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Hainan Province Travel Map

Provincial capital: Haikou

Population: 9 millions

Geological location: Hainan Province lies at the southernmost tip of China, facing Guangdong in the north across the Qiongzhou Strait; Vietnam in the west across the Beibu Gulf (Gulf of Tonkin), and Taiwan Province in the east across the South China Sea. To the south and southeast it is bounded in the South China Sea by the Philippines, Brunei and Malaysia. Encompassing Hainan Island, Xisha Archipelago, Zhongsha Archipelago and Nansha Archipelago as well as their dependent waters, Hainan covers a land area of 35,000 sq km and a sea area of approximately 2 million sq km. Hainan Island is China's second largest island after Taiwan, with an area of 33,900 sq km (not including its satellite islets). Zengmu Shoal of Nansha Archipelago is the southernmost part of Chinese territory.

Map of Hainan Province Sanya City Monkey Island Tianya Haijiao Beach Asian Dragon Bay

Climate: Hainan is an ideal place for all year swimming and bathing. The island also provides winter refuge from the cold, and is a great summer resort. Between September and April are the most popular seasons to visit and in the coolest months of December and January it is very pleasant too, when the air is fresh and temperatures less extreme than in the summer months.

The best time to visit Haikou is between October and May. Rainy season here falls between September and April and typhoons descend on the island between June and September. On average during this time the island is hit by a typhoon every 10 days.

The eastern coast of Hainan has a long summer and it is humid all year round. The best time to visit here is between November and March.

The western coast of the island is generally hot and dry. Heavy rains affect these parts between September and October and it can be a little colder here than elsewhere on the island in the winter months due to the cool breeze coming from the sea.

In winter, Sanya is the best destination in terms of climate. Even in the coldest month of January, the temperature here stays above 20 degrees. The seawater, with a temperature of no less than 20 degrees all year round, is ideal for swimming.

The central highlands are situated about 500 to 600 meters above sea level. Temperatures here are pleasant all year round and not extreme. Even in July the climate here averages about 25 degrees centigrade.

Tourism resources: As Hainan Island is not heavily industrialised, its greenery, together with its beautiful beaches and clean air, make it a popular tourist attraction. The island is accessible through ferry links with Guangdong province, as well as air links. There are two airports, Meilan Airport in Haikou, and Phoenix Airport in Sanya.

Hainan Island is often divided into eight regions for tourism purposes: Haikou and area (Haikou, Qiongshan, Ding'an); the Northeast (Wenchang); the Central East Coast (Qionghai, Ding'an); the South East Coast; the South (Sanya); the West Coast (Ledong, Dongfang, Changjiang); the North West (Danzhou, Lingao, Chengmai); and the Central Highlands (Baisha, Qiongzhong, and Wuzhishan/Tongzha).

The best known tourist attractions of Hainan Island are its world class beaches, luxurious hot springs, and beautiful scenery. With white sand beaches, tranquil green waters and areas of lush vegetation, Hainan has much to offer. Some top scenic sites are Yalong bay National Resort; Dadonghai Tourist Resort; Qizhi Shan (Seven Finger Mountain), Guantang Hot Spring Resort, Shishan Volcanic Garden; Wanquan River, Baishi Ridge Scenic Zone and Baihua Ridge. Visitors should be aware that once they get to Hainan, there is a dearth of tourist information in English (or Mandarin), so finding how to get to the top tourist sites is not always easy. Compounding this is the abundance of inferior tourist attractions that are rapidly springing up to take advantage of the new tourism economy.

By air: Traveling by plane is the best way to travel to and from Hainan. Haikou's airport is one of the ten largest in the country and together with Sanya's Phoenix Airport makes Hainan reachable from 39 major Chinese cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Xi'an, Changchun, Harbin, Qingdao, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, and more).

By Train: Please note that trains are rarely used for passenger travel on Hainan Island. Any trains that are used are industrial or commercial in nature.

By Bus: Transportation in Hainan relies heavily on buses, with Hainan's highways and roads totaling as much as 14,000 kilometers. There are also major highways and roads that follow the eastern and western coastlines. The eastern highway is especially convenient and has greatly decreased travel times between Haikou and Sanya. Generally speaking, tourists tend to be driven along the eastern part of the island from Haikou to Sanya. Between the two, there are four destinations worthy of paying a visit : Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning and Lingshui. The total time to run nonstop through all these places is between six and seven hours and costs RMB120 per person.

By Boat: Hainan is an island province and transportation by sea is vital. Many of Hainan's bays can be reached by boat and Haikou and Sanya are Hainan's major ports. Passenger boats out of these ports are the highest quality and most efficient. Nevertheless, traveling by boat to and from Hainan is quite slow with ferries to Hong Kong and Guangzhou taking 25 hours and leaving only twice per week.