We were invited for Hello Sanya tourism board and we really enjoyed our time there. We will write about our favorite things to do in Sanya from adventure to relax in the beaches.
Also we will explain with details how to move around, how to get the visa, where to stay in our full Sanya travel guide.
Apart from the beaches there are Natural Parks to visit and local food to try. If you are coming from a Western country Sanya will be the perfect place to know more about Chinese culture.
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Sanya Travel Guide
Free Visa For Sanya
Currency and ATMs in Sanya
The Renminbi abbreviated RMB or Chinese Yuan is the currency in China and also in Sanya, Hainan. For $1 USD you will have 7 RMB. To exchange cash the best way is heading to the banks. It can be really hard to find exchange offices and even in hotels for cash.
Wifi And Internet Connection in Sanya
Wifi and Internet can be challenging in Sanya. The connection is good but the problem that you can’t access to many websites like and social media channels like Facebook and Instagram. Check the best apps in China which will be so helpful for your trip. For this the solution is getting the VPN. Sometimes is hard to connect your laptop to the VPN and you have to be patient.
Transportation Around Sanya
Daily Budget Travel in Sanya
Click here to get a discount booking activities with Klook in Sanya!
Things to do in Sanya
1. Visiting Binglanggu Hainan Li & Miao Cultural Heritage Park
Binglanggu Hainan Li & Miao Cultural Heritage Park was our first stop in Hainan. It’s the most popular and touristic place to visit around Hainan. It’s one hour drive far from Sanya. You will see the origin of this small town. Cloths, dances and how people were living there in the past. Nowdays people show you around how it was in the past. It was crowded but still you can feel the culture of Hainan in China visiting this village.
2. Nanwan Monkey Island Ecotourism Zone
We visited Monkey Island. To get there you have to drive more than an hour and going by cable car. The views are great! Once you get there you will see monkeys over the place. You can feed them and take pictures. Make sure that you disturb them as less as possible since its crowded.
3. Yalong Bay Tropical Paradise Forest Park
Yalong Bay was one of our favorite things to do in Sanya. We really loved visiting a green area and the glass bridge. The views from the bridge to the Bay are so beautiful. After the bridge you can enjoy around. The place is great for pictures and you will see Chinese people taking wedding pictures around Yalong Bay.
4. Tianya-Haijiao Scenic Area
Tianya-Haijiao Scenic Area is one of the most popular for locals. You can see the rock formations and nice places to take pictures. You can even swim. It’s crowded to move around but if you want to enjoy swimming will be so calm and peaceful. Click here to get a discount booking your ticket with Klook!
5. Nanshan Temple
Definitely Nanshan Temple was our favorite of this list of things to do in Sanya. You can enjoy a local atmosphere. Nansahn Temple is Buddhist and there is a small pilgrimage before going inside. You have to walk in zigzag waiting the line. Inside you can’t take pictures and videos. You can climb to the third level to see the feed of the Giant Buddha. Read here how to get to Nanshan Temple in Sanya! Apart from the temple there are beautiful views and a few temple to visit since the area is huge. There are restaurants where you can only eat Vegetarian food. We did and it was so delicious. Click here to get a discount booking your tour to Nanshan temple with klook!
6. Sunrise in Sanya
Enjoying the sunrise by the beach in Sanya is a must. You will see there many locals around since they prefer avoiding the beach when the sun is shining to protect their skins and avoid the heat.
7. Visit temples in Sanya
Visiting temples in Sanya you will learn about Taoism religion. It’s the main religion in the country. Locals go to pray and they usually giving donations to the God. Temples are so beautiful and we always find them a auiet and calm area to visit.
8. Drink Milk Tea
Drink milk tea is culture in China. People take away and drink in the parks or bringing home. They are so delicious and prices are less than $2 USD. It’s a must of the list of things to do in Sanya drinking milk tea. It’s so refreshing since the weather is so hot.
9. Ride a Cable Car
We rode a cable car going to Moneky Island. The views were great and we enjoyed with our views from the top. You have to cross the mountains and the ride will last more than 5 minutes.
10. Taking Shots From the Airplane
Did you know all the planes are passing by Nanshan Temple in Sanya? Take a look and start taking your first shots in Sanya from the air. Make sure you have one day trip to explore around Nanshan Temple.
11. Watching a 7D Movie
When traveling in Sanya you can expect modern things to do like watching a 7D Movie. It was our first experience and it was so much fun.
12. Visiting a Fishing Village
When riding the cable car you will see the fishing village. If you have time to take a boat you can explore around. It’s always nice to see how locals can manage to live over the water. Fishing and selling as main activity to do.
