When people hear Hainan, they think of mostly the sea, beaches, and islands. But there are also beautiful mountains covered with lush trees and clean air. Hainan, China's largest tropical island, is located in the southernmost part of China. With not so big land area surrounded by the vast sea, it actually owns some quite astonishing, lofty mountains that you must pay a visit to.
There are 170 named mountains in Hainan, among which the highest and the most prominent mountain is Five Finger Mountain, more commonly known as Wuzhi Mountain (Chinese: 五指山;,1,840m). Here we compiled a list of some noteworthy places to go so you can say the mountains are as enjoyable as the gold-sand beaches in Hainan next time you boast about your adventure on the island.
Five Finger Mountain (Chinese pinyin: Wuzhishan) is the highest mountain in Hainan. Located in the center of Hainan Island, it got its name because the shape of the peaks that looks like five fingers. Legend has it that the five mountain peaks are the fossilized fingers of a dead Li clan chief (the ethnic entity living in the neighbourhood). Another tale is that the five peaks are dedicated to the five most powerful Li gods. The highest point rests on the Second Finger peak at an altitude of 1,867 meters, over 300 meters higher than Mount Tai, the foremost mountain of the Five Great Mountains of China. The five peaks are separate at the top but connected in the body. To mount the Second Finger, you will have to climb over the first one. The altitude difference is 28 meters and the distance is around 370 meters between the two peaks.
The best place to climb Five Finger Mountain is Wuzhishan National Nature Reserve. Apart from climbing, you can venture into the primitive rainforest. Five Finger Mountain is different in many ways from other famous mountains, among which is that there is only one path allowing you to go up and down the mountain. A well-managed plank road covers most part of the path starting from the foot of the mountain, however, the higher you go, the less comfy it becomes. The road is getting steeper and you will walk over tree roots mostly. The mountain inhabitants include snakes and bugs so you will need to watch out while indulging yourself in the view. Climbing there is not an easy task, but the absence of temples, carved stones, and viewing platforms means original scenery without distractions for climbers. For safety, there is a great number of warning signs along the trail, as well as the officially suggested finish line of safe climbing that is also where the plank road ends and the tree-root road starts. The finish line of the plank road is at an elevation of 1,250 meters, at around 600 meters lower than the top of the Second Finger and there are 1.8 kilometers more to hike. The weather is changeable and the root road can be very muddy and slippery without any apparel to give some security, thus, you will be really conquering the wild nature. Please tread carefully.
The whole Wuzhishan National Nature Reserve has three areas, namely Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area, Grand Canyon Rafting area and hiking area. Each area requires a separate admission.
There are two hiking routes in Wuzhishan National Nature Reserve, of which one is the plank road to climb Five Finger Mountain, and the other one is the plank road of National Rainforest Valley, also called the Quest of the Source of the Changhua River. Both routes share the same part from the beginning till Yingqiaotan Pool. In this part, you can have a very relaxing walk with a scenic view. Compared with the other one, the route to the source of the Changhua River is much gentler and thus you will see more companions along the way. The companions are streams, tall stunning trees and other visitors. Five Finger Mountain has been the source of Hainan's all major rivers, forming many springs and lakes that add more beauty to the mountain.
The two routes, Five Finger Mountain and the Source of the Changhua River, total less than 20 kilometers take around 4 hours.
Ready for an exciting whitewater rafting experience into the rainforest in the Red Valley of Wuzhishan? 10 kilometers away from the main peak of Five Finger Mountain, there is a 9-km-long rafting course divided into two sections. Section A is about 6 km long, with more drops and excitement for thrill-seekers, while Section B is shorter and gives you more peaceful time when meandering through the pastoral scenery of the Li ethnic village.
It's an approximately 2-hour ride from Sanya to the Red Valley of Wuzhishan (Five Finger Mountain). 2 people will take 1 raft to embark on the journey after lunch. Please note that slippers and flip flops are prohibited. You may wear strapped sandals or water shoes. Shower is also available. Remember to bring your own towels, toiletries and clothes for placement, because you will get wet during rafting. Also, you are suggested to bring waterproof containers or cases to store your digital devices as well as valuables.
