The Hawaii of China

Best described as the Hawaii of China, Sanya is a 40km stretch of aquamarine waters, white sand and lush, rainforested mountains perched on the southernmost tip of Hainan. With year round warm weather, China’s mainlanders flock to the city’s inviting shores to take part in snorkeling, diving, jet skiing and rainforest hiking. Sanya Bay is the city’s transport hub, home to the main bus services and the island’s high-speed railway. Dadonghai Bay about 3 km southeast of Sanya Bay is ideal for watersports while the exclusive Yalong Bay is where pristine beaches meet luxe, international resorts. And when it all gets too warm, travelers head to the world’s largest duty free shopping centre -- the Haitang Bay International Shopping Complex -- to indulge in high end brands and, air conditioning.
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Flights to Sanya

Things to do

  • Sanya’s Buddhist Soul

    Built in 1998 to commemorate 2,000 years of Buddhism in China, Nanshan Temple is the biggest Buddhist site established since the founding of the People’s Republic of China. The centrepiece of the complex is the white, three sided statue of Guan Yin Buddha, perched beside the South China Sea.

    (Nanshan Temple, Latitude: 18.319145 | Longitude: 109.185469)

  • Coconut Dream Walk

    Sanya Bay’s Coconut Tree Dream corridor is a scenic walkway sometimes called “Asia’s first street.” At sunset, the walkway is especially romantic and is the perfect place to watch the sky turn orange and red and the sun sink into the still, blue water.

    (Coconut Tree Dream Corridor, Latitude: 18.274714 | Longitude: 109.47518)

  • Picture-perfect coastline

    With turquoise waters surrounded by rainforested hills, Yalong Bay is Sanya’s most picture-perfect beach. For those seeking high-end luxury, it’s also the best place to indulge in a resort-stay at one of the many international options. Nearby, Sanya Butterfly Valley (CNY21) is worth a visit for the experience of being surrounded by vibrantly coloured butterflies.

    (Yalong Bay, Latitude: 18.205755 | Longitude: 109.639063)

  • Shop ‘til you drop

    To escape the beach -- at least for a while -- head to the world’s largest duty-free shopping mall, the Haitang Bay International Shopping Complex. This air-conditioned shopping mecca offers more than 300 international brands including Prada, Rolex, Giorgio Armani and Gucci.

    (Haitang Bay International Shopping Complex, Latitude: 18.30876 | Longitude: 109.742104)

  • Under the Sea

    Butterfly shaped Wuzhizhou Island lies in Haitang Bay and as a tropical marine zone is the best place to explore nature above and below the water. There are more than 2,700 plant varieties on the island while below the water, coral reefs are rich with conches, sea urchins and tropical fish.

    (Wuzhizhou Island, Latitude: 18.312496 | Longitude: 109.76599)

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Airport information

(Sanya Phoenix International Airport, Latitude: 18.303701| Longitude: 109.412663)

CBD 16km

Travel time 30 minutes

Taxi CNY70 - 80

Train CNY8, 10 minutes

Bus Bus 8 takes one hour, costs CNY5 and travels to Yuya Lu

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When to go

For sun seekers, Sanya’s climate is near perfect year round with an average annual temperature of 25°C. The mercury peaks in June when temperatures can reach 28°C while summer (May - September) sees the occasional typhoon reach the island. The best time to travel to Sanya is between November and April.

One of Sanya’s biggest festivals is the Tianya Haijiao International Wedding Festival (November-December) when couples gather in Sanya to be married in one huge wedding celebration. Come August (according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar) , the End of the Earth Moon Happy Festival takes place with folk singing, dance and a lantern show. In September according to the Chinese Lunar Calendar, Sanya celebrates its long, average life expectancy with the China Nanshan Longevity Culture Festival.

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Getting around

Most public transport is centralised in the Sanya city centre. For travel from Sanya to Dadonghai Bay take buses 2 or 8 (CNY2). For travel from Dadonghai Bay to Yalong Bay, catch bus 15 (CNY5, 45 minutes). Taxis charge CNY10 for the first 2km. A taxi from Sanya to Dadonghai Bay will cost approximately CNY15 - CNY20. Back to top