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China Vacations | Haikou City

Updated on March 3, 2014

Haikou is a Little Known Destination in China

Haikou, at the North of Hainan island, is the capital of Hainan Province in China, has an estimated population of 1.8 million and is the largest city on the island. Named "Haikoupu" in ancient times, Haikou is the centre of Hainan in politics, economics, culture and communications. It is located on the Nandu river, at the southern bank of the Qiongzhou Strait, facing the mainland's Leizhou Peninsula. In the Ming Dynasty, it was fortified as "Haikousuo". Most people who come to Haikou are simply in transit to the more popular southern resort city of Sanya. This lens has been created for you to discover the attractions of the Provincial capital.

Image: drs2biz | Lens Updated: March 4th, 2014 @ 4:50 am Beijing time.

Tranquil Scene in Haikou City, Hainan, China - Red-Crowned Crane Grazing Peacefully at 5 Lords Temple...

You'd never guess it, but these birds (Red-crowned crane) are statues. Lifelike, aren't they?

Haikou City, Hainan, China: Basic Data

Facts and Figures for Haikou City...

  • administrative districts: Longhua, Meilan, Qiongshan, Xiuying
  • altitude: 0 m
  • area: 2,304.84 km2
  • areacode: 0898
  • latitude: 20° 2' 34" N
  • longitude: 110° 20' 30" E
  • population: 1.8 million
  • postcode: 570000

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Entrance Gate - Qiong Tai Shu Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr
Entrance Gate - Qiong Tai Shu Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr

Historical and Cultural Relics in Haikou, China

An Overview of the History and Culture of Haikou

Haikou, the capital of Hainan Province, is a famous historical and cultural city in China. It is the political, economical, cultural, educational and scientific centre of Hainan Province. As an important transport hub, Haikou has a well-developed sea, land and air transport system.

Haikou enjoys a long history. More than 2000 years have passed since the establishment of Zhuya County during Emperor Wudi's ruling period (March 9, 141 to March 29, 87 BCE) of the Han Dynasty (206 BCE to 220 CE). Haikou was established as a trading port during the Northern Song Dynasty (960 to 1127 CE). Since then the central governments in different periods have continuously strengthened the governance on Hainan, while Haikou has always been the centre of the state and county.

With the development of the Chinese nation, Haikou has inherited a profound and meaningful traditional culture and accumulated a valuable cultural legacy.

Wugong Ci Exhibition Building by drs2biz, on Flickr
Wugong Ci Exhibition Building by drs2biz, on Flickr

I. Protected Historical and Cultural Relics

An overview of the 65 historical and cultural relics in Haikou

Haikou has abundant historical and cultural relics with distinctive local cultural characteristics. There are 65 relics that are protected at the national, provincial and municipal levels, including six key nationally protected relics, one key nationally recognised memorial building for martyrs, 18 protected relics of Hainan Province and 40 protected relics of Haikou City.

Hainan Museum Intangible Cultural Heritage; Haikou Arcades by drs2biz, on Flickr
Hainan Museum Intangible Cultural Heritage; Haikou Arcades by drs2biz, on Flickr

II. Historical and Cultural Street Areas

The two main sections of Fucheng and the Haikou Arcades

In a long development history, many traditional street areas have been formed, representing the geographical environment, climate characteristics, urban development and local customs of Haikou. All these areas maintain the original space, form, direction and size of the traditional streets. The Arcade Group with the South-east Asian style witnessed the transformation of Haikou from an old port town to a prosperous coastal city. The historical and cultural streets include architecture of arcades and an area with traditional residences in Fucheng.

  1. Haikou Arcade Historical and Cultural Street Area

    The Haikou Arcade Historical and Cultural Streets are mainly distributed in Longhua and Meilan Districts, along the Zhongshan Road, Deshengsha Road, North Xinhua Road, South Xinhua Road, North Boai Road, South Boai Road and East Jiefang Road. Along the two sides of the streets were the arcades suitable for the tropical climate and blending the Chinese, Southeast Asian and Western architecture styles. The streets are also lined with shops. The area covers 25,000 square meters with more than 200 arcades. The Haikou Arcade Historical and Cultural Street Area is the largest and most completely preserved historical street area in China with close relationship with people's life.

