China’s biggest tropical island, Hainan is a vision of sandy beaches, sparkling water luxury resorts, vibrant reefs and rolling surf. Venture inland and you'll find lush rainforests, bubbling hot springs and misty mountains.
Things to do
It's hard to resist the allure of Sanya, an upscale city where you'll find China's top luxury beach resorts. Most of the action is centred on Yalong Bay, a gorgeous stretch of sand fringed by a breezy boardwalk. Dadonghai Bay offers cobalt blue water and lively waterfront restaurants. Just offshore is Wuzhizhou Island, surrounded by dazzling coral reefs and dive sites.
When you've had your fill of sun and sand, why not escape to the central highlands? You can explore Qi Xian Ling Hot Spring Forest Park, located near the town of Baoting. The highlight of the region is Seven Fairy Mountain, known for its jagged peaks.
Explore Haikou, Hainan's buzzing capital city. It's anchored by an atmospheric Old Town filled with cobblestone streets and French colonial architecture. Today the historic shopfronts house handicraft stores, tea houses and bookshops.
Mei She Village offers a glimpse at Hainan's rich local history. It was built from grey volcanic stones and is criss-crossed with narrow alleyways. It's anchored by a five-storey gun tower that's been watching over the village for over a century. Nearby is the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Geopark, where you can peer into the crater of an extinct volcano.
Resorts like Sanya are easy to explore on foot, while Haikou is well-connected by buses and taxis. The island is also serviced by a high-speed rail network. Flights touch down at Haikou Meilan International Airport or Sanya Phoenix International Airport.