As all over China, tourist sightseeing spots in Hainan are graded by the National Tourism Administration. Just as hotels tend to be graded from one to five stars, tourist sightseeing spots are given between one and five ‘A’s. The grade of a sightseeing spot is determined by, among other things, the significance of the scenic spot, its convenience to visitors, availability of information, cleanliness etc. The grade of the scenic spot can often be found at the entrance (usually near the ticket desk), especially if it is a high-ranking one e.g. 4A or 5A. The grades of scenic spots can be found on our ‘Guide’ page
Hainan’s tourist spots can be broadly divided into four categories:
There are only a few historical sights of national significance in Hainan. Hainan was, after all, always considered as lying on the periphery of the known world. That said, there remain in Hainan some fine relics from each major epoch in Chinese history:
- Song Dynasty (960-1279 A.D.) - the Dongpo Academy in Danzhou in the north-west of Hainan. It was originally built in 1098 during the Northern Song Dynasty in memorial of Su Dongpo, a well-known poet also known as Su Shi. The Dongpo Academy was once the highest seat of learning, and cultivation in Hainan. The academy faces south, with a beautiful traditional door.
- Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 A.D.) -Hairui’s Tomb Hairui’s Tomb. Hairui, a famous official in the Ming dynasty, was born in Qiongshan in Hainan and was famed as a statesman for his honesty and performance of his duty as well as his clean life. The tomb was built in 1589 (although the surrounding park was added in 1982) and it is said that as Hairui's coffin was being carried, suddenly the rope broke, and it was decided that this should be the place of his burial. Hairui’s Tomb is situated in the western outskirts of Haikou, 5 kilometres (3.1 miles) from the civic centre.
- Qing Dynasty (1644-1912) – Fort Xiuying Fort Xiuying, located in Haikou, was constructed in 1891 to repel aggression by the French. It was also used to defend against the Japanese in 1932.
The best-known of the cultural-religious tourist attractions in Hainan is the Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Zone (Grade 5A). Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Zone. Aside from its huge significance to Buddhists who travel here from all corners of China and from different countries, the Zone is also of interest to tourists. You do not have to be a believer to enter the site. There are two impressive statues of Guanyin (otherwise known as Mother Buddha) here: one standing at 108 metres tall (the Statue of Liberty stands at just 93 metres from ground to torch) on a man-made islet which extends into the sea, and the other the largest gold statue in the world at 140 kg. and adorned with precious stones which can be found in one of the pavilions within the complex. The ‘Gold and Jade Buddha’ statue is regarded as an extremely important Buddhist relic as it is believed to contain ashes of the Gautama Buddha, the historical founder of Buddhism.
Наиболее знаменитыми ландшафтными парками являются:
- Fairyland (Daxiao Dongtian Beauty Spot) (Grade 5A) - this sea-side park located at about thirty-minutes drive from Sanya is regarded the centre of Taoist teachings on the island of Hainan. On a romantic note, it is also included in the top ten popular settings for newly-weds to shoot their wedding photos.
- Yanoda Tropical Rainforest Park (Grade 5A) - – this park containing tropical jungle, waterfalls and hidden caves will make a Tarzan out of even the laziest of tourists!
- Boundary Island (Grade 5A) - located between the county of Lingshui and the Wanning municipality on the east of Hainan, the island offers many exciting sports and activities including scuba diving, yachting, sailing, swimming, hiking, volleyball, parasailing, a sightseeing submarine and more. There is a resort located on the island as well, where you can stay in a wooden cabin on the forested hillside, with breathtaking views of the island's coast and crystal clear blue water.
- The End of the Earth Grade (5A) - Tianya Haijiao, also called The Edge of the Sky and The End of the Sea, means the remotest corner of the earth, and is undoubtedly Sanya's most famous attraction. The End of the Earth is famous not only for the spectacular beaches and expansive ocean views, but also for its rich history, and its name brings forth profound poetic allusions. In the past, the phrase suggested an unattainable place. From the Song to Qing Dynasties, officials out-of-favour with the emperor were banished here due to the remoteness of the area from Beijing.
It is not without reason that Hainan is known as an international tourist island: there is a wealth of tourist sights from Grade 5A to small, out-of-the-way places which have yet to be awarded any grade. There are too many to be mentioned here. Should you wish to know more about places of interest in Hainan you can do so by visiting one of our site’s other sections whose links are below:
- Guide: http://www.hainanlife.ru/guide/sights/
- Editor’s Blog: http://www.hainanlife.ru/hainan_today/blog_editors/
- Traveller’s Notes: http://www.hainanlife.ru/hainan_today/notes_of_travelers/
- Photo Album: http://www.hainanlife.ru/about_hainan/photo/
- Video Album: http://www.hainanlife.ru/about_hainan/video/
We wish you happy sightseeing in Hainan. Don’t forget to share your photographs with us on our ‘Photo Album’ section!