  2. Fucheng Traditional Residence Historical and Cultural Street Area.

    Fucheng Traditional Residence Historical and Cultural Streets are mainly located in Fucheng. A commercial street area is formed with Wenzhuang Road, Zhongjie Road and Zhongshan Road running across. In the area, there are various lanes, alleys and streets. The area boasts more than 20 protected relics.

Hainan Puppet Show at Wan Lv Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr
Hainan Puppet Show at Wan Lv Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr

III. Intangible Cultural Heritage

The cultural festivals and traditions of Haikou

Haikou also has rich intangible cultural heritage with local folk characteristics. The municipal government has approved and issued the first list of intangible cultural heritage of Haikou. There are seven items in total, including Hainan Eight Notes, Hainan Gongzai Opera, Longtang Carving, Fucheng Lantern Festival, Xinpo Junpo Festival, Hainan Coconut Carving and Hainan Qiong Opera. These factors establish Haikou as a historical and cultural city and are also the essential historical elements of urban development.

  1. Hainan Eight Notes... is played with the eight main musical instruments of Hainan, including strings, lyre, flute, pipe, vertical bamboo flute, gong, drum and cymbal. Hainan Eight Notes appeared in the Tang (618 to 907 CE) and Song (960 to 1279 CE) Dynasties, and became mature in the Ming Dynasty (1368 to 1644 CE). Since the Qing Dynasty (1644 to 1912 CE) it has gained popularity on Hainan Island and the overseas Chinese spread it to South-east Asian countries.
  2. Hainan Puppet Show... is one of the operas with Hainan's local characteristics. Since it appeared earlier than Hainan's largest opera, the Qiong Opera, the actors of Qiong Opera call the actors of the Puppet Show "elder brothers".
  3. Longtang Carving... originates from the clay sculpture of ceramics, and extends to stone and wood carvings. They belong to the same group and also influence each other.
  4. Fucheng Lantern Festival... is a gathering of local people to advocate the excellent traditional culture and promote national solidarity.
  5. Xinpo Junpo Festival... is a festival for Hainan people in memorium of Mme. Xian.
  6. Hainan Coconut Carving... originates from the coconut carving craft mills in Fudao Village more than 300 years ago. The crafts produced were so exquisite that they were exported to the South-east Asian islands and European countries before the Anti-Japanese War.
  7. Hainan Qiong Opera... Also called Qiongzhou Opera or Hainan Opera, this is the favourite opera of Hainan people and overseas Chinese with local characteristics. Qiong Opera boasts a long history. Qiong Opera, Guangdong Opera, Fujian Opera and Han Opera are called the Four Major Ling-nan Operas. Hainan Qiong Opera was originally popular in all the counties on Hainan Island. From 1851 to 1908, it was spread to some regions at home and abroad, and became popular on the Leizhou Peninsula. Later, overseas Chinese took it to Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Vietnam, Thailand and Cambodia.

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Entrance Gate to Wu Gong Ci by drs2biz, on Flickr
Entrance Gate to Wu Gong Ci by drs2biz, on Flickr

Five Lords Memorial Temple in Haikou, China

(Wu Gong Ci)

This impressive looking park and temple complex is located on the boundary of Haikou and Qiongshan. Five well-known officials were banished to Hainan in the Tang and Song dynasties: Li Deyu, Li Gang, Li Guang, Zhao Ding and Hu Quan. This temple was built in their honour. Next to the memorial is "Official Su's Temple" in memory of the great poet and writer, Su Dongpo (who was also banished to Hainan), and his son Su Guo.

The temple was built around 1590 AD, during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty. It has since been rebuilt during the reign of Emperor Guangxu in the Qing Dynasty and has been renovated several times since with the inclusion of gardens, ponds and pavilions to beautify the area.

Wugong Ci houses some rare cultural relics of Hainan such as the Forbidden Bell from the Ming Dynasty, the ancient copper drum and the Xuande Stove of the Li people. The main buildings are Guanjiatang (Watching Crop Hall), Xuefutang (Studying Hall), Dongzhai (East Room), and Xizhai (West Room) and the Qiong Garden (a small garden with tropical trees and plants). Adjacent to the West Room is another scenic spot - Sugong Temple.

Outside the main hall, there are lifelike stone statues of the five celebrities. Inside, climbing to the second floor, there is a horizontal tablet inscribed with "The First Tower in Hainan" hanging on the wall. On the inner pillars downstairs there is an antithetic couplet that relates the great deeds of the five men and expresses appreciation from the following generations.

