From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Prefecture-level city
West part of Sanya
West part of Sanya
Location Sanya City jurisdiction in Hainan
Location Sanya City jurisdiction in Hainan
Sanya is located in Hainan
Location of the city centre in Hainan
Coordinates: 18°15′12″N 109°30′13″E / 18.25333°N 109.50361°E / 18.25333; 109.50361Coordinates: 18°15′12″N 109°30′13″E / 18.25333°N 109.50361°E / 18.25333; 109.50361
Country People's Republic of China
Province Hainan
 • CPC Municipal Secretary Jiang Sixian
 • Total 1,919.58 km2 (741.15 sq mi)
Population (2010 Census)
 • Total 685,408
 • Density 360/km2 (920/sq mi)
Time zone China Standard (UTC+8)
Postal code 572100
Area code(s) 0898
Licence plate prefixes

Sanya (simplified Chinese: 三亚; traditional Chinese: 三亞; pinyin: Sānyà) is one of the three prefecture-level cities of Hainan and the southernmost city on the Chinese island. According to the 2010 Census, the population of Sanya is of 685,408 inhabitants,[1] living in an area of 1,919.58 square kilometres (741.15 sq mi). The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination, also serving as the training site of the Chinese national beach volleyball team. Sanya is home to small concentrations of Utsul people.


Known in ancient times as Yazhou (Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Ngaichiu; 崖州), literally "cliff state or prefecture", Sanya's history dates to the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BC). Due to its remoteness from the political centers during the imperial period of mainland China, Sanya was sometimes called Tianya Haijiao (天涯海角), meaning "the end of the sky and ocean" or "the end of the earth". As a result, the city served as a place of exile for officials who found themselves out of favor with the country's rulers. During the Tang Dynasty, the Buddhist monk Jianzhen accidentally landed here, using Sanya as a staging post on his missionary journey to Japan.[2]

In 1912, Yazhou became Yaxian (崖县)Chinese Postal Map Romanisation: Aihsien or Ngaihsien). Japan then occupied the area during the Second Sino-Japanese War (1941–1945) and renamed Sanya as Samah. The city then became a naval port for the Second Fleet of the Imperial Japanese Navy and the main embarkation point for the Japanese Invasion of Malaya and Thailand.[3]

In April 1950, the People's Liberation Army took over Yaxian County and established a People's Government. In October 1954, the administration of the CPC Yaxian Committee relocated from Yacheng to Sanya then in 1958, administration of Yaxian relocated from Yacheng to Sanya and Yaxian merged with Baoting, Lingshui, Niulou, and Xinglong, Wanning, to become a large county. In 1959 and 1961 these areas were separated to establish Baoting and Lingshui while Yaxian County remained in its current prefecture. Approved by the State Council of China, Yaxian was upgraded to Sanya City on September 26, 1987 and on December 30, Sanya City was officially established.[4]

In 2007 the Beijing Olympic Organizing Committee announced that the city of Sanya would become the first leg of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games torch relay in mainland China.[5]

Geography and climate[edit]

Sanya city map

Sanya lies at the southern tip of Hainan Island at Sanya Bay, and, after Sansha (also administered by Hainan Province), is the second-southernmost prefecture-level city nationally. Located at 18° 15' N latitude, it is about as far north of the Equator as the Island of Hawaii is. Though the administrative area (Sanya City) has a rough topography, the city itself is generally flat, lying on a parcel of land between low-level mountains to the north and the South China Sea.


The area has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw),[6] featuring very warm weather all year around. Monsoonal influences are strong, with a relatively lengthy wet season and a pronounced dry season. The coolest month is January, at 21.6 °C (70.9 °F), while the hottest, unlike much of the rest of China, is June, at 28.8 °C (83.8 °F); the annual mean is 25.8 °C (78.4 °F). Water temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) year-round.[7]

Climate data for Sanya (1971–2000)
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 26.1
Daily mean °C (°F) 21.6
Average low °C (°F) 18.5
Rainfall mm (inches) 8.0
Avg. precipitation days (≥ 0.1 mm) 3.4 3.6 3.9 5.6 10.0 14.0 13.8 16.0 17.0 13.5 6.6 3.7 111.1
Source: Weather China[7]


It has direct jurisdiction over four county-level districts and two township-level subdistricts (乡级管理区 xiangji guanli-qu), six towns ( zhen) and four state-run farms:

Jiyang District (吉阳区)
English Name Simplified Pinyin Area Population Density
Hedong (Sub)District 河东区街道办 Hédōng Qū Jiēdào Bàn 35 147,944 4,227
Jiyang 吉阳镇 Jíyáng Zhèn 199 92,316 464
Nanxin Farm 国营南新农场 Guóyíng Nánxīn Nóngchǎng N.D. 16,801 N.D.
Tianya District (天涯区)
English Name Simplified Pinyin Area Population Density
Hexi (Sub)District 河西区街道办 Héxī Qū Jiēdào Bàn 10 134,026 13,403
Fenghuang 凤凰镇 Fènghuáng Zhèn 487 66,801 137
Tianya 天涯镇 Tiānyá Zhèn 269 34,934 130
Yucai 育才镇 Yùcái Zhèn 315 17,515 56
Licai Farm 国营立才农场 Guóyíng Lìcái Nóngchǎng N.D. 16,659 N.D.
Haitang District (海棠区)
English Name Simplified Pinyin Area Population Density
Haitangwan 海棠湾镇 Hǎitángwān Zhèn 254 44,617 176
Nantian Farm 国营南田农场 Guóyíng Nántián Nóngchǎng N.D. 24,280 N.D.
Yazhou District (崖州区)
English Name Simplified Pinyin Area Population Density
Yacheng 崖城镇 Yáchéng Zhèn 383 74,779 195
Nanbin Farm 国营南滨农场 Guóyíng Nánbīn Nóngchǎng N.D. 14,736 N.D.


