Haikou, known also as the ‘Coconut City’, is the capital of Hainan Province, China’s second largest island. The city is the provincial administrative center of Hainan as well being the focus of the local economy, culture and transportation. Haikou stands at the northern end of Hainan Island, on the west bank of the Nandu River estuary. This river is the longest on the island and the city’s name appropriately means ‘Mouth of the Sea’.
With the sea on three sides Haikou enjoys a long coastline that features excellent bathing beaches and sea side resorts. Holiday Beach is the most popular of these, while Xixiu Beach is where the National sailing and windsurfing teams train and hold competitions.
The downtown area of the city has an excellent environment with streets lined with coconut palms. Here there are modern and convenient public transport facilities and all that is best in a tropical seaside city that is pollution free and that meets the needs of the tourist in a friendly and welcoming way.
Besides its natural resources, Haikou has a number of important sites of historical interest. The Wugong Temple (The Five Official’s Temple), the Tomb of Hai Rui and the Xiuying Emplacement each serve as reminders of the historical importance of Haikou.
No trip is complete without the opportunity to savor tempting local food and shopping opportunities. It goes without saying that for anyone coming to Haikou, seafood is definitely a must. However, the city is also famous for its other prized dishes. There are four to delight the gourmet and should not be missed. They are Wenchang Chicken, Dongshan Mutton, Jiaji Duck and Hele Crab. The climate means there is an abundance of fresh local fruits such as mangos, pineapples, jackfruits, coconuts and carambola, betelnuts, pawpaw, longan and lichee, loquat, naseberry and passion fruit. Maybe some of these will be new to you but we are sure that if you try them you will want to take come home!
As for transportation, don’t worry! Hainan Meilan Airport, railway station, ship and expressway links cities of China and the whole world.
Haikou has evolved from a simple sightseeing city to an attractive seaside resort and business center. The services for visitors to the city are being extended with the aim of establishing Haikou as Southern China’s key center for tourism.
Rose is writing for China Travel discovery, which offer information on China travel, China life, China Facts, Chinese culture, History of China , China Maps and China News.