French Experience In Sanya

by Albert

I have been visiting Sanya City on Hainan Island (not Haikou City) in 2011. I went alone, taking the direct train from Guangzhou to Sanya.

I do not speak Chinese. I have really enjoyed the different places I visited ( End of the Earth, WU ZHI ZHOU, Big Buddhist area) but looking like Disneyland as monks were mostly or all fake and BAOTANG which was really fantastic (Also a Disneyland style I must admit).

Beaches were not fantastic. I could do all by myself and cheap within 4 days before returning back same way, in a time when HK was extremely cold and Sanya was very hot tropical. (January).

I recommend strongly the visit. I would have missed something if I would not have visited. So I encourage readers to visit also. So far as I have understood, Haikou City does not deserve a visit except for Volcano Park.

So if you have not a lot of times concentrate your efforts on Sanya.

It is worth it.


Reply from

Hello. Albert.

Welcome and thank you for your insights and opinion on making the trip to Sanya City on Hainan Island.

I'm also glad you made it clear that you don't speak Chinese.

It was funny because it would take someone 12 years of intensive study to learn the language. You would only need to take a 4 or 5 hour flight to Beijing to discover that the Chinese language you learned is only understood in one small region of China.

We agree that Sanya is a better city than the Capital City of Haikou. The only reason to go to Haikou is because of better prices on airfares, better shopping and more to see and do.

The beaches are more touristy in Haikou than in Sanya, as well.

I landed in Sanya city, made my way up to Haikou by car and then flew out of the airport in Haikou. It is an absolutely beautiful journey making the trip from tip of the island the other tip.

Along the way you'll enjoy scenery that seems untouched by human hands.

The center of the island is a tropical rainforest while the beaches that line the coastline can be fantastic but you do need to find a beach untouched by pollution and tourism.

That is much easier to do in Sanya City and especially along the journey by road from Sanya City to Haikou City.

It is more relaxed and laid back in Sanya but the whole island is a departure from what I was used to seeing in the rest of China.

After my 2 years in Shanghai, Hong Kong and Beijing, I was utterly shocked to see numerous Chinese men walking the sidewalk, dressed in Hawaiian style T-Shirts, Flip-Flops and Shorts.

Sanya and Hainan Island have much to offer. That makes it a highly popular destination for Mainland Chinese people who flock to Hainan Island during Weekends, Public Holidays and School Breaks.

So, plan your trip to Hainan Island accordingly.

It is great that you took the direct train from Guangzhou to Sanya. My train did not roll right onto the ferry itself but I saw the one from Guabgzou do that.

Tell us more about your trip including what it cost you and how crowded or peaceful it was. Did you stay in a Budget Sanya Hotel or did you go for the 2 Star and Sanya Beach Houses and Resortsoption?

If you are planning your own Trip then don't forget to head on over to TripAdvisor for a list of things to see and do while on Hainan Island.

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Sep 14, 2011
Details of Sanya Trip

I have been staying in a hostel and I was paying 110 Yuan the night. It is Sanya Backpacker Hostel a very recent and new hostel. I recommend it. The owner is called Chris and he is Singaporian.

One can easily reach the Hotel from the train station by bus. It is half an hour and 3 or 4 Yuan.

A last detail for any train in China : always keep your ticket as it is required to show it when you exit the train station, otherwise you may have to pay a second trip as penalty. This happened in all of my trips.

As about Shopping in Sanya it is worth to buy pepper and coco products. Electronic and fakes are better in Lo Wuh in Shenzhen.

Since I am not Chinese I do not understand the pearl powder which seems to be very popular and sold in many places. It was very difficult to understand what are really the prices since they were no supermarket to have an idea about bargaining level.

Another problem is that for sure I have been followed in popular places by people trying to steal my money as a couple of Chinese. I decided to stop suddenly to let them cross me from behind, which they did not expected at all, and as they continued straight I turned right immediately and ran away.

It is very true that the nature seems to be untouched and looks like Seychelles for the place called the End of the Earth. This place, with the buddhist place -big statue - beware when it is closing no more bus to go back to Sanya....- and Binlandong (very nice show of dancers with bamboos and very nice show of eaters of fire) have made this trip unique.

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