The Best Beaches and Resorts in China

Having passed under the radar of international tourists for decades, Hainan – an island province in the South China Sea – is finally gaining recognition for its pristine palm-fringed beaches and modern, attraction-rich holiday resorts.

Nicknamed ‘China’s Hawaii’, Hainan is not only a destination popular with Chinese holidaymakers but is also becoming a hotspot for independent travellers from around the world who relish the opportunity to combine a tour of China’s unforgettable cities and historic and cultural highlights with a relaxing beach holiday.

The best beaches and resorts in China, Hainan, are comparable to the best on offer elsewhere in Asia and, benefitting from a climate that varies from warm to hot throughout the year, this engaging province in southernmost China is fast becoming the darling of travel and tour operators.

As an introduction to this compelling destination, here respected China destination management company Orientis DMC offers a brief guide to the best beaches and resorts in China’s Hainan Province.

Sanya

Sanya, Hainan Island’s southernmost city and the area which surrounds it, is effectively a purpose-built holiday destination. Whilst the city boasts its fair share of eye-catching and historic temples, most visitors are drawn by the sheer wealth and diversity of recreational activities and entertainments on offer. Along some forty-kilometres of clean and pollution free coast holidaymakers can enjoy premium quality golfing facilities, surfing, biking, numerous water and beach sports and a host of cultural attractions. Sanya additionally boasts excellent shopping and bars and restaurants to suit every taste and budget.

Sanya’s Beaches

Sanya’s coastline is divided into five distinct beach areas. Sanya Bay is the closest both to the city and the airport. Stretching more than twenty kilometres, the area of this wide and golden-sanded beach closest to the city can become very crowded, but heading west it becomes quieter and remains unspoilt.
Dadonghai Beach, two kilometres from the city, offers the perfect blend of relaxation and activities. As Sanya’s first commercially developed beach, Dadonghai benefits from abundant accommodation, shops, bars and restaurants.
Yalong Bay, a twenty-minute ride from the city, is Sanya’s most popular dedicated tourist beach. Pristine white sands and warm clear waters – ideal for diving and snorkelling – invite relaxation on an uncrowded crescent-shaped bay backed by a selection of world-class resorts and hotels.
Sanya’s newest and fastest-developing resort is Haitang Bay, half an hour’s journey from the city. Here, the some of the world’s most famous resort and hotel chains are constructing luxury accommodation to create an exclusive and desirable destination for both national and international holidaymakers. As yet, this beautiful nineteen-kilometre beach remains quiet and unspoilt, making it the perfect spot for a thoroughly relaxing and sun-kissed escape.

Further afield, the Luhuitou Peninsula is an area occupied by traditional Chinese fishing villages and has been an exclusive destination for high-ranking Chinese officials and dignitaries since the 1950s.
In the last five years the peninsula has begun the process of evolution into a tourist resort and whilst it still retains a traditional feel, the area has gained much new holiday accommodation ranging from serviced apartments to luxury villas. Unlike other areas of Sanya the Luhuitou Peninsula offers several small beaches – some of them rocky – rather than a long, single stretch of sand.

Haikou

Haikou, Hainan’s capital city and commercial and financial hub, is situated on the northern coast of Hainan Island. Like its southern counterpart Sanya, Haikou is fast gaining a reputation as a holiday resort thanks to its tropical climate, cosmopolitan atmosphere, wealth of visitor attractions, vibrant nightlife and excellent dining and shopping options. Offering something for everyone, Haikou also boasts a selection of enticing beaches.

Haikou’s Beaches

The ten-kilometre long, palm-fringed Holiday Beach to the west of the city offers everything that a holidaymaker could wish for. Lapped by waters that are perfect for swimming in or speeding across on a jet-ski, Holiday Beach’s clean golden sands lend themselves to beach volleyball and other sports or simply relaxing and soaking up the sun. Although popular, the beach offers room enough for everyone and there are food outlets and bars within easy reach.
Budding sailors and windsurfers will find plenty to enjoy on the quieter Xixiu Beach where members of the Hainan Windsurfing and Sailing Association practice their sport and also hire out equipment to visitors.
Recently landscaped, the small Baishamen Beach occupies a one-kilometre stretch of Hainan’s northernmost coast. Picturesque and generally uncrowded, Baishamen Beach is a good option for those who require nothing more than warm, clean golden sands upon which to lie back and relax.
A twenty-minute ride east of Haikou, the gently curving Guilinyang Beach offers fresh air, shallow, clear waters and scenic surroundings. Quieter than Holiday Beach, a seven kilometre strip of white sand links two picturesque bays. A number of new visitor attractions and resorts are under development in the vicinity of Guilinyang Beach which should see its popularity as a holiday destination increase further in the next few years.

Wanning

The thoroughly multicultural city of Wanning in the southeast of Hainan benefits from a coastline stretching 109 kilometres. A hospitable tropical monsoon climate and perfect sea conditions have earned Wanning’s status as one of China’s best surfing resorts. Wanning offers visitors a multitude of cultural activities along with all of the attractions of a modern city including several prestigious and luxurious hotels.

Wanning’s Beaches

Wanning offers two popular beaches. Shimei Bay is a relatively new and undeveloped beach resort offering plenty of space to enjoy some quality beach time in relaxed and tranquil surroundings. Shimei’s sands are beautifully clean and the beach offers plenty to do besides sunbathing, including water sports, cycling, windsurfing and, of course, surfing. In 2013, Shimei Bay gained a stunning new marina which will provide several new attractions and facilities for visitors.
Sun and Moon Bay is *the* unmissable beach destination for surfers and the location of the annual Surfing Hainan Open: China’s biggest surfing competition and festival. Whilst the perfect place to learn surfing, Sun and Moon Bay’s wonderful 45 kilometre-long beach is equally ideal for participating in other sports both land and sea based or simply relaxing in the ambience of a typical tropical island.