Sanya is the southernmost city on Hainan Island, and one of the three prefecture-level cities of Hainan Province, in Southeast China.
According to the 2010 Census, the population of Sanya is of 685,408 inhabitants, living in an area of 1,919.58 square kilometres. 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 team. Sanya is home to small concentrations of Utsul people.
Known in ancient times as Yazhou, postal romanization: Aichow, literally “cliff state or prefecture”, Sanya’s history dates to the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BCE). Due to its remoteness from the political centers during the Imperial China eras on Mainland China, Sanya was sometimes called Tianya Haijiao (天涯海角), meaning “the end of the sky and ocean” or “the end of the earth”. As a result, the city served as a place of exile for officials who found themselves out of favor with the country’s rulers.
During the Tang dynasty, the Buddhist monk Jianzhen accidentally landed here, using Sanya as a staging post on his missionary journey to Japan.
In recent years Sanya has become a popular tourist destination. Numerous international hotel chains are now established in the area. In 2009 the luxurious Mandarin Oriental hotel group opened in the Dadong Hai area of Sanya, their first property in mainland China. There are now over 100 hotels, ranging from international brands to locally managed resorts.
Russian and English signs can be seen throughout the city. Restaurants in Sanya are also infamous for over-charging tourists (whether foreign or Chinese). However, due to the recent exposure of this practice posted on the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, Hainan government officials and Sanya city officials have vowed to crack down on this practice. The Sanya Industrial and Commercial Bureau has also begun to implement an open and transparent real-time information system of the city’s seafood restaurants during the May Day holiday this year for public supervision in order to stop any future price gouging by restaurants.
Sanya is facing a few challenges as it continues to expand at such a rapid rate, lack of infrastructure to support tourism, difficulty in reaching the location due to limited flights and airport capacity, sound pollution, traffic and road safety, pollution of the beaches and most importantly shortage of quality hospitality talent.
Want to know more about Sanya? Come visit us.
21F, 319 Changde Road (corner of West Beijing Road)
Closest metro: Line 2/7 Jing’an Temple, Exit 3/10, A 5 min walk away
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