Hainan Travel Guide: Top 20 Things to Do on Hainan Island, China

Ready to embark on an unforgettable journey? Dive into the heart of Hainan Island, a lush paradise nestled in the South China Sea. This enchanting island is more than just China’s smallest province. It’s a vibrant blend of breathtaking natural beauty, deep-rooted cultural heritage, and rejuvenating retreats. Hainan isn’t merely a destination; it’s a vibrant storybook, alive with tales of ancient folklore, culinary adventures, and serene landscapes. Whether you’re a nature lover, a culture enthusiast, or in search of tranquility, Hainan has a treasure trove of experiences waiting for you. Let’s explore what makes Hainan Island a must-visit gem for those who seek to uncover the splendor and diversity of China.

White Guanyin Statue in Nanshan, Hainan, China

Nature’s Masterpiece

Tropical Bliss Unleashed: Hainan Island, with its pristine beaches and emerald mountains, serves as a sanctuary for those who yearn for nature’s touch. From the soft sands of Yalong Bay to the mystic trails of Yanoda Rainforest, the island offers a canvas of natural wonders. It’s a place where adventure and serenity walk hand in hand, offering moments of bliss and exhilaration.

Cultural Riches

A Melody of Traditions: The island’s soul is woven with the vibrant threads of Li and Miao cultures, offering a glimpse into its diverse ethnic tapestry. Discover the ancient art of Li textile weaving, the spirited Miao dances, and the architectural marvels of traditional villages. Hainan’s cultural landscape is a mosaic of stories, traditions, and celebrations that invite you to delve deeper into its ancestral roots.

Gastronomic Journey

Feast of Flavors: Prepare your palate for a culinary odyssey through Hainan, where each dish tells a story of the island’s bountiful resources and culinary ingenuity. From the iconic Hainanese chicken rice to the fresh seafood spreads of Sanya, the island’s cuisine is a celebration of taste and tradition. Embark on a spice-laden voyage through bustling markets and quaint eateries, where the essence of Hainan comes alive in every bite.

Wellness Haven

Sanctuary of Serenity: Hainan Island is a haven for those seeking wellness and rejuvenation. Luxuriate in the natural hot springs scattered across the island, embrace the holistic practices of traditional Chinese medicine, and unwind in the tranquility of lush spa resorts. It’s a place where wellness is woven into the fabric of daily life, offering a retreat for body, mind, and soul.

Island Nightlife

When Stars Align: As the sun dips below the horizon, Hainan transforms into a vibrant spectacle of lights and laughter. Explore the night markets of Haikou, indulge in beachside barbecues in Sanya, or sip on tropical cocktails at chic bars. The island’s nightlife is a lively blend of local charm and cosmopolitan flair, perfect for those looking to dance the night away.

So, pack your spirit of adventure (and maybe some sunscreen), and get ready to immerse yourself in the captivating beauty that is Hainan Island.

Hainan Island Travel Guide: Things to do on Hainan, China

Hainan Island Travel Guide: A Brief History Of Hainan, China

Welcome to the storybook of Hainan. An island where every grain of sand, every rustle of the palm leaves, and every stone on the mountain trails whispers tales of the past. Let’s embark on a time-travel adventure to uncover the layers of history that make Hainan the mesmerizing island it is today.

Ancient Beginnings

Cradle of Cultures: Long before Hainan became a tropical getaway, it was home to the Li people, among the earliest inhabitants of China, whose traditions and crafts have woven the island’s cultural fabric for millennia. Archeological finds reveal a rich prehistoric life, pointing to Hainan as a bustling center of early civilization, connected yet distinct from the mainland.

Maritime Gateway

Seafarers’ Haven: Fast forward to the days of the Maritime Silk Road, and you’ll find Hainan playing a pivotal role as a navigational landmark and refuge for sea merchants and explorers. Its strategic position made it a melting pot of cultures, where goods and ideas exchanged hands, shaping the island’s diverse identity.

Dynastic Era

Dynasties’ Influence: Throughout China’s dynastic changes, Hainan experienced shifts in governance, purpose, and culture. It served variously as a place of exile for disgraced officials, a defensive frontier against pirates, and a trading post. Each dynasty left its imprint, contributing to the architectural, agricultural, and cultural tapestry of Hainan.

