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Going Places: It Takes A While To Get To Hainan, But The Relaxation Comes Quickly

Matthew Stinson
Hainan Province, in China, is one of the country's most popular destinations for visitors.

Editor's note: This is an encore presentation of a "Going Places" episode that originally aired on Oct. 15, 2015.

Hainan Province, an island in the South China Sea, is one of China’s most popular tourist destinations. It’s also where former KNKX Production Assistant Shunying Wang grew up.

“I like to call it Asian Hawaii,” Wang said.

The main city – Haikou – is crowded and busy, but escape into the countryside, and you’ll find resorts, peace and relaxation.


Most visitors head to the resort town of Sanya, on the southern end of the island. It’s emblematic of the leisurely tropical atmosphere that draws visitors.

“It’s a province that has many beautiful beaches and you can see coconut trees everywhere,” Wang said.

Look for a place called Tianya Haijiao, she says. And “Monkey Island.”

“When you’re on the island you see monkeys everywhere. They do all kinds of tricks, and they stand on your shoulders for tourists to take pictures of.”


Wang says Hainan is proud of its cuisine. The province has four signature dishes: Wenchang chicken, Jiaji duck, Hele crab and Dongshang mutton.

Wang says try the crab. 

“We’re famous for our seafood,” she said.

Getting There

You’ll probably fly to Hong Kong or Shanghai, and then change planes and head to Haikou.

Once you’re on the ground, the road system can take you from one end of the island to the other in about four hours.


"Going Places" is 88.5's weekly exploration of travel. Our travel expert, Matthew Brumley, will return next week. He's co-founder of Earthbound Expeditions on Bainbridge Island, which provides small group travel to clients including KNKX. Never miss an episode again. Subscribe to Going Places with iTunesGoogle Play or Stitcher.

Ed Ronco is a former KNKX producer and reporter and hosted All Things Considered for seven years.