Xuefutang (Studying Room) was where the famous Qing scholar Guo Wanxiang lectured. Nearby, to the right, Wugong Jingshe (The Refined House of the Five Lords) is where the students at the end of the Qing Dynasty studied poetry history. They are both in a typical Ming and Qing style with black tiles and red wood construction.

Su Dong Po Temple is located in the east of the Wugong Temple. There is a wonderful statue of Su Dongpo in the temple. It was built during the Ming Dynasty and is used to offer prayers to Su Dongpo, who greatly improved the locals cultural and historic education.

When Su Dongpo was banished to the island, he was considerate of the common people. After he became aware of the difficulty of getting drinking water, he ordered workers to dig Fusuquan (Floating Millet Spring) and the Xixinquan (Cleaning Heart Spring). The water in the Floating Millet Spring is sweet and clear. Its surface is suffused with small bubbles, which look like the seeds of millet. Accordingly it was named Floating Millet Spring. When the local government renovated the Sugong Temple in 1915, they built Millet Spring Pavilion, Cleaning Heart Pavilion, Cave Corridor and named them Qiongyuan (Jade garden).

Go to this page on Flickr to check out some pictures of Wugong Ci!


169 Haifu Road, Haikou City - 0898-65353047

Price: Peak RMB30 off-peak RMB20

Statue at Hairui's Tomb by drs2biz, on Flickr
Statue at Hairui's Tomb by drs2biz, on Flickr

The Tomb of Hai Rui in Haikou, China

(Hairui Mu)

The Tomb of Hai Rui is found in a small park in Biya Village, Xiuying District, Haikou. It was built in 1589 AD during the reign of emperor Wanli in the Ming dynasty.

The park is a very compact area in comparison to other scenic attractions, but it is very pleasant to visit and is evident that Hainan people still hold this man in great esteem. He is famous for being an incorruptible public servant who did his best to improve the lives of his fellow citizens.

The actual tomb is a simple mound that is unmistakeable when you pass by. Legend has it that, when the pall bearers were transporting his remains here, one of the ropes broke and the coffin fell to the ground. The workers decided that this is where Hairui wanted to be interred, so they buried him on that spot!

To the rear of the park is the "Qing Feng Ge" (Pavilion of Cool Breeze). This is a wonderful example of Chinese architecture and contains many murals of Hairui's achievements as well as ornate decorations on the beams, walls and ceiling.

For more information on this interesting man, go and visit the page Who is Hai Rui, and why should we care? Go to this page on Flickr to check out some pictures of Hai Rui Mu!


Shugang Dadao, Haikou City - 0898-68922060

Price: RMB10

Qiong Tai Shu Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr
Qiong Tai Shu Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr

Qiongtai Academy of Classical Learning in China

(Qiong Tai Shu Yuan)

Qiongtai Academy is located on Wenzhuang Road, Fucheng Town in the Qiongshan District of Haikou City. Construction on it commenced in 1705 CE, in memory of the gifted Hainan scholar, Qiu Jun, a famous academic of the Ming Dynasty known as "Mr Qiongtai Mountain".

Initially, this famous set of buildings was the most sought after academy by scholars who desired passage into an official government position. Today, it is incorporated as a museum within the grounds of the Qiongshan Teacher Training University.

The main building of the academy is the Kuixing Lou Building. It was named after Kuixing (who was the god of literature), in order to give the students good luck so they could pass the imperial examinations. It is a double-story building, of brick and timber construction, with white painted walls, red timber beams and rafters with green roof tiles. The architecture is typical of this period in China.

It is now folklore that, sometime during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911 CE), the maid of the local Governor fell in love with one of the students of the academy. As it was common practice to have arranged marriages at that time, the Governor was furious when he discovered their tryst.

The maid ran away to the academy to seek refuge there and, when the Governor demanded to search the grounds, the Principal (Xie Bao) refused him permission. The couple escaped during the night and later were married. The student passed his exams and they lived happily ever after. This legend inspired the famous Chinese opera "Search the Academy".