Modern Transformation

Path to Prosperity: The 20th century heralded significant changes for Hainan, from turbulent wars to remarkable recovery and growth. The establishment of Hainan as a separate province in 1988 marked a new beginning, ushering in an era of development that transformed it into a vibrant economic zone and international tourism destination.

Cultural Renaissance

A Cultural Melting Pot: Amidst its modernization, Hainan remains deeply connected to its roots. The island celebrates its cultural diversity, honoring the traditions of the Li and Miao peoples alongside the customs brought by settlers and traders throughout history. This blend of cultures is a testament to Hainan’s history of openness, resilience, and adaptability.

Hainan’s history is a fascinating saga of survival, transformation, and blossoming. It’s a place where the echoes of the past live in harmony with the rhythms of the present, inviting you to explore, learn, and be part of its ongoing story. As you wander through Hainan, from its ancient villages to its bustling cities, remember that you’re walking through chapters of a history book written by nature, adventurers, and the enduring spirit of its people. Hainan isn’t just an island; it’s a living museum, a guardian of stories waiting to be told and retold.

Hainan island coast city views

Hainan Top Attractions and Best Places to Visit in China

Referred to by locals as the “Hawaii of China”, Hainan has a much more compelling claim to its nickname than other islands in the region that attempt to use this metaphor, such as Jeju Island, which claims to be the “Hawaii of Korea”.  Unlike the latter mismatched comparison, Hainan is an island that lies at a latitude that is actually in the tropics, making a welcome relief from bone-chilling weather much further north if you’re visiting China outside of the warmer months of the year.

As such, the key attractions here are the beaches, which are getting increasingly crowded as the expanding wealth of the Chinese middle class makes it easier for them to escape cold temperatures in much the same fashion that Westerners have been doing for many decades. It wasn’t always perceived as a desirable place by mainlanders though, as the place was known by many for centuries to be where miserable failures in government were banished to live out the rest of their days in exile.

In a tropical paradise.

Amazing logic, I know!

All jokes aside though, aside from a few cultural attractions, this generally isn’t the place to bone up on culture. When you’re surrounded by swaying palms, lukewarm seas and juicy tropical fruit, I’m sure you can let those plans slip for a week or so while you forget about the crushing masses of people back on the mainland … not everything about travel has to be so serious, after all.

More Attractions

If you feel the need to get in touch with the soul of this place before you indulge your need for hedonism on the silky sands of China’s southernmost island, then first head to Wugong Temple, which can be found in the provincial capital of Haikou.  This temple was erected in honour of five officials that were banned from the mainland for having the nerve to criticize the rule of the Tang dynasty. Statues immortalizing these five brave souls can be found in the lush courtyard, along with tributes to the Chinese poet Su Dongpo.

Before departing Haikou, get a quick overview of the history of habitation on this island at the Hainan Provincial Museum.  Recently opened, the exhibits cover antiquities gathered from around the island that date back many centuries (the porcelain pieces are spectacular), and the modern development on the island over the past two decades.

Before the imperial government began using this island to send critics and failed officials to forced exile here on Hainan, its original inhabitants had been living here in peace for many generations prior.  Gusong Village is a traditional Hainanese village, which unlike other tourist trap ethnic villages that are found closer to the beach resorts, is decidedly non-commercial in its bent.

Brightly coloured houses will delight the avid photographer, culture hunters will shriek in delight as they will be able to observe traditional ways of life without being hounded by touts, and more active travelers will appreciate the option to hike up Tonggu Mountain with local guides.

Hainan beach views on a windy day in China

Other Cultural Attractions: Trip to Hainan, China

Visitors looking to explore the rich forests of the interior will have the opportunity to do so at Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone.  Paths have been cleared, limited Chinese gardens have been constructed, and information panels have been put in place to educate guests, but apart from that, the environment has largely been left intact, much to the relief of those concerned about the level of disruption of developments like these.

If you are looking to take a more hands-on approach to help save the environment, contact Sea Turtles 911 upon your arrival in Hainan.  Sea Turtles 911 is a non-profit organization that aims to aid the sea turtles that lay their eggs upon the beaches of this island, so that their populations might increase from the dismally low levels that they are stuck in this modern day and age.

