Some of you might know, some of you might not know. Southern most province in China is called Hainan, which consist of various islands, biggest one called Hainan Island. It’s situated in South China Sea and it’s pretty close to Vietnam. Main city on Hainan Island is Sanya, which some of you might know because of Miss World Competition which was held there for several years.
Here is my list to TOP attractions to visit while you’re there:
Nanshan Temple is one of the attractions in Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone, which is situated around 40km from city of Sanya. Nanshan means South Mountain and it was build to commemorate 2000 years of Buddhism in China.
Name of the statue is Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya and it has three different sides. It boosts at 108m tall on a man made island just of the coast. Nanshan Temple is also one of the biggest Buddhist temples outside of Thailand.
The whole Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone consists of beautiful parks, coastline and other places of worship for Buddhist. Place itself is also known for great vegetarian food served in restaurants.
♦ Admission fee: CNY 150
♦ Opening time: 8.00 – 18.00
Tianya Haijiao lays 24km to the west of Sanya and the name literally means “Edges of the heaven, corners of the sea”. Poets used Tianya Haijiao in their poems, one of the most famous says “I will follow you to Tian-Ya-Hai-Jiao“, meaning couple is never going to separate. That’s one of the reasons why this place is so popular with newlyweds.
Every year there is International Wedding Festival and Lantern Festival in Tianya Haijiao.
♦ Admission fee: CNY 95
♦ Opening time: 8.00 – 18.00
♦ From Sanya (West Station) you can take a bus to Tianya Haijiao and it costs only CNY4.
Luhuitou literally means “A deer looking back” and it’s situated on Luhuitou peninsula, only 5km away from Sanya. This hill is also mentioned in Li Minority Group legend about hunter and a deer. Hill is about 208m high and on the top of it we can find beautiful statue of a deer looking back, Li hunter and a beautiful girl as a tribute to the legend. you can read more about the legend and this site here!
From the top you can see one of the most spectacular sunrises, sunsets and as addition to this also great view of Phoenix Island.
♦ Admission fee: CNY 68 for Entrance Charge
CNY 30 for One-way Cable Car
CNY 60 for Round-trip Cable Car
Wuzhizhou Island is about 30km North-East of Sanya in Haitang Bay. Island itself is small and butterfly shaped with 5,7km of coastline. With beautiful white beaches, turquoise water and lush forests, with amazing underwater coral reef it makes it a perfect spot for everyone.
You can either walk around the island or you can explore it with a cute whale looking golf cart. There are various interesting spots like the Lover’s Bridge, Sunrise Rock, the Gold Turtle Stretching toward the Sea, Lover’s Island and the Life Well. As the name already says you can get some killer sunrise views from the Sunrise Rock. For those who love adventure, Wuzhizhou Island is perfect destination. You can try out different water sports all the way from jetskiing, to paragliding, scubadiving, snorkelling, banana boat, fishing, …
Keep in mind you can only swim at designated beaches! At most of them swimming is forbidden.
You can also find hotels and restaurants on the island.
♦ Admission fee: CNY 123 (Round trip tickets for boat are included)
♦ Transportation: Ferries from Wuzhizhou Wharf leave every 20 minutes from 7.40AM to 6PM and it takes about 10minutes to reach the island.
Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone consists of Dream Valley and Rainforest Valley. Here you can find tropical rain forests, valleys, waterfalls, sping and much more. “Yanoda” in local dialect means “one, two ,three” and but for wider crowd it means “Hello”. In front of the entrance to the attraction you can find statues of Chinese Zodiac animals which is pretty interesting. Once you enter, workers are going to welcome you with their theme song and dance. Later one you are going to see it more times that you can count and everyone greets everyone with two fingers like peace sign and with “Yanoda”.
Whole area spreads through 45 square kilometres. First take a shuttle to the Dream Valley where you can do canyoning up the stream, passing by few beautiful waterfalls. You are going to wear helmet and traditional straw shoes, which can be a bit dangerous, but it’s all part of the experience.
At the end you arrive to Rainforest Valley where you can admire tropical flora, hear some traditional music, eat or even camp. When we were there women played some kind of flute with her nose. Yes, you heard me right, with her nose!
Our last stop was zip-lining! It was great! First time for me and all I can say it’s I want to do it again. View was beautiful and after that walk down back to the shuttle was great too.
You can find tips for transportation here!
♦ Admission fees: CNY165 (125 for entrance, and 40 for shuttle bus)
Children below 3.9 feet (1.2m) can enter for free.
Children of 3.9 feet to 4.9 feet (1.2 – 1.5m) can buy discount ticket which costs CNY103 (63 for entrance and 40 for shuttle bus).
♦ Special activities: Field CS Play: CNY80
Stream Trekking: CNY100
Rainforest Zip-line: CNY100
♦ Camping Combo Ticket: CNY360 for adults and CNY260 for children below 4.9 feet (1.5m). It includes an entrance ticket, a shuttle bus ticket, and fees for Stream Trekking, Rainforest Camping, barbecue and breakfast.
♦ Opening time: 7.30 – 18.00
Sanya Romance Park or longer Sanya Qianguqing Scenic Spot, it’s we could say kind of themed park. Like waterpark/ zoo/ theater/ market/ cultural centre combined! To go more into details, park features Sanya’s Tianya culture, Li and Miao culture, and unique folk culture. It includes 10 themed zones, such as Yazhou ancient city, Elephant Valley, and the Li & Miao village cultural experience area. Just so many different things at the same place!
