In Sanya – Da Dong Hai Sucks

The Crowds at Da Dong Hai

The Crowds at Da Dong Hai

As I mentioned in my previous post, Mags and I are down in Sanya for a vacation and to celebrate our 2nd anniversary.

Yesterday we finally managed to get off our asses and go further than the beach across the road. We headed down to Da Dong Hai – a beach we had heard was much better than the somewhat murky waters of Sanya Bay, where we’re staying.

Getting onto the beach I was immediately surprised with its lack of depth. Perhaps it is the several rows of loungers, or the reddening mass of sunbathers, but the relatively long horse-shoe shaped beach seemed extremely cramped and crowded.

Swimming is sectioned off into floating squares, protecting swimmers from parts of the beach where numerous motorboats and seadoos land and launch from.

Maggie showing off her new swimsuit

Maggie showing off her new swimsuit

We moved down to the far eastern end of the beach, where we managed to find a square of sand to drop our gear while we took a dip. The water at Da Dong Hai is no clearer than the water at Sanya Bay – meaning visibility was next to nil. However, unlike Sanya Bay, while walking out into the surf at Da Dong Hai I was continuously stepping on stones and shells, and wading through garbage and chunks of seaweed.

Needless to say, I wasn’t impressed. I stayed in the water just long enough to get wet and then hit the beach to work on my melanoma tan. Maggie tolerated the water longer than me, and then joined me on the beach – sunbathing with as much clothing and suntan lotion she could get her hands on.

Me, doing what I do best

Me, doing what I do best

After upping my shade of red to “lobster”, we decided to walk around the area a bit and see if we couldn’t salvage an otherwise disappointing 20 RMB taxi ride to Da Dong Hai. Redemption was found in the form of a Rainbow. Rainbow Bar & Grill (99 YuYa Rd. – across from the City Hotel) is everything one would hope from a bar and grill – cold beer, great Western food and relatively good prices.

Mags ordered from the Louisiana menu (a decent lineup of Cajun food, but no blackened catfish), while I went with the house burger – loaded with cheese, onions, bacon and mushrooms. Most mid-level dishes where south of 50 RMB, which is completely reasonable by Suzhou SIP standards.

After lunch we took our time on the patio with a couple pints, reminding ourselves that vacation = no rush.

Tomorrow is our anniversary and we’ll be heading back down to Da Dong Hai as we’ve made reservations at a hotel for their seafood BBQ buffet. Afterward, I think we’ll head down to the section of beach we got wed on and reflect on our 730 days of marriage.

For now – I’m off for a sunset swim.

The wall at Rainbow - St. Catharines represent!

The wall at Rainbow - St. Catharines represent!

17 Responses

  1. “I stayed in the water just long enough to get wet and then hit the beach to work on my melanoma tan. ”

    That so accurately describes my summers! Haha! Have a great vacation!

  2. Hi, if you have a chance, go to Wu Zhi Zhou Island. It’s the best spot in Hainan. You can visit during the day by taking a boat (visiting is fine, but staying there is the best), and I most recommend the wooden cabins near the sea (a bit pricey), private pool, super quiet at night and you have the pool for you. Also includes a terrace, quiet and peaceful place.

    At 5, the tourists leave the Island and your pretty much left alone on the Island. Good selection of Seafood, barbecue buffet everyday. Not the greatest food in the world, but the location great.

  3. Forgot to say… Very romantic place. Went to Hainan 3 times, and always went to Whu Zhi Zhou, the rest is just disappointing (Yalong bay is OK, but it’s the typical big resort trip).

  4. Cajun food sounds nice. Reminds me, I have to go to the Cajun restaurant when I go home in a few weeks.

    Next time, I advise heading further south to Malaysia or Bali. I think I’m spoiled on beaches now…and I don’t even really enjoy beaches.

  5. Authentic western food at Fat Daddy’s …best in Sanya…check it out at as it is located on the beach.

    Sanya Wan Lu corner of Jin Ji Ling Lu

    Best cocktails and imported American Micro Brews

    started by the founder of Element Fresh in Shanghai…good food guaranteed

  6. Keep on writing about Sanya, were planning a trip there. I was a bit worried about the lack of information on the net in English so this is really helpful.

  7. ya- st. catharines represent! I’ll be back in Shanghai in May for good.
    Get this masters over with.

  8. Pingback: In Sanya - Final Thoughts | A China Blog on Suzhou Expat Life | The Humanaught

  9. Why does China gotta be so dirty, they have to ruin whatever little beauty is left in this polluted, ignorant mass of waste.

  10. You clowns just don’t know what to do in Sanya, had the best 25day there… Could not get better…… Will be there again in December…. Nice!!!!

  11. you are an idiot. i have been all over the south coast of hainan and dadonghai is one of the nicer beaches. you went at a bad time because you are ignorant. the water visibility changes each day. one day visibility  could be 2 meters and the next could be 12. next time you decide to write, at least know what you are talking about. you are just a typical tourist who thinks the place is how you see it the exact minute you arrive. i have been here in china five years and in sanya one year. your blog makes me want to punch you in your fat face, asshole.

    • @4667c426ac8015237a887ebfa6ee13ab:disqus Umm… the place is how I see it the exact minute I arrive — or more precisely, the exact moment I am experiencing it. It may change, but that doesn’t change its comparison to other beaches relative to my experience in Sanya (on the same day), or in China/Asia/elsewhere at numerous other times.

      Da Dong Hai was (the day I experienced it) crowded, dirty, and the water was murky. If it gets better at other times of the year (I can’t imagine the best times are less crowded or less dirty — but will grant you that the water might be nicer), then by all means share your amazing insight and let me know when they are. You are obviously quite passionate about Da Dong Hai, and it wasn’t my intention to offend you with my blog or my fat face.

      And while you could have tagged me with the “typical tourist” remark when this was written 2.5 years ago, I now call Hainan home, so am not exactly a tourist. At least not a typical one.

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