Haikou, sometimes called "Coconut City," is the political, economic, cultural center, and the transportation hub of Hainan Province. Haikou's population is 1.73 million.
Because of its tropical location, Haikou has a long summer and no winter with year-round pleasant weather (an average annual temperature of 23.8 °C). The air, water and environmental cleanliness of Haikou all rank among the top in the nation. Come to Haikou to enjoy the blue skies, a lush green landscape, crystal clear ocean and white sand beaches.
Although Haikou is a young provincial capital, it is a well-known historical city. Its origins can be traced back to the Han Dynasty (206 B.C-A.D.220). By the 13th century the city was already well established as a trading port and an important stop on the Maritime Silk Road.
Haikou's famous "Five Street Area" has a unique blend of Chinese, Southeast Asian and Western Architecture. These streets have witnessed the transformation of Haikou from an old port town to today's flourishing coastal city.
Haikou is located in the north tip of Hainan Island, and at the north side of the low-latitude tropical zone. It has a hot monsoon climate. The annual average temperature is 23.8°C with highs of 28.0°C and lows of 18.8°C. No snows throughout the year.
|Weather averages for Haikou|
|Avg high °C (°F)||21 (70)||22 (72)||26 (79)||30 (86)||32 (90)||33 (91)||33 (91)||32 (90)||31 (88)||29 (84)||26 (79)||22 (72)|
|Avg low °C (°F)||16 (61)||17 (63)||19 (66)||23 (73)||25 (77)||26 (79)||26 (79)||26 (79)||25 (77)||23 (73)||20 (68)||17 (63)|
|Rain cm (inches)||1.36 (0.5)||2.83 (1.1)||3.43 (1.4)||5.91 (2.3)||14.46 (5.7)||16.63 (6.5)||16.89 (6.6)||18.18 (7.2)||16.69 (6.6)||13.4 (5.3)||4.19 (1.6)||2.74 (1.1)|
|Source: per MSN 2008|
 Getting in & Getting out
 By Air
Haikou Meilan Airport (zh:海口美兰机场) is located 25 km away from the city center, in the town of Meilan of Qiongshan city. The airport has more than 60 routes to many domestic and foreign cities including Hong Kong, Macau, Fukuoka of Japan, Jeju of Korea, Singapore, and countries like Thailand and Malaysia. The airport transportation includes:
- Airport shuttles: Run every 30 minutes from 5:30am until the last flight. Fare is 20 yuan.
- Buses: Bus lines #21 and #41 go to the airport from city area. The fare is 5 yuan.
- Taxis: Costs about 60 yuan.
How to get to Sanya from Haikou airport:
- By taxi directly to Sanya for 300~400 yuan.
- By bus via Haikou South Bus Station: first take shuttle to Haikou South Bus Station, and take bus to Sanya. The trip takes about 3 hours and 20 min for about 80 yuan. The buses leave every 10 min for Sanya Central Bus Station. Then take taxi to different places in Sanya (Yalong Bay for 50 yuan; Dadonghai for 10 yuan; other places inside the city for 7 yuan. May cost slightly more in the night time).
- By Bus via Haikou East Bus Station: first take shuttle to Haikou East Bus Station fpr 15 yuan. The take free bus to Haikou South Bus Station.
 By Train
Haikou Railway Station is about 20 km from the city center near the sea. The station is equipped with four hard seat and a soft-seat waiting rooms. Express air-conditioned trains go to Shanghai, Guangzhou, Beijing. It takes about 11 hours to get to Guangzhou.
- The time for the train to stay on the ferry to cross the sea is 55 minutes. Passengers will stay inside the train while being carried by the ferry across the sea.
- Haikou Station hotline: 0898-31686222.
 By Bus
 By Ship
Haikou is served by two ports: New Port (新港), and Haikou Xiuying Port (海口秀英港). There are more than 40 ferries going to Hong Kong and other coastal cities in China every day.
- New Port
Mainly serves the ferries carrying passengers and buses between Zhanjiang Port and Hai'an (海安). The port is located about 500 m to the north of the new port bridge on Binhai Blvd. The information hotline is 0898-66210596.
- Haikou - Hai'an: every half an hour. Time: 6:30-18:00 daily.
- Haikou - Beihai: only once per day. Time 18:00 pm.
- Haikou - Zhanjiang: twice per day. Time: 9:30 and 13:30.
- Xiuying Port (秀英港)
- Central Ticket office is at Xiuying Port on Binhai Blvd. Tel: 0898-68661943.
