Home >> China Travel Guide >> China City Guide >> Sanya Travel >> Sanya Travel Guide

Sanya Travel Guide

Sanya City - Sanya Travel GuideBrief introduction

Sanya is the most important political, economic, cultural and foreign trade port in the southern part of Hainan. It is also a popular, tropical vacation destination. The city is situated at almost the same latitude as Hawaii, and is often called "the Hawaii of China" or "Oriental Hawaii." Situated as it is in the center of Southeast Asia, Sanya is a convenient place for tourists from the Southeast Asian countries to visit. It is also located on an important sea route connecting China with Southwest Asia, Africa and Europe.

Sanya is the second-largest city on the island. It has a laid-back atmosphere where casual clothes are worn for almost every occasion and life proceeds at an unhurried pace. On the western outskirts of Sanya there's a community of around 5000 Hui minority people, where the colorful headscarves of the Muslim women are a familiar sight, brightening the town's streets.

Sanya covers an area of about 1,919 square kilometers. It’s 91.6 kilometers long from the east to the west, and 51.2 kilometers wide from the north to the south. It lies in the southern valley of the Wuzi Mountain range. With a coastline of 209.1 kilometers, it has 10 islets and 19 harbors. Among them, the West Daimaozhou islet is the largest and has two harbors. Sanya harbor has become an important port of entry-and exit for deluxe passenger ships and for trade with foreign countries. Sanya has a modern international airport—SYPIA (SANYA PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) which is the second largest in Hainan Province, with flights to domestic and foreign cites

City Introduction

Sanya City enjoys clean seawater, fresh air, beautiful beaches, bright sunshine and beautiful tropical scenery. Its tourist attractions include Yalong Bay National Holiday Resort, Dadonghai Tourist Zone, Tianya Haijiao, Luhuitou Park, and Nanshan Cultural and Tourist Zone. The marvelous landscape of mountains and seas at Nanshan, Wuzhizhou Island, the Ancient City of Yazhou, Shuinan Village, Luobidong Cavern and the Muslim tombs built in the Tang and Song dynasties combine to make this a tourist's paradise. Local specialties include handicrafts made of seashells, horn-ware, products carved from coconut shells, sea food and pepper. Visitors to Sanya will enjoy learning about its long history, culture, local handicrafts, clothing and ethnic dance.

In 2000, there were more than 483,100 people living in the Sanya City area, these include more than 20 nationalities. The major ones are Han, Li, Miao, and Hui. Languages used here are dialects of Hainan, Junhua, Maihua, and Lihua Danjiahua, besides Putonghua, the common language in China.

Sanya today benefits from central and local government initiatives aimed at developing Hainan Island's vast potential for tourism. The government encourages investors to develop the area’s agricultural and tourism resources, and to introduce high technology industries to the island.


People have been living in the Sanya area for 10,000 years. Sanya's earliest name was Yazhou and ancient relics have been found in and around Luobi Cave in Lizhigou Town near Sanya City dating back thousands of years. Groups of ancient Persian tombs have been found along the coast. Under Chinese Emperor Qingshihuang (221 BC), three counties were established in the south. During the Tang Dynasty, emperors banished rebel officers to the area, which became known as the end of the Earth due to its remoteness from the nation's capital.

Oriental Hawaii
Dadonghai – Sanya Travel GuideSanya boasts the most beautiful beach resorts on Hainan Island, with gorgeous white sand, clear blue water, tropical fish and palm trees decorating the coast. Asian Dragon Bay with its great facilities and a long, pristine stretch of sand welcomes bathers and sun worshippers. Dadonghai beach is another great spot with smooth sand and warm water.

Sanya has similar climatic conditions to Hawaii, and the long warm days and mild winters here make this a spot that is idyllic for weary travelers and those who just want to lie back, relax and take a break from the more energy-consuming aspects of travel in China.

Water Sports
Sanya is a perfect spot for water sports with good facilities for scuba diving, yachting and water skiing. The warm, clear seawater here makes this an ideal spot to indulge in your favorite maritime sports! Most of the beaches and resorts have water sports facilities. Bear in mind however, that safety standards are not always as strict as they may be in the west. The Hainan tourist office approves certain organizations who organize scuba diving trips and it is worth checking which ones are registered. The best coral reefs are around Wuzhizhou Island.