China's Natural Beauty: Beaches

I travel to China twice a year for work, but never escape the sprawling cities. I’d like to extend my stay next time, and go hiking, or snorkeling, or mountain climbing—something outdoorsy. Where should I go?

china travel hainan beaches

Hainan has some of the best beaches in Asia.     Photo: Aleksander Karpenko/Shutterstock

A:Yes, China boasts its own tropical paradise on Hainan Island in the South China Sea. So far, the only foreigners who seem to be in on the secret are fun-seekers from Russia. The city of Sanya stretches across a crescent of sand in a protected bay and is one of the country’s southernmost population centers. About twice the size of Honolulu, it serves as the focal point for beach-going adventure among the growing clusters of resorts within an hour of the city’s airport.

WHERE TO STAY: The cozy and well-kept Captain’s House Hostel in nearby Dadonghai Bay is the backpacker haven of the Sanya area. Rates start at $17 a night. For more of a more traditional resort stay, try the Sanya Resort—complete with swimming pool, steakhouse, and its own private stretch of beach. Rates start at $225.

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