- Ticket office at Passenger terminal is at 7 Haifu Road. Tel: 0898-65351557.
The passenger ferry "Coconut Princess" (椰香公主) leaves Xiuying Port every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and arrive Huangpu Port in Guangzhou the next day. The trips taks about 18 hours, and the cost is as follows:
- Luxury Class: 450 Yuan.
- First Class: 260 Yuan.
- Second Class: 240 Yuan.
- Third Class (A): 208 Yuan.
- Third Class (B): 160 Yuan.
- Fourth Class: 144 Yuan.
Discounts are available to students with students IDs.
 Getting Around
 By Public Bus
very inexpensive, but you need to know the routes
 By Tour Bus
 By Metro
 By Taxi & Rental Car
Taxi which is the most expensive option. The are easily hailed everywhere in the city. The meter starts at CNY10, but it is customary to bargain before you get on, and a typical fare for a shorter trip is CNY15. The taxi from the airport is half an hour to the city centre and the cost for foreigners is around CNY100 (but the drivers will often try to arrange that you share the taxi with others)
Haikou's natural features – hot springs, marine forests, undersea villages, tropical wildlife parks and botanical gardens – and its many first-rate golf courses make it a popular holiday destination.
Haikou Crater Park (Huoshankou Gongyuan) is a 4A-level scenic spot in China. It is located in Hainan Province. Known as an international geological park, the volcanic crater, one of the most complete in the world, is located about fifteen kilometers southwest of the city of Haikou. Easily reached by highway, the crater is a remnant of a volcano that has lay dormant for 10,000 years. The area is an important source for scientific research as well as a popular tourist attraction.
Wugong Temple literarily means "Five Officials Temple." Located in the city of Haikou, in Hainan Province, the Temple is a national 3A-level scenic spot. It is one of the oldest buildings in the capital, and an important symbol of China's cultural heritage. Constructed in the Ming Dynasty, it tells the story of five famous officials that were exiled to Hainan for speaking out against the Emperors.
- Baohua Harbour View Hotel
- Haikou Hotel
- Haikou Huitong Hotel
- Haikou Tower Hotel
- Haikou Treasure Island Hotel
- Hainan Asgard Hotel
- Hainan Huatian Hotel
- Hainan New Hot Spring Hotel
- Hainan Xinyuan Hot Spring Hotel
- Hainan Yehai Hotel
- Chao Bing. Literally translates from Chinese Mandarin as ‘fried ice’, however it tastes much better than it sounds. First select any combination of the fresh tropical fruits on display. The fruits are chopped and blended. A device that looks similar to a frying pan is used to freeze the ingredients in a matter of minutes. This results in frozen fruit snack similar to a sorbet. Perhaps try a combination of Mango and Passion Fruit. A perfect snack for a steamy tropical evening. Costs just 2.5 RMB. Good Chao Bing vendors can be found on San Xi Lu, just off Renmin Dadao, on Haidian Island in the north of Haikou.
- Banqiao Road Local Restaurant Area. This large covered outdoor restaurant area is a unique local experience. To begin with have a look around the integrated fresh food market and choose what you want. There is much to pick from; coconut rice to strange seafood to Cobra snakes. It’s all alive when you purchase so you know its fresh and half the fun is just looking at what’s available. Each set of tables has its own kitchen and the food is cooked however you want. Expect to pay 30-40 rmb per person.
- The area south of East Haixiu Road has a number of small streets with small local restaurants cooking the food out in the street and with tables both in and out. Expect to pay CNY20-30 per person.
- Local street BBQ food ('XiaoKao'). Popular with locals, these vendors come out in the evening and serve a variety of BBQ'ed food. Choose what you want and take a seat while its cooked. Food is inexpensive and you can also buy cheap local beer. Locals eat, drink and play cards at these places until early morning. Many vendors can be found on Hai3 Dian4 Er4 Dong1 Lu4 (海甸二东路) on Haidian Island in the north of Haikou. Expect to pay CNY30-40 per person.
- Betel nuts. Illegal in some western countries, Betel nuts are common in South East Asia and India. Chewed for their effects as a mildly euphoric stimulant, attributed to the presence of relatively high levels of psychoactive alkaloids. Spot the locals who chew Betel nuts by their red teeth. Popular with bus drivers. Available on street corners for around 1 RMB.
