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Top 10 places to go on Hainan's West Ring High Speed Rail line

 

 

 

The new West Ring High Speed Rail line has just opened on the tropical island of Hainan, joining the East Ring High Speed Rail line, which began operation in 2010. Together, the two lines form a complete circle around the entire island!

There are a total of 16 stops on the West Line, opening up the whole west coast of Hainan. Since it's the first time that this area has had such convenient transportation, most travellers aren't quite sure where to go or what to do. Never fear! We've got the top ten best spots on the West Line ready for you!

 

1. Haikou 海口

 

Whether you are beginning or ending your trip in Haikou, you'll want to take some time to explore the Big Coconut – the capital city of Hainan!

 

 

Wander the streets of Old Town and enjoy the Qilou architecture, immerse yourself in nature at the Mangrove Forest and the Volcano Park, and don't forget to pamper yourself with a round of golf and a soak in the world class hot springs at Mission Hills!

 

2. Fushan 福山

 

First, you'll need some coffee to give you some energy. Did you know China produces coffee? It's true! Hainan's warm climate and rich volcanic soil is perfect for coffee cultivation. In Fushan, you can not only get your fix of fresh local Hainan Coffee, you can even take a tour of the Coffee Museum and find out all about how the coffee bean came to Hainan!

 

Fushan is located in Chengmai County, where there are even more local attractions including:

 

Nantai Crocodile Lake (南泰鳄鱼湖)Facilities include: crocodile exhibit area; animal performance area; Thailand folk garden, Children's Area, Crocodile Show Center and Tiger and Elephant Show Center. There are more than 10,000 crocodiles in the lake. You can eat crocodile dishes cooked by chefs from Thailand in the Crocodile Restaurant, and buy real crocodile products in the Crocodile Store here.

Address: Yingbin Tourism Development Zone, old town of Chengmai County, Hainan.

Tel: 7488380

Tickets: 60 RMB

 

Singapore Garden (新加坡花园)With  over 1000 varieties of orchids, Singapore Gardens is a must see for flower enthusiasts.

 

Golden TempleGolden Temple is located in Hainan's Chengmai county, overlooking the city. Temples with imposing winding corridors, spectacular.

 

3. Lingao 临高

     

 

 

You'll definitely want to stop for a meal in Lingao, home of the Lingao Roast Suckling Pig. Local piglets are raised especially for this dish, which is best around the time of the summer solstice. This mouthwatering dish will first conquer you through your nose. As you approach you will smell the amazing aroma of pork being slow roasted over coals.

 

Irresistable! The crunchy skin, the juicy meat...there's nothing better than this! Unless you are vegetarian. In which case, our apologies, don't look at the amazing roast pig photo above (you might not be a vegetarian any more after that), skip Lingao and head on down to the Nanshan Temple in Sanya!

 

More local Lingao attractions:

 

Lingaojiao Scenic Resort:  The landing point of the China Liberation Army in Hainan, Lingaojiao is now the National Patriotic Educational Base for Children. The coastline is great for walking along and there are several lighthouses and ancient signalling towers here. Tickets: 25 yuan

 

Houshui Bay (后水湾): A beautiful untouched bay, Houshui bay is a natural ecosystem where you can see mangrove forests, coral, and many other forms of sea life.

 

Juren Waterfall (居仁瀑布): With a 20 meter drop into a deep pool, Juren waterfall is surrounded by flowers, trees, and birdsong.

 

Gaoshan Ridge (高山岭): Inside the Hainan Province Nature Reserve

 

Molixuan School (茉莉轩): Built in the Song Dynasty, there are many varieties of jasmine growing here.

 

4. Qizi Bay 棋子湾

     

 

Qizi Bay, or Chess Bay, is not only breathtakingly beautiful, but it gets its name from a charming local legend:  Long, long ago, two immortals came down from the heavens and played a game of chess (Chinese chess, of course). They were so engaged in their game that they forgot to have lunch. The local villagers, after seeing this, brought out food to offer them. After they finished the game and the food, they attempted to thank the villagers in person, but the villagers were nowhere to be found. To show their gratitude, they threw all their chess pieces into the sea, which turned into reefs and stones thereby forever sheltering the village from winds and waves of the sea.

