Sanya Travel Guide - How to Plan a Trip to Sanya
Sanya

Sanya Travel Guide - How to Plan a Trip to Sanya

By Ruby ZhaoUpdated Mar. 18, 2021

Sanya, in Hainan Province on the tropical south coast of China, has fantastic beach resorts and is viewed favorably as China's "southern gateway" with its relaxed visa-free policy. Sanya travel is getting more and more attention.

The long coastline, the blue sky, and the tropical climate make Sanya a favorite destination for travelers. Some even say that its beautiful beaches make it "the Hawaii of China".

Visiting Sanya for a winter escape has been very popular in recent years, but it is not easy to choose your best beach and hotel among tens of choices. Our expert advice is going to help you settle this and many other concerns so that you're ready for a dreamy Sanya trip.

Sanya Beach

 

The 7 Best Beaches/Bays in Sanya: How to Choose Yours

There are seven main beaches/bays in Sanya. We have compared them to help you select the best one for your Sanya trip. Review their advantages, disadvantages, and popular attractions.

  No/Few Crowds Beautiful Beach Clean Sea Sea Sports Sea Swimming Luxurious Hotels Affordable Hotels
Yazhou Bay        
Sanya Bay        
Dadonghai        
Yalong Bay    
Haitang Bay      
Qingshui Bay      
Shimei Bay    
Sanya Beach Map

1) Yazhou Bay

Still a fishing village at heart, Yazhou Bay is now one of the most important new tourism zones in Sanya. It is around 30 minutes' drive from Sanya International Airport.

Main attractions:

Beluga Sanya Discovery Ocean World: Enjoy close encounters with animals of the sea.

Yazhou Central Fishing Port: It is a good photo spot. You can enjoy the romantic sunset, see how happy the fishermen are when coming back from the sea, taste the most affordable and freshest sea food straight from the fishing boats. Be prepared for the fishy odor.

2) Sanya Bay

Most convenient, Sanya Bay has a city center location near to the airport and railway station. First to be developed, Sanya Bay provides various food choices and entertainment facilities.

Popular attractions:

Popular local food: coconut chicken, Baoluo rice noodles, Hou'an rice noodles

3) Dadonghai

Dadonghai features warm ocean water, white sand, and flat beaches in a city-accessible location as well as a well-developed surf-and-sand tourism and some nice scenic spots.

Popular attractions:

Sanya Tropical Rainforest Square: It takes 1–3 hours to visit. Besides authentic rainforest, you can also enjoy tasty Sanya food while listening to the “singing” of the sea.

Luhuitou Park: Situated on a hill near the seashore, it is a peninsula with water on three sides. Lu huitou means ‘deer looks back'. It is derived from a touching love story.

Long ago, a tyrant emperor desired a pair of hairy deer horns, so he forced a young Li ethnicity man named Ahei to hunt for deer in the mountains. While Ahei was hunting, he saw a beautiful spotted deer chased by a panther. He shot the panther to death with his arrow, and then ran after the deer for nine days and nine nights.

After passing ninety-nine hills, they arrived at the Coral Cliff of Sanya. The deer had no way to escape except to jump into the sea, and the hunter bent his bow and got ready to shoot. Suddenly, the deer turned its head back and changed into a beautiful girl, and walked towards him. The hunter and the girl fell in love and got married.

The panoramic view of the vast sea, the rolling mountains, and Sanya city from the top of the hill is fantastic.

Contact us for a Sanya vacation.

4) Yalong Bay

Yalong Bay has the softest sands and cleanest sea in Sanya. It is considered to be the most beautiful bay on Hainan Island. There are many choices of sea sports. It's about 30 minutes by car from the city center.

Popular local food: coconut chicken, the bone soup in Shiweiguan Restaurant

5) Haitang Bay

Newly developed, Haitang Bay provides travelers with the most luxurious resorts and up-to-date facilities in Sanya. The accommodation is the best in all of Hainan Island. The famous hotel Atlantis Sanya China is located in Haitang Bay. It's about 40 minutes by car from the city center.

Popular attractions:

Atlantis Aquarium and Aquaventure Waterpark: Have close encounters with sea animals and enjoy water fun for a whole day.

