Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

China's Natural Glow Charms at This Unexpected Island Paradise; Experience a Slice of Paradise in Lush Hainan

Newspaper article The Daily Mercury (Mackay, Australia)

China's Natural Glow Charms at This Unexpected Island Paradise; Experience a Slice of Paradise in Lush Hainan

Article excerpt

PANDAS, terracotta warriors and the Great Wall Co everyone asks about the same three things when I tell them I've been to China.

But unfortunately, I didn't see any of these during my week-long stay Co unless you count pandas of the plush toy variety at the airport's duty-free store.

What I did discover, however, were sandy white beaches, lush rainforests, ocean-view resorts, mountain retreats, succulent seafood and macaque monkeys roaming free.

Few people outside China are aware of the nation's slice of paradise resting on the edge of the South China Sea.

Here lies the tropical province of Hainan, which incorporates about 200 small islands.

However, the name Hainan usually refers to just the main Hanna Island, which has an area of 33,920sq km Co about half the size of Tasmania.

The island's main drawcard is its southern area, which incorporates Sanya city, nearby Yalong Bay and surrounding areas.

Still quite new as a holiday destination, particularly for international tourists, much of Sanya and Yalong Bay remains in a state of construction. Everywhere we looked, we saw yet another hotel being erected or another complex awaiting its finishing touches.

Yalong Bay's luxurious resorts offered multiple restaurants, bars and pools, as well as day spas, kids' clubs and water activities.

Plus, each of Yalong Bay's resorts had its own private beach, with none open to the general public.

This means those seeking a relaxing beach holiday can find what they're after.

For those like me who struggle to stay in one place for too long and want to see more of the surrounding sights, there is also plenty to do once you venture outside.

Many of the attractions we visited showcased Hainan's natural beauty, from the sparkling blue oceans surrounding Wuzhizhou Island through to lush green

rainforest canopies.

YANODA, located in the mountains 35km from Sanya city, and Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Tourism Zone, just a few minutes' drive from the beachside resorts, provided the chance to explore the region's lush greenery. …

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