Along the Hainan coastline there are a number of land areas that were once the most important sources of salt on the island.
Visitors can go there to see how salt is formed. In neat, square-shaped salt fields, heaps of crystallized white salt lie beneath thin layers of seawater. In some fields where the seawater has evaporated, visitors can use rakes to play with the salt and form it into piles.
Dongfang Salt Field 东方盐场
The salts produced from the Dongfang Salt Field were once listed as tribute to the Chinese imperial court.
More than 150 years ago, local people developed the traditional salt production techniques used there. The method uses specially excavated beds to dry the brine.
There are seven workshops dotting the six regional counties along the coastline. The Dongfang Salt Field became fully state-owned in 1955 and was one of the three largest salt production bases in Hainan.
As sunset draws closer, many amateur photographers come here to take pictures. The orange afterglow of the sinking sun is reflected in the shallow seawater, creating a beautiful scene.
Yinggehai Salt Field 乐东莺歌海盐场
Yinggehai Salt Field, located on the southwestern seashore of Ledong County, is one of the largest salt fields in Hainan.
The salt field, which covers an area of about 60 square kilometers, was officially established as a fish production site in 1958. The sun-drenched field is shielded from northern winds and other elements by the Jianfengling Ridge. The salt production facility is noted for the high salinity of its nearby seawater.
Yangpu Ancient Salt Field 儋州洋浦千年古盐田
The Yangpu Ancient Salt Field is an archeological heritage site in Yantian Village on the Yangpu Peninsula in Hainan.
The area comprises more than 1,000 stones, cut flat on top, which are used to evaporate seawater to produce salt. The stones have a thin rim around the edge to contain the water. During high tide, the surface of the stones becomes filled with seawater. During low tide, this evaporates, leaving the salt, which is then collected.
It is said the area was established around 800 AD when a group of salt workers from Putian city in Fujian Province moved to Yangpu. Today, only a small group of villagers continue to make salt using this method and it is not their main source of income.