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|Haikou and Sanya|
Besides delicious seafood, Haikou is known for producing aromatic coffee and a plethora of fruits and nuts. Here are just a few examples of the myriad unique specialties Haikou, the capital city of Hainan Province, has to offer.
Rambutans are round, oval-shaped red fruit with soft thorns, tasting much like litchi. Native to Malaysia, they mature from June to August, four months after flowering.
Hainan, with its tropical climate, is perfect for growing bananas. Banana farms dot the island, as Hainan's bananas are favored throughout China, well-known for their sweet pulp.
- Litchi (also known as lychee)
Known as the "King of Fruit," litchis are both palatable and nourishing. The white fleshy fruit comes wrapped in a reddish peel, which must be taken off before eating.
Longans look and taste much like litchis. They are smaller than litchis, and have yellow-brown peels instead of red ones. The fruit's leaf, flower, root, and seed can all be used as medicine.
Looking like big pinecones, pineapples have bumpy but nice-looking skin and sweet, yellow, juicy pulp.
Olives are small oily fruit. They are the source for olive oil.
- Monkey bread
Monkey bread is sticky, gooey fruit that tastes like bread after being roasted.
Coconuts are large, hard-shelled fruit with edible white flesh and lots of juice. When seen on a coconut palm, they are green in color. As they age, they turn brown; their hard shell is often used for creating coconut jewelry or other decorative items.
Cashews are kidney-shaped nuts, eaten after roasting.
 Night Life & Entertainment
 Night Clubs
- Try out Hao Bai Nian Entertainment City "海口好百年演艺城". Address: 海南海口市海秀路. Best performance & show. The cover charge only RMB40 with one free drink. A place must visit!
- Try out Queen's club in Guomao. Beer is cheap for a Chinese club at 10 RMB a bottle.
 Pubs and Bars
- Xuewu near Heping road on Haidiandao offers a decent outdoor environment as well as good pub style indoor area.
- Drink a fresh coconut. Vendors will chop the top off the coconut and give you a straw to drink the juice inside. Costs 2.5 to 3 RMB. Available on most street corners.
 Sports & Recreation
- Holiday Beach, (Follow Binhai Xilu out of the city to the west until after xixiu Beach and [the beach park], bus no 40 (CNY2) or a taxi (around CNY50)). Nice beach with a number of restaurants and cafes. Free, CNY20 rent for beach chairs and a parasol.
- Old Street (Lao3 Jie1). Explore old city streets, markets and shops. Located along Bo2 Ai4 Lu4, which is bounded by Chang2 Di1 Lu4 and Hai3 Xiu4 Dong1 Lu4. This is the only area in Haikou where the old buildings are preserved, giving rise to an authentic atmosphere. It has an eclectic range of shops: eg pets(puppies, chicks, cats, rabbits), household drapes, kitchen tools, hardware, roast duck, toys.
- Xīxiù Beach (西秀海滩), (Follow Bīnhǎi Xīlù out of the city to the west until just after the harbour area). Nice beach with a few restaurants. Watch the locals windsurfing and jogging. Not as much activity as at Holiday Beach, but closer to the city centre. Free.
 Excursions & Day Trips
Wenchang (文昌) is is one of the provincial of Hainan Province in southern China and is located at at the north-east coast of Hainan Island. Is the centre of Han settlement and the place where standard Hainanese is spoken. It is also one of the main sources of Hainanese migration overseas (Malaysia, Singapore & Thailand). It takes about 30 minutes by car from Haikou to Wenchang.
Bo'ao(博鳌) is a small town on the East coast of Hainan Island, China. Located at the mouth of the Wanquan river Boao is best known for the annual Boao Forum for Asia. Because of this prestigious event the town is impeccably maintained year round with blooming planters and clean swept streets. It has a diverse selection of ethnic restaurants as well as one of the most well known seafood eateries on the island. Peaceful and quiet, Boao is the perfect place that combines international savvt with small town appeal. Dotted with ancient temples and surrounded by lush rice fields, Boao is the perfect beach getaway for those who want to avoid the crowds and high prices of Sanya. Take the bus from Haikou to QiongHai(35rmb)then bus #2 to Boao.
Sanya, at the southern side of the island, is famous for its beaches and offers the best tourist facilities on the island. The bus journey to Sanya takes 3.5 hours from Haikou and costs about 78 RMB.
There are sometimes tours to Vietnam, by boat out of Haikou. These are designed for Chinese rather than international tourists, so they tend to give good value for money but not Western comforts.