Pearl-white beaches and swaying palms greet visitors to China's tropical paradise. Whether sipping coconut milk as the clean ocean water laps at your feet or floating through a coral jungle, Sanya is the place to go if the words "beach, sun and fun" comes to mind.
One of the best beaches in Hainan is 28km southeast of Sanya at Yalong Bay. This 7km long crescent shaped beach is one long strip of clean white sand bordered rolling blue waters and luxury hotels. The pristine waters off this beach are amazingly clear with underwater visibility up to 10m. This lends itself to great scuba diving and snorkeling, two of the most popular activities. For those who aren't inclined to get wet, boats with glass bottoms sail the waters off the beach allowing an equally impressive view of life under the sea. Speed demons can go for rides on motorboats or rent jet skis and zip over the waves. For something not involving water, take to the air for a seagull-eye-view of the beach by going parasailing.
When southerners head to China's frozen northeast to catch the snow sculptures and ice lanterns in the winter, the northerners' stream south to Hainan Province for Sanya's sun drenched beaches and luxuriant jungles. On the southern most point of China's southern most province, when the rest of China freezes in frigid winters, Yalong Bay remains balmy and sun worshippers strut down the beach in speedos and bikinis digging their toes into the white sand. It's hard to imagine that this holiday paradise was once considered a place of exile. Disgraced officials were as far away as possible and this steamy island on the edge of imperial China represented the end of the world.