Sanya is located on the southernmost tip of Hainan Island, Sanya is the island's most famous tropical resort, wonderful in the baking summer months and also a popular spot in winter too. Once home to China's most reviled exiles. Sanya has been transformed from a spot that no one wanted to visit at the 'end of the world', to become one of China's most popular, most beautiful and relaxed areas. Sanya has some of the most beautiful and well-maintained stretches of sand not just in China but in southern Asia. The sand here is white, palm trees provide shelter from the sun and the sea is wonderfully blue and warm. This is just about the only place in China with a really laid-back feeling and atmosphere. You could spend anything from a few days to a week or so here, soaking up the sun, relaxing and just enjoying the unique and relaxed ambience that dominates this place.
Main Attractions in Sanya
Asian Dragon Bay (Yalong wan) is arguably Hainan's best beach and definitely the most pristine. 7 km of white sand stretches along beautifully clean blue water here, backed by palm trees and lush green hills. The beach sits roughly on the same latitude as Hawaii and enjoys similar temperatures and weather conditions. The water here is wonderfully clear, reflecting the blue sky and white sand beneath the depths. Snorkeling and scuba diving are popular pursuits here given the clear water, bright-colored coral reefs and tropical fish that abound and this is arguably the nicest place to swim on the entire island. This is a new resort and development is underway in a very tasteful manner. This is a protected marine reserve and commercial fishing is forbidden here, keeping the water very clean and lovely for swimming. Facilities are also good here. This great beach is adjacent to shops, restaurants and a museum with a pretty collection of sea shells. There is also a charming outdoor butterfly garden here with a mountain hiking trail and some great walks. Hot springs, numerous golf courses and submarine cruises are also offered.
Dadonghai Beach (Dadonghai) is one of Sanya's cleanest beaches, situated about 3 km from the centre of the city and just off the main road. The beach's close proximity to the city means that it can get very busy here but this remains a pleasant and convenient spot to kick off your shoes, soak up the rays and swim in the sea. Like most of the beaches around Sanya, this is a truly tropical beach with 3 km of white sand curving round a crescent shaped bay, warm blue seas and palm trees.
End of the World
Tianya Haijiao or the 'End of the Earth and the Corner of the Sea' is located at the foot of Xiama Hill in the town of Tianya, 24 km west of Sanya. In fact, there are numerous rocks here of different size and shape, distributed along the silvery beach. The Chinese characters for 'Tianya Haijiao' (end of the world) and 'Nantian Yizhu' (the huge rock that emerges from the sea, making a 'corner' ), are engraved on three of the biggest rocks that sit along the coast. This area is known as the 'End of the World' because this was the place where Song dynasty officials were exiled to for criticizing their government. For them, this untraversed wilderness must have made them really feel like the 'end of the world'.
Of course, there is a romantic legend accompanying the area. Two passionate lovers from rival Li clans are said to have pledged their love for one another here, promising that they would be together wherever they traveled. Constantly pursued by troops from both clans, they were forced to leap from this spot into the sea. The Chinese believe that two of the huge rocks that stand facing one another represent the two lovers. Today, Chinese couples still invoke this tale in their declarations of love, promising that they too, would go to the 'end of the world' for one another. This is a very busy spot, and in fact, there is not much to hold you here for more than an hour or so. There is a Pearl Farm nearby, which is fairly interesting and a good place to purchase Hainan's famous seawater pearls.
Wuzhizhou Coral Island
Wuzhizhou Island is a tropical island with some excellent scuba diving available around the spectacular coral reefs. This place is known locally as a microcosm for all that is gorgeous about Hainan Island: white beaches, palm trees, sunshine and wonderful sea life including sea urchin, starfish and sea horse. This spot is generally acknowledged as the best place for scuba diving on the entire island.
On the outskirts of Sanya city, 20 kilometers west of 'the end of the world' lies Nanshan Mountain, guarded by one grandiose statue of buddasava of mercy rising up to 108 meters overlooking the sea. Nanshan Temple was the only Buddhist temple built from scratch after the birth of PRC. The architecture of the entire temple complex was tastefully adapted to pre-Tang style, surrounded by tropical botanic gardens. Its short history does not discourage pious Buddhists and dutiful son and daughters pouring in paying pilgrimage. Because its location. South is believed to be the direction of buddisava of mercy's domain. This golden sculpture is a remarkable piece resembling modern craftsmanship of portraying her in Tibetan Buddhism style. Nanshan, the mountain on the south, is also believed to be the auspicious mountain of longevity in Chinese mythology.
Climate in Sanya
Sanya is situated in the very south of Hainan Island, lies on the same altitude as the south of Hawaii and temperatures here are pleasantly warm, even in the middle of winter when the rest of China is freezing. Between June and October it is extremely hot and humid here and, although a dip in the sea provides welcome respite from the heat, it is probably better to visit here between December and April, when the climate is dry and the temperatures more bearable.
Visiting Sanya, you should remember to take suntan oil and sunglasses in order to prevent yourself from burning under the sun.