Maldives of China, or Hawaii of China – that’s how people call this island. Hainan is extremely famous for its thriving tourist industry. If you are too exhausted with your work or issues and you need a perfect getaway, Hainan is all you need. Visiting Hainan, you can taste the salty flavor on the tip of your tongue, smell the fresh oceanic air, watch the glamorous sunrise and sunset, and being embraced by the natural beauty. I had a chance to visit Hainan and I would never forget how alluring my journey was. That’s why I want to convince my readers to pay Hainan a visit – it’s totally worth a lifetime.
Some details about Hainan
Hainan is a province made of various islands, located in the southernmost of China. The biggest island of Hainan is Hainan Island. It takes you 60 minutes to fly from Hong Kong, 50 to 70 minutes from Guangzhou to this beautiful island.
|Sea area||2.1 million km²|
|Number of islands||Approximately 200 islands|
|Other Cities||Sanya, Baisha, Changjiang, Baoting, Chengmai, Danzhou, Ding’an, Dongfan, Lin’gao, Lingshui, Wanning, Ledong, Qionghai, Sansha, Qiongzhong, Tunchang, Wenchang, Wuzhishan|
|Time Zone||GTM +8|
Hainan Island, Zhongsha archipelago, Xisha archipelago, and Nansha archipelago are the three administrative regions of Hainan. Haikou and Sanya are the most touristy destinations here. The biodiversity of Hainan is what makes this province so favorable for domestic and foreign tourists. 61.5% of Hainan’s land is covered by forest, with over 4000 types of plants and 500 species of animals. The most common tree in Hainan is coconut palm. It is truly heaven.
30-day Visa-Free for tourists
As Hainan has an extremely developed tourism industry, there is 30-day Visa-Free access only for foreign tourists. According to the rule, foreign citizens coming from 59 qualifying countries can enter without a visa to Hainan. As long as you have registered with a local travel agency (it may not a tour, but a certain service), you can visit every corner of Hainan in 30 days. If you want to enter another province from Hainan, you must have an appropriate visa, so be careful.
Although it is called 30-day Visa-Free access, in fact, it is no visa needed. And it doesn’t mean that you will entry Hainan without any government’s control. You still have to determine the duration of your vacation, flight tickets, hotel booking, etc. as the references. You are prohibited from flying from and to Hainan to and from other mainland Chinese airports.
If you want to find more information about this 30-day Visa-Free access or Hainan VOA, you can mail or fill Online Inquiry Form on Travel China Guide website or other China Tourism websites.
When to visit Hainan
There is no winter in Hainan. Hainan has a warm tropical climate, or tropical monsoon climate, allowing the growth of different species in this region. The annual temperature in Hainan is 23 °C (cool and comfortable). High plant coverage is also a factor leading to this pleasing temperature.
The best time to visit Hainan is between October and March. It is also in the golden tourist season for tourism. The weather would be dry, tender, cool, and clean. The preferable time is March and April as it would be less touristy, the hotel price is reduced and lots of promotions. You should not visit Hainan from May to September since it will be huge rains and storms.
How to go from Beijing
The distance between Beijing and Hainan is 2640 kilometers. The most convenient way to travel to Beijing is aviation. Hainan Airlines, China Southern Airlines, Air China, and Capital Airlines are some airlines that provide most frequent flights every week; and the service is quite standard.
Your destination would be Haikou Meilan International Airport, based in Haikou – the capital city of Hainan. There is a non-stop flight (takes approximately 4 hours) and a 1-stop flight (takes about 12 hours). You can view the detailed schedule and book the flight online via chinatour.net and travelchinaguide.com. It is pretty easy to do so. There are fewer flights to Sanya Phoenix International Airport in Sanya.
You can go by car and bus. There is a highway to Hainan, but it would take lots of time for such a long way and you might get bored easily. Don’t waste your time while you can save it by flying.