Finally, it’s time to hit the beach!  Many ESL teachers and long-term backpackers in China eagerly await their time on the sands of Sanya Beach, Hainan’s best known resort area, or at less crowded shores near Wenchang.  The winds during the Northern Hemisphere summer push the South China Sea towards the southern coast at this time, also making this place a great location to pick up surfing. Tourism operators in Sanya offer lessons, making it a great way to end off your time in China.

source: Expat Natt on YouTube

Top 20 Things To Do on Hainan, China For Visitors

Here are the top 20 things to do on Hainan:

Yalong Bay water views in Hainan, China

1. Soak Up the Sun at Yalong Bay

Yalong Bay is touted as the best beach in Hainan, boasting crystal clear waters and soft white sands. It’s the perfect spot for swimming, sunbathing, and indulging in water sports. Luxury resorts line the beach, offering world-class amenities and dining. The bay’s coral reef is ideal for snorkeling and exploring marine life.

2. Explore the Nanshan Temple

Nanshan Temple, part of the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone, is a sprawling Buddhist complex known for its grand statues and serene gardens. The 108-meter tall Guanyin statue, one of the tallest in the world, stands majestically offshore on a man-made island. Visitors can learn about Buddhist culture, enjoy vegetarian cuisine, and experience the tranquility of the temple grounds. The temple offers a peaceful retreat with breathtaking ocean views.

3. Visit the Hainan Tropical Wildlife Park and Botanical Garden

This wildlife park and botanical garden is home to over 200 species of animals and thousands of plant species. Guests can take a safari tour to see animals roaming freely in large enclosures. The botanical garden showcases exotic plants and flowers, creating a beautiful landscape for visitors to explore. It’s an educational and fun outing for the whole family, emphasizing conservation and environmental awareness.

4. Take a Scenic Drive along the East Line High-Speed Railway

The East Line High-Speed Railway offers a scenic journey along Hainan’s coastline, connecting major cities and tourist spots. Passengers can enjoy stunning views of the tropical landscape, beaches, and rural areas from the comfort of their seats. It’s an efficient way to explore the island and reach destinations like Sanya, Boao, and Wanning. The train journey itself is an adventure, offering a glimpse into Hainan’s diverse beauty.

5. Relax in the Hot Springs of Qixianling National Forest Park

Qixianling National Forest Park is famous for its natural hot springs, nestled within a lush rainforest setting. Visitors can unwind in various hot spring pools, each with different minerals and health benefits. The park also offers hiking trails leading to waterfalls and scenic viewpoints. It’s a perfect combination of relaxation and outdoor activity, surrounded by the tranquility of nature.

6. Discover the Culture at Betelnut Valley (Binglanggu)

Betelnut Valley is a cultural theme park that offers insight into the lives of Hainan’s Li and Miao ethnic minorities. Visitors can watch traditional dance performances, explore authentic villages, and learn about local crafts like weaving and batik. The park is set in a picturesque valley, enhancing the cultural experience with its natural beauty. It’s an educational and immersive way to understand the island’s indigenous cultures.

7. Adventure in Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone

Yanoda is a rainforest park offering a range of outdoor adventures, from hiking and zip-lining to waterfall exploration. The park is divided into different zones, each highlighting an aspect of the tropical landscape and culture. Visitors can walk along suspended bridges, enjoy the views from lookout points, and even participate in traditional tea ceremonies. It’s a great destination for families and adventure seekers alike.

8. Wander Through the Ancient Town of Puqian

Puqian Ancient Town is a well-preserved historical site that offers a glimpse into Hainan’s past. The town features traditional architecture, ancient temples, and cultural museums. Visitors can stroll along the cobblestone streets, sample local street food, and shop for handmade crafts. It’s a peaceful break from the island’s beach scene, offering cultural and historical insights.

9. Enjoy Water Sports at Wuzhizhou Island

Wuzhizhou Island is a haven for water sports enthusiasts, offering clear waters and a wide range of activities, including diving, snorkeling, jet skiing, and parasailing. The island is also known for its beautiful coral reefs and marine life, making it a popular destination for underwater exploration. Visitors can relax on the beach or dine at seaside restaurants. It’s an ideal spot for adventure and relaxation, with facilities to suit all interests.

