Though overshadowed by beach hotspot Sanya, provincial capital Haikou exudes subtler charms. Lacking Sanya’s crowds, Haikou’s laid-back seaside soul still captivates. Along the coast, sails dot the horizon across the shimmering Qiongzhou Strait. Ancient lava flows sculpted during volcanic eras now host verdant coral gardens brimming with old-world tranquility.

Sea breezes mingle with floral scents and birdsong. Seek out a lively local tea shop to chat with the proprietor over fragrant oolong. Hawkers ply the streets selling exotic Hainan fruits like mangosteen, rambutan, and longan from shoulder poles. As dusk falls, stroll the arcade-lined old streets from Liberation West Road to People’s Love Road and Victory Beach to Zhongshan Road.

Motorbike lights illuminate weathered facades while jasmine-clad balconies glow under lampposts. Bells ring from cycle rickshaws turning corners as alluring storefronts beckon and tinny 80s pop wafts from CD shops. Such is the nostalgic charm of peaceful Haikou, the alluring Coconut City.

Best Travel Time

October to May of the following year is the best season for tourism in Haikou. During this period, Haikou was calm and the climate was pleasant. When the northern cold strikes, the wind here is warm and warm. At this time, Hainan also has the "Coconut Festival" during the third lunar month and the "Junpo Festival" from the ninth to nineteenth day of the second lunar month. One is an international event characterized by the fusion of Hainan coconut culture and the "March 3rd" folk customs of Li and Miao, while the other is a folk custom that has been passed down in Hainan for over 1300 years. Although the average temperature in Haikou is around 20 ℃ throughout the year, May to October is the rainy season in Haikou, especially September, which is the peak period of rainfall, making it inconvenient for tourists to travel. In addition, the eastern part of Hainan Island is known as the "Typhoon Corridor", so don't forget to listen to the typhoon warnings issued by the meteorological department during summer and autumn tourism. When encountering a strong typhoon, traffic in Haikou will be affected, flights may be cancelled, and waterways may be suspended.

History

Archaeological evidence confirms human activity in Lianyungang's ancient Mount Qushan and present-day Mount Jinping area as early as 10,000 years ago. In 1959 and 1978, the oldest Paleolithic sites in southeast China were discovered at Erjian and Daxian Village with clear stratigraphic layers. Mount Jinping has 19 Neolithic sites, with Erjian being one of China's earliest farming areas.

The 20-meter long, 10-meter wide "General Cliff Painting" discovered in 1979 was appraised by the State Administration of Cultural Heritage as "an extremely important cultural relic and rare major discovery, the earliest 'book' in China."

The Donghan era art treasure "Kongwang Mountain Grottoes Statues" are the earliest Buddhist grotto statues in China, 100-200 years earlier than the Dunhuang Grottoes, and protected at the national level.

The area is also steeped in history, with attractions related to Confucius' sea gazing, Emperor Qin's inspections, and famous poets and officials like Tao Yuanming, Li Bai, Su Dongpo, Shen Kuo, Li Qingzhao, Wu Cheng'en, Li Ruzhen, Wu Jingzi, Lin Zexu, Zhu Ziqing and more.

Ships

Beihai has a well-developed highway network with convenient road connections. Some major highways intersecting Beihai include:

- G209 (Hubei Line)
- G325 (Guangnan Line)
- Beihai to Tieshan Port
- Nanning to Beihai
- Guilin to Beihai via Nanning
- Beihai to Chongqing 
- Beihai to Zhanjiang

The driving time from Beihai to Nanning is around 2-3 hours for 206km. Beihai to Guilin is around 7 hours for 630km.

The Beihai-Zhanjiang Expressway connects to eastern China's expressway network. It's just over 1.5 hours or 160km from Beihai to Zhanjiang. From there, Zhanjiang to Haikou is 160km, to Guangzhou is 459km, and to Shenzhen/Hong Kong is about 500km or a 5 hour drive.

The extensive highways make self-driving in Beihai a great option. You can easily rent a car and head out to surrounding attractions and cities. Just be sure to plan your route ahead of time and account for rest stops. With the freedom of a rental car, you can discover Beihai's beautiful coastal scenery at your own pace.

Emergency call

Here are some important safety tips for travelers visiting Hezhou, China to include on an English website:Staying Safe in HezhouHezhou has average public security. Tourists should take precautions to protect themselves and their belongings. Be extra vigilant in crowded areas to guard against theft. Avoid going alone to isolated areas. Use ATMs cautiously - check for people tailing or watching you.Keep valuables secured and out of sight. Be wary of pickpockets, bag slashers and scams. Only take registered taxis from official stands. Stick to well-lit major streets at night. Travel in groups when possible for added safety. Ask your hotel for safe neighborhoods and areas to avoid.  Secure passports, cash and electronics in hotel safes. Make photocopies of important documents. Carry emergency contacts and cash in case items are lost or stolen.Use common sense and stay alert in Hezhou. Taking basic safety measures will help ensure you have an enjoyable trip.

Equipment

When packing for Hainan Island, choose breathable backpacks and quick-drying, moisture-wicking clothes. Pack lightly and wash daily - items dry rapidly in the tropical climate. Bring a light jacket for cool winter nights.

Hainan has intense UV radiation, so pack good sunglasses, high SPF sunscreen, and umbrellas. Medicines for heatstroke, stomach issues, mosquito bites are recommended.

Don't forget swimwear, caps, and goggles to enjoy Hainan's beaches and lagoons. With proper lightweight apparel, sun protection, swim gear, and preventative medicines, you're ready to explore Hainan's scenic coastlines and partake in water activities. Proper preparation makes your tropical vacation convenient and carefree!

Safety considerations

Here are some safety tips when visiting Haikou:

1. Shops close around 10:30pm. Avoid carrying obvious tourist items and speak Mandarin, since Haikou is an immigrant city.

2. Keep bags in front of you when out. Women should remove jewelry and walk in groups of 3-5.

3. Be wary of people distributing tourist or flight info cards at night. Do not engage or purchase tickets/tours from them to avoid scams.

4. Remember your hotel name in case you get lost. Take a cab, state the name in Mandarin, and settle on a 10 yuan fare, as most hotels are within that distance.

5. Check windows and doors are locked before bed. Store valuables in hotel safes.

With vigilance at night, securing belongings, traveling in groups, and avoiding sketchy offers, you can safely enjoy Haikou's mix of beach life and urban attractions.

Haikou Surrounding Cities