Sitting right on Shili Yintan beach, this museum was purpose-built to house an 800-year-old Song dynasty shipwreck that was wholly salvaged near the island. The remains of the 30m-long merchant vessel (南海一号, Nanhai No 1), and much of the 70,000 pieces of merchandise on board, now rest in a sealed glass tank. The displays are supplemented by temporary exhibitions of treasures from dynastic China.
The ship is believed to have been headed for the Middle East or Africa when it sank. The wreckage has significant archaeological value, though only a few hundred pieces of the porcelain, gold and copper treasures have been put on display. Excavation continues to be carried out in phases.