Sanya is the southernmost city in China and is a part of Hainan
Hainan is the smallest province of the People's Republic of China . Although the province comprises some two hundred islands scattered among three archipelagos off the southern coast, of its land mass is Hainan Island , from which the province takes its name...

 Province. In 2006, it had a population of 536,000, making it, after the provincial capital (Haikou
Hǎikǒu , is the capital and most populous city of Hainan Province, in the People's Republic of China. It is situated on the northern coast of Hainan, by the mouth of the Nandu River...

), the second most populous city on the island. The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination, also serving as the training site of the Chinese national beach volleyball
Beach volleyball
Beach volleyball, or sand volleyball, is an Olympic team sport played by two teams of two players on a sand court divided by a net.Like volleyball, the object of the game is to send the ball over the net in order to ground it on the opponent’s court, and to prevent the same effort by the opponent....

 team. Sanya is home to small concentrations of Utsul people.


The ancient name of Sanya is Yazhou (崖州), which literally means "cliff state". Its history can be dated back to the Qin Dynasty
Qin Dynasty
The Qin Dynasty was the first imperial dynasty of China, lasting from 221 to 207 BC. The Qin state derived its name from its heartland of Qin, in modern-day Shaanxi. The strength of the Qin state was greatly increased by the legalist reforms of Shang Yang in the 4th century BC, during the Warring...

 (221 BC – 206 BC, more than 2,200 years ago). Since then, it has always been within the territory of the Chinese dynasties. Due to its remoteness, Sanya is sometimes called Tianyahaijiao (天涯海角), meaning "the end of the sky and ocean". Some prime ministers in various dynasties were exiled there and a monk named Jianzhen
Jianzhen was a Chinese monk who helped to propagate Buddhism in Japan. In the eleven years from 743 to 754, Jianzhen attempted to visit Japan some six times.-Life:...

 accidentally sailed there and used the place as one of his harbors for his long Buddhist missionary journey to Japan.

During the Second Sino-Japanese War
Second Sino-Japanese War
The Second Sino-Japanese War was a military conflict fought primarily between the Republic of China and the Empire of Japan. From 1937 to 1941, China fought Japan with some economic help from Germany , the Soviet Union and the United States...

, Japan occupied the area from 1941–1945 and Sanya was known as Samah, and was the home port for the Second Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy
IJN 2nd Fleet
The was a fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy.-History:First established on 28 December 1903, the IJN 2nd Fleet was created by the Imperial General Headquarters as a mobile strike force of cruisers and destroyers to pursue the Imperial Russian Navy's Vladivostok-based cruiser squadron while the...

 and the main embarkation point for the Japanese Invasion of Malaya
Japanese Invasion of Malaya
The Japanese Invasion of Malaya, or Battle of Kota Bharu, began just after midnight on 8 December 1941 before the attack on Pearl Harbor...

 and Thailand
Japanese Invasion of Thailand
The Japanese invasion of Thailand occurred on December 8, 1941. It was fought between Thailand and the Empire of Japan. Despite fierce fighting in Southern Thailand, Thai resistance lasted only a few hours before ending in a ceasefire.-Background:...


Geography and climate

Sanya lies at the southern tip of Hainan Island at Sanya Bay
Sanya Bay
Sanya Bay is one of the five major bays in Sanya, Hainan, China. It has a 22km beach. The climate is warm and sunny all year around.The man-made resort Phoenix Island is currently under construction in the bay.-External links: , Xinhuanet....

. Located at 18° 15' N latitude, it is about as far north of the Equator as the Island of Hawaii is. Though the administrative area (Sanya Prefecture) has a rough topography, the city itself is generally flat, lying on a parcel of land between low-level mountains to the north and the South China Sea
South China Sea
The South China Sea is a marginal sea that is part of the Pacific Ocean, encompassing an area from the Singapore and Malacca Straits to the Strait of Taiwan of around...

