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    Sanya is China’s premier beach destination that boasts palm-fringed, white sand beaches, clear blue waters, rugged mountain ranges, a burgeoning surf scene, and a tropical climate. Located on the southernmost tip of Hainan Island in the South China Sea, this modern and well-developed resort hub is blessed with almost 50 km of coastline. 

    Sunbathing, scuba diving, snorkelling and hiking and ziplining through tropical rainforests are some of the best things to do in Sanya. There are also several cultural and religious sites to visit, as well as a hot springs resort. Read on to discover what Sanya is most famous for and why crowds of holidaymakers (mainly Chinese and Russian tourists) flock to the island every year.

    What are the best things to do in Sanya?

    1

    Sanya Bay

    Cycle along a scenic coastal road

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    Stretching for some 25 km, Sanya Bay is the longest coastline in the city of Sanya. During the day, and especially during the Chinese New Year and peak seasons, the beach can be overwhelmingly busy with crowds of mostly mainland Chinese.

    The bay isn’t far from downtown, so it’s a great place to enjoy a burning orange sunset or a romantic, post-dinner stroll. Alternatively, rent a bike and cycle along the ‘Coconut Dream Corridor’. The picturesque seaside road follows the bay for 20 km and is lined with coconut trees and green tropical vegetation.

    Poloha: Sanya, Hainan, China

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    fotografia od Shizhao (CC BY-SA 3.0) upravené

    2

    Luhuitou Park

    See the city from a bird’s eye view

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    Luhuitou Park is perched on a hill 5 km south of downtown Sanya in the Luhuitou Peninsula. You can enjoy panoramic views of the city, the rolling green hills and the vast South China Sea from the hilltop. The vistas are particularly magical at sunrise and sunset.

    Luhuitou Park has winding walking paths and several attractions, including a 12-metre-tall statue that commemorates the legend of a brave young hunter and a mountain deer that transformed into a beautiful girl. You can take a taxi or Public Bus Route No.3 or 22 to get to the park.

    Poloha: Jiyang, Sanya, Hainan, China

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    3

    Dadonghai Beach

    Experience crystal-clear waters on this popular beach

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    Dadonghai Beach is a gorgeous setting that's embraced by verdant hills on 3 sides and fringed with coconut trees. Sparkling blue water gently laps onto the 3-km-long beach. During Sanya's off-peak season, when the crowds aren’t too big, it’s a great place to spend the day in peace. 

    You can relax on the soft white sand and go for a refreshing swim. A shaded boardwalk, lined with shops and restaurants, runs along the Dadonghai Beach. There are plenty of places renting out chairs and umbrellas for the day. Some 400 metres east of the beach is a winding trail that leads up to a rocky point that overlooks the pretty seascape. 

    Poloha: Jiyang, Sanya, Hainan, China

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    4

    Yalong Bay

    Swim, surf, snorkel and relax on this picture-perfect beach

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    The crescent-shaped Yalong Bay is the most picturesque of Sanya’s beaches – many even claim it to be the best bay in China. The 8-km-long beach is simply stunning, with lush rolling hills in the background, year-round warm, crystal waters and powdery white sand. 

    Yalong Bay is cleaner and markedly less crowded compared to other beaches in the vicinity. It’s ideal for a day of splashing around, enjoying water sports or just perfecting your tan. Besides the beauty above the water, underwater is just as gorgeous. Snorkel or scuba dive to see tropical fish and colourful coral reefs. Yalong Bay is approximately 25 km east of Sanyas city centre.

    Poloha: Sanya, Hainan, China

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    5

    Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone

    Hike through a verdant rainforest to scenic lookouts and waterfalls

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    The Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone is an eco-themed park set amid the verdant greenery of Hainan Island. Excellent for adventure seekers and those looking to escape the heat, the 45-sq-km park offers shaded paths through dense tropical rainforests that lead to panoramic lookout points and cascading waterfalls.

    Electric carts can drop you off at the top of the forest slopes so you can walk down or zipline across the verdant canopy. One of the park’s highlights is the glass platform, which provides a scenic vista from the top of the hills down to the valleys and coast. You can also find a small cafe and a couple of souvenir shops in the village area. The entry fee includes an audio guide in English.

