Hainan

Sights

Historic Site in Haikou

Mei She Village

Photogenic Mei She was built out of the rough grey volcanic stone so prevalent in this part of Hainan. Wander the quiet back alleys and gawp at the castle-like, five-storey gun tower in the town centre. It was...

Area in Haikou

Haikou Old Town

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

Mountain in Baoting

Seven Fairy Mountain

Seven Fairy Mountain, named for its dramatic seven pinnacles, is found inside Mt Qixian Hot Springs National Forest Park. It’s a three-hour return trip to the top of the first pinnacle along a stepped path...

Historic Site in Bo'ao

Cai Family Former Residence

This sprawling, and pleasantly decaying, mansion was built in 1934 by several brothers who made their fortune in the Indonesian rubber industry. The building was abandoned in 1937 after the Japanese invaded...

Beach in Sanya

Houhai Beach

A crescent-shaped sandy beach about 30km northeast of Dadonghai, Houhai Bay, which is in Tenghai village (滕海村, Ténghǎi Cūn), is the place for those looking to get away from the crowds. Be prepared though: the...

Gardens in Xinglong

Xinglong Tropical Garden

What sounds like another of Hainan’s many tourist traps is actually a surprising retreat: a huge area of lightly tended tropical gardens with a network of paths. Derelict hotels and cafes hidden in the rainforest...

Beach in Sanya

Yalong Bay

Yalong Bay is the most picture-perfect of Sanya’s beaches, though jet skis and banana boats do buzz through (there are roped-off swimming areas in the shallows). This is resort central, with all the attendant...

Volcano in Haikou

Haikou 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...

Buddhist Monastery in Bo'ao

Bo'ao Temple

The highlight of this modern Buddhist temple complex, 3km west of the town centre, is the enormous statue of the many-armed and many-headed Guanyin, the towering pagoda, and the views over the delta. After...

Beach in Sanya

Sanya Bay

The long sandy strip off the city centre at Sanya Bay is where you’ll find crowds of mostly mainland Chinese tourists kicking back. In little covered areas locals play music, sing, write characters in the sand...

Temple in Haikou

Five Officials Memorial Temple

Hainan wasn't always a desirable holiday destination. In earlier times it was considered a remote part of the Chinese empire and used as a place of banishment for disgraced court officials. This Ming temple is...

Museum in Haikou

Hainan Museum

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

Beach in Sanya

Dadonghai Bay

Dadonghai Bay sports a wider beach than Sanya and has a shaded boardwalk running along most of its length. The setting, in a deep blue bay with rocky headlands, is simply gorgeous, but it does get busy here. At...

Beach in Shimei Bay & Ri Yue Bay

Ri Yue Bay

If you like your ocean slate-blue and reckless (and largely resort free), Ri Yue Bay is for you. Colour is provided by local surfers rather than the usual flotilla of inflatable children’s toys. The beachside...

Beach in Shimei Bay & Ri Yue Bay

Shimei Bay

With its blue water, golden sand and shady coconut trees, it's no surprise that several large resorts have staked their claim to Shimei Bay. Still, if you're after a little relaxation among affordable luxury...

Beach in Bo'ao

Bo'ao Bay

Bo'ao’s beach is a long, narrow strip of golden sand, just a few hundred metres east of the town’s main road. If you plan to swim, head at least 500m north to avoid dangerous currents. The best stretches are even...

Beach in Haikou

Dongjiao Coconut Plantation

This coconut farming community takes up a big chunk of Wenchang County on the northeast coast. Cool, palm-lined lanes wind through traditional villages where locals harvest coconuts and snooze in hammocks. The...

Mountain in Haikou

Tonggu Ridge

Tonggu Ridge is famous locally for its great views up and down the coast from the top, especially of the moon-shaped beach at Yue Liang Wan’s beach. It’s 3km to the top; there’s a shuttle bus (¥20 round trip, 9am...