The resort town of Sanya is the main tourist center of Hainan Island in China. All the main attractions of the island are located nearby, and the city itself boasts a developed tourist infrastructure. But, this resort has many of its features, which we will discuss on this page.
Location and general information
On the island of Hainan there are two major centers of tourism and recreation. The first is the Haikou capital on the north coast, the second is the city of Sanya in the south (see map on the right).
Along the whole coast are scattered small resort areas, but they are unpopular with foreign tourists, and their names are well known only in China itself.
In the city of Sanya live about 600 000 people. For China, this is a very modest figure, but for the island of Hainan is weighty. If you compare with other resort cities in the world, then this is also a high figure. For comparison, in Hurghada in Egypt there are about 300 000 people, and in Alanya in Turkey about 250 000.
A large population means that there are many shops and restaurants, infrastructure is developed.
Features of Sanya resort for Russian tourists
The first positive feature is the availability in Sanya of its own international airport. An interesting fact, but it serves more passengers than the airport capital of the island of Haikou - 12 million passengers a year against 10.5 million in the capital. The airport is called "Sanya-Phoenix". The official abbreviation is "SYX".
Sanya Airport is very close to the city - just 15 kilometers from the city limits. On the one hand, it's good, because to go to most hotels not far. On the other hand, this is bad, since planes often fly directly over the heads of tourists.
From Russia direct flights to the island of Hanan fly only to the airport of Sanya, about the time of flight here from Russian cities, we wrote in detail in the article " How to fly to China ."
All hotels in Sanya are conditionally divided into three resort zones - Sanya Bay, Dadonghai and Yalong Bay. The last zone is also called the Asian Dragon Bay. On the map just above and to the left you see their relative position. Clicking on the map, you increase it on the whole screen of your computer.
About each resort area, we will tell you later on this page, but for now let us dwell on other features of the Sanya resort.
The Chinese prefer to create resort areas near populated areas. The proximity to the centers of civilization in their worldview is a great value. If you compare, for example, with the resorts of Egypt , then the hotel line looks quite different.
Egyptians are not particularly worried about the location of hotels and place them a long strip along the entire coast. At the same time, they try to build buildings in 2 floors in height, but not higher. This is done specifically, since already for the three-story building of the hotel according to the Egyptian norms, an elevator is required. Hoteliers in Egypt do not want to build and maintain elevators.
In the resort of Sanya, preference is given to multi-storey buildings, and the density of development here is much higher. Chinese traditionally know how to intelligently use the space, and local hotels - another confirmation of this.
This approach has its indisputable advantages. In Egypt, many tourists have to live on the ground floors, where any thief can climb, from this theft in Egypt hotels is a frequent occurrence. In the hotels of Sanya, such incidents hardly occur. Even the maids in hotels when cleaning rooms do not always take money left by tourists. In China, their traditions of tipping .
In the city of Sanya, a crazy variety of hotels, from the most chic "fives" networks Hilton, Marriott, Sheraton and Ritz-Carlton, to very modest 2 star hotels. Such a variety of the level of "star" you will not see in the resorts of Egypt, Turkey, Tunisia or Greece.
The hotels are located according to certain principles. On the first beach line there are always expensive "five", and already behind them are hotels of a lower level. Trying to pick up a 3 star hotel on the first line with a view of the ocean is a hopeless business, here there are simply no such options. At small resorts of the island of Hainan, this is still possible, but in the city of Sanya there.
The next feature will disappoint many tourists. Hotels in Sanya do not have their own beaches. All the beaches here are public, except for the Yalon Bay area, where some of the expensive hotels on the 1st beach line have their beaches, but "own" they are very conditional.
Of course, everything looks beautiful here. Just behind the beach begins the "green zone", behind it is the road, and then the hotels begin.
But, behind the beauty lies the inconvenience. To go far, you need to cross the road, on which cars go, and equipment on the beach for a fee.
Do not forget the tourist statistics of Hainan Island. Of the 30 million tourists who are vacationing here every year, only 750,000 foreigners. Prepare for the fact that you will be surrounded by the Chinese, many Chinese. They are quite noisy, loud talking and very emotional. Many tourists are annoyed.
The knowledge of foreign languages in hotel staff is not very common. In Russian, almost nobody talks. If you are going to go to the resort of Sanya on a tour package, then your hotel guide can help you. If you are traveling on your own, then rely on your knowledge of the English language or on different technical methods to overcome the language barrier .
However, knowledge of English does not always help, even in expensive hotels it is known only by half of the staff, and this is at best.
All local tourist infrastructure is arranged for the Chinese. In a restaurant or cafe, there may simply not be forks, but only Chinese sticks . We always advise forks to take to China with them .
