© e1quarnst

Sanya is located in the south of the little known island of Hainan, a large tropical island off the southern coast of China. The city itself, although attractive, serves mainly as a starting point for those travelling on to the beaches.



Sights and Activities

  • Yalong Bay is a pretty 7-kilometre-long strip of sand, located to the east of Sanya.
  • Tianya Haijao is full of tourists, so be prepared for crowds! If you wish to escape the crowds you can catch a boat to a small island nearby to do a bit of snorkelling.
  • Dadonghai is very easy to reach, at about 3 kilometres southeast of Sanya but the beach is much smaller and tends to be a bit more crowded.



Events and Festivals

China has three "Golden Week" holidays per year. People get a mandatory two or three days off work for each holiday, and workers' companies can grant them the rest of the week off, making each holiday a total of 7 days. As you can imagine, having almost 1.4 billion people with the same days off can make travelling at these times arduous to say the least.

Travelling during the Spring Festival/Chinese New Year is incredibly difficult. Chinese New Year is China's Christmas, so the millions of migrant workers and students flood back to their home towns. Everybody else takes the opportunity to spend their hong bao (gifts of money traditionally given at CNY) and go travelling. Most of the time, since you are only allowed to purchase train tickets 6 days in advance and must be present in the city of origin, sometimes only standing room tickets are available. Be aware! The Spring Festival is undoubtedly the busiest time for the Chinese transportation system. Flying will avoid the crowded trains, but book early and expect to pay higher prices. All the main tourist attractions will be crawling with tourists (worse than usual), so unless you like crowds, it's best to avoid it altogether.

Chinese New Year is based on the lunar calendar, so the date changes each year. The Chinese New Year/Spring Festival holiday is 7 days long and usually starts on New Year's Eve.

The two other national holidays are October 1st, National Day, celebrating the founding of the People's Republic of China and May 1st, which is International Labor Day. Almost all Chinese get the two holidays off and many take the opportunity to travel. If you want to avoid the crowds, fly, but it should get a lot less busy towards the end of the week.




The island has a tropical climate, and remains warm even when much of China up north is feezing! Average temperates are around 25 °C, and in the summer the weather becomes very hot and humid. Although a little more rainy during the winter months (December - February), it is possible to enjoy the ocean pretty much every day of the year. The summers (June - September) can get very hot and humid so make sure to spend plenty of time in the water in order to cool off when temperatures frequently hit 30 °C or more.

Avg Max26.1 °C26.8 °C28.6 °C30.7 °C32 °C31.9 °C31.7 °C31.4 °C31.2 °C30.2 °C28.5 °C26.6 °C
Avg Min18.5 °C19.6 °C21.9 °C24.2 °C25.6 °C26.1 °C25.9 °C25.5 °C24.7 °C23.4 °C21.3 °C19 °C
Rainfall8 mm12.8 mm19.2 mm43.3 mm142.3 mm197.5 mm192.6 mm221.5 mm251.4 mm234.5 mm58.3 mm10.7 mm
Rain Days3.




There are lots of restaurants in Sanya, although local delicacies are difficult to find.





You can use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)




Keep Connected


Wangba (联网) means internet bar in Chinese. Almost every town will have an internet bar or gaming center. The best way to spot an internet bar is to look for the 网(ba) character, which means net, and large digitized images of computer game characters. Often, there will be a sign saying Green Power in English at the entrance. Most gaming centers cost about RMB3 an hour. You prepay at the main desk and are then given a plastic card or a piece of paper. Once you are done you return the card or piece of paper and get reimbursed for the money you didn't spend. Be prepared for a place that might be dingy, basic and messy. Internet bars in China tend to get crowded starting in the late afternoon to the late evenings.

Some hotels provide access from the rooms that may or may not be free; others may provide a wireless service or a few desktops in the lounge area.
Also, quite a few cafes provide free wireless Internet service. Some cafes, even provide a machine for customer use.


See also: International Telephone Calls

The country calling code to China is 86. To make an international call from China, the code is 00.