You can view more pictures below, and you can also go to this page on Flickr to see other pictures of the Qiongtai Academy of Classical Learning

Cannon Installation at Xiuying Battery by drs2biz, on Flickr
Cannon Installation at Xiuying Battery by drs2biz, on Flickr

Xiuying Artillery Battery in Haikou, China

(Xiuying Gupaotai)

In the 1880's, when France attempted to invade the South-West of China, the Sino-French War broke out. In the meantime, because the south-east coast of the country was menaced, the Qing government built the Xiuying Battery to enhance the defence of Hainan. It was built in Haikou in 1891, and a battalion of water-borne forces was deployed here to strengthen the coastal defence.

Xiuying is composed of five batteries named Gongbei, Zhendong, Dingxi, Zhenwu and Zhenwei, each equipped with a cannon. Xiuying Battery, like those of Dugukou of Tianjin, Wusong of Shanghai and Humen of Guangdong were well-known coastal batteries in the late Qing Dynasty, being major coastal defence installations in China's modern history.

During the War of Resistance against Japan, the Japanese army invaded Hainan in February, 1939. The old Xiuying cannons roared to repel the invaders. This "wrote a page in Hainan's history, demonstrating the unyielding spirit of the people in their heroic efforts against the Japanese invaders" - (from promotional material).

"Xiuying Battery is witness to the Chinese Nation's resistance against aggression, standing fearlessly against a formidable enemy" - (from promotional material). There were historical relics here, as well as exhibitions of ordnance (these exhibits were closed in February, 2008). Unfortunately, an injection of funds is required, to restore this great attraction to its' former glory. Integrated with spreading examples of age-old trees, flowers and rare plants there are too many attractions to be appreciated here for the Xiuying Battery to be abandoned and reclaimed by tropical vegetation.

Location: Shimao Rd., East Haixiu Ave., Haikou - 570206

Open: daily 8:00am - 7:00pm

Entry Fee: ¥10.00

Wan Lv Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr
Wan Lv Yuan by drs2biz, on Flickr

Evergreen Park in Haikou, China

(Wan Lv Yuan)

This is Haikou's most popular recreational facility for local people. It is where they gather to celebrate Spring Festival, Lantern Festival and Mid-Autumn Festival, as well as many weekend family activities. Young couples meet, court and get married here. Older people enjoy strolling around the many footpaths or take a ride in an electric car. Kite flying is also a popular activity at Evergreen Park.

The park's entrance is at Binhai Avenue, and is adjacent to Haikou Bay. There are splendid views of Haikou's iconic Century Bridge and the coconut trees and tropical plants create an environment that relaxes the most troubled soul. Entry is free of charge, and access to Evergreen Park is easy by bus or taxi.

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Have a look at the Flickr Group named "Haikou China". You can browse through these images by going to the Flickr Group - "Haikou China"! Anyone who has visited or who lives here is encouraged to join this group and post images.

Did you enjoy reading about Haikou? Leave your comments and questions below. Please take the time to rate this lens a "thumbs up" at the top LH corner of the page. If you enjoyed it, you may care to mark it as a favourite as well. Not a Squidoo member yet? You're missing out on all the fun. Squidoo is free to join and use, and you can even make some money for your favourite charity, our even for yourself (gasp). Go ahead, make my day and make your first lens now.

Image: Greekgeek

Any Thoughts About Haikou, Hainan's Capital? - Please leave your questions and comments about Haikou...

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    • potovanja profile image

      potovanja 5 years ago

      Likes for your LENS:). Thank you 4 visit my...

    • mueedahmad profile image

      mueedahmad 5 years ago

      Impressive stuff has been posted in this lens. Thanks for writing so much informative stuff about the beautiful country China.

    • profile image

      ilovereno 6 years ago

      My late-grandfather was from Hainan but left for Malaysia as a teenager. I bet he won't recognize the place if he were to visit Hainan today. Wonderful lens you've got here.

    • profile image

      bbnets 6 years ago

      This is really nice blog, I am very impressed.

      dien thoai di dong

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Besides its natural resources, Haikou has a number of important sites of historical interest. The Wugong Temple (The Five Official's Temple), the Tomb of Hai Rui and the Xiuying Emplacement each serve as reminders of the historical importance of Haikou

    • profile image

      LensSeller 7 years ago

      A very interesting lens which has piqued my interest in Haikou, a city I'd not previously heard of. Thank you.

    • profile image

      synotrip 7 years ago

      I'd like to see so many people want to come to China. Haikou is really nice place, we often go in winter.

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 7 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      china is always my fav destination. thanks for the brief info about hainan province. well constructed lens.