    Poloha: Sanya, Hainan, China

    Otvorené: Daily from 7 am to 6 pm

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    6

    Nanwan Monkey Island

    Enjoy a ride on China’s longest oversea cable car

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    Nanwan Monkey Island is the only state-protected island nature reserve in the world that protects the endangered macaques. The island is home to nearly 1,500 monkeys, many of which are tame enough to interact with visitors. Take care not to show any food or drink as they will steal it from you.

    Located about 1 hour and 45 minutes from Sanya's city centre, you can reach the nature reserve by taking a bus from Sanya to Lingshui, followed with either a boat or cable car ride. The 2-km long cable car is the longest oversea ropeway in China, offering a smooth and scenic ride with vistas of fishing villages, the ocean and thick jungles as it descends into Nanwan Monkey Island.

    Poloha: Lingshui, Hainan, China

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    7

    Zhujiang Nantian Hot Springs

    Find your Zen in a lush, tropical garden setting

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    Zhujiang Nantian Spa is a family-friendly hot spring resort and 5-star hotel that's within a 45-minute drive from Sanya. It's touted as the largest open-air hot spring in China. The entrance fee includes access to more than 30 warm, mineral-laden pools scented with anything from herbs and flowers to red wine, coconut milk and traditional Chinese medicine.

    The icy pool is very refreshing, and a soak is believed to improve the immune system. The resort also has a massage zone, Chinese and western restaurants, a beauty centre as well as various recreation and sports equipment.

    Poloha: Sanya, Hainan, China

    Otvorené: Daily from 8 am to midnight

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    8

    Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone

    Discover a thriving Buddhism complex set amid stunning natural scenery

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    The Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone is a massive Buddhist complex located 40 km west of Sanya. The area consists of beautifully manicured gardens, towing sculptures, stunning sea views, and different sites dedicated to Buddhist worship.

    Highlights include the Buddhism Culture Park, built to help people understand and appreciate Buddhism’s profound philosophy. Many people flock to this park to see the 108-metre high, 3-sided Guanyin (Goddess of Mercy) statue. Sitting on a platform surrounded by the sea, it's one of the tallest sculptures of the deity in the world. If you’re hungry, there are plenty of great restaurants, many of which serve vegetarian food.

    Poloha: Yazhou, Sanya, Hainan, China

    Otvorené: Daily from 8 am to 5.30 pm

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    9

    Sanya Romance Park

    Enjoy a dazzling live performance in a 4700-seater theatre

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    Sanya Romance Park, also known as Sanya Qianguqing Scenic Spot or The Legend of Romance Scenic Area Parking Lot, is a massive theme park located in downtown Sanya. There is a multitude of zones, including a cultural centre, market, waterpark, zoo and theatre. You’ll also find traditional Li and Miao architecture, as well as a Li village.

    Watching a performance at the beautiful indoor Grand Theatre is a highlight of any visit. The spectacular live entertainment show tells the story of Hainan from its prehistoric past to the present and features mesmerising dance routines, fight scenes and unbelievable aerial acrobatics with special effects.

    Poloha: 333 Yingbin Rd, Jiyang, Sanya, Hainan, China

    Otvorené: Daily from midday to 9.30 pm

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    10

    Nanshan Daxiaodongtian

    Explore a 12th-century Taoism site

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    Nanshan Daxiaodongtian is the birthplace of Taoism in Southern China. Founded in 1187 during the Southern Song Dynasty, it is Hainan Island’s most ancient attraction – some of the evergreen pines in Daxioadongtian Park are over 6,000 years old. The park attracts both Taoists and foreign tourists with its beautiful natural scenery, which consists of a Taoist Temple, statues, rock formations and a lighthouse. 

    There are 6 different zones to visit, including the Dongtian Fairyland, Longevity South Mountain, South China Sea Dragon King, Cliff Wall with Inscriptions and Sanya Natural History Museum. You can learn about the history and heritage of the area plus see dinosaur fossils at the history museum. Nanshan Daxiaodongtian is around 51 km west of Sanya, on the southwest foothills of Mount Nanshan.

    Poloha: Yazhou, Sanya, Hainan, China

    Otvorené: Daily from 7.30 am to 6.30 pm

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    Jacqui de Klerk | Prispievateľ/-ka

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