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Travel in China: Wenchang in Hainan Province

A far quieter paradise compared to Hainan's other hectic tourist cities

Flying into Haikou Meilan Airport from Shanghai is about a three-hour endeavor. From the airport, guests can take a 20-minute train ride to Wenchang City. A train ticket will cost you about RMB17.50, while a taxi costs about RMB200 for a 60-minute trip.

 

 

See

 

Courtesy of Hilton Wenchang

 

The biggest draw to the area lately is one you may not expect: space travel. Out of four in China, Wenchang has the only rocket launch site that is visible to the public. After their test launch back in June, regular rocket launches are scheduled to happen once a month throughout the fall. While the army presence makes it difficult for foreigners to visit the site itself, picture-perfect natural formations like Da’ao Stone Park and the pristine, virgin beaches of Pure Moon Bay provide a frankly more interesting and untouched respite from city life.

 

What Wenchang lacks in big tourist attractions, it makes up for in empty beaches and bike paths - making it a near-perfect place to unplug and unwind without having to trade in your renminbi.

 

 

Eat & Drink

 

 

It’s common lore here that their most famous local dish wenchang ji, or Wenchang chicken, is so delicious because the chickens feed on coconut meat. Dongshan mutton and salt-baked chicken are also two specialties of the area. Unsurprisingly the seaside city also boasts bountiful fish and paella-style seafood dishes.

 

 

Hainan’s tropical climate make coconuts in the area delicious - and some say these are some of the best on the entire island. Roadside sellers will hack open a fresh green one for you for around RMB6 each. Take a stroll through Dongjiao Coconut Forest, one of the larger coconut groves in the area, to crack one open for yourself.

 

 

Sleep

 

Courtesy of the Hilton Wenchang

 

Unlike Sanya, Wenchang remains relatively untouched by tourists, which makes first-class service there a rarity. For foreign travelers we recommend the Hilton Wenchang (www.hilton.com/cn/wenchang). Situated on a beautiful and quiet beachfront in Qishui Bay, they have rooms as low as RMB442/night on promotion.

 

 

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Mayura Jain
Mayura Jain is a writer, artist and designer based in Shanghai. She has accidentally done some of her best networking while dancing on speakers around the city.

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