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Old 03-21-2013, 05:56 AM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
24,683 posts, read 45,430,478 times
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Dubbed 'China's Hawaii' Hainan island is only just really opening up to international tourism. Long a tropical vacation spot for Chinese people, especially during the cold winters, it boasts some very nice, relatively unspoilt beaches (definitely by Chinese standards), and is basically in South-East Asia (Hainan is roughly the same latitude as central Vietnam). It also boasts an interesting local culture, the Li people, a local ethnic minority who actually speak a language related to Thai. Of course, the visa requirement makes China a tad less backpacker friendly (right now the main backpacker targets are Yunnan, and perhaps the larger cities). There's also plenty of opportunity for observing nature, hiking, other activities.

Do you think Hainan will become increasingly noticed by foreign travellers as a great place to go for a beachy, tropical type holiday along with the usual haunts like Thailand, Malaysia, Vietnam?
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:36 AM
 
Location: Macao
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I'm curious as well. To me, it holds no interest whatsoever. I just don't find mainland Chinese people to be nearly as interesting or pleasant to be around as I do the Southeast Asians. (That's not to say I don't like Chinese people, just not Mainland Chinese on the mainland China so much).

That being said, I've never actually been to Hainan Island. It's hard to imagine including it in your 'must see of China' list though. When most non-mainlander-Chinese wants beaches in Asia, than Southeast Asia will always be #1. I just can't imagine some beach in China being that great to change the dynamics on that.

Additionally, for American tourists anyways, there is that hefty $150 visa fee to just enter the country. If they are trying to make themselves more international tourism, they are going to have get rid of some of those policies that discourage tourists. I went to China twice, and knowing that hefty visa fee that I must pre-arrange each time hovers over me, it routinely sends me to other countries. Despite China always being relatively close to me (having lived in Korea & Japan for so many years).

The only way I'd consider Hainan is if they dropped the visa hassles for Americans, and they began having internationally direct and cheap flights from all over Asia directly into Hainan. That and if I could be sure Hainan hotels and foods and such could be as cheap as southeast asian ones. I think my impression now, and maybe it's a wrong one, is that they are marketing themselves as higher-end more aimed at wealthy coastal Chinese from Beijing and Shanghai. I also get the impression that the tourism in Hainan would heavily favor a very Chinese mainlander audience without much there to appeal to non-Chinese. I could be wrong about all of that though.
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Old 03-21-2013, 10:58 AM
 
Location: City of Angels
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i seriously doubt it. sanya resorts are so lame, faceless, lack character. the beach sucks, etc. that mixed with the more tiresome visa process and the language barrier? maybe it will become popular with dumb russian tourists who don't know any better, i don't know. but i doubt it will ever be popular among westerners.
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Old 03-21-2013, 05:46 PM
 
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I know someone who was just there. He was coming to China to work in any case afterward. He definitely recommends it as a place to visit but he said that nobody speaks English there as he had to communicate using hand gestures.
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Old 03-21-2013, 06:58 PM
 
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For the most part, Sanya is designed for Chinese, Koreans and Russians only.
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Old 03-21-2013, 07:30 PM
 
Location: The western periphery of Terra Australis
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From what I've seen it looks like Hainan's beaches are definitely impressive, but I agree it lacks the more established tourist infrastructure of Thailand. I've heard Hainanese people are quite different to mainland Chinese, the pace of life is slower, more tropical. Russians make up 25% of international tourists. I can definitely see it becoming a lot more popular, but it might never rival Thailand.
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:08 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Trimac20 View Post
From what I've seen it looks like Hainan's beaches are definitely impressive, but I agree it lacks the more established tourist infrastructure of Thailand. I've heard Hainanese people are quite different to mainland Chinese, the pace of life is slower, more tropical. Russians make up 25% of international tourists. I can definitely see it becoming a lot more popular, but it might never rival Thailand.
A lot of businesses in Sanya are run by northeastern Chinese (dongbei ren).
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Old 03-21-2013, 08:12 PM
 
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Don't count on any changes in Chinese visa policy for US citizens. They're just doing to us what we do to them. If we reduce our fees they will reduce theirs. I don't see it happening anytime soon, though.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:24 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,379,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stoutboy View Post
Don't count on any changes in Chinese visa policy for US citizens. They're just doing to us what we do to them. If we reduce our fees they will reduce theirs. I don't see it happening anytime soon, though.
Exactly.

I guess it's the U.S government that doesn't want to change.
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Old 03-27-2013, 01:27 AM
 
Location: Texas
843 posts, read 1,379,041 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by foadi View Post
i seriously doubt it. sanya resorts are so lame, faceless, lack character. the beach sucks, etc. that mixed with the more tiresome visa process and the language barrier? maybe it will become popular with dumb russian tourists who don't know any better, i don't know. but i doubt it will ever be popular among westerners.
The beach is decent but nowhere close to that in Florida and Hawaii. Definitely no need to fly 20 hours from west hemiphere to visit.
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