Hainan is a small island in the Pacific Ocean, which belongs to China and is one of its full-fledged provinces. Now this is a popular tourist destination, but it has many features, which we will discuss in this article.
The island of Hainan has an oval shape with an average diameter of about 170 kilometers. Its total area is 33,000 square kilometers. For comparison, the area of the Moscow region is 44,000 square kilometers, that is, the island of Hainan is a quarter less.
There live about 8 million people, and in this respect, he is ahead of the Moscow region, home to 7 million people. However, in Moscow there are more people than on the whole island of Hainan.
By Chinese standards, such a population looks very modest. Hainan is the smallest province in China both by area and by population.
Hainan is a real tropical paradise with all the attributes in this case. There are beaches with snow-white sand, palm trees with coconuts, wild monkeys and coral reefs.
This is the southernmost territory of China, in addition, with a tropical climate. Not surprisingly, the island has become one big resort area. But there are other reasons for this state of affairs, they lie in the history of Hainan Island.
From ancient times to the island of Hainan no one cares. There were no minerals or arable land, he never had any important strategic importance. About 100 BC, the Chinese empire Han decided to conquer the island and even built several fortresses on the shore. But, in the end, it was decided that "the candle is not worth it," and the Chinese retreated.
Since then, Hainan has become a haven for runaway Chinese, who hid from political repression or from justice. There were no authorities, and nobody was ever looked for.
Initially, Hainan was inhabited by the people of Li, but gradually the island was colonized by the Chinese - it's the people of Han. This colonization took 2000 years, and was very peaceful. Even now, representatives of the people of Li constitute 15% of the local population.
Tourists like to show elements of Lee culture, this gives the island an additional flavor. Their culture resembles a cross between Chinese and Polynesian (see photo left).
Compare this to what the Spaniards and the British did during the colonization of America, and you will understand that the Chinese are traditionally a peaceful nation.
The first shock here occurred in 1939, when this territory was captured by the Japanese. The inhabitants of the island were guerrilla fighters, and the Japanese in response killed everyone they could reach. Between 1939 and 1945, a third of the population died there. The Japanese used the island as a base for invading Thailand and the Malay Peninsula. Japan expected success, Thailand and Singapore were captured by them.
After World War II, the island was under the control of the Chinese Kuomintang party, but in 1950 the Mao Tse-tung communists conquered it. It is believed that this was the main rehearsal of the assault on the mainstay of the Kuomintang party-the island of Taiwan, but the conquest of Taiwan never took place.
Until the 80s, everything was quiet in Hainan, until a special economic zone was established here, and the rapid development of tourism did not begin. Now the automobile highways, railway branches and other infrastructure facilities are actively built here.
Thanks to the lack of useful resources, Hainan has remained a "paradise on Earth", where everyone can come and spend an unforgettable vacation. They never built factories and factories, they did not manage to destroy the nature.
However, minerals in this earth are present, here they extract iron ore, copper, gold and silver. But these resources have become available for development more recently.
Tourism in Hainan Island
According to the sensations of most Russians, Hainan Island is a small and unpopular resort. In fact, it's quite the opposite. We will give statistical data to show what the volumes of this tourist market are.
For comparison, take the resorts of Egypt . According to official statistics, about 10 million foreign tourists come to Egypt every year. Of course, there is also local tourism, and it is difficult to assess. Let's take a very optimistic figure of 5 million. Total we have 15 million tourists in Egypt every year.
On the island of Hainan every year, resting 30 million tourists, that is, twice as much as in all of Egypt. To regard Hainan as a small resort is completely wrong.
Of the popular countries with Hainan in Russia can only be compared to Turkey , which in 2014 was visited by a record 37 million tourists.
Of the 30 million visitors to Hainan, only 750,000 foreigners. And, if the number of vacationers here Chinese only increases by 10% per year, the number of foreign visitors is reduced by 7-10% per year.
In 2015, the statistics of visits by foreign tourists will be even worse. 25% of all vacationing foreigners - it was tourists from Russia. Now the economic situation in Russia will not allow many Russians to rest at this resort, as ruble prices for flights and hotels have greatly increased.
Hainan is popular with residents of the Siberian regions of Russia. This is not surprising. For example, the distance from Novosibirsk to the Egyptian resort of Sharm El-Sheikh is 4910 kilometers, and to Hainan 4650. From Irkutsk to Sharm el-Sheikh 6250 kilometers, and to the island of Hainan, only 3,700 kilometers. Siberians here fly closer than to Egypt , Tunisia or Rimini .
Simplified visa regime
The Chinese authorities are not very fond of meeting the tourists on visa issues. However, on the island of Hainan they introduced a visa-free regime, but not without special conditions.
Not all tourists can go to the land of Hainan Island without a visa to China . This is allowed only to organized groups, and only tourist companies can issue a permit and only in advance.
A simple tourist can apply for a visa at the airport immediately after arrival. Of course, the price is rather high, it is much cheaper to make a visa in Russia in advance.
"Hainan stamp" in its operating principle is very similar to the " Sinai stamp " in Egypt. With him you can not leave the island. If you have a valid visa of the PRC, then after the stamping of this stamp it will be canceled. Be careful, remember these rules.
Now 97.5% of vacationers on the island of Hainan - this is the Chinese themselves. Local hotels do not focus on Europeans at all. Do not think that you will find here Russian-speaking staff, like in Turkey or Egypt. In English, many employees say in hotels, and this a little saves the situation. We have already written some articles on how to overcome the language barrier in China and about the Chinese hieroglyphs most necessary to the tourist.
In addition, the entire tourist infrastructure is focused on the Chinese. Do not forget to bring a fork to China . In many restaurants there are only chopsticks . Also here it is difficult to find restaurants with European cuisine, and the prices in them "bite". Begin to boldly love all the delights of Chinese cuisine. We recommend our article on the food market in Beijing , where we showed all the richness of China's culinary culture.
With excursions in Russian on Hainan it is difficult. There are not many Russian speaking guides here. Fortunately, the prices they "do not wring", but get ready for an uncomfortable schedule and a limited assortment of excursions to the sights of the island .
The mentality of the Chinese also makes itself felt. Do not think badly, they are good people and kind, but very noisy.
All inclusive systems are not available in China, they do not even know what it is. However, around the hotel you can always find dozens of restaurants and cafes, where you can inexpensively and deliciously eat.
If you like to drink, then in China you will be waiting for difficulties. Chinese alcohol is very specific, and imported alcohol is expensive.
But if you only need a magnificent beach, a chaise longue, sun and good weather, then the island of Hainan will please you.
Resorts of Hainan Island
The most important and large resort here is the city of Sanya and its surroundings. The rest of the resorts are small, and their names are rarely known outside of China. In total in the Sanya area more than 200 hotels.
The capital of the island - the city of Haikou can also be called a resort, but the hotels here are much smaller. This place is more suitable for combining beach holidays with shopping and entertainment.
Have a good rest in China, and read our articles about this country ( links below ).