Self-driving to Beihai


Shero said he wanted to see the sea, so he went to the North Sea.

This time, we didn't choose public transportation, but chose to drive, and we drove a new energy vehicle (Great Wall Oula Black Cat). It was quite a challenge, after all, the one-way distance is 300km, and Oula claims to have a range of 301km. I will briefly record this self-driving trip and the scenery of the North Sea.

Oula's Performance#


Before departure, I checked that there are a total of 8 service areas on the road, and 4 of them support charging. According to past experience, Oula's range on the highway is about 60-70% of the claimed range, which means that the claimed 301km can actually only run about 180km. Theoretically, it only needs to charge once halfway. However, considering that we still need to drive around after entering the North Sea, we decided to charge twice at the service areas, with a short charge for the second time.

We set off as soon as we decided. Taking advantage of Shero working from home on Friday, we left early after I finished my work.

It was very sunny on the road, but the hot weather did not affect our happy mood. We rolled up the car windows, played some music, turned on the air conditioning, hummed along to some tunes, and drove towards the outskirts of the city.

There were very few vehicles on the highway, maybe because it was still working hours on a weekday. Oula can reach a speed of over 100km/h, but for safety reasons, we set the cruise control to 95km/h. Can you believe it? This car actually has cruise control! I was quite surprised because this car is mainly for commuting and grocery shopping in the city. With no other cars on the road and the cruise control on, driving on the highway was very relaxing.

As expected, driving on the highway with the air conditioning on reduces the range to about 60% of the claimed range. Since we hardly had to brake on the highway, we couldn't recover much kinetic energy and the air resistance was too strong. After driving 140km, Oula had a remaining range of 120km. We entered a service area for the first charging session, which was expected to take 50 minutes and charge to over 90%. After driving another 80km, we entered another service area for the second charging session, which only took half an hour.

The feeling I got from driving a new energy vehicle is that it has a range that is neither long nor short—the claimed range is long, but the actual range is short; the claimed charging time is short, but the actual charging time is long.

It took us five hours to cover a distance that would normally take three hours by a gasoline-powered car. Although it was a slow and leisurely journey, we won't dare to do it again next time. Despite the slow speed, fortunately, we didn't encounter any problems along the way, and the charging stations were sufficient, successfully taking us to the North Sea. However, it's worth noting that most of the charging stations at the service areas were under maintenance, and we don't know if they were really broken or not open. We were lucky that we didn't have to wait each time.

Food in the North Sea#

In the North Sea, besides seafood, there isn't much else to eat.

When we arrived in the North Sea that evening, we went to the Qiaogang Food Street first to find something to eat. This street was bustling, with snack stalls and seafood stalls on both sides. People wearing slippers were walking around, and there were colorful shirts everywhere, creating a lively seaside atmosphere.

I chose a seafood restaurant that had good reviews on Meituan. We sat down after entering and then went to the seafood area near the entrance to choose our ingredients. We ordered prawns, small shrimps, grouper, shellfish, and a few stir-fried dishes. We ordered enough dishes for six people, and the average price per person was less than 100 yuan, which was reasonable.

It seemed that crayfish was rarely seen here, which was strange. Therefore, we could only have the prawns boiled or cooked with salt and pepper. I didn't really like either of them. The expensive steamed grouper didn't taste good either, which was disappointing. Only the stir-fried shellfish was decent, giving me some comfort.

The next night, we had another seafood feast, this time in the old street area. The menu was similar, but this time we made a mistake. Under the suggestion of the owner, we ordered a more than four-kilogram white pomfret and some shellfish, which cost us 600 yuan! Adding other seafood, the total bill was over 900 yuan. Moreover, the fish that cost over 400 yuan didn't taste as good as the one I cooked at home. It was another disappointment.

The Sea in the North Sea#


Fortunately, the scenery was still good, which somewhat made up for the disappointment in the food.

In the North Sea, besides the sea, there isn't much else. On the first day, we went to the Beihai Silver Beach because it was the off-season and there weren't many tourists. We could drive directly to the parking lot inside, but the parking fee was a bit high, 10 yuan per hour, and after the first hour, it was 5 yuan per hour. This was quite annoying.

The sand on the Silver Beach was very fine and comfortable to walk on. There were also many holes near the waves, where small crabs lived. They would scurry around when people walked by, which was quite healing. The sea breeze was pleasant, the waves were not big, and most of the beach was occupied by families playing in the water with their children.

We also went to Guantouling later, where the waves were much bigger. Huge waves crashed against the reefs, creating layers of foam. Compared to the Silver Beach, it was easier to take impressive photos here, so many people came here for photography. Additionally, the sunset here was beautiful.

On the following day, we didn't go anywhere else and planned to play on the beach downstairs from our homestay and then head back, as it was already very hot after 9 o'clock. To my surprise, the beach downstairs was not inferior to the Silver Beach. There were fewer people, but the wind was strong. I really wanted to set up an umbrella and enjoy the breeze all day.


Oula was fully capable of this self-driving trip, but it took a lot of time. There aren't many places to visit in the North Sea, so besides the sea, it's best to choose some clean beaches to walk around and enjoy the water. There's no need to go to overly commercialized places unless you're going for photography and check-ins, which is a different story. Also, if you want to buy seafood, it's best to go to the port in the early morning when it's the cheapest and freshest. If you go to the seafood market, the prices won't be much lower.


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