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Hainan Travel Guide

Hainan Overview

Hainan Island is China's most southerly province and the second largest island after Taiwan, the largest ocean island and the smallest land province in China, located in the South China Sea about 60 minutes south of Hong Kong by air. The closest city by flight to Hainan Island is Guangzhou (Canton), only 50 minutes to Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Island, and 70 minutes to Sanya.

With a landmass of about 34,000 sq km, Hainan Island is made up of Hainan, Xisha, Zhongsha and Nansha islands. The province has a total coastline of about 1,529 km and covers a sea area of about 2.1 million sq km. Hainan Island is a vaulted mountain which is high in the middle with lower elevations on its surrounding areas. Its coastline is 1528 kilometers long with sandy beaches. Hainan Island is a combination of Mountains (25.4%), hills (13.3%), mesa (32.6%), and savanna (28.7%). Many swimming areas are less than 2 meters' deep, with bottoms full of sand, as far as 200 meters out from the shore.

Except the capital city Haikou, Sanya is the second largest city on Hainan Island, where is the key attraction of the island, most tourists congregate and there is the most beach and famous tourism attractions. If you will plan a holiday in Hainan Island, we will suggest you to have minimum 2/3 of your vacation in Sanya. We will discover the fantastic land to you. Please click here for more information about Sanya . Boao and Xinglong are also well-known.

Founded in April 1988, Hainan Special Economic Zone (SEZ) is one of the five SEZs in China. Over the past two decades, remarkable progress has been made in Hainan's economic and social development. The appearance of cities and villages has also undergone profound changes.

Hainan Facts

Provincial Capital: Haikou

Area: The size of Hainan (33,920 km2) is comparable to the size of Belgium. The PRC, however, regard it as the second largest island, since Taiwan (35,980 km2) is considered the largest. To the west of Hainan is the Gulf of Tonkin. Wuzhi Mountain (1,876 m) is the highest mountain on the island.

Geography: Hainan, separated by the Qiongzhou Strait from the Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong, is the largest island administered by the People's Republic of China.
Population: More than 8 million people live in Hainan, one of the famous overseas Chinese districts. There are Li, Miao, Hui and other ethnic minorities, more than 1,2million people. Various ethnic minorities still retain their unvarnished customs and living habits.

The population is density of Hainan is low compared to most Chinese coastal provinces. Compared to Taiwan, and to other islands of the Sinosphere, Hainan has both fewer mountains and more plains.

Administrative Division: In the official PRC territorial claim, Hainan Province includes not just one island, but also some two hundred South China Sea Islands. Whilst the containment of the South China Sea Islands means that Hainan Province has a very large water body, it has a disproportionally small land area. James Shoal (Zengmu Ansha), which is presently marked by the PRC, signifies the country's southernmost border. But Malaysia also claims that it is on their continental shelf.

Climate: Hainan has a tropical moist monsoonal climate. Its annual temperature change is less than 15 degrees Celsius. The coldest months are January and February when the temperatures drop to 16 to 21 degrees Celsius; the hottest months are July and August, and the temperatures are 25 to 29 degrees Celsius. Except for the mountainous regions in the central part of the island, the daily average temperature in Hainan is above 10 degrees Celsius, and the integrated temperature during the growing season of the crops reaches eight thousand to nine thousand degree Celsius-days. The summer in the north is hot and, for more than 20 days in a year, the temperature can be higher than 35 degrees Celsius. The average annual precipitation is 1500 to 2000 mm and can be as high as 2400 mm in central and eastern areas, and as low as 900 mm in the coastal areas of the southwest. The eastern part of Hainan lies in the path of typhoons, and 70% of the annual precipitation is derived from typhoons and the summer rainy season. Major flooding occurs due to the typhoons and they can cause many problems for the local residents.

Hainan Climate & Weather

Hainan Island belongs to tropical monsoon marine climate which has the following features: distinct seasons; no extreme hotness in summer and no extreme coldness in winter; slight annual temperature differences; high annual average temperature; obvious dry and rainy seasons; drought in winter and spring and rain in summer and autumn; frequent tropical cyclones; abundant light, heat and water resources; frequent climate disasters of wind, drought and coldness.

The annual average temperature is 22.5℃~25.6℃; and annual rainfall 1500-2000mm. More than 300 days of a year are sunny days. Hainan is a good place for escaping cold, relieving summer heat, having holidays and traveling due to above-mentioned climate.

Tips for Hainan Weather

• Best season to visit Hainan:
The best time to travel in Hainan is in autumn and winter, especially November to next April. In spring, Hainan gets little rain in March and April, but has more rain in May. The temperature in spring increases quickly as winter has gone soon. Summer (June to August) in Hainan is the typhoon season and also rainy season. It is the off season of Hainan Tour. However, during this season, the consumption in Hainan is cheaper than other seasons, and also you can enjoy a peaceful holiday. Autumn is extremely warm in Hainan. Winter in Hainan is not cold. The temperature of the coldest months January and February is still reaching 16 ℃-21 ℃.

• Clothes for travelling:
As it is warm and hot in four seasons of Hainan, tourists are able to put on their summer clothing like T-shirt all the year round. However, Hainan has its typhoon and rainy season in the months from June to September, tourists need to take your rain gear and prepare a wind coat.

• Avoid Peak Holidays:
It is not a good idea to travel in China during Chinese holidays when huge numbers of Chinese people are travelling around. The busiest three national holidays in China are Chinese Spring Festival (usually in late Jan or early Feb.), International Labor Day (May 01 to 03) and National Day (Oct 01-07).. Spring Festival is an especially crowded time to travel. The advantage of being in China at this time is that you will get the opportunity to experience "first hand" the significance of these celebrations in Chinese culture.

• Other Tips:
It is warm and hot in four seasons of Hainan. Except in the months from June to September, Hainan is typhoon and rainy seasons, you can enjoy your Hainan Tour in any other months.

While traveling to Hainan, suncare products like sunglasses, sunshade and suncream are necessary, as the sunshine is too strong with ultraviolet rays.