10. Explore the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark

This geopark showcases Hainan’s volcanic landscape, featuring craters, lava tunnels, and unique rock formations. Educational tours provide insights into the volcanic activity that shaped the island. The park’s scenery is dramatic and unique, offering excellent opportunities for hiking and photography. It’s a must-visit for geology enthusiasts and those interested in the natural history of Hainan.

11. Visit the Boao Forum for Asia Permanent Site

Boao is not only a picturesque town but also the permanent site of the Boao Forum for Asia, an important conference center for international dialogue. Visitors can explore the forum’s facilities, enjoy the tranquil waterways, and learn about the forum’s role in promoting economic integration in Asia. The town itself offers beautiful beaches and a relaxed atmosphere. It’s a unique blend of natural beauty and global significance.

12. Unwind at Sanya Bay

Sanya Bay is known for its long, palm-lined beach, offering stunning sunsets and a relaxed vibe. It’s less crowded than other beaches in Sanya, making it a great place for a peaceful beach day. The bay area is dotted with resorts, seafood restaurants, and bars. Visitors can enjoy leisurely walks along the beach, swimming, and water sports.

13. Experience the Li and Miao Ethnic Villages

These ethnic villages offer an authentic look at the traditional lifestyles of the Li and Miao peoples. Visitors can witness cultural performances, traditional crafts, and everyday life in the villages. The experience is both educational and respectful, emphasizing the preservation of these cultures. It’s a chance to engage with Hainan’s diverse ethnic heritage in a meaningful way.

14. Stroll Through Luhuitou Park

Luhuitou Park, located on a hill overlooking Sanya, offers panoramic views of the city and the sea. The park is named after a local legend of love and features a romantic atmosphere with sculptures and pavilions. It’s a popular spot for couples and families to enjoy the scenery and the story behind the park. The park also offers trails and lookout points for visitors to explore.

15. Shop at Haikou’s Dongmen Market

Dongmen Market is a bustling marketplace in Haikou, known for its fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and local delicacies. Visitors can experience the vibrant local shopping culture, taste street food, and find unique souvenirs. The market is a lively place to explore day or night, offering an authentic glimpse into Hainan’s culinary traditions. It’s an essential visit for foodies and those interested in local life.

16. Relax at Dadonghai Beach

Dadonghai Beach is a popular destination for its clear waters, white sands, and vibrant atmosphere. It offers a range of water sports, beachside bars, and restaurants. The beach is easily accessible from Sanya and is surrounded by lush hills, adding to its scenic beauty. It’s a great spot for families and young travelers looking for fun in the sun.

17. Learn at the Hainan Provincial Museum

The Hainan Provincial Museum in Haikou offers exhibitions on the island’s history, culture, and natural environment. Visitors can learn about Hainan’s ethnic groups, traditional crafts, and the island’s development. The museum also features art exhibitions and interactive displays. It’s an informative and engaging way to deepen your understanding of Hainan.

18. Enjoy the Beauty of Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden

Xinglong Tropical Botanical Garden is a lush oasis showcasing the diversity of Hainan’s tropical flora. The garden features rare plants, themed gardens, and scenic walking paths. Visitors can learn about tropical agriculture, medicinal plants, and conservation efforts. It’s a peaceful retreat for nature lovers and those interested in botany.

19. Visit Mission Hills Haikou

Mission Hills Haikou is a world-class golf resort offering multiple championship courses designed by leading golfers. Apart from golf, the resort offers luxury accommodations, spa services, and dining options. It’s also home to a volcanic mineral springs and spa complex, providing a unique wellness experience. Even non-golfers can enjoy the resort’s leisure and relaxation facilities.

20. Discover the End of the Earth (Tianya Haijiao)

Tianya Haijiao, meaning “The End of the Earth,” is a scenic spot known for its dramatic rock formations and inscriptions. It’s a place of natural beauty and romantic legend, attracting couples and photographers. The site offers stunning views of the sea and a chance to reflect on the vastness of the ocean. It’s a must-visit for its cultural significance and picturesque setting.

source: DS Travel on YouTube

What To Eat and Drink on Hainan Island, China

Let’s dive into the flavors of Hainan and discover what makes the island’s cuisine a must-try for any food enthusiast.

