Hainan Island China Travel Guide, Travel Tips on China’s Tropical Island Hainan
Hainan Travel Location Guide Where is Hainan Island in China?
With a land area of 33,900 km2, Hainan Island is the smallest province in China, located in the South China Sea and separated from the Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong Mainland China by the Qiongzhou Strait. Measuring 240 km long and 210 km wide, this tropical island is often referred to as Oriental Hawaii due to its location at the same latitude as Hawaii in the US. The island’s highest point is Wuzhishan Mountain, also known as the Five-Finger Mountain, which stands at a latitude of 1,840 meters.
Hainan Province, established in 1988, is the southernmost province of China and includes various islands in the South China Sea. However, when discussing Hainan, it typically refers to the major island’s land area. The name of the province comes from Hainan Island, which is named for its location south of the Qiongzhou Strait. In contrast, the Leizhou Peninsula in Guangdong to the north of the strait is known as Haibei or “North of the Sea.”
Hainan Island is easily accessible by air, with flights taking about 4 hours from Beijing, 3 hours from Shanghai, 1 hour from Guangzhou, 2 hours from Taiwan, and 1.5 hours from Hong Kong. From overseas, flights take about 3 hours from Singapore, 2 hours from Bangkok, and just 1 hour from Vietnam.
Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Island is about 18 nautical miles, which means tourists can reach Hainan Island from Mailand China in 1-hour by boat.
Hainan Island is connected to Mainland China by ferries and trains from Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
Hainan Island experiences a range of climates, from subtropical to fully tropical. The northern part of the island, including Haikou, Wenchang, and Chengmai, has a humid subtropical climate. Meanwhile, southern Hainan, including Sanya, Lingshui and Ledong, has a tropical monsoon climate, with warmer annual temperatures. The middle of the island is also subtropical, including Wuzhizhan and Qiongzhong.
January and February are typically the coldest months on Hainan Island, with temperatures ranging from 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F). On the other hand, July and August tend to be the hottest months, with temperatures between 25 and 29 °C (77 to 84 °F).
Summer in the northern regions feels particularly hot, with rainfall almost every afternoon. In some cases, temperatures may soar above 35°C (95°F) for over 20 days in a year. The average precipitation across Hainan Island is around 1500 to 2000 millimeters (59 to 79 in), with the coastal areas experiencing approximately 900 millimeters (35 in) and the eastern central region receiving as high as 2400 millimeters (94 in) of precipitation.
The eastern part of Hainan Island lies in the path of typhoons, and 70% of the annual rainfall is attributed to typhoons and the summer rainy season. If you’re looking to sunbathe, explore tropical beaches, rainforests, hot springs, and local cultures throughout the year, Hainan Island can be an excellent destination. However, the dry season from October to March is the best time to visit, as it offers more sunshine and relief from the mainland China cold.
If you’re traveling from major cities in Mainland China or from overseas, flying to Hainan Island is the quickest way to get there. There are two airports located in the north and south of the island: Haikou Meilan Airport and Sanya Phoenix Airport.
Taking a train to Hainan Island is a unique experience where you can enjoy the scenic landscape and witness how a train crosses a strait. Trains run regularly from Haikou to Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou.
For an adventurous experience, driving to Hainan Island from Mainland China is a great option. Drivers can take their cars on ferries to Haikou. It’s essential to book your boat tickets in advance on the official website.
Whether you prefer flying, taking a train, or going on a road trip, Hainan Island is waiting for you to explore its natural beauty.
Vacationers all over the world dream of soaking up the sun on a tropical beach. Hainan Island boasts more than 20 famous beaches with the most sought-after destinations located in the south of Hainan, specifically Yalong Bay, Haitang Bay, Dadonghai Beach, and Sanya Bay.
For those who prefer secluded coastal areas, Sanya is not the place to be. Instead, exploring the east and east coasts of Hainan Island provides access to hidden gems such as Riyuebay and Shimei Bay in Wanning, Clear Water Bay in Lingshui, Moonbay in Wenchang, and Qizibay in Changjiang.
Hainan Island presents an array of unique experiences, ranging from exploring natural beauty such as rainforests and tropical beaches, indulging in beachfront golf clubs, dining on delicious local cuisine, immersing oneself in local minority cultures, enjoying exhilarating riding paths and hiking tours, and relishing in the vibrant nightlife. With so many options to choose from, Hainan Island ensures that boredom remains at bay for all travelers.
Major Cities on Hainan Island:
On Hainan Island, there are four major prefecture-level cities: Haikou, the capital city located in the north, Sanya which is known as a tropical beach destination in China, Sansha situated in the South China Sea, and Danzhou located on the western side of the island. Additionally, there are five county-level cities: Wuzhishan, Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, and Dongfang, and ten counties which include six autonomous minority counties. Overall, Hainan Island is a relatively small province with a land area of approximately 33,900 km2.