We especially enjoyed the opportunities we had to go off the beaten path ... and look forward to sharing even more authentic experiences.
Located on the southernmost tip of Hainan, China's largest island, Sanya is a city of sun, surf, and sand - as well as the setting of many of China's premier holiday resorts. Home to white-sand beaches, crystal clear water, and a number of colorful coral reefs, Sanya presents a lively, sunny side of China that few outside the country are familiar with. Indeed, in recent years, Sanya has become a popular tourist destination, particularly among northern Chinese and Russian travelers seeking to escape the harsh winters.
Visitors should note that Hainan is the best place in China to surf, due to a combination of year-round surf and few surfers. Additionally, given Hainan's rugged, mountainous terrain and clear, cool waters, mountain biking, snorkeling, and watersports are also exceedingly popular.
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Our co-founder & CEO Catherine Heald lived in China for 7 years and returns often. She loves trekking in the rice terraces of Ping An, and hugging baby pandas in Chengdu!
A beautiful stretch of sand, sea, and sky, Yalong Bay boasts the sort of scenery to rival the tropical beaches of Southeast Asia and the Caribbean. Home to a number of high-end, exclusive beach resorts, Yalong Bay lies approximately 15 kilometers (9 miles) from Sanya city and its nearby beaches; as a result, it is considerably larger, with fewer visitors. On the beach itself, visitors can partake in a number of watersports, among them snorkeling, scuba, and parasailing.
Surfing at Sun Moon Bay (Riyuewan)
While surfing is available at a number of spots around Hainan, Sun Moon Bay (Riyuewan) is perhaps one of the finest. The site of a number of local and international surfing championships, the most prominent of which is the ASP Longboard World Tour, Riyuewan sees excellent waves – forceful enough for intermediate and advanced surfers to get their thrill, but forgiving enough for beginners to get acquainted with the sport. The best waves in Riyuewan come from November through May.
Some 22 miles (35 kilometers) from downtown Sanya, Yanoda Rainforest is a newly-built park. Consisting of a network of wooden boardwalks and elevated paths crisscrossing 47 square miles (123 square kilometers) of unspoiled forest, Yanoda is an easy day trip from Sanya.
Mandarin Oriental Sanya
The Mandarin Oriental Sanya is just steps away from the clear warm waters surrounding Hainan island. The exclusive resort is set over 12 hectares of carefully landscaped tropical gardens on the island’s southern tip. The five-star property has a luxury spa with signature Chinese-medicine inspired treatments, outdoor tennis courts, a 24-hour gym with complimentary fitness classes in a private studio, as well as three outdoor swimming pools, a sauna and steam room. There are a host of dining options including a beachfront fresh seafood restaurant, an authentic Cantonese restaurant, a teahouse and a poolside bar. Rooms and suites offer pool or ocean views, large balconies, classic furnishings, modern conveniences and Mandarin Oriental added extras. The Mandarin Oriental Sanya is located just 30 minutes from Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
The Banyan Tree Sanya rests on a 2624-foot stretch of private beach, with white sands and warm turquoise waters. Hotel facilities range from a spa, a state-of-the-art fitness center, a sauna and a steam room to a multiple swimming pools, outdoor tennis courts, complimentary bicycle hire, free Wi-Fi and a handful of onsite restaurants and bars. The well-appointed guest villas have large living and sleeping quarters, en-suite bathrooms with freestanding bathtubs, external terraces, air-conditioning and flat screen TVs. Hotel dining options include Chinese, Thai and international cuisine, there is also a poolside bar and a tearoom serving afternoon tea and delicate cakes and savories. The Banyan tree Sanya is just 30 minutes away from Sanya Phoenix International Airport.
The five-star Ritz Carlton Sanya is located on its own secluded beach on Yalong Bay, surrounded by tropical forests and overlooking the South China Sea. There are 450 rooms in total, of which 334 measure over 646 square feet, there are also exclusive club level rooms and over 40 private suites and villas with individual plunge pools. The hotel boasts a fitness center, several swimming pools, a spa and various business and event venue rooms. Guests will be spoilt for choice with the varied range of onsite restaurants options serving Italian, Cantonese and international fare as well as a handful of bars and lounges. The Ritz Carlton, Sanya is located just 40 minutes from Sanya Phoenix International Airport.