. The area has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen
Köppen climate classification
The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification systems. It was first published by Crimea German climatologist Wladimir Köppen in 1884, with several later modifications by Köppen himself, notably in 1918 and 1936...

 Aw), featuring very warm weather all year around. Monsoon
Monsoon is traditionally defined as a seasonal reversing wind accompanied by corresponding changes in precipitation, but is now used to describe seasonal changes in atmospheric circulation and precipitation associated with the asymmetric heating of land and sea...

al influences are strong, with a relatively lengthy wet season
Wet season
The the wet season, or rainy season, is the time of year, covering one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region occurs. The term green season is also sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the...

 and a pronounced dry season
Dry season
The dry season is a term commonly used when describing the weather in the tropics. The weather in the tropics is dominated by the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year...

. The coolest month is January, at 21.6 °C (70.9 °F), while the hottest, unlike much of the rest of China, is June, at 28.8 °C (83.8 °F); the annual mean is 25.8 °C (78.4 °F). Water temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) year-round.

Administrative divisions

Sanya is a prefecture-level city
Prefecture-level city
A prefectural level city , prefectural city or prefectural level municipality is an administrative division of the People's Republic of China, ranking below a province and above a county in China's administrative structure. Prefectural level cities form the second level of the administrative...

, but its subdivisions are more similar to that of a sub-prefecture-level city
Sub-prefecture-level city
A sub-prefecture-level city , or vice-prefecture-level city, is an administrative division of China. A sub-prefecture-level city is officially considered to be a county-level city, but it has more power de facto because the cadres assigned to its government are one half-level higher in rank than...

 or a county-level city
County-level city
A county-level city is a county-level administrative division of mainland China. County-level cities are usually governed by prefecture-level divisions, but a few are governed directly by province-level divisions....

. It has direct jurisdiction over 2 township-level districts (乡级管理区 xiangji guanli-qu) and six towns (镇 zhen) :

Township-level districts:
  • Hexi District (河西区; Héxī-qū)
  • Hedong District (河东区; Hédōng-qū)

  • Tianya (天涯镇; Tiānyá-zhèn)
  • Yacheng (崖城镇; Yáchéng-zhèn)
  • Haitangwan (海棠湾镇; Hǎitángwān-zhèn)
  • Tiandu (田独镇; Tiándú-zhèn)
  • Fenghuang (凤凰镇; -Fènghuángzhèn)
  • Yucai (育才镇; Yùcái-zhèn)


In recent years Sanya has become a common tourist destination from Hong Kong
Hong Kong
Hong Kong is one of two Special Administrative Regions of the People's Republic of China , the other being Macau. A city-state situated on China's south coast and enclosed by the Pearl River Delta and South China Sea, it is renowned for its expansive skyline and deep natural harbour...

. The first international resort hotel was opened and managed by Swiss hotelier Nicolas C. Solari in 1999, in Yalong Bay. Numerous international hotel chains are now established in the area. In 2009 hotel group Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental
Mandarin Oriental Hotel Group , a member of the Jardine Matheson Group, is an international hotel investment and management group with luxury hotels, resorts and residences in Asia, Europe and the Americas...

 opened their first property in mainland China in the Dadong Hai area of Sanya.

Because of geographical and political circumstances unique to Sanya, many niche markets have been cultivated in real estate, food and beverage management, Chinese language and cultural exchange, agro-tourism, and wilderness adventures.

Due to increased development, new venues for resorts have been developed. Formerly popular sites such as Dadong Hai and Yalong Bay have now been somewhat supplanted by the new Haitan bay and Xiangshui Bay, where the natural environment remains largely unspoiled.

Sanya attracts international travelers as can be seen by the many Russian and English signs throughout the city.


  • The Guanyin Statue of Hainan
    Guanyin Statue of Hainan
    The Guan Yin of the South Sea of Sanya is a statueof the bodhisattva Guan Yin, sited on the south coast of China's island province Hainan near the Nanshan Temple of Sanya....

