Escape to Sanya

With my birthday in the middle of October, Jun and I decided to forgo traveling during China’s October Holiday week and instead do something for my birthday. We decided to take the weekend and a few days off work in mid-October to visit Sanya in Hainan.

Our adventure started Friday evening after work as we both made our way to the airport. After going through security and having dinner at the airport, we soon found ourselves on the plane and on our way to Sanya.

When we got there we took a taxi to the hotel—the St. Regis Yalong Bay. Our taxi driver wasn’t the best of drivers, though, and had a difficult time getting to the hotel. Apparently, a typhoon that passed through the area had closed down one of the roads, or so the driver said. A few days later we learned the road had been closed for weeks due to planned reconstruction. Who knows? What was important was that we got to the hotel eventually.

After check-in, we soon found ourselves in our room. It was a lovely place with flowers everywhere welcoming us. By then it was late, Jun and I were tired and ready for bed. After cleaning up, we ended up sleeping soundly through the night.

Day 1

We didn’t plan to do much in Sanya beyond just relaxing. That’s probably a good thing since the first few days were rainy. The first morning there it was raining lightly. We decided to see how things went in the morning after breakfast before we made any plans.

As we were finishing breakfast the rain stopped. We decided to walk around the resort. As we passed the beach and were enjoying the views, it started to sprinkle. We decided it was light enough that we would continue our walk. Yet, the rain persisted and eventually became too heavy to enjoy walking. We went back to the room to dry off and think of what we could do next.

By late morning we decided we would go to the duty-free shopping zone and explore that area. As our Didi driver took us to the Haitang Bay area of Sanya the rain again stopped. When we arrived at the Sanya International Tax Exemption City, we walked around the shopping center and browsed at some stores. Nothing of interest caught our eyes and the crowds were a bit overwhelming.

We decided to have a late lunch at a local seafood restaurant. The place was wonderful and the food delicious. We enjoyed ourselves and were ready to do something fun.

We noticed on the drive to the restaurant that the Atlantis Hotel was nearby. I heard from colleagues that the Lost Chambers Aquarium was worth a visit and we decided that it would be a good place to spend the afternoon. The Atlantis was completely different from our hotel. Whereas our hotel was more relaxed and quiet, the Atlantis was a hub of activity.

The aquarium was quite nice and had a variety of species in nicely designed habitats. It was amazing to see so many fish in one place. Also, it seemed a wise way to spend it since it rained while we were there.

By then it was late, we decided to go back to our hotel. When we got back we realized we weren’t that hungry and just ordered a light meal from a restaurant in the area for delivery. We watched a bit of TV and relaxed as it rained outside. Soon we were ready for bed. 

Day 2

As we woke up we could hear the rain outside. Today would be another rainy day. As a result, we decided to just stay at the hotel and relax. Since we had already decided on a day at the hotel, we went to breakfast late. Because of that we skipped lunch and just enjoyed the amenities at the resort. I had some schoolwork I needed to do, so I concentrated on that for a bit. The rest of the day was just relaxing.

Mid-afternoon, we decided to go have afternoon tea. We enjoyed immensely the time relaxing and enjoying the different treats. Afterward, the rain stopped and we walked around the resort in the light rain.

Since afternoon tea had been more food than we anticipated, we decided again to order in for the night. We watched a bit of TV and ended the day relaxing in our room.

Day 3

We woke up again to the sight of rain, but it seemed as if it would lighten up later.  After breakfast, it was clear enough for us to walk around the resort. We thought it would last. As a result, we decided to take advantage of the lull in the rain and visit the Tropical Paradise Forest Park. When we got there, though, it started to rain. Since we were already there, we decided to see if we could enjoy the park. Because it was raining , we were advised to take the bus to the top. When we got there, we could only see the rain and clouds. Neither of us could see very far. We also discovered that the park is quite commercialized and had an amusement park vibe to it. Since it wasn’t very enjoyable in the heavy rain, we decided to just go back to the hotel.

When we got there we took showers to clean and warm up. We then went and had lunch at one of the hotel’s restaurants since it came with our package. Lunch was nice, but because we had a package deal the meal was also a set menu and came with some items from the kids’ menu. After we finished lunch, we went back to the room to relax.

Later in the evening, the rain had stopped. We decided to go to a little shopping area in the beach area for dinner. We found another nice seafood restaurant and enjoyed our meal by the sea. When we had finished, we decided to walk a bit around the area before going back to the hotel and call it a day.

Day 4

My birthday! And the rain was nowhere in sight. The clouds were starting to part and you could see a bit of blue sky. Since we had the opportunity to enjoy a nice day, we chose to venture to Wuzhizhou Island. We first had to travel back to Hailong Bay and take a ferry to the island. When we got there, it was full of people enjoying the weather. We walked around the island and explored what we could see. There were some nice views, but it was very much a tourist spot.

After we had exhausted everything we wanted to see, we then went to find lunch. We decided since we were in the area we would go back to the restaurant we had two days earlier. The food was that good! Again, we enjoyed our lunch and had a wonderful meal.

From there we went back to Yalong Bay and first stopped at the little shopping area to get some drinks. Afterward, we went back to the hotel and enjoyed the resort area.

Later that night we celebrated my birthday with a cake the hotel provided. It was a nice way to end the day.

Day 5

Our last day in Sanya. The morning had us enjoying our room and the hotel. We walked a bit around the hotel one last time after breakfast. Then we packed our things and just relaxed for the rest of the morning. We had our last complimentary lunch and soon had to leave for the airport.

When we got to the airport, Jun picked up some duty-free items he ordered. We had some snacks and then boarded our flight back to Shenzhen.

It ended up bring a low-key and relaxing vacation. It was nice to have a break from everything and not have to worry about work or household chores for a few days. Being able to enjoy the hotel was a nice birthday treat.