Wednesday, August 31, 2011

China's Hawaii: Hainan Island

One of the best thing about living in Singapore is its proximity to Asia's best beaches and tourist destinations. Although many people still do not think places other than Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia, several less traveled destinations in Vietnam, Cambodia and China also offers great holiday escapes from Singapore, especially if you are tired of crowding and spoiling, heavy development in popular tourist destinations like Phuket.

Hainan Island of China, Southern most past of China, is one of these destinations. It is dubbed as "Hawaii of China" and the southern city of Sanya is positioning itself as a popular tourist destination. It takes 3 hours and 25 minutes to Haikou, capital city of Hainan Island, from Singapore. Jetstar Asia operates flights to Haikou, for 330 SGD (return trip). Another option is Tiger Airways, which flies to Haikou, 5 times a week for a cheaper 242 SGD (return trip). From November 2011, Jetstar will start to operate daily flights between Singapore and Hainan Island.

Sanya is the main tourist destination so from Haikou, you need to go to Sanya. Fortunately, there is a fast train operating from Haikou International Airport to Sanya and the journey takes approximately 90 minutes and costs around 20 SGD.

Sanya offers all year around sunshine,  a lot of water sports such as snorkeling and jet-skiing, rainforest hiking, and there are many hotels you can chose among ranging from zero to five stars. Yalong Bay, a 7.5 kilometers beach located southeast of Sanya City, is one of the best tropic holiday destinations in Sanya.

The peak tourist season is from October 1st to the end February and during this season, Sanya is a popular destination for Russians and Northern Chinese to escape from freezing winter. Probably Chinese New Year is the most crowded and expensive time.

Yalong Bay
What to do in Sanya? You should go to snorkeling or skuba diving Yalong Bay area. You can also pay a visit to Yalong Bay Underwater World which offers various water sports such as parasurfing, diving and snorkeling. For thos who like hiking and mountaineering, Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park offers good experience.  


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