A South China Island Adventure
This famous beach resort destination is the summer haven your family has been seeking. Sanya is easy to navigate and has a wide choice of beach resorts. Of the two main beaches, Yalong Bay generally has fewer tourists and a more peaceful setting. If the relaxing beach life becomes too monotonous, families can take advantage of the snorkeling and hiking trips available. Day trips to and from Sanya can also help add a little spice to the experience. Most notable are Nanwan Monkey Island, the extensive Jianfengling Nature Reserve (which shows off the jungle that once covered Hainan) and the Nantian Hot Spring Resort – a veritable oasis of relaxing hot springs and gardens.
The Travelers: British couple Nick and Sally Mulvenney, and their son Max (3).
Where to Stay: An ocean-view room at the Marriott in Yalong Bay. The landscaped gardens and hammocks on the hotel beach provided never-ending fun for Max.
Monkey Around: Nanwan Monkey Island is the only tropical island reserve for macaque monkeys. Access to the island is via a 2,138-meter ropeway – the longest in the world.
Downtown: Sally found some great snacks and sand toys at a local supermarket for a fraction of their resort’s prices. The Yalong Bay Central Plaza will delight parents and little ones alike with its Shell Museum. The nearby Butterfly Valley will also have the kids entranced.
What to Eat: Hainan chicken rice was a hit with Max. Sally and Nick enjoyed the giant prawns, hot off the barbecue. Don’t miss having the fresh coconut on the beach!