Wuzhishan Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area sits in Shuiman Village at the foot of Five Finger Mountain, Wuzhishan City, Hainan Province, 28 km away from Wuzhishan City and 110 km from Sanya City. The Shuiman River, the mother river of the original Li ethnic group, flows through a very scenic area. The running river can be heard when you wonder in the area with colorful butterflies fluttering around you, and take a deep breath in the lungs of Hainan. It also allows staggering panoramic views of Five Finger Mountain on the viewing platform.
There are no airports or railway stations in central Hainan. The two airports in Hainan are Haikou Meilan International Airport and Sanya Fenghuang International Airport. And if you go to Hainan by train, you will arrive in Haikou and Sanya too.
If you want to travel to the center of Hainan Island, bus and car are your only two choices. To get to Five Finger Mountain, you can reach Wuzhishan City first and then Shuiman Village, or get to Shuiman Village directly. There is well-developed and convenient public transportation to help you achieve this.
If you are the type of an adventure seeker, don’t miss out on Bawang Ling. It is the Hainan black crested gibbon, which is on the verge of extinction, it lives in Hainan's tropical rainforest covering 97.3% of the region. The area is protected by Hainan Bawangling National Forest Park in Changjiang County, western Hainan, China. It is home not only to the gibbon, but also to Hainan partridge and other 60 rare animal species and up to 1,400 primeval plant species.
There are three major mountain ranges in the Bawangling nature reserve, namely Yajia Daling, Futou Ling and Huangniu Ling. The terrain is complex there, it consists mostly of mountains and valleys. The overall elevation ranges from 350 meters to 1,560 meters, from which Hei Ling sticks out the most.
The vibrant scenery of a tropical rainforest and fresh air make Bawangling National Forest Park a fantastic place to go for those who wish to escape the city hustle. The climbing path is equipped considerately with a mix of well-built plank roads and concrete roads, and the scorching sun is blocked by the lush vegetation and abundant moisture, not to mention the scenic spots scattered along the way to feast your eyes and keep you surprised. It's time to take a deep breath and unwind!
Bawangling National Forest Park lies in the southwest part of Hainan island, beside the Changhua River. It is located in Qicha Town and is 26 kilometers to the southeast of Changjiang County. Now prepare yourself because the route can be quite winding and strenuous.
If you start your journey from Haikou or Sanya, you can take a bullet train to Qi Zi Wan Station, which is the only bullet train station in Changjiang County. After that you will need to take a mini bus or hire a private car to the centre of Changjiang County. Be alert when bargaining with the private car driver, foreigners become a nice prey sometimes.
Besides the options mentioned above, visitors can take a bus from Haikou West Station or Sanya Bus Station directly to Changjiang Bus Station within the County. After that, take a regular Shilu-Bawang bus and then a tuk tuk to the Bawangling Forest Park scenic spot.
Diaoluo Shan is one of the most valuable and scarcest primitive tropical rainforests in China, and it is located in Hainan Diaoluo Shan National Forest Park, one of the four major forest regions in Hainan. The park lies in the southeast part of Hainan Island, stretching across the junctions of 5 cities and counties - Lingshui, Baoting, Qiongzhong, Wuzhishan, and Wanning. The main peak Sanjiao Shan tops the mountains in the park with an elevation of 1,499 meters.
The moderate temperatures all year round and cool fresh air make up a good reason for visitors to stay longer in the park. Combining healthy hiking with a fantastic sightseeing tour filled with views of lakes, mountains, forests and waterfalls, Diaoluo Shan must be your next place to go.
The Fengguoshu Waterfalls are well known to be the First Waterfall in Hainan, with a vertical drop of 350 meters. Other attractions include Xiaomei Lake, Tomb of Miao King, the Dali Waterfall, and an ancient Divine Tree that is said to have lived for 3,000 years. There are several different trails for you to explore that will lead you to different scenic spots.
