Sanya, with its beautiful coastal scenery, is deserving of its nickname "The Hawaii of the East." Travellers can experience the navy waves and fine white sand at the famous Sanya Bay, Yalong Bay and Dadong Sea. Beachgoers can learn to dive, play on the beach, or rest in the shade of the coconut palms. As you'll find out when you go, Sanya is truly a little piece of paradise.
Five days in Sanya is the perfect vacation. With five days, there's no need to hurry; you'll have time to see all that this slice of heaven has to offer. Cape Haijiao, Yalong Bay, Wuzhizhou Island, Large and Small Cave Heavens, Sanya Bay, Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone and the Yanoda Rainforest are all unforgettable attractions.
Just in time for summer, we've created a five day itinerary covering the best of Sanya.
Day 1: Cape Haijiao, Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone, Small and Large Cave Heavens
Get up the morning and go to Cape Haijiao. The beach, littered with rocks of varying sizes, is famous for its azure sea and fine sand. The beach is often called "The End of the World" or the "Southern Pillar," and is renowned for its beautiful views.
After soaking in the sea at Cape Haijiao, take the 16 bus to Nanshan Temple in the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone. Purchase a ticket to go see the precious statue of Guanyin, the Bodhisattva of Compassion, Kindness and Mercy. The statue of Guanyin is extremely tall and over 100 kilograms of gold were used in its creation.
Then, take the 21 bus to the Large and Small Cave Heavens, via the Crossing Station. The views of the sea from the caves are especially magnificent, which is why the caves are regarded as a work of the Gods. They are believed to be eight hundred years old, and are one of Qiongya's (the original name for Hainan) most renowned scenic spots.
At night, go back to the hotel and rest. After such an exhausting day, save the seafood market for tomorrow.
Day 2: Wuzhizhou Island day trip, Qingyuan Seafood Square
On the second day, book a diving tour at Wuzhizhou Island. Wuzhizhou is known as the Chinese version of the Maldives with its crystal clear waters (with visibility up to 27 metres!). Wuzhizhou Island lives up to its reputation as China's first and best diving area: the island offers more than 30 different diving tours, fishing, water skiing, sailing, windsurfing, motor boats and beach volleyball.
At night, go back into town to eat some seafood at the Qingyuan Seafood Market and enjoy fresh ocean delicacies from different stalls.
Day 3: Yanoda Rainforest, Nantian Hot Springs
On the third day, head to the Yanoda Rainforest, sometimes called the back gardens of Sanya. Take in the beautiful scenery, drink from the sweet tropical rainforest springs and learn about the customs of local tribes. The natural beauty of the rainforest attracts travellers from all over the world.
Yanoda Rainforest is relatively near the Nantian Hot Springs, so check out the hot springs in the afternoon and relax from your rainforest trek. The only way to get there is by taxi, which will cost about 200 RMB. A steep price, but you'll get to drive by amazing scenery along the way.
Day 4: Yalong Bay, Sanya First Market
Check out Yalong Bay, one of Sanya's most famous beaches. Yalong Bay has soft delicate sand stretching 8 km down the coast (three times as long as beaches in Hawaii). With an average temperature of 25.5 degrees Celsius, the weather is right for swimming.
The ocean water has a visibility of 7-9 metres, perfect for scoping out the coral reefs in the Yalong Bay waters. Chill on the beach, go diving and go see Yalong Bay Underwater World, then go back into Sanya in the afternoon and eat some fresh, cheap seafood at Sanya First Market.
Day 5: Sanya Bay, Sanya Duty Free Store
On the last day, go to Sanya Bay in the morning. Some beaches in the Sanya Bay Resort District are a bit polluted, so head to the west of the resorts where you will find soft sand and clean waters.
As you leave Sanya, don't forget to buy gifts and stock up at the duty-free shops. Take buses 8 or 15 to Luhuitou Square. The stores have some great deals on cosmetics but stay away from the overpriced Hainan goods on the second floor.
Addresses and information:
Cape HaijiaoView In Map
Add: 26 km from Malingshan, Cape Haijiao Tourist Area, near the waterfront to the west of the mountain
Tel: 08 988 859 2956
Openings hours: 7:30 - 18:30
Price: 65 RMB
Getting there: Take bus 16 to Cape Haijiao Junction Station
Nanshan Cultural Tourism ZoneView In Map
Add: Nanshan Village, Sanya Ya Chengzhen, 40 km away from Sanya City
Tel: 08 988 883 7888
Hours: 8:00 - 18:00
Price: 150 RMB
Getting there: Take bus 16, 21 to Nanshan Temple Station
Large and Small Cave Heavens Tourist AreaView In Map
Add: Near the southwest corner of Nanshan, 40 km outside Sanya City
Tel: 08 988 883 0188
Hours: 7:00 - 19:00
Price: 135 RMB
Getting there: Take 16, 21 bus to Nanshan Temple Station
Wuzhizhou IslandView In Map
Add: Haitang Bay, Sanya City
Tel: 08 988 875 1258
Hours: 7:30 - 17:00
Price: 168 RMB
Getting there: Take bus 28 directly to Wuzhizhou
Yanoda Scenic RainforestView In Map
Add: 18 km from Baoting, 35 km from Sanya City
Tel: 08 988 388 3333
Hours: 8:00 - 17:30
Price: 170 RMB
Getting there: Take the Sanya-Baoting ferry shuttle (Tickets about 10 RMB) to San Dao Nongchang (Three Farms Junction).
Yalong BayView In Map
Add: 6 Tiandu Road, near Sanya City
Tel: 08 988 856 8899
Hours: 7:30 - 18:00
Price: 46 RMB (Center Square + Shell House 33 RMB, Butterfly Valley 21 RMB),
Getting there: Take bus 15, 27 to Yalong Bay Station.
Sanya BayView In Map
Add: Hedong District, Sanya City
Opening hours: 24 hours
Getting there: Take bus 6, 16 to Sanya Bay.
Sanya Duty Free Shops
Add: 19 Yuya Avenue, Xia- District, Sanya City (across from Luhuitou Square)
Tel: 400 699 6956
Opening hours: 10:00 - 22:00
Getting there: Take bus 2, 3, 4, 5 to Fenghuang Square (Phoenix Square) or take bus 5, 15, 18, 19, 20 to Yangtian station.
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