Located in China's southernmost point, Hainan Province is China's only tropical island with a coastline of 1,944 kilometers around and 68 bays in total. There is mild weather, coconut palms, golden beaches, lively nightlife as well as top-level hotels which all create a relaxing VACATION atmosphere and attract people from all corners of China and the world, especially those from cold areas. Yes, a holiday-friendly environment is the biggest lodestone for travelers, but most travelers will find that Hainan is more than that when they come. In Hainan, there are rainforests, cultural parks, various watersports, dense valleys, old buildings, colorful minorities, grand festivals etc. worthy of your exploration as well.
Traveling Hainan can be convenient and enjoyable. Hainan Travel Guide is here to help you focus on regional destinations, top attractions, activities, weather, transportation, accommodation, etc. before you go.
Why Visit Hainan Province?
Vacation Atmosphere - Hainan Island is absolutely a place for a worry-free vacation, especially winter vacation. Just lying on the soft beach in the warm sunshine, breathing the fresh air and listening to the waves are enough to completely relax your body and mind. Everybody here enjoys a laid-back life.
Coastal Scenery - Every kind of coastal scenery you can ask for in Hainan, like blue sky, coconut palm trees, clean seawater, powdery sands, breathtaking sunrise or sunset over the sea, etc. The great landscape for sightseeing can be appreciated easily in Hainan, and we suggest you visit Sanya for the best scenic view.
Rainforest Mystery - In this tropical island, there is no shortage of rainforests where you can enjoy lush vegetation, flying waterfalls, and many rare animals, such as Wuzhishan Scenic Area, Jianfeng Peak, Bawang Peak, Limushan Forest, Park, Yanoda Rainforest Area, etc.
Seafood - Few people visit Hainan without a feast of seafood, unless they have an allergy. There are different big or small restaurants offering the fresh seafood for visitors. Besides seafood, many local cuisines and snacks also deserve your taste, such as Wenchang Chicken, Jiaji Duck, Dongshan Mutton, etc.
Southeast Asian Feeling - In the ancient times, many Hainanese went to Southeast Asia to make a life and brough back Southeast Asian culture which was infused in their food, architecture and daily lives. Visiting Qikou Old Street (Haikou), Wennan Old Street (Wenchang), Fujiazhai (Wanning), etc., you can feel a typical feature of Southeast Asia.
Minorities - There are over 30 minority groups living in Hainan now, such as Li people, Miao People, Hui People, etc. The best places to explore Hainan's minority groups include Hainan Nationality Museum, Baizha Village, Binglang Valley, etc.
30-Day Free Visa Policy - Hainan Province launched a visa-free entry policy for citizens of certain 59 countries, and travelers who meet related requirements can enjoy a 30 days visa-free access to the cities in Hainan Province, including Sanya, Haikou, Wenchang, Lingshui, etc. Learn more>
Top Destinations in Hainan
In Hainan, there are many destinations to go to, and Sanya must be the premier one. It is located at the same latitude of 18° N with the Island of Hawaii and gets the title of East Hawaii. As one of the best winter resorts in China, it is equipped with lots of luxurious hotels. Haikou, the capital situated on the northern coast of Hainan, is a good place to enjoy the coastal scenery as well as explore the history and culture of Hainan. Besides, Wenchang is preferred by some travelers as well because of its peaceful environment and featured old buildings. In Wanning, you can visit some less-crowded bays, like Shimei Bay and Riyue Bay. Visiting Lingshui allows you to explore the cultures and daily life of Li People and Miao People. Want to savor the Chinese legends and mysterious rainforest, Wuzhishan is a nice choice.
Popular Attractions in Hainan
There are numerous scenic spots in Hainan, such as beautiful bays, golden or which beaches, dense forests, entertaining parks, informative museums, ancient streets, religious temples and so forth. Generally, many popular attractions gather in Sanya and Haikou. But you won't fail to find many interesting sites to visit in other destinations. Here we list the best attractions for your reference.
Tianya Haijiao (Sanya)
Located at the west end of Sanya Bay, Tianya Haijiao is one of the premier sights of Sanya. Lots of travelers, especially couples, visit here to get love blessing...
Yalong Bay (Sanya)
Stretching a length of about 7.5 kilometers and owning a high-quality beach with soft sand, Yalong Bays is honored as the best bay in China.
Wuzhizhou Island (Sanya)
Wuzhizhou Island is praised as the Lovers' Island because it has a heart-like shape. Many couples spend their honeymoon here.
Qilou Old Street (Haikou)
Dadonghai Bay is the closest beach to Sanya downtown and you can get there quite easily. There are also many upscale hotels near the bay.
Huoshankou Geopark (Haikou)
Huoshankou National is a natural geological museum. From the vantage point, you can overlook downtown and Qiongzhou Strait.
Hainan Museum (Haikou)
Hainan Museum is a comprehensive museum with over 25,000 pieces of cultural relics. In the museum, you can take a probe into Hainan's history and culture.
Yanoda Rainforest (Baoting)
Yanoda, located about 35 km away from Sanya City, is a tropical rainforest honored as a natural oxygen bar. There are many beautiful fauna and flora.
Top Activities in Hainan
Except for "holiday world", many travelers also refer to Hainan as Paradise for Outdoor Activities. There are numerous activities that can be experienced in Hainan, such as watersports, gold, cycling, hiking etc. Moreover, you can join in some other activities which make your trip more enjoyable, including shopping, eating, festivals, live-action performances and so on.
