On Top of Paradise

HAIKOU: We have traversed the Hainan Island many times and are familiar with most places at the tropical island off China's southern coast.

However, when viewing it by air, we were intoxicated by its unmatched beauty.

With the help of the Hainan provincial government, we were able to photograph the island from a South China Sea Fleet helicopter recently.

However, this was not our first air shoot of the island. We have been doing these since 1988.

But every time the feeling was different and always refreshing.

The island is rapidly changing, but always seems to become more beautiful.

With elegant curves, the newly-completed East Route Expressway looks like a blossoming plum flower. The new airport of Haikou, the capital of the province, is a well-trimmed garden at bird's eye view. The Nandu River, flowing into the ocean near the city, sparkles under the scorching sun.

Coconut trees cover the vast plain away from the city, in which small villages and well-built condominium areas dot the landscape. In January 1999, the island launched its project of planting 66,000 hectares of coconut trees. So far some 11,000 hectares have been planted.

Our helicopter flew from Haikou to Sanya, a tourist resort on the southern tip of the island.

We saw its golden beaches, lilting palm trees and luxurious hotels along the coastline.

We felt staying in the air over paradise. But, as the saying goes, what goes up, must come down.

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