China Meets Waikiki: Surfin’ Hainan Island
Tuesday, March 17, 2009
Hainan Island, China’s southernmost province (geographically it seems more Vietnam than China), may not be a world-famous getaway just yet, but that will likely be changing very soon. Its tropical landscapes, giant beaches and surfing opportunities are helping to spur a boom in travel to a very un-Chinese like part of China. As the NYT points out, those looking to try out the surf are set year-round: “Between April and September, waves tend to come from the south, while October to March brings a northeastern winter swell.”
This being the NYT, they also point out the island’s recent construction of luxury hotels that are helping to sap the province of its identity (Ritz-Carlton, Le Méridien, Crowne Plaza, etc…) But good news for those looking to stray away from the more Miamiesque parts of Hainan, a short drive from the construction leads to “stretches of green, mist-covered mountain slopes” and “hillsides heavy with mango trees and rice paddies worked by teams of farmers and water buffalo.” Try finding that on a short drive out of Miami.