Top things to do in Haikou

Top Choice Hainan in Haikou

Ā Bo Pó

Ā Bo Pó means ‘grandma’ in Hainanese, though we’d also translate it as ‘best chicken ever'. Indeed made by a 70-something grandma, the chicken here is buried in sea salt and baked for four hours, then sealed in plas…
Hainan in Haikou

Hǎikǒu Qílóu Snack Street

This marvellous colonial arcade is the repository of many of the street vendors swept off the street in the clean-up campaign and is easily the best place to sample local Hainanese dishes. Buy a prepaid plastic card…
Seafood in Haikou

Bǎnqiáo Road Seafood Market

For a fresh seafood dinner with lots of noise, smoke and toasting, head to the hectare of tables at the Bǎnqiáo Road Seafood Market, known island-wide. First bargain for the raw ingredients from the market – local o…
Area in Haikou

Hǎikǒu Old Town

The streets around Zhongshan Lu are a looking glass into Hǎikǒu’s French colonial past, with cobblestone blocks of porticoed row houses – some restored, some charmingly decayed. Though still a work in progress, ‘Old…
Volcano in Haikou

Hǎikǒu Volcanic Cluster Geopark

While this geopark encompasses about 108 sq km of rural countryside, the main attraction here is a corny tourist park surrounding a (genuinely cool) extinct volcano cone. Make haste past the snack stands and gift ki…
Historic Site in Haikou

Měi Shè Village

Photogenic Měi Shè was built out of the rough grey volcanic stone so prevalent in this part of Hǎinán. Wander the quiet back alleys and gawp at the castle-like five-storey gun tower in the town centre. It was built …
Museum in Haikou

Hǎinán Museum

This modern colossus of a building should be your first stop when you arrive in Hǎinán. The displays on ethnic minorities, as well as Hǎinán’s 20th-century history, which included fierce resistance against the Japan…
Sichuan in Haikou

Red Bar

This moody, lantern-lit villa down an alley in Guómào is where you’ll find Hǎikǒu’s cool kids sampling fiery Chóngqìng-style street food (refined to yuppie standards). On the northwestern corner of Guomao Lu and Yus…
Dumplings in Haikou

Guǎngfúlóng Wontons

This Hǎikǒu institution in Old Town does a brisk business in scalding bowls of wonton soup. A ‘small’ is plenty filling. There’s a picture menu.
Cafe in Haikou

Small Cafe

You have your pick of charming cafes along Old Town’s pedestrian street, but this one gets our vote thanks to the garden patio out back.