When making international phone calls it is best to buy an IP card. They typically have a value of ¥100 but sometimes can be had for as little as ¥25. The cards have printed Chinese instructions, but after dialing the number listed on the card English-spoken instructions are available. As a general indication of price, a call from China to Europe lasts around 22 minutes with a ¥100 card. Calls to the U.S. and Canada are advertised to be another 20% cheaper. There is no warning before the card runs out of minutes.

If you already have a GSM 900/1800 cellphone, you can roam onto Chinese networks, but calls will be very expensive (¥12-35/minute is typical). If you're staying for more than a few days, it will usually be cheaper to buy a prepaid Chinese SIM card; this gives you a Chinese phone number with a certain amount of money preloaded. Chinese tend to avoid phone numbers with the bad-luck digit '4', and vendors will often be happy to offload these "unsellable" SIM-cards to foreigners at a discount. If you need a phone as well, prices start around ¥100/200 used/new. Chinese phones, unlike those sold in many Western countries, are never "locked" and will work with any SIM card you put in them. China's two big operators are China Mobile and China Unicom. Most SIMs sold by the two work nationwide, with Unicom allowing Hong Kong/Macau/Taiwan usage as well. There is usually a surcharge of about ¥1/min when roaming outside the province you bought the SIM, and there are some cards that work only in a single province, so check when buying.


China Post (中国邮政) is the official postal service of the People's Republic of China, operated by the State Postal Bureau of the People's Republic of China (website in Chinese only), and has more details about price to send letters, postcards and parcels, both domestically as well as internationally. The Chinese postal service is very good. Remember that in more remote places usually only one post office in a city can handle sending international boxes or letters. Also many times it might be worth having the name of the country you are trying to send to in Chinese characters, because small town people might not know what Estonia is in English. Post offices have a striking green logo and can easily be found everywhere in the cities. They are mostly open every day (including weekends!) from 8:00am to 6:00pm, though small offices might have shorter opening times, while the bigger ones in central and touristic areas are sometimes open during evenings as well.


Quick Facts


  • Latitude: 18.2526246
  • Longitude: 109.5119226

Accommodation in Sanya

We have a comprehensive list of accommodation in Sanya searchable right here on Travellerspoint.


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Sanya Travel Helpers

  • Sanya_guide

    Sanya is China’s most southern based city and offers year round leisure for both locals and tourists. Located at the southerntip of Hainan Province; Sanya is the most famous city in all of Hainan and boasts 209km of coastline with 19 bays, some of the most famous being: Ya Long Bay, San Ya Bay, Da Dong Hai Bay, Moon Bay… Sanya owns 40 islands; however Sanya has the most pleasant climate, the clearest air, the clearest waters and the sweetest fruit. It has been known as the “Hawaii of the East”, come here and see for yourself; you’ll understand why!

    Sanya ranked second globally by UNEO and ranked first in China as the most environmentally friendly city. Also known as“nature’s oxygen tank”, Sanya is a spoiled land on earth and is also famous for its long-life expectancy.

    Sanya is China’s only tropical city and has unforgettable charm. This rich, tropical paradise has a unique ethnic culture, a mild climate and has lush tropical scenery. These wonderful natural features are just some of the precious gifts that Sanya has to offer. In this beautiful and peaceful resort, you can dive into the clear blue ocean and play in the waves, swim amongst the coral reefs and the vibrantly coloured fish.
    In Sanya’s bays, you will find yourself amongst leisurely crowds, and become one with the ocean. These scenic spots, primeval islets and cultural attractions make Sanya a fascinating place for you to relax and explore in. Sanya is known as one of China’s top tourist cities, China’s most glamorous city, and China’s eco-city. Sanya is without a doubt the most open and friendly tourist destination that China has to offer. In recent years due to an increasing flow of tourism, Sanya City now has over one hundred luxury hotels, with an annual reception capacity over 10 million people. Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott, Ritz-Carlton and Yue Yong Zhuang are just some of the names of Intercontinental hotel chains that have settled in Sanya’s tourist resort area.

    Ask Sanya_guide a question about Sanya

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