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Exploring “South of the Sea” by Yacht
Ever thought of sailing to China? What comes to mind is bright lights and city life, bargain shopping, and lots and lots of people. Hainan Island is one of several islands in China’s Hainan Province. However, it is not part of mainland China and is distinctly different. The climate ranges from subtropical to tropical and it makes for excellent sailing and other activities.
If your idea of fun is lying on a beach and sipping on coconut water while enjoying a lush tropical forest that is home to thousands of animal and plant species, Hainan Island is an excellent destination choice. It is also great for snorkeling, hiking, and going out to world-class restaurants and bars. But that is not all there is to this highly diverse and interesting island.
A World of Culture and Adventure
Historically, the inhabitants of Hainan Island have been diverse with as many as 36 minority groups. There are several museums and theme parks that give visitors an insight into the culture of the Li and the Miao people, two of the most prominent minorities on the Islands. Hainan Island has the tallest Buddhist Guanyin statue, which towers 108 meters above its base and is a majestic sight for sailors to see as they approach the southern coast of the island. Hainan also has a volcano park. The Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark was once a cluster of volcanos and now offers interesting activities like visiting “lava villages” where people live in houses made from volcanic rock, walking through lava caves where volcanos once erupted, or even entering a volcanic crater.
Foreign yachts can remain in the waters of Hainan for a maximum of 30 days at a time and are allowed to apply for extensions twice, each not exceeding 30 days. The marina has all facilities required such as fuel, pump-out, chandlery, provisions, and accommodations. While it used to be tricky to access the waters of Hainan Island unless you used a yachting charter, new provincial policies now allow yachts from abroad to enter the waters and adjacent scenic spots with temporary approvals. In the past, this was handled by state transportation authorities. The recent changes have given the province’s tourism industry a much-needed boost and is promoting Hainan as a province with a strong ocean economy. Despite this boost, however, the island remains unspoiled and authentic. It is well worth an extended visit to explore the interesting activities the island has on offer.
Be warned, should you choose to sail to Hainan Island, there is a good chance you will not want to leave. It not only offers luxurious accommodation at budget prices, friendly locals, and interesting sights to explore, Hainan Island is also known as a World Longevity Island because of its stress-free island lifestyle and high quality of air and water.