Top ChoiceHainan in Haikou

A Bo Po Salt Roasted Chicken

Ā bo pó (阿卜婆) 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...

Seafood in Haikou

Banqiao Seafood Market

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

Hainan in Haikou

Haikou Qilou 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. On weekends and busy...

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...

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...

Cafe in Haikou

Square Out Space Cafe

With calming blue and white interiors, and ample windows that let in what breeze there is in Haikou, this charming cafe and art space is a cooling and quiet place to hang out. As well as staging its own musical...

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...

Sichuan in Haikou

Wú Hóng Cānba

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

Dumplings in Haikou

Guangfulong Wontons

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

Bar in Haikou

Drunk Bear

With half a dozen local craft brews on tap, this Guomao watering hole is a favourite among expats and beer-loving locals alike.

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...