In recent years Sanya has become a popular tourist destination.[8] The first international resort hotel was opened and managed by Swiss hotelier Nicolas C. Solari in 1999, in Yalong Bay.[9] Numerous international hotel chains are now established in the area. In 2009 hotel group Mandarin Oriental opened their first property in mainland China in the Dadong Hai area of Sanya.

Because of unique geographical and political circumstances to Sanya, many niche markets have been cultivated in real estate, food and beverage management, Chinese language and cultural exchange, agro-tourism, and wilderness adventures.

Due to increased development, new venues for resorts have been developed. Formerly popular sites such as Dadong Hai and Yalong Bay have now been somewhat supplanted by the new Haitang Bay and Xiangshui Bay, where the natural environment remains largely unspoiled.[10] Haitang Bay (simplified Chinese: 海棠湾; traditional Chinese: 海棠灣; pinyin: Hǎitáng Wān)—is a new development in Sanya tourism scene.[11] The government has invested heavily in this area, as can be observed by the infrastructure.[12] The new highway puts Haitang Bay to only 35 minutes from the Phoenix International Sanya airport, and Haitang Bay is home of the modern 301 Liberation Army hospital. The largest duty-free shopping mall complex is due to open in 2013–14. The selection of accommodation is on the upper luxury, with brands such as Conrad, Luxury brand and some flagship properties such as the beautiful Haitang Bay Gloria Sanya.[13] Haitang Bay is been dubbed the new "Chinese Riviera".[14]

Russian and English signs can be seen throughout the city. Restaurants in Sanya are also infamous for over-charging tourists (whether foreign or Chinese).[15] However, due to the recent exposure of this practice posted on the micro-blogging site Sina Weibo, Hainan government officials and Sanya city officials have vowed to crack down on this practice.[16] The Sanya Industrial and Commercial Bureau has also began to implement an open and transparent real-time information system of the city’s seafood restaurants during the May Day holiday this year for public supervision in order to stop any future price gouging by restaurants.[17]

Main sights[edit]

  • The Guanyin Statue of Hainan, a 108 metres (354 ft) Buddhist statue, completed in May 2005 and one of the tallest statues in the world[18] and the adjoining Nanshan Temple.
  • Yalong Bay, a 7.5 kilometres (4.7 mi) major tourist beach located east of Sanya City.
  • Tianya Haijiao (The ends of the earth and the corners of the sea)
  • Deer Turning Head Park (Luhuitou Park 鹿回头公园) - A park containing a large stone statue above Sanya harbour telling the story of a hunter pursuing a deer to an isolated headland near the sea. When the deer could not escape, it turned to look at the hunter and became a beautiful woman. The hunter could not kill the deer and instead fell in love with her. People leave a padlock on a chain at the top of the mountain in the hope that their love will last as long as the lock remains.
  • Dadonghai, Sanya, Haitang, and Yazhou, Xiangshuiwan Bay are the five major bays in Sanya, Xiangshuiwan Bay remains the most beautiful and natural near the famous Nuilin Mountain.[19]
  • Butterfly Valley (蝴蝶谷; pinyin: Húdié Gǔ)[20] and a shell aquarium.[21]

Other attractions include:


The city is served by Sanya Phoenix International Airport. Buses from other parts of the island serve Sanya's bus terminal. Taxis are available throughout the city.

The No. 8 bus connects the airport to Dadonghai Beach and Yalong Bay.

Construction of the Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail began in 2007. The railway now links Sanya and Haikou and runs along the east coast of Hainan. There are 15 stations in between, either in operation or still under construction. Trains are designed to travel at 250 km/h (160 mph). Travel time from Sanya to Haikou is approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes. On December 30, 2010, an announcement was made that another high-speed railway will be built along the west coast of Hainan connecting with the Hainan East Ring Intercity Rail in Sanya and Haikou.


The city hosted the:

Image gallery[edit]


  1. ^ (Chinese) Compilation by LianXin website. Data from the Sixth National Population Census of the People's Republic of China
  2. ^ "Sanya history". Sanya Municipal Network Information Center. 2009. Retrieved August 16, 2013. 
  3. ^
  4. ^
  5. ^
  6. ^ Peel, M. C. and Finlayson, B. L. and McMahon, T. A. (2007). Updated Asian Map of the Köppen climate classification system. Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. 11: 1633-1644.
  7. ^ a b "三亚城市介绍" (in Simplified Chinese). Weather China. Retrieved 2011-05-27. 
  8. ^
  9. ^ "Bartram A.,(2007). An island apart". sinomedia Online. 2007-02-08. Retrieved 2008-08-12. 
  10. ^
  11. ^
  12. ^
  13. ^
  14. ^
  15. ^
  16. ^
  17. ^ The Sanya Industrial and Commercial Bureau has set up an open and transparent real-time information system of the city’s seafood restaurants during the May Day holiday this year for public supervision.
  18. ^ "Top 10 Highest Monuments around the World,". Retrieved February 12, 2011. 
  19. ^ (Chinese) Haitang Bay in Sanya, Xinhuanet December 26, 2007.
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^ "Hainan will build the next ten years theme park (Figure)". China daily. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  23. ^ "First signs of the trend in developing hainan theme parks - Haikoutour". Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  24. ^ "why did sea theme park settle in lingshui - can the inflatable toys save the children who". 2010-12-30. Retrieved 2011-11-13. 
  25. ^
  26. ^

External links[edit]