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Home> Destinations> Asia> Sanya> Overview

Brief Introduction

Updated: 2014-12-02 / (chinadaily.com.cn)





City Introduction

Known in ancient times as Yazhou, Sanya has long been seen a city with a long history and cultural diversity. A number of scenic spots, including Tianya Haijiao (The end of the Earth), Daxiaodongtian (Dongtian Park), Yazhou Ancient City, Luobi Cave Sanya Ancient Human Relics, all imply abundant historical culture.





History and Culture

“Sanya” got its name since Sanya River (anciently named “Linchuanshui”) was combined by East and West Sanya River and formed the character form of “丫”in Chinese with the pronunciation of "ya”.Sanya, anciently called “Yazhou”, though located in the southernmost end of China, has been nourished and deeply influenced by the Central Plain Culture with its culture of great splendor. Here exist a great number of cultural relics and historic sites since it used to be the political, economic and cultural center of Yazhou in ancient and modern times. Among the three counties of the South established early in the Qin Dynasty, Yazhou served as one of the counties of Xiang. In the Han Dynasty, Zhuya County was established in the place where today’s Yacheng Town of Sanya stands. In the Sui Dynasty, Linzhen Country was established and was re-named as Zhenzhou in the Tang Dynasty. In the Song Dynasty, it was the regional county located in the southernmost end of China. Many celebrities have successively visited Yazhou, including Han Yuan, the Prime Minister of the Tang Dynasty; Jianzhen, the famous monk of the Tang Dynasty; Zhaoding, the renowned Prime Minister of the Song Dynasty, Huquan, the minister of the Song Dynasty, Huang Daopo, the master of textile, etc. All of them have greatly contributed to the development of economy and culture communication of this area. Sanya, located at the southernmost end of Hainan Province, is the only tropical and coastal tourist city. The ten tourism resources here include its sunshine, sea water, beach, climate, forest, animal, hot spring, cave, country side and spirit. Sanya is the first stop where the mainland torth relay of 2008 Beijing Olympics begins.





Natural Environment

Lying against high mountains in the north and alongside the sea in the south, the city of Sanya inclines gradually from north to south, which forms a long and narrow polygon. Alongside the 258.65-kilometer coastline within the territory, there lies a total number of 19 ports and bays of various sizes. Main ports include Sanya Port, Yulin Port, Nanshan Port, Tielu Port, and Liudao Port, etc. And main bays include Sanya Bay, Haitang Bay, Yalong Bay, Yazhou Bay, Dadongwan Bay, and Yueliangwan Bay, etc. Among the forty islands of different sizes, ten of them are main island.

The city of Sanya is surrounded by stretching and well-organized mountains in three sides, i.e. Baopo Mountain in the north, Dahui Mountain, Hubao Mountain and 393-meter Gao Mountain (Gou Mountain) in the east and Nanbian Mountain in the south. Meanwhile, the stretches of mountains divide the city into several spaces surrounded by green mountains, which provides characteristic special views and environment for different areas of the city. Sanya, facing to the South China Sea. The numerous bays here boast of different wonderful view. Among them, the Dadonghai Bay, Xiaodonghai Bay and Sanya Bay located in urban area are most closely related to the life of local citizens.






Located in the low-latitude area, Sanya is divided into the tropical oceanic monsoon climate zone. The annual average temperature is 25.7 ℃. June is the hottest month with an average temperature of 28.7 ℃ and January is the coldest month with an average temperature of 21.4 ℃. The annual sunshine duration reaches 2534 hours. And the mean annual precipitation is 1347.5 mm. It is known as “natural greenhouse”. Moreover, allergic people and other tourists get full preparation to keep themselves from the strong UV light at the beaches of Sanya.





Useful Information

Air transportation: most large and middle-sized cities in China have direct flight to Sanya. Land transportation: direct trains from Sanya to Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou, Changsha and many other cities are available. It provides another option for tourist from all over the country to enter Sanya.

Airport Shuttle Bus: Located on the northwest for about 11 kilometers away from Sanya city, Sanya Phoenix International Airport is surrounded by beautiful scenery. The timetable of dispatch is random in accordance with the airlines. It takes around forty to fifty minutes to go to downtown Sanya. The route is Airport Road – Sanyawan Road – Jiefang Road – Yuya Avenue – Dadonghai Square. The ticket fare is RMB 15 Yuan / person.

