Top 10 travel spots around Hainan

More than 270,000 passengers have visited South China's Hainan province since the launch of the high-speed train that circles the island last Wednesday, according to a report by Shanghai's Dragon TV.

As the total journey around the island takes about three hours, travelers get time to savour cuisines and take in the scenic spots.

"The western island offers visitors view of volcanic landscapes and ethnic group culture, which serve as kind of a complement to sceneries in the east," said Zhou Ping, deputy director of Hainan Provincial Tourism Development Commission.

Here, we have chosen 10 out of the 12 cities and counties connected by the high-speed train, offering you a glimpse of the cuisines and sceneries scattered around this international island known for its beauty contest and Boao Forum for Asia.

Sanya

Scenic spots:

Yanoda Rainforest Tourism Zone a rainforest garden designed according to the landscape and mountain terrain. The place contains six rainforest wonders such as plant strangle, flower basket, old Stems Blossom, great roots, intertwined vines and huge stones embraced by roots. Visitors can not only enjoy the tranquillity of the rainforest, but also participate in the valley explore activities lead by local staff there. There is also a fantastic sky bridge in the park.

Local food:

Sanya's sea cucumber is a popular dish among visitors to Sanya. It is also known as plum blossom sea cucumber because of its pattern looks like scattered plum blossom. It is big in shape, and tastes crispy and tender. It is the best kind of sea cucumbers in Hainan.

Ledong

Scenic spots:

Jianfengling National Forest Park is situated in the west of Sanya, it is the largest and best preserved primeval tropical forest in China. With a diverse range of tropical vegetation and a beauty unspoiled by human intervention, this preserve is considered one of the rare ecological treasures of China.

Local food:

Ledong is known for its cashew plantation, which is the first cashew plantation in China. Here, cashew is cooked with chicken, or some local fruits and vegetables.

Lingao

Scenic spots:

Lingao Scenic Resort has a coastline that is great for walking and there are several lighthouses and ancient signaling towers. The Juren Waterfall is a 20-meter water drop into a deep pool, surrounded by trees, flowers and birdsong.

Local food:

Seafood cooked in kiln is a local specialty in Lingao. The seafood is prepared in silver papers with sources, and was put into the kiln when the latter is heated up. Such seafood is not only tasty, but also retains food nutrition at their best.

Qizi Bay

Scenic spots:

Qizi Bay, also known as Qiziwan, is located on the west coast of Hainan island. It is a road less travelled. The name Qizi Bay was named for its beautiful coloured pebbles that are found along the beach in coves among the rocks. The bay is noteworthy for its rocky coastline, breathtaking sunset view.

Local food:

Changcheng roasting suckling pig has crispy skin, tender meat, and heavenly scent. It is well known as a top-notch main dish. The piglets are raised especially for use in this dish. The best time to enjoy the dish is around the summer solstice, when the piglets are around 10 kilograms.

Haikou

Scenic spots:

Situated at northern Hainan, Haikou is the capital and most populous city in this province. Famous for its Dongzhai Port Natural Reserve, China's first national mangrove wetland reserve where 19 types of mangroves could be seen, it is also close to the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark located 15 km west of the city. Visitors could also take a look at the South China's seaside city architectures at the Haikou Arcaded streets at the city centre.

Local food:

Chingboleung is a sweet coconut soup commonly served with Hainanese cuisine. Often served cold with ice, the soup contains job's tears, dried logans, lotus seeds, raisin, red beans, sweet corn and dioscorea alata. It is delicious as well as nutritious.

Wenchang

Scenic spots:

Wenchang is a county-level city in the northeast of Hainan province. The city, though small, has China's fourth and southernmost satellite launch centre. The Yunlong Bay natural underwater garden where coral fauna are grown is known as "China's Great Barrier Reef". Visitors can also pay a visit at former residence of Soong Ching-ling, the second wife of Sun Yat-sen, leader of the 1911 revolution that established the Republic of China.

Local food:

Wenchang chicken is known throughout the province of Hainan for its tender texture. Usually golden yellow in colour, the chicken is "white cut" after boiled in hot water and is eaten by dipping the pieces in a mixture of spices and sources. The dish is also popular in Chinese mainland, in Hong Kong, Taiwan and other Southeast Asian countries.

Qionghai

Scenic spots:

Located in eastern Hainan, Qionghai city lies at the mouth of Wanquan River. Although called a city, Qionghai actually refers to a large land area in Hainan. Qionghai city is next to Boao, a town located next to it and famous for the Boao Forum for Asia.

Local food:

Yiba, a common snack in Hainan province, is a kind of glutinous rice cake that has a sweet filling. The snack is usually stuffed with grinded peanuts, sesame, coconut meat and mixed with sugar before putting into the steam box.

Wanning

Scenic spots:

Located in lower coast of eastern Hainan, Wanning is famous for its hot springs, including Xinlong and Jianling hot springs. The city has a state-level nature reserve called Dazhou Island, where small islands covered by rain forest and rocky terrain are home of cave nesting swifts.

Local food:

Hele crab is known for its golden and oil bright crab cream which spreads almost all over the back. The crab is eaten is various ways, among which steaming is most common. Ginger garlic vinegar is usually used to adjust its original flavor.

Lingshui

Scenic spots:

Nanwan Monkey Island is a state-protected nature reserve for macaque monkeys in Lingshui county in southern Hainan. The island is now home to about 2,000 monkeys. The reserve is China's largest area for raising and training monkeys. Visitors could enjoy the scenery of the beautiful island in cable cars.

Local food:

Lingshui sour rice noodle is both a snack and staple food for the locals. They eat them for breakfast and during festivals, and serve them to guests. The noodle is said to originate from Qing Dynasty (1644-1912), and because of its popularity, it can be found almost everywhere across the island.

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