Xixiu Beach, Haikou's Scenic Water Playground
While Holiday Beach is the most popular (and crowded) beach in Haikou, Xixiu is that "other" beach that is quieter and more of a spot of choice for water sports. Xixiu Beach Park is the practice and competition site for China's national sailing and windsurfing teams, and is said to offer an incredible view of the harbor and the best sunset scene in Haikou.
Attractions That Keep Tourists Coming to This Beach
The sprawling sands stretch on for an impressive 1,200 meters (3,900 feet), which is the length of 13 football fields. All the accommodations of a Chinese lido are present to facilitate safe swimming, plenty of water games to participate in, sun-bathing, and of course beach-side dining and snacking. A nearby hot spring and the seafood is a further attraction.
Those who like to watch the boats will love Xixiu. Sail boats and yachts are always cruising her waters. Surfers, swimmers, snorkelers, and happy sea shell hunters add to the scene. Nature's beauty, the feel of the sand and wind, and water are enjoyed by a more focused, smaller band of tourists.
You might want to learn a little about things like water ballet and professional diving before coming too, so you have a better idea of the water sports you see being done at the beach, even if you don't participate in all of them. The park has a parking lot and child activity center as well, which will be a help to some travelers.
The Best Times to Visit
The park is open all day long and is free to enter. As to season, avoid the monsoons and shoot to avoid the winter or the hottest part of summer, though it would still be tolerable so long as it isn't raining.
From May to October the rains hit, January and February see the coldest temperatures (about 18°C; 65°F), leaving November–December and March–April as the better times to visit. April is probably the ideal month.
While festivals run through much of the year off and on, there are a few that fall in the ideal weather periods. The 10-day Junpo Festival that will begin March 28 (in 2015) celebrates Madam Xian, the Li people's ancient heroine. It will display this original Hainan tribe's culure, but also expect to see some extreme "tests of faith" on the part of the celebrants.
The Hainan International Coconut Festival will fall on April 21 in 2015, along with the Sanyuesan Festival. The latter is another Li cultural event, with traditional songs, bamboo dances, dragon boat races, archery, etc. The former began in 1992 to celebrate the island's history and culture and to draw tourists to the "Coconut Island." The festival combines physical sports, touring, culture, customs, and trade. Sports, historico-cultural tours, etc. are offered.
How to Get There
Xixiu Beach Park is 2 km (1.5 mi) west of Haikou's Xiuying Harbour on Qingling Ave. It is about 6 km (4 mi) east of downtown Haikou. It is easy to find. Just drive along the seaside till you see it.
Taxis and buses are available. Several buses go straight there from Holiday Beach, and you can catch a bus there from most anywhere in Haikou. The Gongsuda tour bus is air conditioned, if comfort is a major concern.
Nearby places to see include: Holiday Beach, Wugong Temple, the Tomb of Hai Rui, the Xiuying Emplacement (ancient military base), Volcano Crater Park, Tropical Ocean World, and Hainan Tropical Wildlife Garden.