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!
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.
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Nanshan Cultural Resort
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.
The resort 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.
What to See in Sanya China
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 from 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 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 they were 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.
My next port of call will be Singapore, to see my photos first follow me on Facebook and Instagram.
- Weather: 26*C – 32*C
- Language: Chinese
- Currency: Renminbi (RMB)/Chinese Yuan (CNY)
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Have you been to Sanya? What did you do?
Love Lucy x
I never heard of the Nanshan cultural resort but it sounds like a must visit! I don’t think we’ve ever seen a Buddha statue that big, and I love that there are golf carts to carry you around! Bucket listed!
It really does sound and look amazing. Sanya beach looks lovely but I’m really quite amused by the ‘Buddist Theme Park’ of Nanshan Cultural Resort. Great description that makes me want to learn more
Wow, that statue looks really grand. I would love to see this. I understand what you mean by vegetarian food – I hate it when they serve fake meat to me as if I am craving for meat. Just give me some vegetables and fruits and that’s it.
Never even heard of this place. Been to China twice in my life and I am always discovering new places to check out whilst I am out there or places I want to visit whilst I check them out online. Looks like a nice place, loving the looks of that statue.
I haven’t heard of Nanshan honestly but I am not surprised, considering how big China is. Like you said, it is not very touristy and most people don;t even speak English. I do like the Nanshan Temple, looks pretty cool and that’s one place I wouldn’t miss here. The location of the statue right on the beach makes for a great picture!
I totally know what you mean about those toilets. It can be just as hard for men when there’s no place to put the bag down, or you have a few layers of clothing to take care of. And that fake meat sounds horrible. I’ve been to a few places in SE Asia where I would only eat meat recommended by a local. But otherwise Sanya looks like a really beautiful place to visit.
I love your toilet commentary! You find that in rural France too – and trying to squat with trousers on is an art! I’ve never heard of Sanya, but I am a fan of places where the locals vacation – it usually speaks volumes about a place! The Guanyin Statue is crazy tall – I suppose you can’t fully appreciate its size until you get closer.
I have traveled extensively China as a backpacker and I cannot imagine this country as a relaxing holiday destination, lol. I totally understand your obsession with the Chinese toilets, I ‘ve been there! But now I am curious about the fake beef, fake pork, etc , it sounds strange!
Definitely sounds like Sanya is a more authentic destination than others in China which cater to international tourists. The language barrier always makes for an interesting challenge and reasonably amusing stories when you get home! Nanshan Cultural Resort looks really interesting, and I would definitely be interested to see the Guanyin Statue of Hainan – taller than the Statue of Liberty is huge!
Have yet to visit China, but Sanya seems like an interesting place to check out. Loved reading the information about the 4th tallest statue being located at the Nanshal Cultural Resort. The city looks beautiful, and not too crowded, and I can only hope, to get a chance to visit the beautiful city of Sanya, before it gets touristy.