With sub-tropical climate, warm sunshine and coastal scenery, Sanya is a great place for golf. There are several international standard golf courses available.
If you are a cycling enthusiast, nothing is more exciting than cycling around the whole island in Hainan. You can also plan a cycling route according to your own strength and tour time.
Hainan has a variety of landforms, and the mountain areas provide a great choice for climbing. Recommended places include Limu Mountain Yingge Peak, Jingfeng Peak, Wuzhi Mountain, etc.
Hiking is also a wonderful way to stretch your legs. You can hike in the gorgeous river valleys, florid rainforests, or local villages, where the scenery is different from the seaside.
Seafood is a big highlight of Hainan and it is just a piece of cake to find some seafood to taste in the restaurants. Apart from seafood, there are some other must-try dishes in Hainan.
No matter which season you travel to Hainan, you may encounter a big festival, including Lantern Festival (Haikou), Water Playing Festival (Baoting), Double Third Festival, Song Contest Festival (Danzhou), etc.
Many performances are designed to show the rich culture of Hainan. If you are interested in various spectacular shows, Sanya is the right destination. Don't miss the Sanya Legend Show.
Hainan Climate & Best Time to Visit Hainan
Hainan Island is located in the northern edge of the tropics and has a tropical monsoon climate. It has long warm period and no cold period. The annual average temperature is 22 ~ 27°C. The lowest temperature in January is still 17 ~ 24°C. It has abundant rainfall, with annual precipitation between 1000 mm and 2600 mm, with an average annual precipitation of 1639 mm. There are obvious rainy seasons and no-rainy seasons. The rainy season is from May to October every year, and the total precipitation is about 1500 mm, accounting for 70 to 90% of the total annual precipitation. The rainy season is from November to April of next year, accounting for only 10 to 30% of the annual precipitation.
Generally speaking, it is available to visit Hainan all the year around, but October to next May is the best time. The summer is not hot, but heavy rain and typhoons may occur. Many travelers go to Hainan to enjoy a warm winter holiday.
No high speed train directly runs to Hainan from other domestic cities, and the normal trains take a very long time currently. Therefore, taking a flight is the most recommended way to reach Hainan. Sanya and Haikou are the best places to start a Hainan tour, and more travelers prefer getting to Sanya first.
How to Get to Sanya: Sanya Phoenix International Airport can be reached easily by domestic flights from many big cities, such as Beijing (4.5h), Shanghai (3.5h), Xian (3h), Guangzhou (2h), Chengdu (2.5 h), Chongqing (2.5h), Nanjing (3h), Kunming (2h), Wuhan (2.5h), etc. It is also available to take an international flight to Sanya from London, Singapore, Seoul, Jakarta, Moscow, Novosibirsk, etc. Learn more>
How to Get to Haikou: Haikou is the provincial capital city equipped with convenient domestic airlines and several international flights as well. You can take a flight to Haikou Meilan International Airport from Beijing (4h), Shanghai (3.5h), Xian (3h), Guangzhou (1.5h), Chengdu (2.5h), Chongqing (2.5h), Nanjing (3h), Hangzhou (3h), etc. There are international flights from Seoul, Singapore, Osaka, Kuala, Lumpur… Generally, the flight from the same city to Haikou is a bit cheaper than to Sanya.
Hainan Roundabout Railway: For travelers transferring within Hainan Island, taking a high speed train is a convenient way. It connects Haikou, Wenchang, Waning, Lingshui, Sanya, etc. together and is honored as one of the most beautiful railways in Hainan. Taking a Hainan roundabout high speed train, it is available to travel between Haikou and Sanya within 1.5 hours.
Other Popular Destinations in China
China is vast and diverse. You can choose your favorite destinations among more than 70 tourist destination and regions, like Beijing, Shanghai, Xian, Chengdu, etc. Following are 4 popular destinations you may get interested in. Check all destinations in China
Chinese Name: 海南
Chinese Pinyin: hǎi nán
English IPA: /hai næn/
Ethnic Minorities: Li, Miao, Hui, Tibetan, Yi, Zhuang...
Language: Mandarin, Hainan Dialect & Other Ethnic Languages
Time Zone: (UTC+8)
Plan your Hainan Tour
To be honest, Hainan is seldom traveled in a fixed route, because there are a thousand ways to travel Hainan in a thousand people’s plans. Some travelers may spend one week or even one month just staying on one beach and enjoying the sunlight, some energetic travelers may dive in different beaches, some travelers may take a short glimpse of the top attractions, and some travelers may step into the primitive forests or old villages to seek a distinctive experience. Sanya is the most popular destination which takes 4 ~ 7 days to travel usually. We suggest you spend 1 ~ 2 days going to some hot landmarks, like Nanshan Temple, Wuzhizhou Island, Tianya Haijiao, etc. Then, you can spend 2 or more days visiting at least one bay to fully immerse yourself in the relaxing atmosphere and taking part in some watersports if you have an interest. For primitive nature lovers, just go to Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park or Yanoda Rainforest Park (in Baoting), which needs 0.5~1 day. Want to escape the crowds or explore Hainan culture? Haikou awaits your discovery. A classic Haikou tour takes about 2 days. The top highlights include informative Hainan Museum, old buildings in Qilou Old Street, Huoshankou National Geopark, Mission Hills Huayi Brothers Feng Xiaogang Movie, Baisha Park, etc., as well as a beautiful beach.
Top Hainan Tours