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Sanya’s seaside location means there’s an abundance of fresh seafood available, so while you’re here follow the locals’ lead and check out the bustling seafood markets for the ultimate food experience in this tropical city in southern China.
Sanya’s dried seafood markets sell squid, tuna, shrimp and other exotic creatures from the sea. Many Chinese people believe that dried seafood has medicinal value, so you’ll often see locals buying it in huge quantities. Word to the wise: If you think the regular seafood section of your local grocery store has a distinct odor, prepare yourself for Sanya’s seafood markets, where the potent, pungent smells can be intense.
If you want to skip the seafood shopping and go straight to the tasting, head to Chuyuan Seafood Square, where you’ll find nearly 100 private stalls and booths preparing and serving fresh seafood throughout the day. You can even rent your own hot pot here and steam your own food.
Another of Forbes Travel Guide’s editors’ favorite food experiences in Sanya is the First Market, which is the largest market in the city and a fun place to browse fruits, vegetables, meats, seafood and spices seven days a week. You’ll see a lot of things here you probably never thought you’d see, such as the insides of chickens neatly laid out on chicken carcasses and live snails and sea creatures still swarming around. Some of it may seem strange, but remember that many of the foods you might not consider eating are delicacies in this part of the world.