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China Vacations | Tropical Sanya

Updated on September 17, 2014

Sanya: Hainan's Beach Resort for China Vacations

Sanya is the "jewel in the crown" of Hainan Island. Most Hainan locals ask if you have been here to visit, and they refer to Sanya as "China's Hawaii". They are very proud of this city.

There are five major bays in Sanya, namely: Yalong Bay, Dadonghai Bay, Sanya Bay, Haitang Bay, and Yazhou Bay. The first two are the sites for many luxurious hotel resorts, overlooking the clear blue waters of the South China Sea. Other attractions around Sanya include Cape Tianya Haijiao, Lu Hui Tou (Deer turns its head) Park, Wuzhizhou Island and the Tiger and Crocodile centre.

The Chinese National Volleyball Team trains here, and the Miss World Contest was held in Sanya in 2003, 2004, 2005 and 2007.

Image by drs2biz | Lens Updated: July 24th, 2012 @ 6:50 pm Beijing time.

Sanya Tourist Resort Basic Data:

Facts and Figures for Sanya...

  • longitude: 109° 30' 13" E
  • latitude: 18° 15' 12" N
  • altitude: 0 m
  • area: 1,919.6 km² (741.2 sq mi)
  • postcode: 572100
  • areacode: 0898

Sanya on Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

Sanya is the southernmost city in Hainan province, China. It has an area of 1919.6 square km and a population of 536,000 (2006). After Haikou, it is the second most populous city of the island. Sanya is renowned for its tropical climate and is a popular tourist destination. It is also the focus city for China's Utsul Muslims. It is the site for training of the Chinese national beach volleyball team.

Read the rest of the Wikipedia article.

Asian Dragon Bay (Yalong Wan) - Sanya - Yalong Bay from Aegean Conifer Suites Resort

Yalong Bay from Luhuitou Park
Yalong Bay from Luhuitou Park

Sanya - Yalong (Asian Dragon) Bay

The Most Prestigious Beach in Hainan

Yalong Bay is located about 25 km south-east of Sanya City. It consists of a 7.5km crescent shaped beach, with an area of 18.6 square kilometres, and is also known as the Yalong Bay National Resort. It is regarded as the best beach in Hainan Province, and many internationally-operated hotels have been constructed here. These include the Gloria Resort (the first five star resort in China), Sheraton Sanya Resort, Marriott Hotel, The Ritz-Carlton Resort, and Holiday Inn Resorts.

In the centre of Yalong Bay square stands a Totem Pole of 27 meters, on which the Gods of the Sun, Wind, Rain, and Thunder as well as legendary animals such as the Dragon, Phoenix, Kylin (a mythical hoofed Chinese chimerical creature) and Fish are engraved. The design of this square has received recognition in winning the Luban Prize for architecture in China.

The Shell Hall of Yalong Bay is located in the central square of the resort. It has an area of 3,000 square metres and, with the sea shell as its theme, the Shell Hall is a comprehensive exhibition hall and shopping area.

To the North of Yalong Bay is situated the Butterfly Valley, which contains five halls that present the most precious species of butterflies. The climate is warm and sunny all year around, and this location has become a tourist "Mecca" for holidaying mainland Chinese and Russian tourists alike!

Yalong Bay Features - Admission Fees:

Yuan 30 RMB - Centre Square

Yuan 38 RMB - Shell Museum

Yuan 18 RMB - Butterfly Valley

Getting to Yalong Bay:

To get there take a taxi from the centre of town, for around Yuan 50 RMB (or Yuan 5 RMB by bus). It will cost around Yuan 150 RMB from Sanya Airport by taxi and takes around 45 minutes travelling time.

Dadonghai (Big East Sea) Coral Beach

Image from yuksing used, under license, by Creative Commons

A View  of Dadonghai Beach from Lu Hui Tou Park
A View of Dadonghai Beach from Lu Hui Tou Park

Sanya - Dadonghai Beach Resort Area

Dadonghai beach is located 3 kilometres south-east of Sanya city, between Mt. Tuziwei and Mt. Luhuitou. It is a crescent-shaped beach of 2.3 kilometres length, and is one of the most popular beaches in Hainan Province as the beach is public to all, unlike those of Sanya bay and Yalong Bay.

