Hainan Island is China’s southernmost province with the Qiongzhou Strait being all that separates it from the Leizhou Peninsula. While it is also the smallest land province, it attracts people with its green landscapes, clean air and beautiful beaches. Because of this natural beauty, some call it the ‘Oriental Hawaii’, something that has caught the attention of many tourists over the years.
In the past, Hainan Island was used as an exile destination for criminals, up until around 1950 when a group of young Chinese were sent out to help develop the island. As a consequence, many started to come and take advantage of the newly formed opportunities here. Today Hainan is a separate province with a population that is creeping over 8 million. Although Hainan Island’s population is increasing, it still obtains a low density in comparison to many other coastal provinces in China.
Many of Hainan’s residents have been lured to the Island in search of a piece of paradise where they can live enjoyable lives. With its mild climate and copious scenic areas, it is no wonder people are choosing this lifestyle over the big city life.
While Hainan is relatively small for China standards, tourism is decidedly decent. In 2008 alone, Hainan greeted over 20 million tourists, well over double its population. Visitors to the island are inundated with scenic resorts, hot springs, volcanic gardens, historic sites, beaches and much more. The Hainan people take pride in their hospitality and will often treat tourists with performances and a taste of their popular cuisine.
Sanya is one of Hainan’s most famous beaches along with Dadonghai and Yalong Bay. They tend to be well kept and clean and an excellent place to swim and bathe.
There are several resorts that provide excellent sights and hot springs. There is the National Resort at Yalong Bay, Guantang’s Hot Spring Resort and the Shishan Volcanic Garden. Another fascinating site is Qizhi Shan, the seven finger mountain.
There are two historical heritages in particular in Hainan which includes the Hairui Tomb and the Wugong Temple.
So if you want to escape the crowded cities and are in search of a piece of paradise to enjoy the warm climate while indulging in the Chinese culture, food and cuisine, Hainan is a sanctuary of enjoyment. Be sure to inspect the wonderful handicrafts and carvings the locals are renowned for and spoil yourself with the delicious local food.
For a place to stay, here are a Hainan hotels to check out:
The main economic and transportation centre lies in the north side of the Island, however some of the most beautiful beaches are found to the south. With a pleasant temperature year-round, you can spend a lot of time here exploring the entire island. The best time of year to travel is during the months between October and May as it is warm and summery, autumn can be stormy and winter cold so the time of year you travel has quite an influence on your trip.