Seafood hot pot feast in Hainan, China

Seafood Sensations

1. Hele Crab: Caught locally, these crabs are steamed to perfection, allowing their natural sweetness to shine.

2. Seafood Hot Pot: A communal favorite, featuring a variety of local seafood simmered in a flavorful broth.

Signature Dishes

3. Hainanese Chicken Rice: The island’s claim to fame, this dish features poached chicken with seasoned rice, served with chili sauce and ginger paste.

4. Wenchang Chicken: Named after its city of origin in Hainan, this chicken is celebrated for its tender meat and aromatic flavors.

5. Dongshan Mutton: Slow-cooked to tender perfection, often enjoyed in a hot pot or as part of a festive meal.

Local Favorites

6. Qiongshan Tofu Pudding: Soft, silky tofu served either sweet or savory, showcasing the versatility of soybeans.

7. Jiaji Duck: A type of preserved duck, seasoned and air-dried, known for its rich taste and crispy skin.

8. Bamboo Rice: Glutinous rice and other ingredients cooked inside a bamboo tube, infusing the rice with a distinctive aroma.

Tropical Fruits and Drinks

9. Coconut Water: Sipped straight from the coconut, it’s the ultimate thirst-quencher in Hainan’s tropical heat.

10. Tropical Fruit Smoothies: A blend of local fruits like mango, pineapple, and dragon fruit, offering a refreshing and healthy treat.

Street Food and Snacks

11. Hainanese Paomo: A comforting bowl of rice soaked in meat broth, often garnished with pickles and meat slices.

12. Lao Li’s Stuffed Meatballs: A street food gem, featuring meatballs stuffed with various fillings, from shrimp to mushrooms.

Sweet Treats

13. Sweet Potato Glutinous Rice Balls: A dessert made from sweet potatoes and glutinous rice flour, often served in a sweet soup.

14. Coconut Cake: A light, fluffy cake made with coconut milk, offering a sweet end to any meal.


15. Hainan Coffee: Robust and aromatic, reflecting Hainan’s burgeoning coffee culture, often enjoyed alongside local snacks.

Natural rugged beauty in Hainan, China

Tours For Visitors To Hainan Island

Here’s a thorough list of tours that promise to make your visit to Hainan Island unforgettable.

1. Hainan Historical and Cultural Tour

Discover the rich history and vibrant culture of Hainan with a guided tour through ancient villages, historical sites, and cultural museums. Learn about the island’s indigenous Li and Miao peoples, their traditions, and crafts. Highlights include the Li & Miao Cultural Heritage Park and the historic Qilou Old Street in Haikou.

2. Sanya Beach and Nature Exploration

Sanya, known as the “Hawaii of China,” offers breathtaking beaches and tropical landscapes. This tour takes you to Yalong Bay and Tianya Haijiao, where you can soak in the sun, sand, and sea. The itinerary often includes a visit to the Nanshan Temple, offering serene ocean views and a glimpse into spiritual life on the island.

3. Rainforest Adventure in Yanoda or Jianfeng

Embark on an adventure through Hainan’s rainforests, such as Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone or Jianfengling National Forest Park. These tours offer trekking through lush greenery, zip-lining, and the chance to discover unique flora and fauna. It’s an ideal choice for nature lovers and thrill-seekers.

4. Hainan Tea Plantation and Factory Tour

Explore Hainan’s tea culture with a visit to local tea plantations. Learn about the process of tea making, from picking to processing, and enjoy tastings of various teas. These tours not only offer insight into tea cultivation but also provide picturesque views of the island’s countryside.

5. Haikou Culinary Experience

Dive into Hainan’s culinary scene with a food tour in Haikou, sampling local delicacies like Hainanese chicken rice, Wenchang chicken, and tropical fruits. Visit bustling markets, street food stalls, and traditional eateries. This tour is a feast for the senses and a deep dive into the island’s gastronomic heritage.

