Paracel Islands is a complex yet stunning archipelago of coral reefs in the South China Sea, governed by China, but also asserted by Taiwan and Vietnam. This tropical archipelago consists of 130 small coral islands and reefs divided into two groups which are the northeast Amphitrite and the western Crescent Groups. With abundance of marine life, pristine tropical beaches, productive fishing grounds, and a probability of having oil and gas reserves, it’s almost an untouched paradise. The 518km of awe-inspiring coastline with stunning tropical beaches of the Paracel Islands are a good competition to the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Chinese National Geography Magazine in 2005 chose the Paracel Islands as the most beautiful one, amongst the 6500 islands in China. These islands are home to over 40 species of birds and over 400 species of coral and oceanic fishes breed under the clear waters which can be seen through as deep as 40 meters. The unspoiled and intricate marine ecosystem, pollution-free air, crystalline water, exclusive and amazing tropical climate are few attractions of these islands. There are plans to open the islands for resort-style tourism by China, which will be starting with Yongxing Island.