There is no organized and convenient transport system in the Diaoluo Shan mountains, so drive your own car or hire one in Sanya or Lingshui County. But if you stick to public transport, you can take a bus from Lingshui County and arrive at Diaoluo Shan about 1 hour later.
Jianfeng Ling got its name because the mountain has very pointy peaks when being viewed from a distance. It provides stunning views of a lake and mountains shining or being covered in mist at different times of the day. Jianfeng Ling National Forest Park was established to protect and manage the natural resources of the mountain.
There are two routes in the park, one of which allows relatively more relaxing walks with staggering scenery of Tianchi Lake (Heavenly Lake) and Mingfeng Valley (Singing Phoenix Valley), and the other route grants a rewarding hiking experience that will lead you to the summit of the main peak of Jianfeng Ling (1,412 m). Once you enter the park, you need to make your choice of which route to go. You can choose either or both depending on your time arrangement and stamina. If you choose the route of Tianchi Lake, you will be able to have one of the best views of the main peak of Jianfeng Ling from the viewing platform on the way, which is marked by a stone tablet with the three Chinese characters of Jianfeng Ling (Chinese: 尖峰岭) carved on it, and Mingfeng Valley is a 3-kilometer drive to the west of the lake. For the Jianfeng Ling route, it mostly consists of stone stairs and takes around 3 hours for experienced outdoor people to summit the mountain.
Jianfeng Ling National Forest Park is located in Ledong Li Autonomous County, Hainan Province, China. There are several approaches you can take to reach the park.
1. A road trip is always the top choice given that there is no convenient solution provided by the public transport system inside and outside the park.
2. For public transport, several routes are available.
A. Train: Sanya/Haikou - Jianfeng Ling Station - Jianfeng Ling National Forest Park.
Tourists can take a G-series high-speed train from Sanya or Haikou to Jianfeng Ling Station. Please note that Jianfeng Ling is a minor station and so there are few trains running through it. After you reach Jianfeng Ling Station, you will need to take a taxi (or a private car) or take a tuk tuk to get to the park.
B. Bus: Sanya - Huangliu Town - Jianfeng Town - Jianfeng Ling National Forest Park or Haikou - Jianfeng Ling.
There are buses departing from Sanya Bus Terminal and Sanya West Station every 15 minutes, and they will take 1.5 hours to take you to Huangliu Station. After you get to Huangliu Town Bus Station, you will need to take a private minivan to reach Jianfeng Town and it will take you 40 minutes. In Jianfeng Town, there is one bus each day that can take you to the gate of the park and Tianchi Lake. The departure time is 10:00 a.m. in most cases. The return trip starts from Tianchi Lake at 7:00 a.m. the next day. If you can't make it, tuk tuks and motorcycles are available for hire.
If you start from Haikou, you can take a regular bus from Haikou West Coach Station to Jianfeng Ling. The departure times are 8:30 a.m., 10:30 a.m. and 11:45 a.m. and the whole journey takes 4.5 hours. The return trip starts beside The Agricultural Bank of China in Jianfeng Town at 2:30 p.m., 3:30 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.
Limu Shan National Forest Park covers an expansive area and is divided into five parts: Yingge Col Scenic Spot, Jinxiu Valley Scenic Spot, Tianhe River Scenic Spot, Diaodeng Ling Scenic Spot, and Limu Stone Scenic Spot. All of them are basically primitive forests. The highest mountain in the forest park is Da Limu Ling (1,412 m), and there are 19 mountains higher than 1,000 meters, 33 mountains higher than 800 meters, 32 mountains of 500-800 meters height and 9 mountains under 500 meters.
For an approximately 1-hour easy sightseeing and hiking tour, tourists can take a visit to Quling Old Forest or Binglang Lake (Areca Lake) near the Forest Park Administrative Office. Behind Quling Old Forest is Yingge Col Scenic Spot of Limu Shan. But most people can only take a look at the mountain on the rim of the forest because Yingge Ling is still under development and not open to the public, and it takes at least two days to traverse the forest.