Another problem, the restaurant may not have a menu in English, but only in Chinese characters . Hope in this case is only on the pictures in the menu. Example of the menu in the photo on the right.
Unfortunately, the resort's attendance by foreigners from year to year only falls, and attendance by its Chinese tourists only increases. We do not expect any improvement in the issue of "friendly" resort of Sanya to foreigners.
Speaking of restaurants and cafes. They will have to eat constantly. There is no All Inclusive system, in China, it is nowhere to be found. Prices in the hotel restaurants are quite high. If you want to take alcoholic drinks on vacation, we strongly recommend bringing them with you from Russia or buying in Duty Free. Alcohol in China is very specific, not every tourist can drink it. Similarly, with Chinese cigarettes , they are very unusual for Russians.
The weather in Sanya is beautiful. The sea is always warm, in winter it cools down to 23 degrees and heats up to 29 degrees in summer. You can swim in the ocean all year round. The air temperature in winter is about 22 degrees, and in summer about 29. It does not get cold or very hot.
But, the weather in the resort of Sanya has one feature. This is the rainy season, which begins in May and lasts until October. See the photo on the left and decide how much fun you will enjoy in such conditions.
At this time, the weather is changing rapidly. According to statistics, half the days of this season are rainy, but in practice you start playing the lottery. It can happen that the entire holiday even in August will shine the sun, and you will not feel any rainy season. And maybe not lucky, and the whole vacation will be heavy rain.
In the summer months tourists have additional difficulties, as humidity rises sharply. Sometimes sometimes even towels do not dry, that is, you hang a towel to dry for dinner, and in the evening it is still wet. It's the tropics, get used to it. We recommend visiting the resort of Sanya from November to April, the weather at this time is guaranteed good.
The resort Sanya has its own positive positives. The most notable of these is the abundance of fruits and seafood all year round. Pineapples, coconuts, bananas, mangoes and guavas grow on the island of Hainan all year round. In shops and markets, they can be bought very cheaply. In restaurants, you will always find a wide selection of shrimp, crab, fresh fish, oysters and exotic marine animals.
We hope we "drew" for you an objective picture of Sanya resort, and now we will talk about its main resort areas.
It is considered the most popular zone, here most of the hotels. The total length of the beach line in this zone is 10 kilometers. In Sanya Bay most popular hotels.
The first advantage of this zone is the proximity to the airport, some hotels are right on its border. The second is the proximity to the city center.
In the city you will find food and souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and bars. Unfortunately, there are no water parks, no amusement parks, no oceanarium. With entertainment infrastructure in Sanya, the situation is deplorable.
Prepare for the fact that the municipal beaches in Sanya are clogged up. For many tourists, this situation becomes an unpleasant surprise, therefore, we warn in advance.
The smallest of the resort areas of Sanya with a beach line is only 2.3 kilometers away. This area is considered more expensive, clean and respectable.
This is an active resting place, there are many diving centers, surf and windsurfing equipment rental centers and other similar facilities for water sports.
The density of hotels here is less, and the beaches are more free, although there are no own beaches for their hotels, all beaches are public. Prices for accommodation, of course, there is also higher.
There are many shopping centers, cafes and restaurants. Many green spaces. A photo from the beach in the Dadonghai area is on the left.
Also this area is called Asia's Dragon Cove. It is 7.5 kilometers of beach strip 25 kilometers east of the city. This is the most expensive area of Sanya resort, although the most remote.
There is the largest number of expensive hotels. There are many chic villas and private apartments, golf courses and conference centers.
The resort of Sanya often conducts conferences and other official events. One of the stages of the "Miss World" contest is held here almost every year. All this takes place in the conference centers of the Yalon Bay zone.
In the heart of this area is a place called Totem (Totem Pole). There are collected statues of ancient deities and mythical animals of China - dragons, phoenixes and culins. This park symbolizes the mixture of cultures of the people of Li (the indigenous inhabitants of the island of Hainan) and the people of Han (modern Chinese). For a fee, you can walk around Totem Park.
In this area are several attractions of the island of Hainan - a butterfly preserve and a shell museum. Any of these places can be easily reached from the hotel by taxi , and this is inexpensive.
Of course, the prices here are the highest. In the Yalon Bay area there are about 30 hotels, and only three of them are "treshki", and all the rest are exclusively 5 stars. In this area there are many shops and restaurants, and the prices are high. Our advice: you need to go here only if you are ready to seriously invest in recreation.
Some hotels in Yalon Bay have some kind of own beaches. In fact, in China, laws do not provide for such a notion as "private beach". Some hotels are next to the sea, and there is no road between the sea and the hotel. It turns out a kind of own beach, which, incidentally, everyone has access to.
We hope that with the help of this article you can make an informed choice of a hotel and a resort. Our other articles on China are no less useful, read ( links below ).