Dadonghai is a wonderful place for outdoor swimming and bathing. There is no surf, which makes it a very safe option for most families. Some of the features include a large Summer Mall on the shore and several amusement companies. Dadonghai Square and Outdoor Seafood Barbecue Square are able to offer leisure activities for tourists.

If you walk around 300 meters east along the beach you will come to Seashore Park. Standing on the top of the small mountain inside the park, you have a panoramic view of the beach.

There is also a famous dive company that can provide scuba diving, ship diving, seabed strolling, speed boats, motorboats, luxury yachts, sail boats, ocean fishing, beach sports and underwater photography.

Getting to Dadonghai Beach:

Airport Shuttle Bus from Sanya Airport to Dadonghai - Yuan 10 RMB

Public Bus No. 2 or No. 4 from Sanya downtown area to Dadonghai - Yuan 1 RMB

Sightseeing bus (7:15 am to 7:00 pm) to Dadonghai - Yuan 8 RMB

Lu Hui Tou Park - Sanya - Where the Deer Looks Back

"Lu Hui Tou" (Deer Looking Back) Statue - by drs2biz

Luhuitou Park, opened in 1989, is located on the Liuhuiutou Peninsula in the South-West of Sanya and covers 82.88 hectares of land with five hills and the highest elevation reaching 181 metres. The hilltop park is noted for being an excellent place to have a look at the sea at sunrise and sunset as well as getting a birds' eye view of downtown Sanya.

There is a moving love folklore about the park. A long time ago, a handsome Li ethnic hunter in a red headscarf holding a bow and arrow, was running after a deer from Mount Wuzhi to the shore of the South China Sea, crossing 99 mountains and fording 99 rivers. The deer found no way to go except into the sea under a cliff. The deer suddenly froze, standing on the cliff and turned around, looking at the hunter with a pair of passionate, sorrowful yet clear beautiful eyes. The hunter drew his bow, ready to shoot, but was astonished and lowered the bow. Suddenly, a flame shot out and mist rose into the sky, the deer turned her head back and changed into a beautiful Li ethnic girl. Soon, the hunter and fairy girl fell in love and settled down here. From then on, the romantic hill was called Luhuitou (deer turning around) and became a sacred place for young people to express love. The huge sculpture on top of the hill represents the moving scene of the romantic love story, and Sanya is also called "Deer City".

Now, Luhuitou Hill is known as the park of love and ecology. The main scenic spots include the sea view platform, Deer park, Slideway, "Fortune Comes from the East", Love Garden, Li Ethnic singing and dancing performances, Luhuitou Sculpture and the Hilltop Garden. Luhuitou Park is also the centre of a vegetation reserve of Sanya which belongs to a tropical rainforest and natural ecology, with many precious species of provincial and state vegetation"... from a sign in the park - drs2biz.

Statue of the Deer Looking Back at Luhuitou Park in Sanya
Statue of the Deer Looking Back at Luhuitou Park in Sanya

Sanya - Lu Hui Tou Park

The Love Hill in Sanya Where "The Deer Looks Back"

"The Looking-Back Deer statue on the top of the hill was designed and built by Mr Lin Shuhao in 1987, who drew inspiration from the legend". ... inscription from sign at the foot of this statue... drs2biz.

In addition to the folk story of "the deer looking back", the views from the top of this peak are spectacular. Tourists can get a bird's-eye view of some of the beautiful beaches around Sanya, as well as the construction works that are being undertaken to cater for the expected influx of tourists, once the Haikou to Sanya very fast train link is completed.

You can see more images at this Flickr Set.

Instructions For Guests.

  1. One ticket for all feature spots; sold beside the main entrance and checked at the second doorway.
  2. Ticket price: 30 Yuan RMB (Free of charge for seniors above 70 y.o. and juniors below 1.2 metres tall; half charge for students and children above 1.2 metres).
  3. Opening times: 7:30 am - 10:00 pm or 7:30 am - 10:30 pm on weekends or legal holidays.
  4. Some toll services are provided, including tour guide instructions, sight~seeing with sedan, electric car and slide way.
  5. Three sides of the park are facing to the sea and the vegetation is lush and abundant in species.

Please be friendly to the environment, mind your cigarettes and refrain from behaviour which may cause ecological damage.

Guanyin Statue (Sanya) on Wikipedia

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia...