13. Taking Wedding pictures
Sanya has many beautiful places to take pictures. Yalong Bay is one of the favorite for locals to take wedding pictures. The place is so greeny and perfect for this! Apart from Yalong Bay locals love going to the beach for taking wedding pictures.
14. Crossing Guojiangglog Rope Bridge
Crossing Guojiangglog Rope Bridge can be scary ha! But no worries is totally safe and you will enjoy beautiful views. Keep reading below if you prefer the hanging bridge or Glass Bridge in Sanya.
15. Sea View Glass Bridge
It can be scary too the Glass Bridge in Sanya. The views are so incredible! You will get special shoes to walk around and go for it. Enjoy the views and taking pictures too. Which one is your favorite hanging bridge or glass bridge?
16. Try the Archery
Our trip was full of adventure and we tried a new thing in Sanya: the Archery. It wasn’t easy but finally we managed with the explanations of the guides. When we are back for sure it will be included again in the list of things to do in Sanya.
For more adventure and activities to try in Sanya. Kayaking is one of them. We tried in a small lake and it was easy ideal for beginners. The best time to do the activity is before sunset when it’s not so hot the weather.
18. Sunset in Sanya
Sunsets are our favorite always that we are traveling. And in Sanya they were great. We loved it sunsets by the beach.
19. Atlantis Aquarium
Atlantis Aquarium was so beautiful. We could see different fishes. From Manta Rays and Sharks to colorful ones. The most popular in the aquarium is the mermaid show.
20. Underwater Suite at Atlantis Sanya
An underwater suite? It’s not Maldives guys. We are still in Sanya! It’s in Atlantis Sanya where you can find the suite. Prices are starting 5K-6K USD per night. We just went inside to take shots and it was so beautiful. Click here to check availability and prices!
More Things to do in Sanya
21. Eating local in Sanya
One of our favorite things to do in Sanya was trying local food. Our favorite place was Hou’An Noodle where they serve delicious noodle soup. Our friend Candy discovered this place for us, thank you. Prices are so affordable and you can eat a dish for less than $2 USD.
22. Eating as A Local
Eating as a local in China. If you are from Western culture is totally different. You don’t use chopsticks for eating. And its not polite to make noise while eating. In China for sure you can make noise since everyone is doing. Just learn and try to a
23. Chinese Tea Ceremony
Since tea is so popular in China. Sanya will bring you the opportunity to watch a Chinese tea ceremony. Plus it was so delicious and we tried different flavors.
24. Visit Sanya Chocolate Factory
We were visiting Sanya Chocolate Factory and we had to say that those cookies were great. White chocolate and black tea was so delicious.
25. Learn how to make a Batik
We learned how to make a batik. It was really fast in less than 10 minutes we got ours. You just hang to get dry and you collect your first souvenir from Sanya.
26. Traditional Dance
We saw the traditional Hainan dance of Li people. Great spectacle with fire, amazing scenery. We spent such a cool hour of entertainment.
27. Climb a Coconut tree
There are many coconut trees in Sanya. We love to drink them. You can have the experience to climb the coconut. We didn’t but it was so impressive to see the locals in the village how fast they did.
28. Trying Traditional Dish in Banana Leaf
As you know well food is one of our favorite things to do in Sanya. Not only in Sanya but also around the world. We tried a traditional dish in a banana leaf and it was so delicious.
29. Trying Chinese Mcdonald’s
Well Chinese food is so delicious but we decided to try the Mcdonald’s in China. The flavor was similar and the deign was so cool, we really loved it.
30. Hainese Cuisine
How many times while traveling we tried Hainanese chicken rice. It’s traditional from Hainan. So it’s a must to do in Sanya. It was so delicious!
31. Watching a Movie
Well first part you will have to understand little bit about the language. We have to say taht the cinema in Sanya was so cute and comfortable. We just watch a small documentary but next time we will make sure that we watch a Chinese movie.
32. Eating Seafood
We enjoyed a huge seafood for dinner by the beach. Lobsters were our favorite! We have never seen something like this before. So if you love seafood you will find plenty in Sanya.
33. Beach Party
After the seafood with a DJ by the beach we enjoyed the music with beers. It was a great day to end the day. We were on our own.
34. Try the hot pot
Hot pot are so popular over the country and also in Hainan. We really loved it all of them. With vegetables, chicken and seafood. When tasting the soup is amazing the flavor.
35. Relax in the quiet Beaches
Most of the attractions were crowded. But the beaches were so calm and quiet. Chinese people don’t like so much sun exposure and you will enjoy all of them for yourself. Locals will be around taking couple pictures.
