Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Committee


Hainan is the sole tropical island in China, and is known around the world as “the world’s most beautiful island”. It has other names, such as Coconut Island, Sunshine Island, Longevity Island, Health Island, and many more. It is one of only a few resort destinations perfect for for summer holidays, winter swimming and vacationing as well. Now Hainan is making great strides towards the grand goal of building an international tourist island. As Enríquez Savignac, the former Secretary-General of the United Nations World Tourism Organization once said: “Hainan is a masterpiece of the Creator, a brilliant pearl for all mankind”.


Hainan Island lies at the southern tip of China. It is located far from the interior of mainland China, and so was called “the Edge of the Earth” in ancient times. However the island in fact has an advantageous geographical location. It is situated right at the center of the Asia-Pacific Economic Ring, lies just across the Qiongzhou Strait from Guangdong Province to the North and across the Gulf of Tonkin from Vietnam to the West. The island is close to Hong Kong in the East and Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines in the South. All the above countries and territories can be reached in a one to four hour flight from Hainan.


Hainan Island is the second largest island in China, covering 35,100 square kilometers of land and governing an ocean territory of over 2.1 million square kilometers. Eight cities come under the jurisdiction of Hainan Province: Haikou, Sanya, Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan, Danzhouand Dongfang. Hainan has four counties: Anding, Tunchang, Chengmai and Lingao; and six autonomous counties: Lingshui, Qiongzhong, Baoting, Ledong, Baisha and Changjiang. There are county-level representative offices in the Xisha (Paracel) Islands, Nansha (Spratly) Islands and Zhongsha (Macclesfield Bank) Islands. The province has a population of 8.5 million, including 1.3 million people of ethnic minorities, such as the Li people, Miao people and Hui Muslims. Haikou is the capital city of Hainan Province.

The island lies in a region at 18°9′-20°11′ N and 108°36′-111°03′ E, between the tropical and sub-tropical areas. The island has a pleasant climate, bright sunshine, fresh air, green coconut groves, beautiful bays, natural ocean swimming spots, fine beaches, soft breezes and tasty seafood. In addition, on the island there are fresh pure hot springs, golf courses that operate all year around, many varieties of tropical plants and animals, quality fruit available throughout the year, and local specialty cuisine such as Hele crab or Tengqiao pork ribs. Minority festivals are celebrated throughout the island and there is a legacy of legendary folklore. The beautiful scenery of the island has inspired countless poems and songs.

In 1988, Hainan Province was established as a Special Economic Zone. Under new aviation policies, Hainan has become China’s most liberal special aerial zone. Under free skies, the aviation industry in Hainan has seen an even faster growth in international airlines, from 5 to 61. The number of domestic airlines has increased from 5 to 38. Driven by the aviation industry, tourism in Hainan has developed, and basic infrastructure and reception facilities have been greatly improved on the island. The province has more than 380 hotels, guest houses and resort villages with more than 30 thousand rooms and 60 thousand beds. There are 288 star-rated hotels, including 20 five-star hotels, 53 four-star hotels and 109 three- star hotels in Hainan. There are more than 140 travel agencies, including 40 international travel service providers. In total there are 80-plus tourist attractions, and 22 of these have received the highest ranking from the Chinese National Tourism Administration. Hainan has over 60 beaches suitable for swimming. In addition, scuba diving is popular along the coast. A total of 30 golf courses and clubshave been built. Modern transportation and communication facilities are available, including Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Phoenix International Airport, the expressway around the island, the Round Hainan High Speed Rail, and Guangdong-Haikou Railway. First-class lodging and accommodation facilities, transportation, sightseeing, shopping and entertainment are also available.

On December 31, 2009, the paper “Suggestions concerning the promotion of construction and development of Hainan as an International Tourism Island by the State Council” was formally released, symbolizing that the construction of Hainan has risen to a national strategy. The most important historical opportunity for development has arrived since the province founding and SEZ establishment in 1988. Hainan will be constructed into an island with a rich ecological environment, unique and fascinating culture and social harmony, an island which is open, environmental friendly, civilized and harmonious. At present, the focus is on developing a leisurely vacation spot with the target of building the island into a tropical beach holiday resort in an eco-friendly environment with densely planted palm trees and fresh flowers. This target will soon be realized, bringing a new, healthier look to the island.

