Haikou means ‘Mouth of the Sea’ and while sea trade remains relatively important, the buzzing provincial capital at the northern tip of Hainan is most notable for its booming construction. New and restarted projects are everywhere (including a mass transit line that should open in the next couple of years). Most astonishing is the western section of the city, which looks more like Florida (pastel-coloured low-rises, wide palm-lined lanes, and a long stretch of sandy coastline) than anything in China.Haikou has few interesting sights within the city itself, though it makes a good base for exploring the north of the island. With the beach just minutes away, some find themselves quite satisfied just hanging out here for a few days.
Recommended things to do & see
Our top picks for Haikou
Haikou Park: A late-afternoon stroll through this popular park offers the best people-watching in town.
This long-standing restaurant in the Haikou Binguan has a phonebook-sized menu of delicious Chinese dishes.
Tomb of Hairui:
The tomb of a popular Ming dynasty official has been restored in vibrant colour.
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