36. Trying an English Breakfast
If you are wondering what Chinese people think is an English breakfast. Here are you have it. WE tried and it was good but we preferred to eat local. Good thing traveling as a couple you can order both and sharing.
37. Cute Coffee shops in Sanya
Sanya has so many things to discover apart from beaches and Natural Parks. Visiting the city center and the malls we found this cute coffee shop for kids and adults were you can take pictures.
38. Charge your Devices
Nowdays with the technology so close to us you can find this machine were you can charge your powerbank and your phone. You can pay with Weechat app from your own phone so convenient!
39. Fortune Teller Machine
There is a fortune teller machine inside the malls. Local people loves to play these games about gambling, and also knowing about their future in business and love.
40. Buying Souvenirs in Sanya
Visiting small markets around Sanya to find those souvenirs and pasalubongs to bring back home. They are so affordable and you can purchase them from your own phone. We got amazed how good the technology is working in Sanya. You almost don’t need to bring cash anywhere.
41. Motorbike Sellers in the Beach
If you are traveling around Asia you will get used to beach sellers. It was our first time watching motorbike sellers bringing all the things that you need to spend the day in the beach.
42. Visit a Rooftop
The largest infinity pool in China is in Conifer Resort in Sanya. It’s huge and the views are amazing. Plus you can enjoy the transparent glass view swimming to the beach.
We had so much fun in the Waterpark inside Atlantis Resort. There are many slides and pools to swim and enjoy around. We went in a week day and there was no almost no line. We didn’t stay more than 5 minutes waiting to try slides. Entrance fee is 400 RMB.
44. Luxury Staying
If you want to have a luxury staying in Sanya, There are resorts for affordable prices that’s one of the attractive that tourist love. We took this picture in the magnificent Atlantis Sanya. You can also enjoy resorts around the beach area. Click here to check prices and availability!
45. Buying Local Products in the Supermarket in Sanya
Going inside the supermarket to check local products was one of my favorite things to do in Sanya. Prices are so affordable. We loved the fruits and vegetables. If you travel to Sanya you will find different tropical fruits.
46. Having Chinese Beer
I love trying local beers and I tried a few of them in China. My favorite one was the one on the top. Alcohol can be expensive in restaurants but in the supermarkets is so cheap.
47. Eating Frogs
In Asia there are countries where is popular to eat chicken feed like Philippines and Vietnam. Also in China is popular but they also eat frogs. We tried even it’s not our favorite dish but you can eat them.
48. Chinese Breakfast
Chinese breakfasts are so delicious. Fruits and congee (Chinese porridge) with boiled egg is a good way to start the day. For us it was little bit weird chicken feed for breakfast.
49. A Romantic Walk Around the River with the lights
Walking around the river at night with the lingths is one of the romantic things to do in Sanya. The weather is cool at night and not so warm.
50. Music Live in Sanya
Having a drink at night around the river area in Sanya was really cool. There are a few bars and restaurants. We chose Sanya Lounge Bar with Live Music. And guess what? The band was from the Philippines.
51. Eating Coconut
Like in the Philippines with tropical weather you will find coconuts everywhere in Sanya. It’s always good time to have one by the pool or by the beach.
Rachel tried Jetski and she really loved it. 5-10 minutes around the waves with a professional driver is an exciting experience.
One of the best things to do in Sanya if you love adventure is surfing. There are beaches perfect for this. You can rent your own board and even have lessons if you need them.
If you like sailing you can go for a day trip around the island. You can enjoy swimming and having a drink in the sea on your own.
Where to Stay in Sanya
Sanya has 25 kilometers long areas to stay. We liked it Sanya Bay because was quiet and it was easier to go for local life. The resorts area will have all the comfort that you need but little bit far from Sanya city center and local life.
Oakwood Hotel Service Apartments (Sanya Bay)
We spent amazing time at Oakwood in Sanya. It’s located just a few minutes walking from Sanya Bay Beach. The property is so peaceful. You feel like at home more than a hotel is a luxury Airbnb. The food was great, the room also perfect. The best was the staff who took us around Sanya showing the best spots and introducing us to the local life. Click here to check availability and prices!
Wyndham Sanya Bay
We stayed at Wyndham Sanya Bay for a week in this resort. Everything was great less than 5 minutes walking distance to the beach with pool area. Friendly staff and 25 minutes driving from city center. Click here to check availability and prices!
Sanya Conifer Resort
Amazing views from the infinity pool to the beach in Conifer Sanya Resort. It’s right on the beach and if you love luxury places you will find all the comfort that you need. The best is the views! Click here to check availability and prices!