The Striking Red Beach of Panjin, China
Blue waters? Been there.
Green foliage? Nice, but abundant.
A beach covered in crazy red seaweed? Stop the presses.
In Panjin, China, you can get an eyeful of the amazing spread of a bright red plant called suaeda salsa. Beneath the crimson carpet, you'll discover an incredibly diverse ecosystem.
The seaweed spans over 51 square miles of coastal land. That's half the size of Orlando, Florida. Humans are not allowed to walk through the area, although you can stand on the 6,500-foot wooden dock to see the spectacle from a safe distance. If you want to see it in person, you'll need to time it properly. The suaeda salsa is green and growing most of the year. At the end of summer, it blushes a bright red.
Come for the Colors, Stay for the Birds
You don't have to go all the way to China to find this vibrant seaweed display. You can find suaeda salsa (more commonly known as seepweed) all over the world. No matter where it grows, it turns a bright red during the fall. But you won't find anywhere else where the plant sprawls over such an enormous stretch of land.
If you're a bird watcher, Red Beach will turn your fellow hobbyists green with envy. The reed-covered wetland is home to more than 260 different types of birds, including the extremely rare red-crowned crane. You can even see the black-headed Saunder's gull if you sync your visit to their migration.
The food in Panjin is also a special treat. Visitors can enjoy the local mitten crab and the area's short-grain rice. It's so good, it was named the official rice of the 2008 Beijing Winter Olympics. Sounds like a gold medal vacation to us.
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