For our anniversary this year, we had decided on a trip. At first, we were thinking about Suzhou—a small water town outside of Shanghai with world famous landscape gardens. To make it even more attractive, we had heard you could rent a small houseboat overnight and drive upriver all the way to Shanghai— AWESOME! So after our tip about the boat, we looked online and found that you could no longer do this, bummer. After getting so excited about the boat, it really took a lot of the fun out of the trip for me. I started researching alternative trips we could do in three days when I found Hainan.
For those, like me, who had never heard of Hainan before, it’s a small island in the South
China Sea that’s sometimes compared to Hawaii. I was intrigued and was considering Haikou, a less developed beach on the north side of the island near to a Volcanic national park, but instead decided on the more luxurious Yalong bay on the south side of the island.
Tuesday around noon, our plane landed, and we took a taxi to our hotel. By around 2:30 we had found some snacks to tide us over for a missed lunch and made it down to the beach. The water was blue, the sun was shining and it was an absolutely beautiful day. We tried some local fruit from hawkers who walked the beach offering cut pineapple, mango, watermelon or papaya for 10 kuai ($1.25ish). DELICIOUS!
We settled in to much more substantial fare at dinner that night and awoke for another day in paradise. While the next two days had scattered showers, we still had lots of beach time mixed in with card games and naps depending on the weather.
Highlights of the trip included trying coconut water straight from the coconut (a first for me), mango smoothies at the hotel, a 12 game nertz showdown, and these clams. Leaving early early Friday morning to get back to work was kind of tough, but all-in-all it was a wonderful long weekend of beach relaxation and good conversation. Who knew that this kind of place could be found in China?