Hainan Island is the right place for realizing the dream of “returning to nature”. In recent years, the island has provided many new travel packages, all of which aim to offer people an opportunity to “return to nature”. Through an integration of tourism resources across the province, the following eight major tour types are available: Tropical Beach Vacations, Folk Customs of Li and Miao People, Hot Spring and Health Tours, Tropical Plant and Animal Observation Tours, Scuba Diving & SightseeingTours, Geological Tours, Sports and Fitness Tours and Tropical River Rafting Tours, all of which will take tourists back to nature. The Ecological Country Tour has become a a popular option, thanks to its unique charm.

Dear Travellers, come to Hainan in order to return to nature. You may go to the beach or the mountains, or visit ancient relics or simply take a business trip to seek an opportunity for your enterprise. We are sure that your trip will become a cherished life-long memory!

Best Travel Season: All year round


Destination ClimateHainan has a tropical monsoon climate. The average annual temperature is 22-26°C (71-79°F). Hainan is coldest in January and February when the temperature averages around 16-21°C (61-70°F). Because of the 1,750-2,650 hours of sunshine the island receives every year, Hainan can reap three harvests of rice and is an ideal place for growing out-of-season vegetables and breeding delicate crops such as flowers.

The annual precipitation in Hainan is 1,639 mm on average and the rainy season runs from May to October, contributing to 70-90% of the total rainfall. The three largest rivers, namely, the Nandu, Changhua and Wanquan Rivers, have a total water surface over 3,000 square kilometers and their valleys cover more than 10,000 square kilometers. The water surface of Hainan’s reservoirs covers an area of 56,000 hectares. Reservoirs such as Songtao, Daguangba, Niululing, Wanning, Changmao and Shilu are among the largest.

Transportation Information 

Airlines: Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Phoenix International Airport have flights to and from 39 cities in China and abroad. These include Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Shenyang, Taiyuan, Xi’an, Changchun, Harbin, Dalian, Jinan, Qingdao, Yantai, Nanjing, Hefei, Ningbo, Fuzhou, Xiamen, Wenzhou, Chengdu, Chongqing, Kunming, Guiyang, Guilin, Zhengzhou, Wuhan, Changsha, Shenzhen, Shantou, Zhanjiang, Beihai, Changzhou, Lanzhou, Hong Kong, Singapore, Bangkok and Kuala Lumpur. In addition, there are special mini-airliners that carry passengers to and from different destinations throughout the island.


Trains: The Guangdong-Hainan railway, which opened on July 1st, 2003, ended the history of Hainan being unconnected with the outside world by trains. Trains from Beijing to Hainan are also available.


Every day, there are regular departures from Beijing (T201/204, departure time 18:10, travel time: 35 hours), Shanghai (K511, departure time 09:50, travel time: 36.5 hours), and Guangzhou (K407, departure time 21:25, travel time: 15.25 hours) to Sanya. Although this isn’t the fastest way to travel, it’s a greener mode of transport than driving or flying. Furthermore, you will get the opportunity to enjoy the amazing views en route. For travelers with ample time who want to see more scenery on the way, the train is a good choice. One bonus of train travel is experiencing the cross-strait train ferry from Xuwen, Guangdong Province to Haikou, Hainan Island.

The East Ring High Speed Railway runs from the Haikou Railway Station (海口站) to Sanya Railway Station, and the West Ring High Speed Railway is under construction. Within the next year, the high speed railway will form a ring around the whole island, making transportation fast, reliable, and comfortable.

Shipping: Marine Transportation plays an important role in the transportation of Hainan because of the island’s highly developed sea route system. The island province boasts 68 natural bays, of which 24 are used as harbors. Haikou and Sanya are connected to 24 countries and regions in the world by sea routes, so it is convenient for tourists to travel by sea to Hainan from Hong Kong, Macao, Taiwan and abroad.

Roads: Expressways are the main means of transportation within Hainan, and at present the total length of expressways in Hainan is over 17,000 kilometers. Highways link ports, cities and counties throughout the island whilst local roads reach 318 villages and towns and all major tourist sites. Thanks to the round-island expressways, Haikou is just a three-hour drive from Sanya on the Hainan Eastern Expressway. With many rental car companies offering convenience, more and more tourists are opting to take their time road tripping around the island.

So why not come on down to China’s only tropical island province and see for yourself all the fun and all the sun here in Hainan!


Tiejun Chen