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 Sanya Facts

Sanya Facts

Written by Candice SongUpdated Aug. 29, 2023

Name: Sanya (三亚; Sānyà /san-ya/)
Meaning: 'three Asias' or 'three inferiors'
Previous names: Yazhou, Samah, Pearl Shire


  • Popular beach resort
  • Southernmost city in China
  • Rain forest, offshore islands, beaches and water activities
  • 5-star resorts

Main Attractions


Sanya has become a popular beach holiday destination. It is considered China's Hawaii.

  • 110 BC Emperor Hanwu issued an edict for the establishment of Pearl District.
  • 1941 The Japanese navy set up a major naval base.


  • Significance of the city: Tropical climate, beaches, and rain forest has made the area a favorite tourist spot. It is as the same latitude as Hawaii.
  • Nearby cities: Haikou (214 km/133 mi)
  • Municipality terrain: stretch of coastline between hills and the South China Sea.

Location Information

  • Municipality location: southern tip of Hainan Island in southernmost China.
  • Municipality population: 536,000
  • Municipality area: 1,919 sq km (741 sq mi)
  • Municipality population density:279/sq km (723/sq mi)
  • North to south distance of main urban area: 2.8 km (1.7 mi)
  • East to west distance of main urban area: 15 km (9.3 mi)
  • City Center: Sanya People's Government building (18.25N, 109.51E)


Xiao Donghai Tourism Zone in Sanya
  • Annual average low temperature in January: 18.5 °C (65.3 °F)
  • Annual average high temperature in June: 32 °C (89.4 °F)
  • Humid subtropical climate; annual precipitation: 1,392 mm (55 in)

Tropical climate with wet and dry seasons; the city is known for warm weather even in winter. Water temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) all year.


  • Average annual income: 42,910 RMB (6,100 USD)
  • Development: developing; the town is a rapidly developing tropical resort destination.
  • Industry: 65.2% tertiary industry (tourist industry, services), 21.4% secondary (industry), 13.4% primary (agriculture, fishing industry)
  • Shopping Streets: Jiefang Road


  • Sanya Phoenix International Airport is 11 kilometers northwest.
  • 1 bullet train line to Haikou
  • 1 regular train line that continues on ferries to lines to Beijing, Shanghai or Guangzhou
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