Surfing isn’t the first thing I think of when considering outdoor activities in China. Believe it or not, China actually has a small yet somewhat vibrant and growing surf scene. It is on the island of Hainan, the very southernmost property of the People’s Republic of China on the South China Sea. Tourist websites tout this area as the “Hawaii of China”. It is most certainly not Waikiki Beach nor half as spectacular as beaches in Southern Thailand, Malaysia, much less Hawaii. The water here is cleaner and a bit nicer than waters found in other coastal areas of China, but that crystal clear turquoise blue that you find in tropical places will certainly not be found.
Still, it is a nice place; full of young Chinese people that are just dying to be cool. Decent beginner waves:
The bars are chill and filled with music. Jack Johnson and Bob Marley are incredibly cliche, but heck, these young surf-hipster Chinese are trying REALLY hard. Western music is always welcome to my ears. They get a free pass from me this week.
China is a very crowded place. Open space is precious and I am always on a quest to find areas where I see fewer people. Yalong Bay is pretty chill and thinned out:
Being on the South China Sea, I have been on a quest for good seafood. You would think that a tourist area might have more spectacular food and flair of the local area; however, I can’t vouch that for Sanya. Can’t say much about the food around here because it is not up to par with my favorite places in Shanghai. Nevertheless, I have found a few decent meals down here. Nothing like beer and shrimp dumplings to start off the day right:
This guy knows how to relax at the beach bar:
They even break boards around here:
Further north from Sanya is Sun and Moon Bay. I stopped here on my way south to Sanya (about 30 clicks south of the Wanning High Speed Train Station). They hold Hainan Surf Open here every November. International sponsors and surfers alike flock to this place so the scene must obviously be making some headway. I was there during a stormy period and the winds weren’t so good. I want to get back here when the conditions are right.
If you are living in China and have the itch for surfing, please check out Surfing Hainan. If you are staying in Dadonghai, Chris and Wade at the Sanya Backpackers are experts on the local area. Surfs up!