Hainan. The edge of China. A piece of paradise for the whole of the 1,3 billion country's population. The paradise, which is so difficult to find if you come as a tourist. But an interesting, amazing world can open all sorts of doors if you come as an explorer.
The Island looks as if it consisted of small parts, hidden from visitors’ eyes - pieces of a puzzle are thrown about and around this speck of land. And you have to assemble them together to get a deep feeling about this pearl.
Our journey started like always with a great desire to be on the sea shore, enjoy sunlight, robust waves and other good things in life. Since I was in China, it was an easy task to choose a location for a beach holiday. Hainan is the most popular place in China for this, of course. When I was planning the time of my trip two of my lovely, but very different friends (Nataly and Sergey) sent me an invitation to join to them in Hainan almost at the same time. Lucky chance! It was the beginning of our fun adventures together.
The first to come was my friend Segrey, his flight landed in Sanya on an early morning, and his goal was to find a hotel. From that moment his big challenge started: no one understood him! It is really a great problem for travellers in China, because only a small portion of Chinese people speak English. When he was talking to the hotel staff, he eventually had to ask them to write a message on a piece paper, which he then shot with a camera phone and sent to me using WhatsApp, I would type an answer, which he would show to the receptionist. It was a funny way of communication, but thank you internet! I came that same day around midnight. Our exploration of Sanya, the first piece of Hainan's puzzle, began.
The first impression was terrifically bad! I expected to see a quickly developing city like everywhere else in China. But the centre of Sanya is a plain countryside without any unique architecture. Afterwards, we discovered that is only the style of this city. Everything interesting is along its perimeter. Such as its magnificent bay.
Sanya Bay! Fantastic place for enjoying sunsets, waves and lying under palm leafs with coconuts. Sipping coconut water and being happy about life, sun and blue skies. And, of course, Sanya Bay is an "it" place for good respectable hotels, opened at all hours for white-skinned persons to a rest for free! It’s incredible, but it is true. You can stay in a small hostel and visit every day high-serviced hotels such as Sheraton, Holiday Inn, enjoy SPA, swimming pools and other stuff as if you were staying there. Feel like a diplomat visiting a friendly country. Everything included and the staff smiles all the time, as well. Sanya Bay is such a delightful piece of the puzzle.
On the third day of our journey, after we, on an off chance, met my fellow Moscovites, Nataly and her friend Alena, we continued partying with them (Ka-boom! I am really a lucky guy, my friends) . From that day we started a new page of our journey and spiritual life.
We decided to go to the beach for a night swim. We swam, discussed achievements of new goals of our lives, changes and aspirations and admired the night sky spangled by billions of galaxies. While we were clearly realizing that time is eternal and happiness is everywhere, someone stole our bags with our Phones, money and other personal things. From that moment we had no communication with the rest of the world or with each other, but we still had fun and desire in our hearts.
It’s hard to understand, but absence of phones provided us with new colours of life. We began to live like true adventure seekers, live here and now, take emotions from every moment. And we decided to spend our nights on the beach like Robinson Crusoe in an uninhabited island.
Girls booked a hotel room in the most fashionable place of Sanya region, Yalong Bay. The coast is full of high-end hotels and… that’s all. Nothing more. Luxury and silence. Only five-star hotels spanning around 20 km from Sanya city in every direction. Thus we found this new bizarre piece of Hainan’s puzzle.
We left our clothes and stuff at the girls’ room and started spending nights lying on sunbeds equipped with soft mats and pillows, talking about philosophy of life, wondering at the stellar sky and fell asleep with the sounds of sea. It is really a fantastic feeling! You feel as a part of nature. No urban bustle, no infinite chatting with friends, no virtual life. Only you, common blazing hearts, photogenic nature and ideas of new adventures.
In the morning sun always awoke us with its heat. Immediately, we ran to the sea to swim and enjoy the power of the waves. It is the best way to start a day. And we have been already prepared for an adventure.
We would rent a car! It is really a big deal on this island because for car rental you must have the driving license of China. Big advantage is to be able to speak Chinese with local people. One manager of a rental let us to hire a car, without even inquiring about any driving license. And because of that car, we had a really unique way to explore Hainan.
We continued collecting the pieces of the puzzle scattered all over the island. We drove, had fun and explored. We used only a touristic map, no GPS. It was a challenge to find a road to a place we wanted to see only by asking locals for directions. Mountains of central part of Hainan, tropical forests, fantastic bays and lagoons, small authentic hamlets, sea fishing villages, the high-speed railway. Every location that is hidden from tourists' eyes is wonderful. Small pearls that are creating the unearthly beauty of this island. The pieces of puzzle which formed a unique, harmonious impression of Hainan Island.