    , a 108 metres (354.3 ft) Buddhist statue, completed in May 2005 and one of the tallest statues in the world and the adjoining Nanshan Temple
    Nanshan Temple (Sanya)
    Nanshan Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Sanya, Hainan province, People's Republic China. The temple's name originates from a popular Buddhist expression. .- History :...

  • Yalong Bay, a 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) major tourist beach located east of Sanya City.
  • Tianya Haijiao
    Tianya Haijiao
    Tianya Haijiao is a popular resort in the southern part of Hainan province, People's Republic of China. It is located 24 km to the west of Sanya's municipal region....

      (The ends of the earth and the corners of the sea)
  • Deer Turning Head Park (Luhuitou Park 鹿回头公园) - A park containing a large stone statue above Sanya harbour telling the story of a hunter pursuing a deer to an isolated headland near the sea. When the deer could not escape, it turned to look at the hunter and became a beautiful woman. The hunter could not kill the deer and instead fell in love with her. Luhuitou is a place for lovers; many people leave a padlock on a chain at the top of the mountain in the hope that their love will last as long as the lock remains.
  • Dadonghai, Sanya
    Sanya Bay
    Sanya Bay is one of the five major bays in Sanya, Hainan, China. It has a 22km beach. The climate is warm and sunny all year around.The man-made resort Phoenix Island is currently under construction in the bay.-External links: , Xinhuanet....

    , Haitang
    Haitang Bay
    Haitang Bay is one of the five major bays in Sanya, Hainan, China.This 42.8 km beach is located in Haitangwan Town, Sanya, and Yingzhou Town, Lingshui. To its south are Yalong Bay and Wuzhizhou Island .-External links:*...

    , and Yazhou, Xiangshuiwan Bay are the five major bays in Sanya, Xiangshuiwan Bay remains the most beautiful and natural near the famous Nuilin Mountain.
  • A butterfly museum and a shell aquarium.

Other attractions include:
  • Phoenix Island
    Phoenix Island
    Phoenix Island , dubbed the Oriental Dubai, is an artificial archipelago forming an island resort currently under construction in Sanya, Hainan, China.The island is located in Sanya Bay, and is long by wide and covers a total area of...

    , an artificial archipelago resort currently under construction in Sanya Bay.
  • Wuzhizhou Island.
  • West Island.
  • Daxiao Dongtian (Fairy Caves).
  • The Tiger and Crocodile centre.
  • Nanshan Temple
    Nanshan Temple (Sanya)
    Nanshan Temple is a Buddhist temple located in Sanya, Hainan province, People's Republic China. The temple's name originates from a popular Buddhist expression. .- History :...

  • Luobi Cave
    Luobi Cave
    Luobi Cave is a karst cave under the west face of Yin Ridge located north east of Lizhigou Town , from Sanya City, Hainan Province, People's Republic of China.-Features:The entrance to the cave is approximately high and wide...

    , an ancient karst
    Kilometer-square Area Radio Synthesis Telescope is a Chinese telescope project to which FAST is a forerunner. KARST is a set of large spherical reflectors on karst landforms, which are bowlshaped limestone sinkholes named after the Kras region in Slovenia and Northern Italy. It will consist of...

     cave 15 kilometres (9.3 mi) north of Sanya.
  • Lingshui
    Lingyuan is a subdistrict in Jinjiang, Fujian, China. It has a population of 25,500,It has 10 communities:*Lingshui *Zenglin *Dashanhou *Dabulin *Xiaobulin *Linkou *Zhangqian *Yingtang *Linge...

    /Xiangshui Li'an Ocean Harbor Theme Park is projected for 2013. It will be the largest water park in Asia


The city is served by Sanya Phoenix International Airport
Sanya Phoenix International Airport
Sanya Phoenix International Airport is an airport in Sanya, Hainan, People’s Republic of China . It is located about northwest of the city center....

