Sanya is located on the southern tip of Hainan Island, and its a popular beach destination.Commonly referred as the Hawaii of China, the pristine white sand beaches and blue waters are a beach-goers paradise.Suffice it to say, this is the top tourist destination in China if one wants an idyllic beach holiday.There are also a number of cultural attractions for those whod like to explore the areas rich cultural heritage.Weve identified the top things to see and do!
1.Tianya Haijiao (the edge of the sky, rim of the sea)
95 RMB for adults, free for young children
Attracting visitors from all over the world, this beautiful scenic beach-side spot offers a range of things to do and places to see.As you walk along the seashore youll see a huge stone with four Chinese characters inscribed upon it, meaning a pillar in the southern sky.This draws from an old story of fairy maidens angering the Mother Goddess of Heaven when they decided to protect some local Chinese fishermen during a storm.She was so enraged the turned them into stone, leaving behind one for all tourists to see.
Go visit the Li Ethnic Group Cultural Village, and theres also a shopping centre.Dont forget to bring a costume, and take a dip in the crystal-blue water!
Another scenic coastal getaway you shouldnt miss, its a top tourist destination!Youll see Chinas classic green, rolling hills behind you in the distance and coconut tree-lined white sand beaches and clear blue waters in front of you.This bay is home to various kinds of shockingly beautiful coral, and pretty reef fish.Go snorkelling (theres great visibility- 10 meters!)to explore the underwater wonders.
Its tourist attractions are incredibly well developed- youll get seaside parks, golf courses, and its also home to one of Chinas top level modelling contests.
Nearby is the Ailifang Seashore Park.You can see a totem pole 27 meters high, and the design of the square is a bode to the magnificent legacy of 5000 years of Chinese architecture.
Open all day long
160 RMB, includes ferry to and from the island
If youre travelling with kids, this makes for a fun day outing for the whole family.The island serves to protect the rare macaque monkey.Apart from the 1500 monkeys, the island is also a beautiful paradise with tropical coconut trees, colourful coral reefs and traditional fishing boats.
Theres a ropeway that goes over the sea, providing a unique view of the ocean, fishing boats and green mountains behind you.On the island you can watch the monkeys in their natural habitat.Some may be going for a swim, fighting with each other or generally being mischievous!Be careful when feeding them.The island is incredibly well preserved, so the facilities are great and everything is well run.
8:30am- 5:30 pm.
4.Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone
Free for young children, 145 RMB for adults
This is one of the must-see attractions in the area, just 40 km outside of the city.Its a popular attraction for visitors who come here to see the picturesque Nanshan Mountain and enjoy the monuments to the Buddhist culture, like temples and statues.Inside the area there are three theme parks.
The biggest is the Buddhism Cultural Park- its a fascinating attraction that serves to educate and celebrate the ancient Buddhist culture.This is where you can see the famous Nanshan Temple, as well as a massive statue of Guanyin thats rumoured to contain 100 kg of gold!
The Hainan Custom Culture Park celebrates the beautiful natural beauty of the province, and provides insight into the local Li and Miao minority cultures.
There are loads of places where you can sample some of the vegetarian dishes Hainan is known for.Theres also an awesome Kung Fu concert, as well as a variety of other traditional displays.
8:00 am-5:30 pm
Free for young children, 160 RMB for adults
A large island just 38 km from Sanya, we liked the activities they have on offer!With a long history dating back to the Qing dynasty.Go and see the Goddess Matsu Temple- it was built to protect the heavenly goddess who was tasked with taking care of the local fishermen.Theres also Lovers Bridge (take your better half!), Sunrise Rock and the Gold Turtle.
For those who love extreme sports, this is the place to go!Choose between surfing, hang-gliding or take a more leisurely ride in a canoe.Of course, you can also sun bathe.A good tip is to look out for the vendors on the beach- rent some diving or snorkel equipment and explore the islands famous coral reefs and abundant sea fishes.
8:30-5:30.Make it a day trip.
68 RMB entrance fee, from 30 RMB for a cable car
We loved this because its in the city.The name means deer looking back.The story goes that a young hunter was led to the hill for over 9 days by a deer he wanted to shoot.She then transformed into a beautiful young woman, and they fell in love.Climb the hill, and enjoy splendid views over Sanya city.Theres also a beach at the foot of the hill where you can see abundant sea creatures like star fish and crabs.The park has an observation station specifically designed to see Haleys Comet.Go to Tingchao Pavilion, and enjoy the soothing sound of the rolling waves.
7.Go for a bike ride!
Cheap to rent
Theres no better way to explore the island than to take a leisurely cycle along the beach.Most of the popular seaside attractions come with super convenient bicycle lanes, and you can hop off anytime you want to snap a pic or grab a tasty roadside snack.Any of the above mentioned islands and beaches have bikes available for rent.
8.Nantian Hot Springs
Come here to pamper yourself!Beautifully located with Wuzhizhou Island directly opposite you, and scientists have recognized a large number of minerals present in the water that are excellent for the human body.Youll love bathing in the lovely warm waters whilst watching the huge coconut trees swaying in the wind, and the clear blue skies.They vary in temperatures, so pick out your favourite one.
Open all day
Free entrance, pay for different activities
Another popular tropical seaside tourism areas, its great because its only 4 km from Sanya city- getting there is very convenient.Its surrounded by three huge hills, and enjoys great weather all round.Its a popular one for divers- see the Barrier Reef, Pirate Bar Diving Club and the Global Diving Base.Its also a fantastic place to do some shopping and grab some street food!
10.Sanya Natural History Museum
The only museum of its kind in southern China, it boasts dinosaur fossils from over 140 million years ago!There are over 2000 exhibits sourced locally and abroad.Ex U.S president Bill Clinton said the fossils were the most surprising finding od the 20th century.
8 am-5 pm.
Sanya is a haven for those who love the beach, sun and fun!Besides its obvious natural beauty, there are also an abundance of cultural attractions to be found throughout the city.