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Hainan Island, All Year Round

Hainan Island is China's second largest after Taiwan. Covering an area of 33,900 square kilometers, which accounts for 99 percent of the land area of Hainan Province in the southernmost part of China, the island is the main part of the province. On the same latitude as Hawaii, it has a tropical climate with a mean annual temperature between 20℃  to 25℃. As winter has come to most parts of China, Hainan Island presents a distinct scene: comfortable sunshine, warm seawater, white beaches and luxuriant coconut trees. Enchanting landscapes, unique ethnic customs and abundant historical sites make the island an ideal tourist destination for visitors all year round, especially in winter.

Sunshine - Surf - Sand

Hainan Island in the South China Sea has a coastline totaling 1,600 kilometers. Along its coastline, there are many bays with unruffled water and smooth white beaches, which are lined with coconut trees that give pleasant shade. The sky is bright and blue, the air is pure and fresh, and the water, averaging 21℃  to 27℃ , is so clear that underwater visibility reaches up to 30 meters.

Natural beaches on Hainan Island are mainly distributed in Sanya and Lingshui along the southern coast and Wanning, Qionghai and Wenchang along the eastern coast. Its well-known bays include Yalong, Dadonghai, Shimei, Xiangshui, Riyue, Nanyang, Gaolong, and Yueliang, which are natural swimming sites.

Located on the southernmost tip of the island, the city of Sanya has the most beautiful beaches on the island. It has 19 bays, including the Dadonghai and Sanya, and Yalong, called the First Bay in China. Every bay has a beach of fine white sand with beautiful surroundings.

Healthy and Long-Living Islanders

The forest coverage in Hainan reaches 51.8 percent, which is favorable to people's health. According to the results of the air environment monitoring of 158 cities in 48 countries issued by the World Environmental Organization in 1999, Sanya ranked second in the world in air quality.

With fresh air and fine-quality water, the people of Hainan lead healthy and long lives. The average life span on the island is 73 years and the proportion of centenarians ranks first in China. Take for example the Nanshan Village at the foot of Nanshan Mountain in Sanya. The village has a population of more than 4,500 people, and the villagers mainly engage in agriculture. Among the elderly, 10 are more than 100 years old and 90 are more than 80. According to Hainan's local experts, the comfortable climate and the quiet, beautiful environment endowed by nature are favorable to the health and longevity of the islanders.

It is said that some visitors suffering from arthritis and respiratory and cardiovascular diseases have taken a better turn after staying on the island for just a few days.

The island is rich in geothermal resources, and more than 300 hot springs have been discovered there. The Guantang Hot Spring in Qionghai contains a high proportion of hydrogen sulfide in its water. Bathing in the spring can improve the condition of skin, cardiovascular, respiratory and nervous diseases, as well as renal functions. The Nantian Hot Spring is famous for its therapeutic action, because its water contains trace elements. The Qixianling Hot Spring with 95oC water is the hottest spring on the island. Taking a hot-spring bath has become a great option for visitors to Hainan.

Diving - Rafting - Golfing

Diving in the South China Sea has attracted many visitors from China's mainland and abroad and is one of Hainan's hottest attractions. The South China Sea, especially around Sanya and the Xisha Islands, has superb, natural diving conditions. Its uncontaminated water keeps a temperature of between 19℃  to 26℃  all year round. International diving experts have designated the South China Sea one of the best diving sites in the South Pacific. Divers can admire colorful coral several meters under water and can see octopuses, sea anemones and sea cucumbers more than 20 meters deep. Diving in Sanya gives people the experience of returning to the embrace of nature.

Hainan Island is the only area in China for rafting all year round. The best rafting site on the island is the Wanquan River, especially the river valley that runs from Wuzhi Mountain.

With an excellent environment and pleasant climate, Hainan Island is also an ideal place to play golf. At present, 12 golf courses have been built on the island. The famous courses include the Yalong Bay Golf Course in the Yalong Bay National Tourist Resort, the Japanese-invested Sanya International Golf Club in Sanya City, and the Nanyan Bay Golf Club on the shore of the Nanyan Bay in Wanning City, the only beach golf course in China.

An International Tourist Destination

One tour is not enough to visit all the scenic spots on Hainan Island. Not even two are enough. This is because the island not only has a large number of tourist attractions, but it is also experiencing rapid development. If revisiting the island after several years, visitors will find that the sky here is bluer, the water is clearer, the air is fresher, the beach is cleaner, and more public facilities have been established. Hainan Island has become an international tourist destination.


1. There are more than 300 hotels on Hainan Island, many of which are in Haikou, Sanya and Xinglong Cities. They have floating prices between the low and peak seasons. International Labor Day on May 1, Chinese National Day on October 1, and the Chinese Spring Festival on the first day of the first lunar month are 7-day holidays in China and also the peak periods of tourism in Hainan. The price of a standard room in a five-star hotel in Sanya is 2,000 yuan a day in the peak season and it is about 600 yuan in the off season.

2. When visiting Sanya, make sure you bring swimsuits, sunglasses, sunscreen and a parasol.

(China Pictorial February 6, 2004)

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Halong Bay Wonder on the Sea
Hainan to Boost Culture and Sports
First Group of Visa-Free Tourists Arrive in Hainan
No Visas Needed for Foreign Tourist Groups in Haikou
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