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Sanya - tourist activity hotspot in the South China Sea

Sanya - tourist activity hotspot in the South China Sea
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Sanya is the southernmost city on Hainan Island in the South China Sea

From scuba diving in crystal clear waters to hiking in stunning mountain scenery, Sanya is a huge favourite with tourists looking for adventure. The nightlife is vibrant too, ranging from romantic dining to live music.

Sanya has beautiful beaches and a tropical climate, which makes it a perfect place to kick back and relax.

But for thrill-seekers, there’s lots of fun and adventure to be had too - on land, at sea and even up in the air; helicopter rides can be taken from nearby Phoenix Island and the views offer a whole new perspective on this tropical destination and places to visit.

Or via sea, there’s plenty more coastline to enjoy; take a 30-minute boat ride to the fantastic Wuzhizhou Island, a particular centre for lovers of water sports.

Guang Feng Jiang works for the diving department on Wuzhizou Island:

“It's a famous tourism destination in China. We’ve got nice scenery, clear waters and white sands, against a blue sky.

"We have many water sports here, more than 30 different kinds. For example, there's scuba diving, motor-boating and parasailing.”

Beneath the surface, there’s a whole new world; coral reefs with teeming marine life set in these warm waters.

Wen Zhang is a Chinese tourist who found her diving coach to be very patient:

“He took me into the water bit by bit. I saw very beautiful scenery. There were many colourful fish and corals as we dived down further, then there were shellfish too.

"The water was very clear. It's my first time in Sanya and first time diving. It was a really good experience."

Heading back to Hainan island, there's more fun to be had up in the mountains including trekking through the rainforest and climbing waterfalls in the Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone.

After the exertion, many might feel they've earned a night out!

Many head back to the coast to catch a stunning sunset - and equally stunning seafood.

One such couple are Chris McDonald from Scotland and Sofya Batalova, originally from St Petersburg in Russia. They now both live and work in Sanya, Chris as a DJ and Sofya as a dancer.

A particular favourite for them is dining on a yacht in Sanya's marina - and sampling the sushi.

Chris said it's a great experience:

“It certainly is wonderful to come to a beautiful marina like this and have a delicious meal. It’s always enjoyable.”

Sofya agreed: "It was an awesome meal because sushi is my favourite. I love Sanya. It has great weather and we're on this amazing yacht, so I’m very happy.”

Back on dry land, Sanya’s night scene is vibrant and varied with a big selection of bars, live music and shows. Some of the best places are found in the Baihuagu bar and restaurant area, a favourite tourist spot.

Kun Yang, creator of the “Hello Sanya” website said the selection is very varied:

“There are different kinds of food and drinks here. There's Chinese food, western food, seafood, spicy or sweet. It’s good for families and young people. There's something for everyone."

Sanya is highly recommended for its variety; it's an island destination that offers all sorts of fun and adventures.