. Buses from other parts of the island serve Sanya's bus terminal. Taxis are available throughout the city.

The No. 8 bus connects the airport to Dadonghai Beach and Yalong Bay.

Construction of the Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail
Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail
The Hainan Eastern Ring Railway is a high speed railway on Hainan Island, China. Opened in December 2010, the railway links the capital Haikou at the northern end of the province to Sanya, a growing tourist city at the southernmost region of Hainan.-History:...

 began in 2007. The railway now links Sanya and Haikou
Hǎikǒu , is the capital and most populous city of Hainan Province, in the People's Republic of China. It is situated on the northern coast of Hainan, by the mouth of the Nandu River...

 and runs along the east coast of Hainan. There are 15 stations in between, either in operation or still under construction. Trains are designed to travel at 250 km/h. Travel time from Sanya to Haikou is approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes. On December 30, 2010, an announcement was made that another high-speed railway will be built along the west coast of Hainan connecting with the Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail in Sanya and Haikou.


The city hosted the:
  • 2011 BRICS summit
    2011 BRICS summit
    The 2011 BRICS summit took place in Sanya on the island of Hainan, China, on 14 April 2011. This was the third BRICS summit since 2009. The meeting took place between the five heads of state/heads of government from the BRICS states following bilateral meetings in the prior days.-Theme and...

  • Elite Model Look
    Elite Model Look
    Elite Model Look is a yearly fashion modeling event held by Elite Model Management, an international model management group. It is the premiere and most prestigious modeling contest used to discover and launch fashion models in the international fashion marketplace...

     in 2008 and 2009
  • Miss World
    Miss World
    The Miss World pageant is the oldest surviving major international beauty pageant. It was created in the United Kingdom by Eric Morley in 1951...

     contest in 2003
    Miss World 2003
    Miss World 2003, the 53rd Miss World pageant was held at Crown of Beauty Theatre, Sanya, People's Republic of China on 6 December 2003. The pageant was presented by Phil Keoghan, Amanda Byram and Angela Chow. The contestants also visited Beijing, the national capital of People's Republic of China,...

    , 2004
    Miss World 2004
    Miss World 2004, the 54th Miss World pageant was held at the Crown of Beauty Theatre, Sanya, People's Republic of China on December 6, 2004. The 2004 pageant marks the second straight year that Sanya played host of the pageant. Miss World 2003, Rosanna Davison of Ireland crowned her successor María...

    , 2005
    Miss World 2005
    Miss World 2005, the 55th Miss World pageant was held at the Crown of Beauty Theatre in Sanya, People's Republic of China on December 10, 2005. Nine former Miss World titleholders and chairwoman of Miss World Organization Julia Morley judged the pageant. Miss World 2004 María Julia Mantilla of Peru...

    , 2007
    Miss World 2007
    Miss World 2007, the 57th Miss World pageant was held at the Crown of Beauty Theatre, Sanya, People's Republic of China on December 1, 2007. It was hosted by Fernando Allende and Angela Chow. Zhang Zilin of the People's Republic of China won the crown and succeeded Miss World 2006, Taťána Kuchařová...

     and 2010
    Miss World 2010
    Miss World 2010, the 60th Miss World pageant was held on October 30, 2010, in Sanya, People's Republic of China; after Vietnam backed out of the hosting contract. Kaiane Aldorino of Gibraltar crowned her successor Alexandria Mills of the United States as Miss World 2010.-Vietnam backed out:On June...

  • Mister World contest in 2007
    Mister World 2007
    Mister World 2007, the 5th annual Mister World male pageant was held on March 31, 2007 in the tropical island of Sanya, People's Republic of China....

  • World's Strongest Man
    World's Strongest Man
    The World's Strongest Man is a well recognised event in strength athletics and has been described by a number of highly respected authorities in the sport as the premier event in strongman. Organized by TWI, an IMG Media company, it is broadcast around the end of December each year...

    contest in 2006

External links

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