What to Buy in Sanya
Sanya is not only one of the best tropical retreats in China for relaxing and soaking up the sun beneath blue skies and on golden sands, but the city is also a shopping paradise; Sanya boasts an abundance of top class malls, shops and markets for picking up anything from local specialties like pearls and coffee, to luxury clothing and accessories. And now that the government has reduced VAT on products, shopping in Sanya has never been more appealing than now (see more details here). Here’s your guide to uncovering the best shopping spots on sunny Sanya.
But before we shop, let’s take a look at the local specialties Sanya has to offer:
1) Coffee: Sanya’s climate is perfect for coffee growing and the area has been producing high-grade coffee beans for about 70 years already. You can easily pick up ground coffee, charcoal roasted coffee, roast coffee and instant coffee with milk powder and sugar already added.
2) Specialty alcohol: Hainan has a wide selection of local alcohols made using locally grown, natural ingredients. Look out for the various jars and bottles in stores and tourist shops.
3) Specialty teas: Black and green teas are the most common teas found in Hainan, but the island also brags its own unique teas like Shuiman tea,Xianglan Tea and coconut tea.
4) Coconut products: You’ll find coconuts and coconut products everywhere on the island. Coconuts sell for around 5-10 RMB at tourist spots but can be cought for much cheaper (3.5-4 RMB) at stalls further away from tourist hot spots.
5) Tropical fruit (especially dried fruit products): Dragon fruit, pineapples, melons, passion fruit, mangoes, durian… you’ll find these and more in abundance on the island.
6) Dried seafood and marine products: You’ll find a huge variety of fish and marine products here, such as octopus, snakehead fish, gurnard, dried seahorses, dried snail mussels etc..
7) Pearls: considered one of the treasures of Hainan, this is the place to go to buy genuine, precious pearls. Besides jewellery, the pearls are also used in beauty and health products.
8) Shells: there’s no shortage of beautiful shells in Sanya, but if you’re not having much luck finding them on the beach, you’ll find plenty of them re-worked into arts and crafts in shops, street stalls etc. Normally, 10 RMB gets you a nug bag of shells.
9)  Coconut carvings – coconut shells are carved into beautiful little statues and handicrafts – the perfect little souvenir for friends back home. You’ll find these in most shops and sold on the streets.
10) Li minority textiles: Li textiles are the oldest known textiles in China, dating back to 3000 years ago. Rich in colour and precise in detail, Li textiles are commonly used for clothing, interior décor etc.

11) Crystal: natural crystal is found here which is polished and carved into beautiful bracelets, necklaces, earrings, glasses and accessories.

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