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Sanya, China

Thursday, December 18, 2008
Sanya, on the southernmost tip of Hainan Province in China, is on the same latitude as Hawaii. In ancient times it was seen as the border between heaven and the edge of the sea. It has well-maintained stretches of white sand, palm trees, lots of sunshine and a wonderfully blue sea. It has many excellent harbours and a tropical monsoon climate. Sanya, also known as the South Gate of China, is an important port for trade with other countries.

Ironically, it is where Chinese emperors sent criminals as a form of punishment, similar to England sending her convicts to Australia.

For most people, Sanya is known for its sea, city, river and mountains, hot summers and favourably warm conditions in other seasons. It is relaxing, has a lot of water activities and the air is fresh. There are around 20 ethnic groups including Han, Li, Miao and Hui living there, so there is varied culture to appreciate.

Seafood and tropical fruits are on offer year round, and shopping can be rewarding. Two huge fisheries supply standard catches such as mussels, lobster and crab, and there are local dishes of abalone, sea cucumber and other more exotic dishes on offer. Being surrounded by the sea on three sides, shell and coral-based gifts and jewellery are plentiful.

Until around 20 years ago, Sanya's economy relied entirely on fishing, and while it is still a major industry, international tourism plays a most important role. The best-known hotel chains in the world are there, and one of the newest is the Hilton Sanya Resort.

Lying in Yalong Bay on a sandy crescent, offset with the sparkling sea and lush tropical forests, the Hilton Sanya Resort is surrounded by coral reefs, mountains, lagoons and celebrates the five Chinese elements — fire, water, metal, wood and earth.

Rooms, villas and suites overlook clear waters or the forest, teeming with colourful birdlife. Oriental decor is serene and neutral, and deep tubs in open-plan bathrooms are totally relaxing.

There is a spa retreat, pool complex with lagoon and waterfall, a special area for children to have fun and a fitness zone.

Yalong Bay is used for banana boating, jet skiing, surfing, beach volleyball and kite flying.

Crowne Plaza has 466 rooms and suites and some fantastic restaurants. Cafe Trio is on the poolside terrace, Churrascaria serves Brazilian barbecued meals for dinner, L16 has South-East Asian cuisine, Zen offers Chinese and Cantonese meals, Seafood Hot Pot offers feasts of local seafood, and Havana Pizzeria, Bakery and Deli has wonderful eat in or takeaway delicacies.

Sanya has been the official venue for the Miss World finals since 2003. This year, more than 100 contestants will arrive on November 2 for a month of competition.


On Hainan Island in China's south.


Wendy Wu has six-day packages from $565 per person twin share, land content only. Accommodation at the Crowne Plaza Yalong Bay, breakfast and airport transfers are included. Tours are available until September 30, 2008.

Air China has return flights to Sanya.

Fares from:

  • Sydney $1434
  • Melbourne $1616
  • Brisbane $1724
  • Adelaide $1741

    Valid for travel until March 31, 2009. Conditions apply.

    Prices quoted correct at June 19, 2008.

    For further information

    Wendy Wu Tours
    Level 9, 275
    George Street
    Sydney 2000
    Ph: 1300 727 998
    Fax: (02) 9993 0444

    Sanya Hilton Resort And Spa
    Yalong Bay National Resort District
    China 572000
    Ph: +86 898 8858 8888
    Fax: +86 898 8858 8588

    Crowne Plaza
    Yalong Bay National Resort Bay District
    Sanya, Hainan
    Ph: +86 898 8855 5888
    Fax: +86 898 8855 5999

    Air China
    21/123 Pitt Street
    Sydney 2000
    Ph: (02) 9232 7277
    Fax: (02) 9232 7645

    It is recommended travellers to China see their doctor at least six weeks before departure as there are specific vaccinations recommended. Other health precautions and preventions may also be recommended and are best discussed with your doctor. For further information visit

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