 

 

Qizi Bay is located in Changjiang County, where you can also see:

 

Bawangling Gibbon Conservation Nature Reserve (坝王岭长臂猿保护): One of the best preserved tropical forests in China. There are said to be over 365 kinds of animal species here, including rare animals such as the extremely rare black crested Hainan Gibbon, clouded leopard, black bear, deer, and monitor lizards.

 

Emperor Cave (皇帝洞) & Wangxia Underground Palace (王下地下宫): Emperor cave is a large limestone cave, 60 kilometers from the county capital of Changjiang. Extending from west to east, the entrance is 60 meters wide, about 130 meters deep, 25 meters high, covering about 7,800 square meters. It can accommodate thousands of people. Inside the cave are colorful stalactites and shapes. Archaeological experts have collected Neolithic artifacts from inside the cave, and some are displayed at the Hainan Museum in Haikou. Outside, the cave is surrounded by mountains, range upon range of peaks, and the Nanyao river. The Underground Palace is also a karst cave with strange stalactite shapes and colours.

 

Nanyao River (南尧河): The second largest tributary of the important Changhua River. With a length of 41 kilometers, a drainage area of 371 square kilometers, and a total drop of 1347 meters, Nanyao river is very scenic because it runs through a karst valley (hence the abundance of caves in the area). Part of the river is known locally as 'Mural Corridor' (十画长廊) because of the colourful karst cliffs towering over the river.

 

5. Gold Moon Bay (金月湾)

 

 

Gold Moon Bay, located in Banqiao Town, is perhaps the best place to get amazing fresh seafood in Hainan. Since the whole island of Hainan is known for great seafood, that's saying a lot! This is where you can see traditional Hainan fishing boats floating in the bay, and see how the local fishing people have lived for hundreds of years. Photographers and foodies alike will be in heaven here at Gold Moon Bay.

 

6. Jianfeng 尖峰

     

 

Jianfeng is home to a huge tropical rainforest preserve. This is one of the most pristine natural rainforest areas on Hainan, and a great place to spend a few days hiking along the dirt trails (not paved over!) through the rainforest, up to the waterfalls, and along beautiful and aptly named Heaven Lake. You'll see tons of wildlife here, including an amazing variety of tropical birds. Camp out in the forest, or stay in one of the wooden cabins dotted along the ridge above the lake.

 

7. Huangliu 黄流

Huangliu is one of the ten best cultural towns in Hainan, and this is a great place to learn more about the local Li Minority people. Also, are you hungry again? I'm always hungry, at least when I think about Hainan food! Here you should not miss the opportunity to try the Huangliu Duck!

 

 

Poached or stir-fried, Huangliu Duck is served in bite-size pieces with a homemade sauce of chopped garlic, soy sauce, and calamansi juice. Go ahead, dip it in that sauce – you are not going to regret it!

 

8.Ledong 乐东

 

Ledong is mainly populated by the Li Minority people, who will be happy to teach you all about their traditional culture!

 

 

You should definitely visit the Yingge Salt Fields (莺歌海盐场), where mounds of white salt cover the ground like snowdrifts, and evaporation pools sparkle in the sun.

 

9.Yazhou 崖州

 

 

Ancient Yazhou, located near Sanya, offers a fascinating glimpse into the tropical island's past. Originally constructed during China's Song Dynasty, and local architecture has been preserved, making this a unique part of Hainan's cultural landscape.

 

 

Traditional architecture, song and dance performances and arts and crafts from around Hainan are all waiting for you in Yacheng City, inYazhou!

 

10.Sanya 三亚

 

 

Sanya is Hainan province's most popular tourist destination, and has seen incredible growth and development in the last several years.

 

 

There are many exciting things to do and see here, including a water parkhelicopter rides, parasailing, scuba divingduty free shopping, sunbathingexciting showsgreat seafoodluxury hotelscruise ships, and more!

 

That's it for the new West High Speed Rail Line, why not try the East High Speed Rail Line on your way back?

 

1/5/16

Nicki Johnson

Visit Hainan

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