknown. Approx. 20 m (66 ft) slender round cylindrical stone tower, topped by a semaphore mast and attached to a 2-story stone building. The tower is white with red trim. Franck Giral has posted a good photo. Almost certainly, this tower is a historic harbormaster's office and semaphore station, but I have seen no evidence that it ever carried a navigational light. Information on its history is needed. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu in downtown Shanghai.
Wusungkou Light
Wusungkou Light, Shanghai, October 2009
Flickr Creative Commons photo by Jens Schott Knudsen
* Changqiao (Changqiaogang)
1996. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); three green flashes every 10 s. 15 m (49 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands, mounted atop a 2-story red brick building. Bing has a distant satellite view. Located on the west bank of the Huangpu about 25 km (15 mi) south of downtown Shanghai. Site probably open, tower closed. CN-2253.1; Admiralty F3787.5.
* Chunshengtang
1989. Active; focal plane 18 m (59 ft); continuous green light. 15 m (49 ft) round hourglass-shaped fiberglass tower, painted with red and white horizontal bands. Bing has an indistinct satellite view. Located on the west side of the Huangpu about 3.3 km (2 mi) south of the Changqiao light. Site probably open, tower closed. CN-2257.2; Admiralty F3787.7.
Zhagang (?)
1959. Active; focal plane 13 m (43 ft); red flash every 5 s. 13 m (43 ft) hexagonal cylindrical concrete tower with lantern and gallery, painted with vertical red and white stripes. Bing has a satellite view. This light marks a right-angle bend in the Huangpu. Located at a coal loading facility on the east side of the estuary about 35 km (22 mi) south of downtown Shanghai. Site and tower closed. CN-2259; Admiralty F3788.

Nanhuijiao (Cape Yangtze) Area Lighthouses
Southeast Tide Station
2003. Active; focal plane 21 m (69 ft); four yellow flashes (long-short-long short) every 12 s. 21 m (69 ft) two-stage tower, a square skeletal tower atop a round cylindrical concrete tower. Lower half painted yellow, upper half black. The light does not appear in Google's satellite view. Located about 25 km (15 mi) northeast of Nanhuijiao (Cape Yangtze). CN-2159.
Lightship Nancao
Date unknown. Active; focal plane 10.5 m (34 ft); three white flashes every 15 s. Lightship painted red. Fog bell. Located about 45 km (28 mi) east of Nanhuijiao (Cape Yangtze) and 65 km (40 mi) southeast of the Shanghai entrance. CN-2133; Admiralty F3751; NGA 18794.
Lightship Nanzhi (Nanzi)
2012 (station establishment date unknown). Active; focal plane 10 m (33 ft); white flash every 10 s. 22 m (72 ft) steel lightship, painted red. Light tower with lantern and gallery amidships. Shanghai MSA has an article on the replacement of the former lightship; it includes the photo at right. Located about 25 km (15 mi) east of Nanhuijiao (Cape Yangtze) and 50 km (30 mi) southeast of the Shanghai entrance. CN-2158; Admiralty F3750; NGA 18796.

Information available on lost lighthouses:

  • Wusung (Woosung) (1865-?), Shanghai. This lighthouse, an 18 m (59 ft) square brick tower, stood within a few hundred meters southwest of the modern Gaoqiao harbor control center. It has not survived.
Lightship Nanzhi
Lightship Nanzhi, East China Sea, June 2012
PRC Shanghai Region Maritime Safety Administration photo

Notable faux lighthouses:

Adjoining pages: North: Southern Shandong | South: Shengsi and Qiqu Islands | West: Jiaxing and Ningbo

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Posted April 21, 2008. Checked and revised May 11, 2013. Lighthouses: 34, lightships: 5. Site copyright 2013 Russ Rowlett and the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.