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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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.

Yalong Bay

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.

Yanoda Rainforest

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.

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