Haikou, in Hainan, China, has a uniquely pleasant vibe. As an island resort, it has many attractions, but this coconut palm lined city on the South China Sea also has a long and varied history dating back to 110 BC. This city’s laid-back atmosphere and tropical climate make for a comfortably exotic beach vacation, but the keen traveller will also find many things of interest to keep them occupied. If you’re an early riser, wander through Haikou Parkat dawn and watch the martial arts training as you discover ancient Asian statues and artefacts from times long past.
For a fun day of beach activities, Xixiu Seaside Park offers facilities for swimming, sailing, beach volleyball and other activities, along with a barbecue ground, a theatre and ‘Beer Heaven’. The Hainan Tropical Zoo and Botanical Garden have an enchanting array of flora and fauna on display, but if you’d like to shop, take a stroll through the Old Quarter of Haikou for a range of stores and markets, and stay till evening when the nightlife heats up. For a truly unique holiday, the beauty and cultural heritage of Haikou will entice and delight even the most experienced traveller.
When To Go
- Haikou enjoys a tropical marine climate, and is subject to a rainy season during the warmer months between May and October. The rest of the year is relatively dry, though the most amenable time of year to visit is between the months of November and April.
- Temperatures in Haikou range from around 33°C (91°F) to a low of 27°C (81°F) in summer, and turns cooler after the autumn wet season with temperatures ranging from 21°C (70°F) to 15°C (59°F) at the end of the year.
- Haikou has beach carnivals, festivals and other celebrations during the year, including a marathon cycling race in October and an annual Iron Man competition in the middle of the year.
- The Haikou Meilan International Airport lies 25 kilometres (16 miles) southeast of the city centre, and is accessible by taxi, shuttle or bus. The airport is serviced by both domestic and international carriers departing from a range of destinations in China. A rail line runs between the airport and Sanya, linking many regions of the city by several connecting bus services.
- Renting a car in Haikou is possible, though a Chinese driver’s licence and substantial deposit are required. Many buses and taxis are available in town to take you where you need to go. For an authentic experience, hire a bicycle and join the crowds of locals on their way to and fro.
- The mainland is accessible via a ferry, which links Haikou with many destinations throughout China via road and rail. The ferry is able to carry cars and railway carriages.
Hainan province is without peer in the vast and diverse People's Republic of China. The “South of the Sea” archipelago and most diminutive province in the PRC contains more than 200 islands, of which only a small percentage have significant populations. In fact, the main island of Hainan, as the most paramount and prominent in the archipelago, has become virtually synonymous with the province itself. As a Special Economic Zone and new tourism dynamo, Hainan has become a popular destination over the years.
With over 800,000 people, Haikou is the premier city and capital of the province. Home to a shiny new skyline and a tropical monsoon climate, the lively metropolis draws a healthy share of business and leisure travelers alike. Worthwhile points of interest in and around the city include Five Officials Temple, the colonial Xiuying Fort Barbette, Guantang Hot Spring Resort, Nanwan Monkey Island and Yalong Bay National Resort.
- Five Officials Temple
- Xiuying Fort Barbette
- Hai Rui Tomb
- Nanwan Monkey Island
- Yalong Bay National Resort
- International Coconut Festival
- Qizhi Shan
- Guantang Hot Spring Resort
- Shishan Volcanic Garden
- Qiong Opera
- Lanna Thai
- Dragon Emperor
- Heaven and Earth
- TT Bar
- Grand Shanghai Club
- China Town Club
Haikou and the island of Hainan has a monsoon tropical season, with heavy rainfall between May and October.
- Winter (December to February) 15-21°C
- Spring (March to May) 19-31°C
- Summer (June to September) 25-32°C
- Fall (October to November) 20-27°C
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