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Sanya for Anyone

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Situated at the southern tip of Hainan—often referred to as "the Hawaii of China"—Sanya is a resort boomtown that offers great weather, beautiful beaches, plenty of water sports, and an abundance of tropical fruit and seafood.
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You can find qingbuliang, a Hainanese dessert, served in many hole-in-the-wall shops down by the beach. Traditionally, it's a cold "soup" made with fresh fruit and coconut milk. Usually, dessert stands in Sanya will have a variety of refreshing...
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Haitang Rd, Haitang Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China
Shopping for luxury goods in China isn't usually much fun—a steep luxury tax normally sends Mainlanders overseas to get their fix. Happily, the largest duty-free shopping mall in the world opened in August 2014 near Perfume Bay. Thousands of...
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Poets, history buffs, and sightseers all rejoice at Tianya Haijiao, the End of the World. This is widely considered the most famous spot in all of Sanya. From the Song to Qing Dynasties, officials who fell out of favor with the Emperor were...
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China, Hainan, Sanya Shi, Yazhou Qu, 崖城
In Mandarin this area is called Daxiao Dongtian, or "Big and Small Dongtian." A dongtian is a fairyland. In Taoist culture, there are 10 big dongtians, 36 small dongtians, and 72 blessed fairylands. This is Sanya's most ancient attraction, and is...
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Haitang, Sanya, Hainan, China
The Miao minority village is run by the local Miao people, a culture completely distinct from the Hans, or what most of us think of as "China." Also known as Hmong people, they come from the mountainous region that spans Vietnam, Laos, and China....
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Nanbianhai Rd, Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China, 572000
Hainan's famous chicken dish is known throughout China, Singapore, and Malaysia. It is actually a national dish in Singapore—but the original is from Sanya. The dish is known as "Wenchang chicken," which is also the name of the chicken itself. It...
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Xin Min Jie, Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China, 572000
Let me preface this by saying this is a tough restaurant to go to if you don't speak Chinese, though you can probably get by with a lot of pointing and smiling. This restaurant is #147, at the end of Xinmin Street. The staff will offer to take you...
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Tielu N Rd, Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China, 572000
Skip the cereal and eat a local breakfast. Hainan's breakfast noodles are served at room temperature with a variety of toppings, such as tahini and roasted peanuts, or meat gravy with shredded bamboo. A Hui Restaurant is a good bet to try these...
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Sanya, China
I love alcoholic drinks that taste like juice, even though they can be deceptively strong! Biangjiu, known as the Li minority's version of Maotai, is kind of like sake. It's fragrant, light, and mellow, with only 15% alcohol, and plays an...
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466 Jiefang Rd, Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China, 572000
For me, checking out locally produced tea is a must, wherever I am in China. It's nice to mentally slow down and sit for an hour at the tea merchant's hand-carved tea table, sampling a variety of tea. Hainan Specialty Tea Market is a good spot to...
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Sanya, China
When souvenir shopping in Sanya, try to buy something from the older men and women who peddle trinkets down by the beach. Chances are that this is their only source of income, and they may have even collected the shells and strung them together...
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Hong Qi Jie, Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng, China, 572000
There's a different set of rules when you go on a beach vacation. For example, it's not just allowed, but practically mandatory to buy a tacky $5 shirt in a colorful flower print. An oversized hat to protect from the sun and some shell jewelry can...