If you’ve ever heard of and/or been to Hainan, it’s most likely Sanya that you’ve heard of/been to, and you’re most likely Russian. In this tropical beach city in the south of the island, Chinese people are more likely to speak a little bit of Russian than a little bit of English; and shop signs, menus, etc. are often displayed in both Chinese and Russian. Sadly, the place is way too touristy in quite a negative way – people who work there are brusque and don’t really seem to know what they talk about nor care about anything else but to earn money off of tourists; and, to put it very bluntly, what used to be beautiful nature above and below land has been reduced by tourism-driven greed.
Nevertheless! Good times were had. I got to ride a banana boat (not as much fun as it looks) and a water scooter (so much more fun than it looks); and pleasantly spend my upper limit of half a day on the beach before I perish from boredom. We also went to the king of pointless tourist destination that is Nanshan Cultural Park, but ‘ey, at least we’ve seen that (again).
After four days in Sanya, we went on to a beautiful rainforest resort in Baoting, where we indulged in hot springs, massages, and hiking up the Seven Fairy Mountain through the very humid rainforest, leaving us with crippled calves for the next 5 days. Truly one of the highlights of the trip.