6. Volcanic Hainan Exploration

Discover the geological wonders of Hainan by visiting the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark. Learn about the island’s volcanic history, explore ancient lava tunnels, and enjoy panoramic views from volcanic craters. It’s a fascinating journey for those interested in geology and natural landscapes.

7. Wellness and Hot Springs Retreat

Unwind with a tour focused on relaxation and rejuvenation at one of Hainan’s many hot springs resorts. Experience therapeutic hot spring baths, spa treatments, and wellness activities set in tranquil and scenic locations. These tours are perfect for those seeking a peaceful retreat.

8. Hainan Island Cycling Adventure

Experience the beauty of Hainan at a slower pace with a cycling tour around the island. Routes often include coastal roads with stunning sea views, rural areas with lush landscapes, and stops at local attractions. It’s an eco-friendly way to explore the island’s diverse environments.

9. Ethnic Villages and Handicrafts Tour

Gain insight into the island’s ethnic diversity with a tour to Li and Miao villages. Witness traditional handicrafts, such as weaving and embroidery, and learn about the communities’ lifestyles and customs. These tours offer a unique opportunity to support local crafts and culture.

10. Golfing in Hainan

Hainan is a golfer’s paradise, home to world-class golf courses set against spectacular backdrops. Tours can include rounds at top-rated courses, professional coaching, and luxury accommodations. It’s a perfect blend of sport and leisure in a stunning tropical setting.

Tranquility in Sanya in Hainan, China

Hainan Island Accommodations Guide: Hotels, Guesthouses and Hostels

Here’s a travel guide to some of the best places to stay on Hainan Island, ensuring a comfortable and memorable visit.

Luxury Resorts

1. Atlantis Sanya: An ocean-themed luxury resort offering a unique experience with its own water park, aquarium, and exquisite dining options. Perfect for families and couples alike.

2. The Ritz-Carlton Sanya, Yalong Bay: Nestled on the pristine Yalong Bay, this resort combines tropical beauty with unmatched luxury, featuring private villas, a spa, and several gourmet restaurants.

3. Mission Hills Resort Haikou: Located near the volcanic landscapes of northern Hainan, this expansive resort is a golfer’s paradise, with world-class courses and a spa for relaxation.

Mid-Range Hotels

4. Hainan Airlines Mingguang Hotel: Situated in Haikou, this hotel offers comfortable accommodations, excellent service, and easy access to the city’s attractions.

5. Sanya Marriott Yalong Bay Resort & Spa: With stunning views of Yalong Bay, this resort offers a range of activities, beautiful pools, and dining options, all at a value price point.

Budget-Friendly Options

6. Banling Hot Spring Villa Hotel: Located in Baoting, this hotel provides affordable access to Hainan’s famous hot springs, set amidst lush tropical gardens.

7. Haikou Banana Hostel: A favorite among backpackers, offering clean, affordable dorms and private rooms, with a friendly, social atmosphere.

Boutique and Unique Stays

8. Secret Garden Guesthouse: A charming guesthouse in Haikou, offering personalized service, beautifully decorated rooms, and a serene garden where guests can relax.

9. Lingshui Perfume Bay Guesthouse: Nestled in a quiet bay, this guesthouse provides a peaceful retreat with stunning sea views, ideal for those looking to escape the hustle and bustle.

Eco-friendly and Sustainable

10. Naked Stables Hainan Qingshui Bay: Focused on sustainable luxury, this eco-resort offers beautiful accommodations that blend seamlessly with the natural surroundings, providing a tranquil and environmentally friendly getaway.

Hostels for Backpackers

11. Sanya Backpackers Hostel: A well-established hostel known for its clean facilities, friendly staff, and close proximity to Sanya’s beaches.

12. Lost International Youth Hostel Luhuitou: Located in Sanya, this hostel offers a laid-back vibe, with easy access to Luhuitou Park and local beaches, making it perfect for young travelers.

Hainan gorgeous beach sunset

Hainan Island Transportation Guide

Here’s a detailed travel guide to getting around Hainan Island, ensuring smooth travels across this tropical paradise.

Air Travel

Meilan International Airport (Haikou) and Phoenix International Airport (Sanya) are Hainan’s main gateways, connecting the island to domestic and international destinations. Internal flights between Haikou and Sanya offer a quick option for traversing the island’s length.