Even though there are so many possibilities, the main attraction is still “The Legend of Romance” show, staged in a 4700-seater theatre. It is a rather spectacular live entertainment show, combining drama, dance, music and acrobatics with special effects and modern stage technology, telling the history of Sanya from the prehistoric past to the present.
Show runs twice a day, from 16:00-19:00 and then second from 19:00-22:00.
♦ Admission fee: VIP Ticket costs CNY480/person, no discount for any guest Normal Standard Ticket costs CNY280/person Group rate CNY260/person, (min 8 persons/group) Child less than 1.2 meters get free entrance with adult, but no seat for child.
This was one of my favourite places in Sanya. It’s located 40km out of Sanya at southwest side of Nanshan Mountain and it’s name Daxiao Dongtian in Mandarin means “Big and small fairyland”. Daxiaodongtian Park was discovered 800 years ago in Song Dynasty, which makes it the oldest attraction on Hainan Island and the birthplace of Taoist culture in the southernmost of China.
Here you can find a beautiful wooden villas in lush greenery next to beautiful beaches. There are also Taoist Temple, statues, rock formations, beautiful lighthouse in the middle of the sea, Sanya Museum of Natural History and of course Evergreen pine trees.
Evergreen Pinte Trees, nicknamed evergreen pines Nanshan dracaenas are living fossils. Some of the trees in Daxioadongtian Park are over 6.000 years old.
Random tipi found on this website: In the southeast of the park is Small Moon Bay Recreation Area. It has lush, well-preserved vegetation and is advertised as a natural oxygen bar with a “concentration of negative ions up to 8000-10000 per cubic centimetre.”
Swimming here is NOT allowed!
♦ Admission fee: CNY 135 for Adults Children between 1.2 m and 1.4 m in height: CNY 70
Children under 1.2 m in height for free
♦ Opening time: 8.30 – 18.30
♦ Transportation: 1. Take the Yalong Bay to Taoist Fairyland Park Tourist Bus Ride at Venture Building or Sanya Bay;
2. Take midibus to the South Mountain, Yacheng, Gangmen or Huangliu at Sanya West Station and get off at the mouth of the road leading to the Taoist Fairyland Park. It takes about 50 minutes.
3. Free shuttle buses are available. These shuttle buses pass through Summer Department Store at 9:00 am, Pearl Square at 9:30 am and Taoist Fairyland Park at 10: 40 am and return from the Taoist Fairyland Park at 4:00pm.
Sanya Zhujiang Nantian Spa is a 5-star Hotel that is also known for its hot-spring spa. This Spa centre has 38 heated pools and each one of them has something different to offer. You can find Red Wine Pool, Coconut Milk Pool, Rose Petals pool, Pool with Garra Rufa fish and many more. Temperature in most of them is super hot, especially because weather itself is already hot, so you don’t really enjoy it as much as you would in a colder setting.
You can also get yourself a massage here, which is very nice after a day exploring bustling city of Sanya.
Whole setting of the Zhujiang Nantian Spa is beautifully settled in lush greenery and it’s very relaxing. You can also see different sculptures throughout the Spa.
If you don’t have your own car to drive, then the best option might be booking Nantian Spa through agency since they offer transport+ticket for the same price as just price of a ticket if you do it on your own.
♦ Entrance fee: CNY 198 for Adults inclusive locker, shower, towel, unlimited use for hot-spring.
♦ Opening time: 10.00 – 24.00, full service from 12.00
Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park is located in the Yalong Bay National Resort in city of Sanya. Hainan province is the first ecological province of China and Tropical Paradise is the nearest natural forest oxygen bar to city. As you can already tell by the name, here you can find beautiful tropical forest with amazing flora and fauna.
There is something for everyone here. You can relax, explore the tropical forest or do some sightseeing around the park. The scenic spots here include Orchid Valley, Yanbo Pavilion, Guojianglong Rope, Qianli Umbrella, Tropical Paradise, Canghai Tower, Giant Buddha Stone, Kongshan Pavilion, etc.
I found recommended sightseeing route in the park on this site: “Take a sightseeing car at the western gate and then get off at Orchid Valley; after finishing visiting the orchid valley, then take bus to Guojianglong, walk through Guojianglong Rope Bridge, and then get on a bus at Haitang Station and get off it at Redaitiantang Station (main peak), visit Giant Buddha Stone, Dragon Carving Square and Canghai Tower.”
We saw a beautiful Chinese Style Pagoda here, big Chinese Dragon Statue, amazing views of Yalong Bay, multiple sculptures on the way, we walked over long rope bridge over the valley, we saw Bird’s Nest Resort beautifully nestled in the tropical forest and my favourite was great 4D movie! I just wanted to do it again, so much fun!
♦ Entrance fee: CNY 150 for Adults
♦ Opening time: 7.30 – 17.30
♦ Transportation: From Sanya Downtown to the Forest Park
Bus: Tourism Special Line, No15, No.27, No.24 and No.25.
Taxi: It is 16.2 kilometres away from the forest park to Sanya downtown, very convenient.
All bays are beautiful, so choose the one you want to visit or just go to all of them. Here are the most popular ones: Yalong Bay, Sanya bay, Haitang Bay and Dadonghai Bay.
Other places of interest:
- Monkey Island
- Boundary Island
- West Island
All the places I wrote about in this article I had chance to visit while being on press trip provided by Sanya Tourism Board! Thank you again for this opportunity!
It is hard to find information about any of this places on internet so I was trying to combine mine experience and informations that i found on internet!