A bunch of flowers and a box of chocolates may be simple romantic gestures, but if you really want to spoil your lover, heading to an island getaway is hard to top.
Nestled on the azure sea off the northeast coast of South China's Hainan Island, Wuzhizhou is just the place. This butterfly-shaped, 1.5 sq km islet offers a wide range of beach activities. Also known as Valentine's Island, it is located in a tropical marine zone and is an ideal place for couples all year round.
There is a romantic legend associated with the island. A young fisherman and a pretty girl lived here long ago. One day, they met, started to chat and found they had a lot in common. They fell in love, but when the girl's father, the mighty Dragon King, found out about their love affair, he locked his daughter away.
She tried to escape to join the young fisherman, but this made her father furious. The Dragon King cast a spell turning the lovers into two big stones that stand forever on the island silently facing one another. Ever since then, Wuzhizhou has become a popular meeting place for young lovers who take an oath to be faithful to each other forever.
A "lovers' bridge" has been built next to a little pavilion that provides a 360-degree view.
Wuzhizhou is also one of the very few islands in China featuring crystal clear seawater, white sand beaches and coral reefs.
Everyone knows about the beauty of a blue sea, but the aquamarine and turquoise blue of the waters around Wuzhizhou defy description.
Close to the beach, light blue waves break around the bay, and the transparent water allows you to see everything on the white sand bottom. Looking into the distance, the sea turns a milky-blue, and looking further away it becomes deep blue like ink.
The richness of the colors is not the only thing that makes this island attractive - it is also a paradise for divers. The sea is teeming with colorful tropical fish, sea cucumber, lobster, sierra, pomfret, luminous whelk as well as well-preserved coral reefs.
Active tourists can also enjoy windsurfing, speedboat rides, banana boating, canoeing, para-sailing, beach motorcycling and sea parachute jumping.
In addition, there is a rich variety of plant life on the island. It is home of more than 2,700 kinds of plants, including tall trees and dense bushes.
(Shanghai Star February 21, 2008)