|• Pinyin||Chángdǎo Xiàn|
A view of Nanchangshan Island (南长山岛), one of the Changdao Islands
|• Head of County||Zhang Yanting (张延廷)|
|• Total||8,756 km2 (3,381 sq mi)|
|• Land||56 km2 (22 sq mi)|
|• Water||8,700 km2 (3,400 sq mi)|
|Highest elevation||202.8 m (665.4 ft)|
|Lowest elevation||7.2 m (23.6 ft)|
|• Density||4.9/km2 (13/sq mi)|
|Time zone||China Standard (UTC+8)|
The Changdao County is a county in Yantai, an area of Shandong in the People's Republic of China. It consists of the Changshan Island chain (长山列岛) in the Bohai Sea, north of Penglai. They are known for their sandy beaches and picturesque limestone cliffs. The total land area is only 56 square kilometers (22 sq mi), but the coastline is 146 km (91 mi) long.
Ten of the islands are occupied, and there are twenty-two uninhabited islands, some little more than sand spits. There is one large town, Touji Town (砣矶镇), population 8,495; and seven smaller towns with forty villages, with a total population in the county of 52,000.
The major occupation is marine farming, producing products such as sea cucumbers, abalone, sea urchins, bivalves, kelp, scallops, and even fish. Tourism is also important; many of the villages sport resort hotels.
The islands are regularly served by both a passenger and vehicle Roll On, Roll Off ferry from Penglai. There is a small military airport on the largest island, Changdao Island.
Both Changdao National Forest Park and Changdao National Nature Reserve are located on the islands, which are on a cross-Bohai Sea flyway.
The islands are often referred to as the Temple Islands (Chinese: Miaodao Qundao) because of the large number of temples that were built there. Xianying Palace is a temple that was built during the Northern Song Dynasty, starting in 1122. It was originally a Taoist temple to the sea goddess Matsu, but became Buddhist later. At the present time the local government has restored the temple to its Ming Dynasty appearance, although many additions had been made during the Qing.
Changdao Island was previously closed to non-Chinese nationals. Westerners found on the island were swiftly taken to the passenger ferry terminal and placed on the next ferry back to Penglai by the islands Police service. Islanders promptly reported all "outsiders" to the islands police service. (First hand experience) Police explained the reasons for this, due to the high number of military installations on the Island.
The Changdao Islands are now open to non-Chinese nationals, including westerners This was agreed by the local and national governments as of 1 December 2008.