Wuzhizhou Island: Just off the coast of Haitang Bay, crystal clear sea, beautiful beaches, rare wildlife, and coral reefs are Wuzhizhou's main attractions. Two historical relics, namely the Matsu Temple and the Guanri Cliff, are the must-see spots. You can enjoy diving, sunbathing on the beaches, and seeing the plant and sea life.

Houhai Fishing Village: Located near the port for Wuzhizhou Island, it is also called Tenghai Fishing Village. You could have a short visit during a daytrip to Wuhizhou Island. The sea near the Houhai Village is considered to be a paradise for surfing. It is good for beginners. There are many surfing clubs where you can rent the equipment and hire a coach.

Nantian Hot Spring: Considered by some as the best hot spring resort in China, the resort is a 5-star complex incorporating all the services you'd expect for a hot spring holiday resort and more. It offers impressive pools of different sizes and shapes and provides many types of hot spring, including a coconut milk pool, coffee pool, Chinese herbs pool, and alcohol pool! There are also various swimming pools as well as a wide array of beauty treatments and massages available.

Popular local food: ‘drunk goose' in Xie Xianglin Drunk Goose Restaurant (谢香林醉鹅)

6) Qingshui Bay

Unlike other popular bays, Qingshui Bay (‘Clear Water' Bay) is mainly real estate developments. There are fewer hotels and tourist sites, thus there are fewer travelers there. It's about 80 minutes by car from the city center.

Popular food: trotters on rice (猪脚饭)

Popular site:

Daidai Island: Dai means ‘staring blankly' in Chinese. It is popular with young Chinese KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) as there are many sights and properties for them to take IG photos at. Have you heard about the International Space-Out Competition? Daidai Island is one of its venues.

Contact us for a wonderful Sanya holiday.

7) Shimei Bay (in Wanning)

Far from Sanya city center (about 1 hour and 40 minutes by car), Shimei Bay is little known by holiday makers. You will meet few travelers there. It is a very good choice for a “Sanya escape” especially during peak season (New Year Holiday, National Day Holiday).

Popular attractions:

Zhouzai Island: It is around 3 km (2 mi) from land and uninhabited. You will need to take a ferry boat (20 minutes) or other private boat to reach the island. Still little-traveled, Zhouzai Island's waters have kept their primitive atmosphere. What attracts snorkelers and divers are its clear water and corals.

Jiajing Island: Like Zhouzai Island, Jiajing Island is also off limits for landing, a similar distance from the coast, and blessed with beautiful underwater scenery. What is interesting is that its beach moves with the seasons.

Popular food: seafood on a fishing raft (海鲜渔排)

Recommended Sanya Tours (for Avoiding Crowds)

Why take a private tour in Sanya?

If this is your first time to Sanya — "the best destination for a beach holiday in China" — there are some matters you have to sort out before going...

The planning is more complicated than what you expect for a beach holiday. A private tour will save your time in selecting the beach and the hotel, skip the commercial attractions, and ensure you uncompromised fun.

5-Day Sanya Tour with the Best Beach

Enjoy a Feast of the Sea, the Shore, and the Sun

Highlights of this 5-day Sanya tour:

Contact us for any questions and customization.

6-Day Sanya and Wanning Tour

While people prepared to rush to Sanya for a winter-escape holiday, we have prepared a plan for those who would like to get off the beaten path after visiting well-known Sanya.

This 6-day Sanya and Wanning tour will give you the best of Sanya and the hidden treasures of Hainan Island.

Send us a free inquiry to start your travel plan.

Sanya Weather — The Best Times to Visit

It is enjoyable to visit Sanya in any month of the year, though the best period is from September to April, when the weather is drier and not so hot. Read more on Sanya Weather.

Sanya Transportation — Easy to Get There

Thanks to its tourism appeal and importance, Sanya is being built to be like a second Hong Kong with many flights and shopping opportunities. Transportation to Sanya is very convenient. It can be directly reached by air from most cities in China and some major airports in Southeast Asia.

The high-speed train system connects Sanya and Haikou (Hainan's capital) in only 1½ hours. In peak seasons, a flight to Haikou costs less than one to Sanya, and you can take a bullet train direct from Haikou Airport to Sanya.

Read more on Sanya Transportation.

Sanya Travel Tips

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