SANYA, China - China has been attracting tourists from around the world as the country has become one of the world's most popular tourism destinations. Located at the southernmost point of Hainan province, Sanya is the country's sole international seaside vacation destination.
Unlike many other tropical coastal destinations around the world, Sanya faces the sea yet is surrounded by mountains on three sides as well as having a river passing through it. The city features classic seaside vistas, a beautiful natural landscape which is a blend of mountains, the sea and rivers in addition to a long and rich history, and is populated by many of China's ethnic minorities, all of which have come together to create a unique travel destination laden with charm. Sanya has been named one of 52 Places to Go in 2017 by The New York Times. It is the only Chinese city has been included on the list this year. With statistics from the Sanya Tourism Development Commission showing the steady growth of international tourists in recent years, Sanya attracted 73.31 percent more inbound tourists during the first half of the year, and, as China's renowned tropical coastal city, is emerging as an international vacation destination.
A city that blends diverse cultures
Sanya's unique location at the southern end of Hainan Island, the second largest island in China, created the right environment for the development of the city's distinctive culture.
Sanya is where the Li, Miao, Hui and Han nationalities live together. In particular, the Li Nationality is unique to Hainan. More than 3000 years ago, the ancestors of the nationality sailed across the Qiongzhou Strait and settled on the island, where they continued to develop what became their unique and distinct culture. Tourists who visit Sanya have an opportunity to appreciate the customs of the city's different nationalities.
Several Chinese historical figures chose Sanya as the place to promote a certain aspect of Chinese culture, and each left a footprint of their efforts. The most famous among them is Tang Dynasty monk Jian Zhen who failed five times in his attempts to reach Japan in sailing vessels and promote Buddhism there. On his fifth try, the sailing ship drifted ashore at Nanshan, in Sanya, where he decided to stay. He subsequently built temples and Buddha statues there.
Sanya's cuisine also embodies diversity. Hainan province is known for the wide variety of local delicacies, and not just the many delicious seafood dishes. One iconic dish is Hainanese Chicken Rice. Sanya brings together the specialties of the entire province, offering a feast for the taste buds of food lovers everywhere.
Visitors can spend their time in a variety of ways, including experiencing the Li and Miao cultures at Binglanggu, relaxing at the Nantian Hotspring Resort or exploring the tropical rainforests at Yanoda, in addition to enjoying the waves along the beaches.
International services bring convenience to tourists
Benefiting from Hainan province's visa-free policy, tour groups from 26 countries can travel to Sanya without needing to undergo the hassle of a visa application process, while tourists from outside of China can take advantage of a full tax refund on all purchases completed on the island. Tourists can not only take in unique experiences at the wide variety of sea-, land- and air-based recreational facilities in Sanya, but also arrive in and depart from the city by sea, land or air. If you travel by train between Sanya and any destination in mainland China, the train will be transported by ship across the Qiongzhou Strait that separates the two. This is an unprecedented experience for many travelers.
Sanya has already become an international tourism, wedding, honeymoon and MICE destination as well as a locale where visitors can experience Oriental culture in a tropical setting. The distinctive tropical seaside vacation destination welcomes tourists from around the world to come and discover it.
Photo caption: Sanya Nanshan Guanyin Statue, at 108 meters in height, the world's tallest depiction of Guanyin, a venerated Buddhist bodhisattva or goddess