Tianhe River Scenic Spot, Diaodeng Ling Scenic Spot, and Limu Stone Scenic Spot are currently accessible to the tourists. The spectacular Diaodeng Ling Waterfall is a 6-kilometer easy walk to the south from the Forest Park Administrative Office.
Take a regular bus from Haikou to Qiongzhong County and get off midway in Wushi Town. The bus trip takes about 2 hours and bus fare is 18 RMB. When you are in Wushi Town, take the bus to Nada Town and get off midway at the station of Limu Shan Forest Park. The trip is 19 kilometers long.
Qixian Ling (Seven Fairy Mountain), once named Seven Finger Mountain for its seven finger-shaped pinnacles, is found inside the Qixian Ling Hot Springs National Forest Park in Baoting Li & Miao Autonomous County.
The 1.5-hour trail to the top, made up of mostly stone stairs and the last hundred meters of nearly vertical slope that you can climb only relying on the chains and railings fixed on the cliff, is rewarding combination of dense rainforest, moderate temperature and the staggering views from the top. The trail is around 2,300 meters long with a total ascent of about 1,000 meters. The first 300 meters are quite gentle and plain but don't let your guard down. It then immediately comes to the part where the trail gets even steeper as you progress and it's time to put your physical power to the test. Having had enough excitement of topping the mountain, the hot springs and well-developed infrastructure at the foot of the mountain allow a good relaxing retreat to relieve your exhaustion and get your batteries recharged.
There are regular buses in Sanya Bus Terminal that can take you to Baoting County, which depart every half an hour from 8:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m, and the bus trip will take approximately 2 hours. Also in Haikou West Station you will find buses going to Baoting that depart every 2 hours from 9:00 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. From Baoting's bus station, you can take a bus to the Qixian Ling Hot Springs Resort, or hire a motorcycle to get you there. Remember to haggle over a better price.
Tonggu Ridge is a primeval hill in Longlou Town, Wenchang City and one of the most popular scenic spots in Hainan. The main peak is a little higher than 300 meters to offer a mini hike and staggering panoramic views of the sea, beaches, and coconut trees from the top. When you stand on the summit of the mountain, you will see the Moon Bay at a distance together with the vast expanse of sea and the curved golden coastlines.
The admission fee is 50 RMB. There are electric sightseeing cars available in the scenic area, they charge 45 RMB for a round trip and 25 RMB for a one-way trip.
There is public transport available to take you to Longlou Town. From Longlou Town, you can hire a taxi or motorcycle to Tonggu Ridge.
Dongshan Ling was once named Bijia Mountain (Bijia: a mountain shaped like a brush pen holder frequently used in ancient China) due to the shape of its three peaks put together.
Dongshan Ling Scenic Spot is on the outskirts of Wanning City, only 2 kilometers away from Wanning. Alongside with being one of the earliest developed tourist attractions in Hainan, the main peak of Dongshan Ling is only at an elevation of 184 meters, and thus provides good infrastructure together with an easy hike along the well-established stone stairs. Dongshan Ling is rich in cultural relics, history and legends. A lot of eminent persons in history have left their pieces of handwriting on the mountain to be remembered by the world. Standing on the brink of the South Sea, Dongshan Ling has many valuable ancient temples and historic relics on the mountain, as well as a long history of Buddhism.
As a well-developed tourist attraction, Dongshan Ling is accessible by quite convenient public transport. If you start from Haikou or Sanya, both high-speed trains and regular buses can get you to Wanning City. Regular buses are available at Haikou East Station and Sanya Bus Terminal. When you are in Wanning, you can take Bus No. 8 or a motorcycle to Dongshan Ling.
