Sanya

Sanya is such a beautiful place to visit, it is known as the 'Hawaii of China' - beautiful sandy beaches, blue waters, plenty of coconut trees. If you squinted you would almost think you were in Hawaii except for all the Chinese people sunbathing, which was a slight surprise to me as most Chinese believe pale is beautiful... I was fortunate to take a break here for a week in a rented apartment with my other half and here are my highlights.

Deep sea diving - Sanya is known for being the best place in China for diving

Di E Shi Chang market - in true Chinese tradition the shopping experience here is rowdy and crowded but full of fresh, local produce

For amazing views take in the sunrise or sunset at The Love Hill at Luhuitou Park

Nanshan Minor and Major Caves are an alternative view of Sanya with archeological significance

Visit Sanya Nanshan Buddhism Cultural Tourism Zone, one of the largest cultural tourist attractions of its kind in China, including the three-sided statue of Guan Yin Buddha and beautiful Buddhist Temples

Have some fun with the Macaque monkeys at Nanwan Monkey Island on the south of Lingshui County

Get close to nature in the Yanuo Tropical Rainforest resort

Learn about the most amazing coral reef ecosystem at Sanya Coral Reef National Nature Reserve

Situated on the southernmost tip of Hainan Province, Sanya is China's only seaside tropical tourist destination complete with tropical monsoon climate and in addition to it being dubbed the 'Hawaii of China', it's also known as China's 'South Gate' due to it being an important port for import and export.

March is a great time to visit as peak season tends to end in February and there is still fantastic weather. Two more little facts to squeeze in... Sanya is the first city of China to consecutively hold, the 53rd, 54th and 55th and upcoming 57th, Miss World Finals and people in Sanya enjoy the highest life-span in China, an average of 80 years.

Yalong Bay
Almost 5 miles of white sand and azure blue sea. Truly beautiful and home to several continue reading...

Fisheries of city centre port
City centre port area with its two huge fisheries is definitely worth a visit. The Beibuwan Fishery continue reading...

Remotest Corner of Earth Resort
If beaches and views are for you then head west of Sanya City to Tianya Haiiao, a visual continue reading...

Traditional hamlets
Experience the traditional hamlets of Sanya Li and Miao Village where you can witness continue reading...

Wuzhizhou Island
Wuzhizhou Island in Haitang Bay has so many natural attractions to visit including the continue reading...

Head away from the hustle and bustle of the town and head to Dadonghai Beach - it still attracts the crowds during peak times, but it's a heavenly stretch of soft white sand, green trees and clear blue sea which will take you to a place of tranquility in no time.

Another haven is Nantian Hotspring, 67 health-giving bubble pools set among the natural bedrock. The pools here are different sizes and have different functions and you're guaranteed to feel rejuvenated after a visit.

As well as it's multitude of beaches, Sanya boasts some impressive shopping districts and being surrounded by water on three sides, it's no surprise that sea products are in abundance - souvenir shells, pearl and crystal and of course fresh seafood.

Jiefang Road and Hongqi Street are the main shopping districts and you'll find all major brands here, but for something more local visit The First Market, which is the biggest free market of agricultural products in Sanya City. You'll be able to browse fresh local produce including seafood and local fruits, such as durian, mangosteen, wampee, litchi, jackfruit and rose apple - and all at a delicious price too!

Sanya Bay - Serviced apartments are aplenty in Sanya and they give you the freedom to eat locally or cook yourself with fresh ingredients from the local markets and shops. Sanya Bay is a great place to stay, close to the city, yet still with the amazing beach views.

Mandarin Oriental Sanya - If you're looking for the ultimate in luxury then look no further than Mandarin Oriental Sanya - this paradise retreat with its own private bay makes for a very special stay.

Haitang Bay Gloria Sanya - If impeccable service is your thing then you won't be disappointed with the Haitang Bay Gloria Sanya, another 5-star find, this has super amenities, including a spa and several pools and if you book at the right time you really can get a good deal.

Yalong Bay

Almost 5 miles of white sand and azure blue sea. Truly beautiful and home to several well-preserved coral reefs with an array of stunning tropical fish in all colors and shapes. The ocean here really is crystal clear, allowing visitors to view 10 metres into the sea.

Fisheries of city centre port

City centre port area with its two huge fisheries is definitely worth a visit. The Beibuwan Fishery and the South China Sea Fishery showcase the incredible freshness and variety of the seafood. If you do explore the fisheries, don't wear your best shoes - and you might want to hold your nose!

The Remotest Corner of the Earth Resort

If beaches and views are for you then head west of Sanya City to Tianya Haiiao, a visual spectacular of white sand, turquoise sea, deep blue sky and rich green hills. Ancient rocks peer over the beach complete with Chinese inscriptions. A very special place.

Traditional hamlets

Experience the traditional hamlets of Sanya Li and Miao Village where you can witness the incredible "Fire and Knife" performance and even take part in the inhabitant's traditional wedding ceremony.

Wuzhizhou Island

Wuzhizhou Island in Haitang Bay has so many natural attractions to visit including the Lover's Bridge, Sunrise Rock, the Gold Turtle Stretching toward the Sea, Lover's Island and the Life Well. Locally caught lobsters, prawns, crabs, conch, sea cucumbers and jellyfish can all be enjoyed in the island's restaurants too. A must visit!