I didn’t know what to expect in Sanya, China. I have been to Shanghai, but Sanya was nothing like Shanghai! Sanya is in the south of China and is a holiday destination for the Chinese. It is worlds apart from Hong Kong, as no one speaks English, very few signs are in English and there are no western toilets, just a hole in the ground!
Now if you like holidays that are more on the edge this is the place for you! I went on a tour and the tour guide spoke English, but he could not help the toilet situation! Now you are probably reading this and thinking she really has toilet issues! If you are a man it’s easy, if you are a woman you need to take off your shorts/trousers off to go and be ready to squat! Anyway, I’ll stop talking about toilets now!
Sanya has a long sandy beach that goes on for miles and it reminded me of Hawaii with the manicured grass and palm trees. There were lots of big hotels on the seafront. It is warm all year round ranging from 26C to 32C.
I’m sure in a few years’ time Sanya Bay will be a tourist destination for Westerners as it is beautiful and has great weather.
While I was there for the day I went to visit the Nanshan Cultural Resort. It was like a Buddhist theme park without the roller-coasters! It was fascinating to see and we were the only western people there.
It has the 4th tallest statue in the world the ‘Guanyin Statue of Hainan’ which is 354 feet tall (108 meters) which is taller than the Statue of Liberty. It is a monument to the Buddhist goddess of mercy and it is three statues in one. One that faces inwards towards the city of Sanya and the other two looking outwards towards the South China Sea. The three faces represent peace, wisdom and compassion. It took over six years to build and it is quite a new statue and was enshrined in 2005.
After seeing the Big Buddha in Hong Kong and thinking that was big, the Guanyin Statue is 74 meters taller! It could be seen from such a distance and as you get closer it is amazing how tall it really is and it does not look like three statues in one. You can only see one side when you look straight on, it is only when you go out further away and see it on an angle that you get to see the second statue.
The resort was very big and there were little trains that took you around and golf carts and as the trains or golf carts got close to people walking by they played ‘jingle bells’ music and said something in Chinese (probably move out-of-the-way), that was strange but I suppose jingle bells is not a Christmas song to them as they do not celebrate it. Very odd!
The Nanshan Temple is the most famous Buddhist temple in the Hainan Province. There were many temples there with different Buddha’s one with a laughing Buddha and one had three Buddha’s representing past, present and future. To get to each of these temples there were lots of steps, so you get a workout in while at the Buddhist resort.
As you can see from the photo of the statue it is placed out to sea and the resort is located on a sandy beach with the mountains behind. There were elephant statues around the beach area of the resort in different poses.
It was a very clean with beautiful flowers and manicured grass and there were shops & food outlets all around the resort.
We had lunch a vegetarian lunch while at the resort but it was the strangest lunch I have ever had! We had fake pork, beef, lamb and prawns! I think it was made from gelatine as it was quite rubbery. We did get some real vegetables and soup and fruit, but not quite what I was expecting after the lovely vegetarian lunch we had in Hong Kong.
It was a very interesting day and if you are a Buddhist it somewhere very special to go to.
Love Lucy x
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