Transportation in Hainan
Hainan has 2 domestic airports: Danzhou Airport and Quionghai Bo’ao Airport, and 2 international airports: Sanya Phoenix International Airport and Haikou Meilan International Airport. Haikou Airport (HAK) is the most visited airport in Hainan; it also has the highest number of flights every year.
When arriving in Hainan, you can rent a motorbike to travel around Hainan Island and other cities. Most tourists don’t rent a car but choose to go by public bus, taxi or on foot. The traffic is not too crowded so you can easily transport from destination to destination. I suggest you book one-day tours for easier transportation to tourist spots.
Depending on your time of arrival that the hotel price would be expensive or cheap. As Hainan is the spectacular tourist destination, there are various cozy hotels, hostels, dorms, homestays, resorts, etc. so you don’t have to worry about accommodation. Overall, the hotel service here is qualified and enjoyable. You should book the room online (on Booking, Agoda, etc.) 1 to 1.5 months before your arrival for better promotion.
Never miss these locations and activities
You would never visit all must-go destinations in one vacation. The name China’s Hawaii is not nonsense. The unique tropical landscape, majestic biodiversity, salty atmosphere, natural daylight, and the long blue beach will embrace you all night long.
The most famous regions for tourism are Haikou and Sanya. Haikou has everything you need for a summer vacation: greenish palm trees across the streets, charming parks. It is a mixture of modern China and oceanic Hawaii. You can enjoy various traditional performances, drink domestic unique tea and try the special cuisine of Haikou. In comparison, Sanya has breathtaking natural beaches, majestic rainforests, stunning parks, which can be overwhelming to you. It also has some minority villages to visit and acknowledge their customs.
Never miss these following destinations:
– Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Rainforest Park
– Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark
– West Island
– Dongtian Park
– Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden
– Dongzhai Harbour Mangrove Forest
– Hailo Creative Culture Park
– Orchid World (Sanya)
– The End of The Earth (Tianya Haijiao – Sanya)
– Haikou Movie Town
– Qi Lou Snack Street
– Boundary Island
– Nanwan Monkey Island
– Wuzhizhou Island
As Hainan is perfect for a vacation, there will be lots of activities to join, especially the water sport. You can parasailing, yachting, snorkeling, diving, sailing, scuba diving, kayaking, surfing, etc. All will bring you the most terrific time of your life. Since there are many beaches, you can play volleyball, swim, sunbathe,… or just simply enjoy the glamorous sunrise and sunset on the beach. If you stay the night (pretty sure you would), you can have a BBQ party or grilled party by the beach, drink at the beach bar and chill with your partners in the mysterious yet so dreamy night.
If you get bored with beaches and water, you definitely can go trekking, hiking and mountain climbing. You can enter the forests and discover the variety of different species living on this land. Going camping overnight would be perfect for adventurous tourists.
There are also lots of festivals and events held every season. Some famous festivals in Hainan are Nanshan Longevity Festival, Dragon Head Raising Festival, Hainan International Surfing Festival,… Abundant activities are available too, such as Tour of Hainan bicycle race, H1 Hot Air Balloon Challenge, etc.
Hainan cuisine has mild and light flavor – in comparison to different regions of China. It also less oily and fewer seasonings so it is quite easy for foreigners to eat. The seafood here is also very mouth-watering. Some special dishes that you must try are Turtle and Snake Tonic Soup, Wanquan Carp, Dongshan Mutton, Hele Crab, Baoluo Noodles, Wenchang chicken, Hainan chicken rice, etc.
You can also explore Hainan cuisine at night markets and street food at affordable prices. The most famous ones are Haikou Night Market and Jiafeng Food Street, where sells barbecued or skewered food with local vibe. The tea culture in Hainan is also rich enough to amaze you. Don’t forget to have at least a cup of tea here!
If I have a chance, I would stay in Hainan forever. It is a great place to enjoy your life and release stress after working hard or some personal issues. From my viewpoint, you should spend at least one week to experience these islands, let the environment embrace you. For more information about Hainan, you could look for explorehainan.com, the website only for promoting Hainan tourism. Whenever considering a place for your vacation, don’t forget to give Hainan a thought.