PWD Register

For foreign nationals, tropical island Sanya is a transitory place, even more so than most Chinese cities. The warm climate, palm trees, white sands and water sports bring tourists and vacationers flocking from China, Russia, Japan, Korea and the West. Sanya is known as a honeymooner's city, not only because of its seemingly endless parade of romantic resorts and spa getaways, but also thanks to its annual Marriage Festival in which newlyweds are invited to take part. Sanya is by no means a college town, and the local expatriates are mostly restaurant, club and hotel owners/managers, or retirees.

Sanya's reputation as China's tropical paradise is due largely to the island's weather. Located on the southern tip of Hainan Island, Sanya offers fresh, clean, air and year-round sunshine. Winter temperatures rarely sink below 19C, and summers don't go much over 32C. Warm waves lap long stretches of sand, while lush hills surrounding the city are covered with shady hiking trails. As in any tropical zone, visitors and residents alike are encouraged to apply sunscreen before spending much time out of doors. Sunglasses are a requirement most of the year.

The desirability of Sanya property has given rise to the development of many luxury apartments for rent and sale. Even for Chinese, rental prices in Sanya are higher than most cities on the mainland, and costs can be similar to Guangzhou or even Beijing depending on the quality of the apartment or home. Those looking to buy vacation or summer villas in the city will find numerous gorgeous locations for sale. For cheaper options, look around on the outskirts or city suburbs, as prices get higher the closer you get to the beachfront and city center.

Sanya offers a proliferation of delicious seafood restaurants and fun clubs and bars. Don't miss the fish and mussels at Dongjiao Yelin, or Rainbow Café & Bar for nightlife friends and fun. There are also a host of hotel bars and restaurants located in major resorts that offer elegant dining and drinks as well as sweeping sea views. Daytime sports and activities abound. SCUBA divers will find no end of rental and supply shops. Of particular interest are Sanya's spas, most of which are luxurious and intoxicating. Treat yourself!

It should be noted that the availability of jobs in Sanya is rather low. Some English teaching is needed, but not a great amount, and most other employment opportunities rest in the hospitality industry. It is advisable that those considering a working residence in Sanya do so under a guarantee of employment obtained before arrival. Also be aware that the local dialect, Hainanese, is no breeze to understand, even for seasoned Mandarin speakers. It may take several months to become familiar with the accent.

The local city bus system is fair to middling, but tourist buses abound, as do taxis. Thanks to the tourist hordes, many cars and drivers are available to rent by the hour, half-day or full day.

International and Western amenities and ingredients are available mostly from hotels, but several grocery stores, supermarkets and furniture outlets locally and in other Hainan Island cities can supply most needs. See our Sanya shopping listings for details.
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