High-Speed Rail

Hainan’s high-speed rail loops around the island, linking major cities like Haikou and Sanya, with stops at key tourist destinations. It’s a scenic and efficient way to explore, offering stunning views of the coastline and interior landscapes.


Public Buses: Hainan boasts an extensive network of public buses, connecting Haikou, Sanya, and other regions. They’re an affordable option for reaching beaches, towns, and attractions.

Intercity Buses: For longer distances, intercity buses run between major cities and towns, providing a cost-effective solution for travelers.

Taxis and Ride-Hailing Services

Taxis are readily available in Haikou, Sanya, and other tourist areas, offering a convenient way to reach specific destinations. Ride-hailing apps like Didi provide an alternative, with options for different vehicle types and sizes.

Car and Scooter Rentals

Renting a car or electric scooter gives you the freedom to explore Hainan at your own pace. Rental agencies are found at airports, hotels, and through travel agencies. Remember, an international driving permit is required for foreign drivers.


For shorter distances or leisurely exploration, bicycles are a great way to enjoy Hainan’s scenic beauty. Many hotels offer bike rentals, and dedicated cycling paths in tourist areas make for safe and enjoyable rides.


To explore Hainan’s surrounding islands or for trips to the mainland, ferries operate from several ports including Haikou and Sanya. They accommodate passengers, vehicles, and cargo, offering a unique way to experience the region’s maritime environment.

Guided Tours

For those who prefer organized travel, guided tours are available for various attractions across Hainan. These tours often include transportation, making them a hassle-free option for exploring specific sites or engaging in activities like hiking, snorkeling, and cultural visits.

Tips for Travelers

  • Plan Ahead: Especially during peak travel seasons, it’s wise to book tickets for trains, planes, and ferries in advance to secure your travel plans.
  • Local Sim Card: Having a local sim card can make using ride-hailing apps and navigating with GPS much easier.
  • Carry Cash: While digital payments are widely accepted, having cash on hand is useful for smaller vendors and in more remote areas.
  • Safety First: Always prioritize safety, especially when renting scooters or bicycles, and ensure you have the necessary protective gear and insurance.

Chengdu is a must visit place after Hainan, China

Where To Visit After Your Trip To Hainan Island?

Here’s a curated list of destinations to consider after your Hainan adventure, each offering unique experiences that capture the essence of China’s vast and varied beauty.

1. Guilin

Famous for its surreal limestone karst landscapes, Guilin is a haven for nature lovers and photographers. Cruise down the Li River to Yangshuo, where the river meanders through towering karsts, creating a breathtaking panorama. Explore the Reed Flute Cave to witness stunning natural rock formations. Guilin’s cuisine, highlighted by its lip-smacking Guilin rice noodles, offers another layer of local flavor to discover.

2. Beijing

China’s capital city, Beijing, is a bustling metropolis that balances modernity with rich historical heritage. Walk the ancient stones of the Great Wall, explore the sprawling Forbidden City, and stroll through the tranquil Summer Palace. Savor Peking duck in its city of origin, and wander through the narrow hutongs to catch a glimpse of old Beijing life. Beijing is a city where every corner tells a story, making it a must-visit for history buffs.

3. Shanghai

As China’s largest city, Shanghai dazzles visitors with its futuristic skyline, bustling markets, and rich colonial history. Stroll along the Bund to admire the city’s iconic waterfront, contrasted by the modern skyscrapers of Pudong. Dive into the bustling atmosphere of Nanjing Road for shopping and street food. Don’t miss the tranquil beauty of Yu Garden, an oasis of calm in the heart of the city.

4. Xi’an

Home to the Terracotta Army, Xi’an offers a fascinating glimpse into China’s ancient past. Beyond the Terracotta Warriors, explore the ancient city walls and the bustling Muslim Quarter. Xi’an’s history as the starting point of the Silk Road has influenced its unique culinary scene, where Middle Eastern and Chinese flavors merge. The city serves as a living museum, where every site has a story to tell.