Coach: The ring-type east-line and west-line expressways of Hainan are built from Sanya and Haikou along the coast, which constitute the Hainan Huandao Expressway. The branches extending in all directions connect all cities and counties, including Lingshui, Wanning, Qionghai, etc. No tolls are charged during the whole journey. The road condition is perfect and the views along the journey are also beautiful. If you choose to drive to Sanya, you only need to drive through Guandong Haian and reach Haikou, the provincial capital of Hainan by the steamer. Then you can continue to drive through the east-line or west-line expressways to reach Sanya. (The east-line with more abundant tourism resources is recommended since it provides better road conditions and costs less time). Non self-driving tourists can take the direct luxury special line bus at Haikou South Bus Station (Before 20:00 p.m.: the bus is dispatched at an interval of 20 minutes; 20:00 p.m. to 23:00 p.m.: the bus is dispatched at an interval of 30 minutes).

The special line from downtown area to the airport is bus Line 8. The route is Yuya Avenue – Guochaojianqiao – Sanya Bridge – Jiefang Road – Sanyawan Road – Haihong Road – Airport Road – Phoenix Airport. Taxi: The body of the taxi in Sanya is in blue and the car models include Volkswagon Jetta, Dongfeng Citroen and Dongfeng Fukang. Taking a taxi is the most convenient transportation method for its favorable price. Cruise Liner: The beauty of Sanya originates from the sea. Therefore, taking a passenger liner to Sanya is the most comfortable and pleasant way of tourism. Italy Costa Cruise Lines and Hongkong Star Cruises Group have both arranged non-scheduled cruise liners along the route of Hongkong – Sanya – Vietnam. It enables you to enjoy the supremely wonderful scenery of Sanya before landing on it.





Tourism Service Number

Tourist Guide Service: 0898-88298210

Consumption Complaint: 12315

Price Complaint: 12358

Environment Protection Complaint: 12369

Environment Protection Complaint: 12369

Tourist Complaint Center: 0898-88392211

Unlicensed Taxi Report: 0898-88667803

Food Hygiene Complaint: 0898-88281474

Phoenix International Airport: 0898-88289666

Airline Inquire: 0898-88289389

Bus Terminal: 0898-88272440

Bus Inquiry: 0898-66663066






Dressing Recommendations:

a. Sunscreen products with high SPF

It seems Sanya is not so hot sometimes. However, the direct sunlight in Sanya means stronger ultraviolet ray than that in other inland cities. As a result, sunscreen products with high SPF are required. In particular, in the noon and afternoon of the hottest months of June to August, remember to keep the naked skin covered with sunscreen lotion or mist in all times in case of sunburn or even dermatitis. If your skin is quite sensitive, it is recommended to apply some reliable post-basking repairing masks.

b. Sunscreen Accessories

It is worth buying a pair of reliable polarized sunglasses before your trip to Sanya. They will protect your eyes from fatigued congestion for long-term exposure to sunshine and pull you from a regretful ending of a wonderful trip. UV-proof umbrellas can help protect you from sunburn but they can never replace the function of high-SPF sunscreen lotion or mist.

c. Swimwear

It will be a great loss if you do not play in the sea during your trip in Sanya even if you cannot swim. It is a good try if you take a sunshine bath on the beach with enough sunscreen lotion.

d. Repellent Products

Mosquito bites are not avoidable is such a humid coastal city. It is recommended to prepare some products such as Bactroban (Mupirocin Ointment), Wen Bu Ding, Baobao Jinshui, etc. or you can buy such product at local shops.

e. Antidiarrheal

Some tourists may be unaware that they are allergic to sea products. Or they just forget their allergy and cannot help enjoying the abundant seafood. Most seafood possess the nature of cold in view of traditional Chinese medicine and eating too much of them may lead to diarrheal. Antidiarrheal, in this case, may somehow save you from the remaining trip.

f. Comfortable slippers

A pair of comfortable slippers may enable you to wander freely on the beach. You can get one on the beach at the price of RMB 20 Yuan/pair if you do not mind the patterns. Actually, walking on the white sand with bared feet can provide you another type of temperament. Take care and do not get your feet scratched by the shells.

g. Thin coat

Short-sleeve T-shirts is wearable even in winter of Sanya. A thin coat is recommended in case of sudden drop of temperature.





