Answers from Our Experts (1)
The most popular thing to do in Sanya is to spend the day on the beach or to get out in the water for some fun in the South China Sea. With that said, our Forbes Travel Guide editors feel the best way to see Sanya in one day is to take a short break from the beach and see some of the other worthwhile sights in the city.
First, get an early start and head to First Market to experience local food shopping at its most intense. You’ll see everything from fish and poultry to spices and seasonings, and on occasion live cooking demos and food tastings as well. Even if you’re not planning to purchase anything, a visit to this market is a treat for the senses.
Next, visit the Pearl Market to see how seawater pearls are crafted and cultivated and to try your luck at haggling over the price of a string of pearls. Have lunch at one of the nearby cafés or restaurants lining the street – your hotel concierge can provide recommendations – then plan to hike through one of Sanya’s natural rainforests. You’ll wander through various wetlands and climates on this small island adventure, encountering various wildlife along the way if you’re lucky and being treated to some spectacular views. The rest of the afternoon can be spent relaxing and freshening up back in your hotel.
Some of the best dinners in Sanya can be found at the excellent restaurants located in luxury hotels such as Mandarin Oriental, Sanya and The Ritz-Carlton Hotel Sanya. Try the seafood at the appropriately named Fresh at the former or, for a break from seafood and Cantonese cuisine, head to Sofia at the latter for delicious southern Italian fare in a romantic setting. If you still have enough energy after dinner, a walk along the beach, with sparkling Sanya behind you, is a wonderful way to finish off the day.