The view of bright sunshine, blue water and wide beaches at Sanya, the southernmost tip of Hainan Province, attracts many regular visitors from both home and abroad year upon year. It is said that Sanya has the most well-preserved and beautiful beaches in all of China. All of the destinations of Sanya are linked to water, hence it attains its reputation as being the 'oriental Hawaii'. Now, Sanya is well known and admired as a famous coastal tourist city, with a favorable climate that includes good sunshine, seawater, beaches, green vegetation and pure air.
Tianya Haijiao (literally 'edge of the sky, rim of the sea'), which is 24 kilometers (about 15 miles) away from the downtown center, just as its name means that it will take you to the end of heaven and earth. Ancient history recalls a beautiful love story that relates to this particular beauty spot that is enhanced by a blue sky and pure, clear seawater of Tianya Haijiao. There are three famous huge rocks here that attract lots of visitors, and many who take photos in front of them, as the Chinese characters of Tianya, Haijiao and Nantian Yizhu are respectively engraved on them.
Tianya Haijiao, a romantic and beautiful scenic spot, lies to the west of Sanya City, Hainan Province. It receives many visitors from home and abroad every year since its open in 1988. It also attracts thousands of young lovers from every corner of the world to hold their wedding ceremonies here.
Tianya Haijiao means 'the furthermost part of the sky and the sea' in Chinese, suggesting an unattainable place. In the past, Chinese people believed that the sky was square and the earth was round. Therefore there was definitely a furthermost part of the sky and the earth. Hainan Province, the southernmost part of China, was believed to be the location of Tianya Haijiao.
The Tianya Haijiao Scenic Spot sits on Maling Mountain facing the sea. Walking along the seashore, you will see a stone carved with four characters Nan Tian Yi Zhu, which means 'a pillar standing in the southern part of the sky' in Chinese. The story goes that when the local fishermen's daily life was affected by terrible storms, and they could hardly catch the fish, two kind-hearted fairy maidens transformed themselves into two large stones and stood on the beach to shelter the fishermen. From that time fishermen were safe from storms whenever they went to sea. But the maiden's master, the Mother Goddess of Heaven, was so furious that she dispatched the Thunder God to drag them back to Heaven. The two maidens refused, so the Thunder God broke them in two. One of them was thrown into the sea and the other one was left here. Near the remaining one lies another stone carved with the Chinese characters Hai Pan Nan Tian, which means 'the sea and the sky joined together'. It is the oldest stone inscription to be found here.
Walking on for a further 500 meters (1600 feet), you will see a stone carved with the characters of Tianya and another stone carved with the characters of Haijiao. There is a romantic Romeo and Juliet story about these two stones. In ancient times, two young lovers eloped when their parents disapproved of their marriage. Unfortunately, when they arrived in Hainan, agents, sent by their parents, were also there. Facing the sea, they had no escape. They were so sad that they just held each other as they jumped into the sea. Suddenly, there was a thunderstorm. They were hit by lightning and changed into two stones, with the agents turned into many smaller stones around. Now people regard these two stones as symbols of eternal and faithful love. Because of this beautiful and romantic story many young lovers choose this place for their wedding ceremony.
Besides the three stones, modern facilities can be found such as a Shopping Center, the Li Ethnic Group Village and a Celebrity Sculpture. An international wedding festival is celebrated in Tianya Haijiao every year. Around the Mid Autumn Day, there is a Lantern Festival, which adds to the special atmosphere.
Tianya Haijiao is a heaven for people who are head over heals in love, and also an ideal place for people who are deeply in love with the sea. You will definitely have fond memories after visiting this scenic spot.
How to get there:
You can take the bus to Nanshan or Tianya from the West Station of Sanya City, the ticket price is CNY4.
Sanya has never run short of beautiful bays for visitors to enjoy. The Asian Dragon Bay (Yalong Wan), Dadonghai and Sanya Bay are the top three holiday resorts of Sanya. According to their quite different natural beauties and appearance, the Asian Dragon Bay is praised to be a virgin and the Dadonghai represents an elegant lady and Sanya Bay is regarded to be an unadorned fisherman's daughter. You can definitely go to any of them to enjoy your holiday.
Asian Dragon Bay (Yalong Wan)
Yalong Bay boasts unparalleled beauty. The 7.5-kilometer (4.7- mile) long, crescent-shaped bay with an area of 18.6 square kilometers (about 7.2 square miles) is one of the famous scenic spots in Hainan Province.
With the average temperature a pleasant 25.5
C all year-round, Yalong Bay is situated in the southernmost part of Hainan Province, 25 kilometers (about 15.5 miles) away from the tropical seaside tourist city, Sanya. The scenery is amazing, with endless rolling hills, serene gulfs, clear blue sea and silvery sand beaches--three times as long as any in Hawaii. Home to several well-preserved coral reefs with tropical fish of varied kinds, colors and shapes, the ocean here is crystal clear, allowing visitors to view underwater sights up to 10 meters (33 feet) deep from the surface.