Sanya is the most popular destination for tourists in Hainan. Sitting at the southernmost point in Hainan, it is the best place to embrace the beauty of the island, meaning the blue sea, golden beaches, and sunshine. With nice infrastructure and well-developed tourism industry, you can feel free to enjoy the Yalong Bay, the Sanya Bay, South Mountain, Dadonghai and many other famous attractions and resorts there. Sanya is surrounded by a lot of places of interest and grants convenient transport to deliver you to your destination.
Maling Village is located to the west of Tianya Haijiao scenic spot in Sanya, and is the starting point of another beautiful bay lying to the west of the Sanya Bay. This small village in Tianya Town is a resort that offers a balance of peaceful relaxation on the stunning seashore and convenience.
Yanoda will be a unique spice to your all-about-sea tour in Sanya. It allows satisfying views of rainforest from the breathtaking glass skywalk, which, well, in most cases it makes faint-hearted tourists too scared to enjoy the views. But fret not, you can also enjoy a relaxing walk along the valley to have a variety of views of tropical trees and flowers, and go through all over the rainforest scenic spots within one day due to convenient infrastructure.
The entrance ticket costs 130 RMB. Discounts are available for visitors that meet the requirements. The public bus inside the scenic spot is 40 RMB per person. The rides and products inside the scenic spot are charged separately.
Free shuttle buses are available at several locations in Sanya that can take you to Yanoda Rainforest directly. Please consult the scenic spot office and reserve a seat one day in advance.
The scenic spot is open from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Hainan Binglanggu Li & Miao Cultural Heritage Park is an AAAAA scenic spot located at the boundary between Sanya City and Baoting County. With the cultural live shows, special food, well-preserved buildings and relics presented in the park, it is the best place to learn and experience the culture and history of Li and Miao ethnic groups. Binglanggu is also the place where the traditional Li & Miao festive events of Sanyuesan Festival (Lunar March 3rd Festival) and Qixi Splashing Water Festival are held.
The admission fee is 80-96 RMB per person depending on the season when you travel. You can take a bus from Sanya Bus Terminal that goes to Baoting & Wuzhishan and get off midway at Binglanggu scenic spot. It will take 50 minutes or so.
Boundary Island is an island in Lingshui County located just off the southeast coast of Hainan Island. It is the earliest development of an undisturbed isolated island and a national 5A-class tourist attraction. It allows a mix of true joy being in the nature of the amazing tropical island and the excitement of various water activities.
The admission fee including round-trip ferry ticket is 132 RMB from May to September and 127 RMB from October to April. The entrance is free of charge for children shorter than 1.2 meters. The products and services on the island are charged independently.
Boundary Island is 89 kilometers away from Sanya, and 185 kilometers from Haikou. You can take high speed trains from both cities to Lingshui first, and then transfer to a free shuttle bus to the ticket office of the scenic area. Afterwards, take a ferry to reach the island; it should take about 10 minutes for a one-way voyage. From Sanya, you can also take a free bus directly to the scenic area. The trip should take approximately 1.5 hours. You may need to call the office one day in advance to reserve seats.
Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone located 40 kilometers to the southwest of Sanya City has countless visitors to flock to the area attracted by the beauty of Nanshan Mountain (South Mountain) and the profound Buddhist culture. The attraction features Nanshan Temple, the three-sided statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin at sea, the Guanyin Park, natural landscape and sea views. Among them, the 108-meter statue of Bodhisattva Guanyin standing on a man-made island in the South China Sea makes an overwhelming impression on everyone who visits there.
The entrance fee is 129 RMB from October to April and 108 RMB from May to September, 50% off for children between 1.2 m and 1.4 m tall and free for children under 1.2 m. The sightseeing bus inside the scenic spot charges extra. The open time is 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. and may change on holidays.
There are several public buses you can take to Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone.
From Sanya Bullet Train Station, you can take Bus No. 29 directly to the scenic spot.
From Sanya Fenghuang International Airport, you can take Bus 8 or 27 to transfer to Bus 30, or take Bus 36, 24, 8 or 27 to transfer to Bus 16.
From downtown Sanya, take bus 16, 25, 29, 55 or 57 and you will get to Nanshan scenic spot directly.