Festivals(Important/Historical/Folks Ones)

Nanshan Lunar New Year Fair

Time: December 30 to January 15 of the lunar calendar

The attractions for tourists to visit Sanya during the Spring Festival include visiting Nanshan Temple Fair, having snacks, listening to Jixiang Bell, visiting Nanhai Guanyin and praying. On Lunar New Year’s Eve, tourists can pray for the coming year and ring the Jixiang Bell for 108 times. On the next day, another important part of Nanshan Lunar New Year Fair will be held. It is the birth ceremony of Maitreya Bodhisattva and Nanshan Dharma Assembly for universal Buddha.

“Lunar February 2” Longtaitou Festival (The Dragon Head Raising Festival)

Time: February 2 of the lunar calendar

The traditional festival throughout China called Longtaitou Festival is held on the second day of the second lunar month. People gather on this day to pray for a good harvest. On that occasion, a series of characteristic activities will be held, including “Worship Ceremony for the Dragon King in the South China Sea”, “Mo Long Tou” (touching the head of the dragon king”, etc, in the theme of “folk customs, folk art, folk culture, rural life, rural customs and rural characters".

Lunar March 3 festival

Time: March 3 of lunar calendar

On the March 3 of lunar calendar, it is an important traditional festival for the Chinese ethnic groups of Li and Miao in Hainan. During this festival, there are numerous activities, including inheritance of the holy frame, campfire carnival, art exhibition of the Li and Miao ethnic groups, ethnic sports competition, competition between the Li and Miao ethnic groups, bamboo dancing of 10,000 people, theme party and antiphonal singing competition.

Hainan International Coconut Festival

Time: At late March or early April

At the festival, there are abundant activities, such as the lantern show, the street of lanterns, festival of the Li and Miao ethnic groups, international dragon boat festival, martial art challenge competition, entertainment performance, wedding and ancestor worship activities of the Li and Miao ethnic groups, etc.

Qixi (Double Seventh Festival)

Time: July 7 of the lunar calendar

During the festival, couples throughout China gather here to participate in the “Tianya Haijiao Wedding Festival” and all of them will have a grand wedding ceremony. They promise a solemn pledge of love to each other in pairs, which brings the new type of modern spirit into the traditional festival.

Nanshan Longevity Culture Festival

Time: September 9 of the lunar calendar

There is a long-standing slogan for Hainan Coconut Palm mineral water (often sung at the TV advertisements), i.e. “Once you drink the Coconut Palm mineral water, you will know the reason for the Hainaners’ long life. Hainan is famous for its beautiful views and fengshui as well as the longevity of seniors. During the culture festival, several activities will be held, including the exhibition of long-lived seniors, get-together party for seniors, etc.

Tour of Hainan International Road Cycling Competition

Time: Every November

Tour of Hainan International Road Cycling Race is held annually at the end of the year. It is an Intercontinental 2.1-level competition. The racing sections cover a full range of cycling race types, including level road, hill, mountain land, time trial, etc. The total distance measures over 1000 kilometers. Qualification of participating teams has been upgraded to four levels, including UCI Professional Team, UCI Intercontinental Professional Team, UCI Intercontinental Team and National Team. Top-level cycling teams from five continents have been invited to join the competition. Tour of Hainan has lit up the enthusiasm of cycling in Hainan.

China Hainan Carnival

Time: It begins from the first weekend in November and ends at the fourth weekend of November.

Theme: Happy Hainan A variety of entertaining, sports and ethnic activities have been held to display the colorful tropical island tourism resource of natural ecology environment of Hainan and to establish its image of tourist attraction.

Tianya Haijiao International Wedding Festival

Time: In December

Established in 1996, the Tianya Haijiao International Wedding Festival is an integration of large-scale wedding celebration activities and honey moon vacation tour. This festival accepts registrations from domestic and international newly married couples and those who celebrate the golden wedding (the 50th anniversary) anniversary, the silver wedding anniversary, etc. Every couple will enjoy a lifelong experience through abundant activities, such as “Meeting in Lucheng”, “Falling in Love at Tianya", "Praying at Nanshan” and “Pledging at Donghai”, etc.


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