5. Chengdu

Known as the home of the giant panda, Chengdu offers a blend of natural beauty, culinary delights, and a laid-back lifestyle. Visit the Chengdu Research Base of Giant Panda Breeding to see these beloved creatures up close. Dive into the spicy world of Sichuan cuisine, known for its bold flavors and infamous Sichuan pepper. Explore the traditional tea houses and vibrant art scene that define Chengdu’s cultural charm.

6. Hangzhou

Famed for its scenic West Lake, Hangzhou is a city of natural beauty and cultural depth. Take a leisurely boat ride on West Lake, explore ancient temples, and stroll through lush tea plantations. Hangzhou’s culinary scene, highlighted by dishes like Dongpo pork, reflects the region’s rich flavors. The city’s traditional silk and tea products make for perfect souvenirs.

7. Lijiang

Nestled in the foothills of the Himalayas, Lijiang charms visitors with its well-preserved ancient town and stunning natural surroundings. The city’s cobbled streets, canals, and traditional Naxi architecture offer a step back in time. Venture to the Jade Dragon Snow Mountain for hiking and breathtaking views. Lijiang’s vibrant nightlife and cultural performances provide a glimpse into the local Naxi culture.

8. Suzhou

Known as the “Venice of the East,” Suzhou is celebrated for its elegant classical gardens, ancient canals, and silk production. Wander through the tranquil Humble Administrator’s Garden and the Master of Nets Garden, UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Take a boat ride along the ancient Grand Canal to appreciate the city’s waterways and traditional architecture. Suzhou’s silk factories offer insights into the intricate process of silk-making.

9. Tibet

For a profound change of pace and scenery, venture to Tibet, where spirituality and natural beauty converge. Explore the Potala Palace in Lhasa, engage with Tibetan Buddhism at monasteries, and witness the vastness of the Tibetan Plateau. The journey to Mount Everest Base Camp from the Tibetan side offers awe-inspiring views of the world’s highest peak. Tibet’s unique culture, cuisine, and breathtaking landscapes make it an unforgettable destination.

10. Yunnan Province

Explore the diverse landscapes and cultures of Yunnan, from the terraced rice fields of Yuanyang to the gorges of Tiger Leaping Gorge. Experience the cultural mosaic of Yunnan’s ethnic minorities, each with its own traditions, festivals, and cuisine. The ancient town of Dali and the vibrant city of Kunming offer gateways to Yunnan’s rich history and natural beauty. Yunnan’s mild climate and stunning biodiversity make it a year-round destination for adventurers and culture enthusiasts alike.

Hainan blue bird in China

Hainan Travel Guide: Final Thoughts

So, there you have it—our Hainan travel guide is complete Whether you came seeking solace on its sun-kissed beaches, adventure in its lush landscapes, or a dive into its rich cultural tapestry, Hainan leaves an indelible mark on your heart. Let’s take a moment to reflect on the journey and muse over what makes Hainan a must-visit spot on your travel map.

Beach Bliss and Beyond

A Tropical Paradise: Hainan’s beaches are the stuff of dreams, but remember, there’s more to this island than just its stunning shores. From the exhilarating heights of the Yanoda Rainforest to the serene hot springs nestled in its volcanic terrain, Hainan invites you to explore every facet of its diverse natural beauty.

A Culinary Voyage

Flavors to Savor: The island’s cuisine—a delectable blend of fresh seafood, tropical fruits, and local specialties—promises a culinary adventure at every meal. From street-side stalls in Haikou to beachfront eateries in Sanya, each bite is a journey through Hainan’s soul.

Cultural Treasures

Rich Heritage: The tapestry of Hainan’s culture, woven with threads of Li and Miao traditions, offers a glimpse into the island’s past and present. Engaging with its people, participating in traditional festivals, and exploring historical sites enrich your understanding of this unique corner of the world.

Sustainable Journeys

Eco-conscious Exploration: As you traverse this tropical paradise, consider the footprint you leave behind. Hainan’s push towards sustainability and environmental conservation is evident, urging visitors to partake in responsible tourism to preserve its pristine beauty for generations to come.

So, pack your curiosity, embrace the island spirit, and dive into the Hainan experience.

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  1. says: Irving

    Wow, the picture are awesome. And from your post it sound like a great place to get away from the cold weather. Okay, I want to pack my bags and head out! This looks too fun! Thanks for the post!