Yalong Bay boasts the five essential elements of modern tourism: sea, sands, sunshine, lush green plants and fresh air. In 1992, the Secretary-General of the World Tourism Organization once marked that this bay embraces the unique and unparalleled natural settings, sands, crystal sea water, endless seashore, unspoiled hills and pristine vegetation, making it a paradise for holiday travelers.
Because of the unbeatable environment, Yalong Bay Resort was authorized by the State Council in 1992. The unique state-level tourist resort is characterized by its tropical ambiance - the resort holds seaside parks, deluxe villas, conference centers, top-end hotels, golf-courses and so on. In recent years, with the perfection of facilities, thousands of travelers are attracted by its unique charm to swarm to this ideal place for vacation. And it is the first choice for people who conduct conferences and matches, including the New Silk Road Model Look China representing the top level model contests in China.
In the centre of Yalong Bay square stands a Totem Pole of 27 meters (about 88.6 feet), on which the God of Sun, and Gods of Wind, Rain, and Thunder as well as those legendary animals such as Dragon, Phoenix, Kylin and Fish are engraved. The design of this square embodies the Chinese civilization of 5,000 years and has received recognition in winning the Luban Prize - awarded to the top level design of architecture in China.
With an area of 3,000 square meters (about 3,558 square yards), Shell Hall of Yalong Bay is located in the central square of the resort. And with the shell as its theme, the Shell Hall is a comprehensive exhibition hall combining exhibition and shopping. When traveling through the hall, visitors will be surrounded by natural wonders dazzling each of the senses.
In the north of Yalong Bay is the site of Butterfly Valley, which is classified into five halls that present the most precious species of butterflies in China and other countries as well.
Tips: Be sure to sample the unique seafood and don't miss specialities like the crystal and pearl ornaments. For an easier time getting to Yalong Bay, take a taxi when you arrive in Sanya. The taxi fee is CNY 50.In the resort, there are hotels, such as Gloria Resort Sanya and Horizon Resort and Spa.
CNY 30 Center Square
CNY 38 Shells Museum
CNY 18 Butterfly Valley
In addition to Asian Dragon Bay
, Sanya Bay is also an ideal place for vacation and leisure in Sanya. Lying to the west of Sanya city center, it stretches for 20 li (6.2 miles) from Sanya Harbor.
From the city center, Sanyawan Road leads directly to the bay. As you pass along the road, you can see the greenbelt on both sides as wide as 80 meters (87.5 yards), like a tropical plants viewing garden. Here you can find some typical and valuable tropical plants, such as cycad, palm, madagascar palm and oil palm.
The bay is surrounded by beautiful tropical scenery with a boundless sea view. The crystal clear blue sea stretches to the edge of the sky, while the waves lap the soft white sand. Across the sea, you will see two adjacent islands: Western Hawksbill Island and Eastern Hawksbill Island (commonly know as Western Island and Eastern Island). The Eastern Island is a garrison island with strict safety measures while the Western Island is open to the public. If you are interested in angling, you can reach the Western Island by motorboat as it has the biggest and best angling club of Sanya. There are many fish and you will return with great success. Furthermore, the island is famous for its limpid sea water and various benthoses.
Additionally, as Sanya Bay is not far from the city center, it would be a good choice to wander along the bay after supper to feel the soft sea breeze and warm sea water, and view the sunset. As you walk along the bay, you can see the fishermen trawling and hear their working songs resounding to the skies. If you want to taste the real life of the fishermen, you can join them. But remember, trawling is not easy work. The net is about 100 meters (109 yards) long and it takes nearly two or three hours to tow it up to the bank. Moreover, this scene can only be seen in Sanya Bay as fishing has been forbidden in Dadonghai and Asian Dragon Bay. Compared with those places, the sea water and sand in Sanya Bay are not as good; however it attracts millions of visitors with its advantages.
As the bay is near the city center, it's very convenient to reach and is much cheaper to visit. Not only is it much quieter and less crowded, but Sanya Bay has the most beautiful sunsets of Sanya and is safe for swimming as the sea is calmer. Also, it is a better choice to live here to taste the daily life of local people.
It takes only 5 minutes driving from Sanya Phoenix International Airport
(SYX) directly to Sanya Bay;
You can also take a taxi with a fare of CNY8 or bus No.206 from Sanya city center to Sanya Bay;
Sightseeing bus (30 minutes once) in Asian Dragon Bay can take you to Sanya Bay in 50 minutes.
One of the most popular tropical seaside holiday areas in Hainan Province is located 3 kilometers (about 1.9 miles) southeast of downtown Sanya, between Mt. Tuziwei and Mt. Luhuitou. Dadonghai has a crescent-shaped beach 2.3 kilometers long (about 1.4 miles) and clear blue sea, sunshine, white sand and green trees creating a beautiful location in the Torrid Zone.
