Wuzhizhou Island, a pristine paradise islet near Sanya within tropical Hainan
White sand beaches, blue waters and palm trees don’t immediately come to mind when you think of China. But Hainan, the country’s most southerly province and second largest island after Taiwan, boasts all three. And Wuzhizhou Island, in Hainan’s Haitang Bay, is one of the best places to take advantage of these all these features.
Sitting in the South China Sea, the island, with a coastline of 5.7 kilometres, is only 30 kilometres from Sanya City. Today, Wuzhizhou is a playground of holidaymakers but in the past it was solely the home to a temple built for the originator of Chinese characters, Cang Jie, then Goddess Matsu, and later, a strategic defence zone. It was only during the 1990s that it became a place of leisure.
And leisure is what most visitors arriving on Wuzhizhou’s shores are interested in. With a warm, temperate climate year round, swimming is always on the agenda. The tropical marine zone surrounding the island means snorkelers and divers are treated to colourful fish, conches, sea urchins, sea cucumbers and plumes of coral.
For those interested in spending some time extended underwater, the dive centre on the island offers beginner and advanced dives. Other water sports available are surfing, gliding, sailing and canoeing.
If the underwater world is not your thing, there’s plenty to explore on land. The Southern and Eastern coastline is made up of dramatic boulders and cliff faces that look as through they might tumble into the sea. To the West and North, the terrain is level. Goddess Matsu Temple, looking over the ocean is another attraction, as well as Lover’s Bridge, Sunrise Rock, Lover’s Island and the Life Well.
Visitors who want more than a day trip can also stay on the island in a number of different accommodation options including Wuzhizhou Island Holiday Center with 81 rooms, Onshore Wooden Cabins, the Presidents’ Villa and Deluxe Mountain and Sea-view Rooms.
– The easiest way to get to Wuzhizhou wharf from Sanya is to take a taxi. It should cost CNY 50 for a one-way trip.
– The ferries to the island go from 7:40am to 6:00pm every 20 minutes. The journey last 10 minutes.
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