Imagine a tropical island with rare plants and animals, mysterious volcanoes covered with a network of forests, and friendly aborigines welcoming you on the shore. A sea of sun and fruits, pearly clouds float across the diamond sky and are reflected in the emerald water… No, this is not paradise. This is Hainan Island.
According to agooddir, Hainan is located in the south of China. According to the similarity of its outlines with the coastline of the Leizhou Peninsula, scientists believe that Hainan was once part of the mainland. Then, under the influence of tectonic movements, the earth’s crust in this place broke and formed the narrow Hainan Strait. Volcanic activity in Hainan ceased 8,000 years ago. Now the fact that the elements once raged here is evidenced only by the numerous extinct volcanoes of Hainan, to the craters of which tourist routes have been laid.
The most famous of them in Hainan is Ma An, which has a saddle shape. The road to it, as well as the steps to the crater, are made of volcanic magma, the perimeter of the crater is protected by railings. An observation deck has been built on it, from which you can look inside. The mouth of the crater is a solidified lava, overgrown with dense shrubs and tropical relic plants. There is a park here, and below, in a palm grove, there is an open-air restaurant. In front of the restaurant there is a large stage area where evening folklore performances are held by the inhabitants of Hainan – representatives of the Li and Miao peoples.
Another and perhaps more significant confirmation of the once active volcanic activity on Hainan Island is thermal springs scattered throughout the island. Near them are cottage-type resorts, immersed in the lush greenery of tropical plants. The hottest spring is Guantan near the city of Qionghai (temperature of thermal waters is 70-90°C at the source). And the most famous is Xinglong Hot Springs Valley, where the water temperature ranges from 45°C to 65°C. Be sure to take a fascinating cruise on the Wanquan River and immediately visit the “Ten Thousand Springs”.
Thermal springs are different in their healing properties: from radon (treatment of diseases of the musculoskeletal system, radiculitis, rheumatism, gynecological diseases) to potassium-sodium (treatment of diseases of the nervous system, skin, respiratory organs, etc.). and health can be at the popular resorts of Hainan – for example, “Starfish” and “Heavenly Dragon”, they are located right there, at the sources of Guantan. No less famous are the Kanle and Zhemchuzhny sanatoriums in the Xinglong area. In between a beach holiday and treatment, do not forget to visit the tropical plant garden and taste the elite varieties of Hainan tea and coffee.
Mountain lovers are advised to definitely get acquainted with the No. 1 mountain in Hainan – Dunshan (“Eastern Mountain”) or the “Five Finger Mountain” – Wu Zhishan. Having descended from heaven to earth, look here at the Hainan Shell Museum of Tropical Seas and the Butterfly Museum and Garden, the beauty of which is mesmerizing. It is in the Butterfly Garden that rare species of these insects live, the cost of which at international auctions reaches more than $20,000.
Hainan Island is home to over 500 animal species. Among them there are even endemics – animals and plants that are not found in other parts of the world. To get acquainted with the flora and fauna of the island, you can visit one of the parks and reserves : Dongshan Botanical Garden and Wild Animal Zoo, Redwood Reserve, Monkey Island, Forest Park in Diaoloshan, in Dianfengling or a deer farm.
It is also worth visiting the Hainan Sea Shell Museum in the Dragon of Asia Bay, getting acquainted with the history and culture of the local population in the Ethnographic Open Air Museum and the way of life of the monks in the center of Nanshan Buddhism, visiting Deer Mountain and the World’s End.
And in the late afternoon, be sure to drop by one of the local restaurants in Hainan and taste delicious dishes according to the recipes of local cuisine. The specifics of Hainan are seafood restaurants. In each such restaurant at the entrance there are many aquariums where you can choose and taste the rarest representatives of the marine fauna. Recently, more and more cafes and restaurants with European and even Russian cuisine have been opened in Hainan. In addition, here you can find Mc’Donalds and KFC familiar to the eye and stomach – so you won’t be left hungry.
Oh, and don’t forget that you’re on a tropical island with lots of exotic fruits ! Try, for example, carambola, rambutan or durian, fire dragon fruit or breadfruit and many others. Even familiar fruits, grown under the generous tropical sun of Hainan, have such a wonderful taste that they will seem unfamiliar to you.
Toward night, drive to Dadonghai and immerse yourself in the nightlife of the island. We advise you to look into one of the two bars – ‘Sky’ or ‘Rainbow’. Here you can dance to foreign music and drink an inexpensive cocktail (from 30 yuan). As for other bars, we can only say that it is better for women not to go there without being accompanied by male representatives, so that you will not be mistaken for representatives of the ancient profession, of which there are countless. Otherwise, the locals are friendly, and you can feel completely safe on the territory of Hainan Island both during the day and at night.
So, if you have already decided on a trip to Hainan, it’s time to choose the best time for this. The average annual air temperature on Hainan Island does not fall below +24°C, and water – +26°C. From August to September comes the so-called typhoon time. However, the southern part of the island of Hainan, where the main resorts are located – the bays of Dadonghai and Yalunvan – are bypassed by typhoons, so there is no pronounced rainy season. It is not for nothing that Hainan Island in China is called the “Island of Eternal Spring” – for its wonderful mild tropical climate, which is ideal for year-round holidays on the coast.
Reminder for tourists traveling to China
The People’s Republic of China is a friendly country where you will always be welcome to visit. For the Chinese, the guest is sacred. Every resident of the Celestial Empire believes that there is no more hospitable country than his own, and strictly follows the three golden rules of etiquette: to feed the guest, show him the sights and acquaint him with the culture and customs of the country. At the same time, be prepared for the fact that the cuisine, sights and customs of the PRC differ depending on the province and city of China, as well as the mood of the host who receives you. In the latter case, be as specific as possible in your choice and call a spade a spade. So, if you want to see the Great Wall of China, call it that, or better yet, write down the name in Chinese.
Even if you bought a standard sightseeing tour to China and are unlikely to be visiting the Chinese, still read the useful information so as not to get into an awkward situation at the airport, customs and the country itself.
Be prepared for:
- You will not be understood in any other language than Chinese;
- They will look at you with curiosity and even touch you with their hands, like a strange thing;
- The usual money exchange will turn into a whole ceremony with the signing of documents and filling out questionnaires;
- At every corner they will offer you something that you don’t need, and they will still convince you that you need to buy it;
- They will first name fabulous prices, and then they will give the thing they like almost for nothing;
- They will not give way to you or a place in transport and will take you through a red light;
- Instead of aspirin, you will be offered a dried plant or an infusion of a mummified animal;
- And that is not all…