In Sanya – Holiday… celebrate…

Sanya Bay - from our balcony

Sanya Bay - from our balcony

There’s something entirely appealing about blogging while looking out over a sunny palm-lined beach and the sea beyond. It has a quality I could definitely get used to.

Mags and I are down in Sanya, Hainan, for a week-long sun and fun vacation to celebrate our second anniversary. Long-time readers will remember that we got married on a beach in Sanya. We are actually staying at the exact same apartment complex on Sanya Bay that we stayed at the last time we were here.

Sanya River splits the downtown in half.

Sanya River splits the downtown in half.

When it comes to staying in Sanya you essentially have three options – Yalong Bay, Da Dong Hai and Sanya Bay. Yalong Bay is well outside of Sanya city and hosts the area’s premium resorts and hotels, as well as a beautiful 7km stretch of beach. Da Dong Hai is a horseshoe of a beach just south of the downtown area and contains more affordable and largely more convenient accommodations, but tends to be very busy.

Sanya Bay runs up the coast away from Sanya’s downtown area and is the most cost-effective (marketese for “cheap”) place to stay. Accommodations are largely serviced apartments which are rented by the owner (via an agent) and can be got for a fraction of the resort prices. We are staying in a place with a king-size bed, kitchenette (microwave and fridge, but no stove), cable TV and Internet with a nice-sized balcony with a sea view for 280 RMB/night.

I’ve never been much for resorts, as I’d much prefer to throw a blanket down on the beach then jockey for a lounger with a well-oiled speedo-wearing European. That coupled with the nostalgia of being right back at the place we got married to mark our anniversary, it’s quite cool.

The Sanya Bay beach isn’t as nice as Yalong Bay or Da Dong Hai (I assume from pictures and descriptions – we are heading to Da Dong Hai in about 1/2 hour for the first time, and wont hit Yalong Bay for another day or two). The water here isn’t very clear, but the swimming is decent, and rock free. Sanya Bay is also much more popular with domestic tourists than the droves of Russians and Europeans at the other beaches – this tends to make the beach sparsely populated during the high-sun times, as you rarely catch a Chinese out vying for the darkest tan. They will however stare from the shade of the palms at the pinkening hairy laowai as he runs around in the sun.

One annoyance of the beach here is that there are a number of motorcycle taxis driving up and down the beach begging to give you a ride for 1 RMB. I imagine it’s convenient if you need to go far up or down the long, long beach, but mostly it’s just completely annoying.

Well, off to the beach and then out for some BBQ. This is the first vacation I’ve had in ages, and I’m soaking up every relaxing moment of it.

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