Hainan, China

We ended 2015 on the delightful island off the south coast of China called Hainan. Known as the Hawaii of China we enjoyed some nice weather and much needed rest at the end of a VERY eventful year. We stayed in Sanya, a beachy/resort town, and did not plan any activities other than reading (A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones for me), laying around by the pool, and swimming in the ocean. As far as beach resorts that we were used to, the hotel we chose in Sanya was actually in fairly good condition (quite good by China standards I would say), and the location was really nice. I think next year when a bunch of construction is done near the beach it will be even nicer! We also got a chance to get some running in as the air pollution in Hainan was in the green “good” range, before heading back home to Suzhou.

Compared to the actual Hawaiian islands we found Hainan much more affordable (hotel/meals etc.); the food was predominantly Chinese with some Russian and Korean/Japanese/Papa Johns options thrown in, but there seemed to be less touristy type attractions to take part in overall. You definitely still get a Chinese flavor to this tropical island and we were reminded of our current growing city of Suzhou with construction all over the place. For this trip that was fine, and perhaps there are fun activities we were unable to discover in our frantic last minute research before the trip. We definitely got some much needed relaxing and fresh fruit in though!

Taken during one of my runs.

The glorious hotel pool we had all to ourselves the first few days as a storm had just gone through and cooled off the pool quite a bit. The ocean was warmer!

Who doesn’t love some palm trees in the winter?

One great thing about this hotel was they had a massive section on the beach with free umbrellas and lockers to put your stuff in while you swam.

“Look it’s Hugh Jackman!” – Cousin Jeff upon seeing this gem on facebook.

Massage #2…happened 20 minutes after massage #1, which was so bad we actually felt worse after the massage (both physically and spiritually if you will) that we paid the hotel to do a better job. Fortunately they did. I’d never experienced a massage so poor in my life as #1…the people were clearly not interested in being there or giving massages, and for almost the same price as the hotel we were quite disappointed. We meant to go to the hotel originally, but long story short the signs were impossible to follow and we got lost and stumbled upon this other place first. This was David’s first “let’s try that random massage place” fail.

The hotel left us a Christmas present in our room!

When in Hainan, drink their beer I suppose. 🙂
One of the best parts of the hotel we picked was it was really close to a large mall area with tons of food options and even a little shopping. We ate lots of Sichuan food (which is one of our favorites), tried a few new desserts, and enjoyed meat on a stick among other things. At night this mall area turned into karaoke and we started to learn a few of the more popular songs that were sung every night. The singing would go on all night, and we could hear it even back in our hotel room! Most of the time this was fine, until a certain lady would pick up the mic and start what we dubbed “dying cat karaoke.” There was lots of high pitched warbling involved, and being that we didn’t understand any of the words, that did not help. On Christmas eve they also let loose approximately 500lbs of fireworks (I estimate based on the noise, because it woke me from a dead sleep) and caused me to wonder if we were under attack before I remembered how much the Chinese enjoy celebrating special events with loud noises and firework displays.

Funny story, the characters for saliva are mouth and water = saliva…They needed to translate it more literally! Mouth watering chicken sounds much less terrifying than saliva chicken.

“Let’s try another style of food we have no idea how to cook/prepare!” We have already talked my Korean co-worker in China into taking us to one of these Korean BBQ places again and explaining all the finer points of cutting up our meat with scissors, cooking it, and somehow eating it with a prolific amount of veggies…

New favorite dessert. Delicious. Lucky for me I have seen this restaurant in Suzhou and know where to find it again. Muahahaha.

Good bye hotel pool. We will miss you.

7 thoughts on “Hainan, China

  1. Another wonderful adventure under your belt, with many memories added to this wonderful journey you two are taking, but for the life of me, I can’t get “Saliva Chicken” out of my head!!!😳

    May the fun never end! 😍😘😍


    1. We were there about 4 days, it was mostly to relax. I don’t recall there being a whole lot to do there outside pools and the ocean! That’s probably a decent time to go though, guessing it’s more crowded in the winter.


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