The famous beach is ideal for diving, beach sports, bathing and sunbathing. And as it has everything to support a seaside tourist location, including a large shopping square on the shore, amusement companies and a famous dive company that can provide scuba diving, ship diving, seabed strolling, speed boat, motorboat, luxury yacht, sail boat, ocean fishing, beach sports and underwater photography, this location is renowned for water activities in Sanya and throughout China. Dadonghai has spring-like weather all year round. The water temperature is about 20C degrees even in winter, hence its reputation as an idyllic spot for winter holidaying and relaxation. It also has several shopping areas; the largest shopping center is the Sanya-Ruihai Shopping Park, then Dadonghai Pearl Square, Tropical Rain Forest Square, Seashore Lovers Road and Seafood Barbecue Square, are all able to offer leisure for tourists. 300 meters (about 328 yards) east along the beach is Seashore Park. Standing on the top of the small mountain inside the park, you have a panoramic view of the beach.
Dadonghai is a wonderful outdoor swimming and bathing place. At the thought of vernal sunshine and soft sea breezes you will be agreeably dissolved into the blue sky and seawater.
Transportation: Bus or taxi from Sanya Phoenix International Airport directly to Dadonghai
Taxi or bus No.2 or No. 4 from Sanya downtown area to Dadonghai.
Sightseeing bus (10 minutes once) special for tour line (from 7:15 to 19:00) to Dadonghai
The Nanshan Temple is located 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) away from the west of Sanya City, and is certainly worth visiting. It is the most famous Buddhist temple in Hainan Province, and faces the South Sea and is encircled by mountains on both its sides. There are several ways to guide you to the temple, but the most convenient route is to take the buses that can reach there directly via the Jiefang Second Road of Sanya City. The entrance fee is CNY150 per person.
Situated 40 kilometers (25 miles) from Sanya City, Hainan Province, the Nanshan (South Mountain) Temple ranks as one of the attractions in the Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone. Occupying an area of 400 mu (66 acres), it is the biggest Buddhist preaching site established since the founding of the People's Republic of China.
Nestling at the foot of Nanshan (South Mountain) Mountain (an auspicious region famous for Chinese Buddhist culture with emphasis on longevity-happiness), the temple was completed on 12 April, 1998, the 2,000th anniversary year of Buddhism coming to China.
With its total floor space of 40,000 sq meters (10 acres), Nanshan Temple boasts several replicas of Tang Dynasty (618-907) architecture. The Renwang Gate (Mountain Gate), the entrance to the temple, has two figures of Buddha standing there as guards. As well, seven Buddhist figures are enshrined in the Doushuai Adytum (or Hall). The Maitreya Buddha (Sanskrit, Mile in Chinese) is in the middle of the Hall with two Bodhisattvas on each side. Around these three Buddhist images stand the Four Heavenly Kings, who act as Buddhist guardians with duties to protect all living creatures and to bring favorable weather and ample harvest. From the Doushuai Adytum, a porch brings visitors to Jin Tang, also called in the time of the Tang Dynasty, Daxiongbaodian (Hall of Ceremony). Here are enshrined the three main Buddha images: the Sakyamuni, the Bhaisajyaguru (Chinese Yaoshiwang) and the Amitabha (Chinese Amituo). These two halls comprise the main parts of the Temple.
In addition, there are some other enchanting sights in Nanshan Temple:
The Golden Jade Kwan-yin Statue
This amazing national treasure is a 3.8-meter£¡§13-feet) high Golden Jade Kwan-yin Statue. It is covered with 100 kg (221 pounds) of gold and silver, embedded with 120 carats of South African diamonds plus countless jewels, and containing two sacred Buddhist relics.
Sea Watch Terrace
Just in front of the Nanshan Temple is a terrace directly facing the South China Sea, from which visitors can admire the vast seascape and meanwhile view the spectacular 108-meter (354-feet) high copper statue of the South China Sea Kwan-yin Bodhisattva.
Nanshan Temple is a comparatively new temple which combines Buddhist culture, garden architectures, and recreational facilities with the spirit of peace, tranquility, happiness and harmony. And it must be a wise choice for visitors who wish to pay their respects to Buddhist culture while traveling in Sanya.
Tips: The vegetarian food in Nanshan Temple is very famous, including many nutritious dishes made of wild fungus, konjak, and bean products.
Recommended Duration of Visit:
Allow one day
Besides the above three bays, there is also Wuzhizhou Island, which is in Haitang Bay, north of Sanya City, attracting lots of the medium and high-end tourists every year. A gorgeous natural landscape, combined with various tourist facilities and well-developed entertaining events on the island support visitors and provide a paradise destination, just perfect for spending holidays at. Currently, there is no direct bus route, so initially you need to take a taxi to Wuzhizhou Island Wharf, the fare is CNY 50 for a one-way trip and CNY 150 to CNY 200 for a round trip. Secondly, the ferries between Wuzhizhou Island Wharf and Wuzhizhou Island will take you there. From 7:40 am to 4:00 pm, there are ferries departing to the island every 20 minutes with the last returning ferry departing at 6:00 pm.
There are also some additional destinations in Sanya that eagerly await your visit. For example, the Luhuitou Park which is located in the Luhuitou peninsula of Sanya is noted for its beautiful legend. Don't hesitate any longer, adding Sanya as your 'must visit' holiday destination, you can be assured of a very warm welcome and a great holiday!
Editor: canton fair