    • trezpazz profile image

      trezpazz 7 years ago


    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 7 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      @julieannbrady: Thanks for the tip, Julie. I have incorporated this feature as you suggested!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 7 years ago

      My dear you have done a fabulously remarkable job on the redesign -- LOVE IT! Sometimes, I like to experiment with my page breaked pages to include a guestbook at the bottom of each page or to make it obvious to my reader where they can make comments. BRILLIANT!

    • eccles1 profile image

      eccles1 8 years ago

      WOW! I always wanted to go to China

    • profile image

      jaye3000 8 years ago

      It looks like a beautiful place to visit, and so many things to interest you. This is the best 'tour' lens I've seen~ 5* :)

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to Tipi] Tks Tipi. Once you have the airfare covered, the cost of staying here is very low. A good hotel will cost you US $15.00 per night, for example. The exchange rate (100.00 CNY=14.66 USD) makes it a really great bargain. The other advantage is the cultural difference. You are truly entering a different world, where violence is virtually non-existent and you will be treated with deference. Come on over. I'll introduce you to my friends ;-)

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Sights and Sounds of Haikou City! Must be a wonderful place to visit, I would love to be a traveler...maybe someday! - A very nice lens to visit and take a tour! Thank you!


    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to Vincentn] Hey ... thanks! A simple comment like this can be such a morale booster.

    • profile image

      Vincentn 9 years ago

      This is one of the best content and organized lens. 5*

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to a_willow] Tks a_willow. You run a great group and you're an inspiration!

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to dannystaple] Tks for your advice... will act on this!

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Hi! Just to let you know: You are one of Graduates from September 2008 Class! :)

    • profile image

      dannystaple 9 years ago

      Good page. I would place a full TOC at the top there.

      I would also have put the parts on the beautiful landmarks closer to the top of the page, and the dancing girls lower.

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to Squidster] Tks, Squidster, it's great to receive a positive comment from a SquidAngel!

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to GypsyGirl68] Tks, GypsyGirl68, to you and a_willow!

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to yaffel] Tks Betty. I'm glad you enjoyed it!

    • Karicor profile image

      Karicor 9 years ago

      You have put together a very comprehensive lens and I can only hope we will get to see more of your work. It's great to have you on board, and welcome to the Squidoo.Asia Directory!

    • GypsyGirl68 profile image

      GypsyGirl68 9 years ago

      ni hao thank you for the info on your adopted residence..a_willow led me here!

    • profile image

      yaffel 9 years ago

      Beautiful site with lots of info. I love the pics and i love China although i've never been there . Thanks to you I have seen another part of China that i haven't seen before.

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      Tks Michelle! The Fresh Squid Group is a great group to belong to.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      This lens entered Fresh Squid Contest for October as one of the lenses that has been featured on Fresh Squid group during September!

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      Tks, Glenna! You are welcome to come... it's just a decision away!

    • GlennaJones profile image

      Glenna Jones 9 years ago from Orlando, Florida

      I really enjoyed this lens. It makes me wish I could visit there.

    • LisaDH profile image

      LisaDH 9 years ago

      Makes me want to travel again! I was in China many years ago, but only got to Beijing. Would love to see more of the country some day!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 9 years ago

      Haikou looks like a great place to live and visit.

    • Angelina Howard profile image

      Angelina Howard 9 years ago

      Great content on this lens. I feel that I know more about this interesting location.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      Wonderful! Always wanted to go to China! :) Welcome to Fresh Squid> group!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Lanley 9 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      Both of your China lenses are of cities I've not yet visited. China is a huge country. I welcome you to join my Learning About China group.

    • ssuthep profile image

      ssuthep 9 years ago

      Haikou looks very interesting. Maybe get a chance to visit someday.

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 9 years ago

      Before I die, I need to see the Great Wall. Great lens. 5*

    • drs2biz lm profile image

      David Schroeter 9 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      Thank you both. Your words of encouragement show me that you are both natural leaders in the Squidoo community!

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 9 years ago

      Ah how I would indeed love to visit China. Interesting and informative lens about Haikou! Looking forward to seeing more great lenses by you!

    • SusanDeppner profile image

      Susan Deppner 9 years ago from Arkansas USA

      Wow, how interesting! My nephew visited China. Maybe I will, too, some day. SquidAngel blessings on a very nice lens! (Welcome to Squidoo!)


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