The Guanyin Statue of Hainan, also known as Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya, is a 108 metre tall statue of the bodhisattva Guan Yin, sited on the south coast of China's island province Hainan in the Nanshan Culture Tourism Zone near the Nanshan Temple west of Sanya. The statue has three aspects; one side faces inland and the other two face the South China Sea, to represent blessing and protection by Guan Yin of China and the whole world. One aspect depicts Guan Yin cradling a sutra in the left hand and gesturing the Vitarka Mudra with the right, the second with her palms crossed, holding a string of prayer beads, and the third holding a lotus. The mantra Om mani padme hum is written in Tibetan script around each aspects' halo. This is currently the fourth tallest statue in the world.

The statue took six years to build and was enshrined on April 24, 2005, with the participation of 108 eminent monks from various Buddhist groups in Taiwan, Hong Kong, Macao and Mainland China, and tens of thousands of pilgrims. The delegation also included monks from the Theravada and Vajrayana traditions.

Read the rest of the Wikipedia article.

Tianya Haijiao - "Nan Tian Yi Zhu" Rock ( A Pillar under the Southern Sky)

Southern Heaven Rock is a boulder, near the Rock of Sun and Moon, with a famous poem of Fan Yun-Ti inscribed on its top.

Romantic Tianya Haijiao is Near to Sanya - Edge of Heaven, Corner of the Sea

Love Rocks at Tianya Haijiao
Love Rocks at Tianya Haijiao

Image: Ben Arris, on Flickr.

It is folklore in China that there were two lovers from two feuding families who escaped to this location. One of them was named "Tianya" (Edge of Heaven) and the other "Haijiao" (Corner of Sea). They made a pact to stay together, regardless of the circumstances.

When they were pursued by their families, in true "Romeo and Juliet" fashion, they leapt into the sea from this spot. This evokes images of the story of "The Jolly Swagman", where the feckless wanderer would rather die than lose his freedom. This character originates from a famous Australian folk song called Waltzing Matilda.

People believe that the couple later changed into two huge rocks, which stand facing the sea. Because of this romantic story, many lovers come here to declare their undying love for one another. You can learn more about this idyllic location by visiting this lens about Tianya Haijiao.

Sanya, Hainan on Youtube

Did you enjoy reading about the Sanya? 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

Here's Where to Leave a Message About Sanya - Any questions or comments about Sanya? Write them here.

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    • profile image


      4 years ago

      Full of salient points. Don't stop beeivling or writing!

    • potovanja profile image


      6 years ago

      Great lens, with suoper informative content. I give you LIKES:).

      tHANK YOU 4 VISIT MY...

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      nice place...

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      wow, that place looks amazing! Thank you so much for sharing!

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 

      9 years ago from Idaho

      Excellent travel lens, it really looks beautiful there. Thanks for visiting "the Secrets of Squidoo", I really appreciate that! I didn't know Sanya existed until now, what a gorgeous place!


    • clouda9 lm profile image

      clouda9 lm 

      9 years ago

      This is a beautifully, breathtakingly, marvelously done lens. I feel as if I visited Sanya today! Thank you :)

    • sukkran trichy profile image

      sukkran trichy 

      9 years ago from Trichy/Tamil Nadu

      i think this is in the list of 'best' travel lenses. really i love it. informative and illustrious 5*

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      My honeymoon remembered. I was married in Nanning in 2005. My Chinese wife and I took a boat from Bahi to Sanya. Took a bus to the south end where we went diving. A beautiful island I will never forget. I just did my first lens on marriage in China. As I create new ones I will try to share some pics I took in Sanya. Thanks for sharing


    • drs2biz lm profile imageAUTHOR

      David Schroeter 

      10 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to Jimmie] Thank you for adding this lens to a great group, Jimmie, and double thanks for your blessing!

    • jimmielanley profile image

      Jimmie Quick 

      10 years ago from Memphis, TN, USA

      You're officially blessed!

      Thanks for adding this to the Learning About China Group. A wonderful lens for our group!

    • drs2biz lm profile imageAUTHOR

      David Schroeter 

      10 years ago from St Kilda, Victoria, Australia

      [in reply to KimGiancaterino] Thank you, Kim. I enjoy sharing my photographs (and other people's too) from the places that are now part of my new life here.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      10 years ago

      Lovely... You create beautiful travel lenses! Thanks for another addition to All Things Travel.


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