Sanya #4: Haitang Bay

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January 17th 2023
Published: June 5th 2023
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I woke up early due to being able to hear the person in the next room's phone vibrating. I hate it when someone else's phone wakes me up but they continue to sleep through it. I ordered some breakfast to be delivered. Since I had really enjoyed the porridge place I ordered from there again. I even ordered the same thing as I'd enjoyed it so much - porridge with pork and century eggs, youtiao and soy milk. I was stuffed afterwards. I had decided to visit Haitang Bay today so took the bus there. The bus journey was uneventful and pretty quiet. I was the only person that got off at the stop for the beach and I did wonder where the other tourists were going.

I walked across Haitang Plaza. There were quite a few motorhomes in the carpark next to it. I think it would be great to have a motorhome and pootle about Sanya and other parts of Hainan island exploring the different beaches and other sights. The plaza was lined with palm trees and it was quite pretty. There were helicopters taking off and landing from just beyond the palm trees. They were coming and going quite frequently. I'm not sure if they were the coastguard or for sightseeing. The viewing platform here was much better than the one at Yalong Bay. You got great views of the beach, ocean and Wuzhizhou Island. The first part of the beach was quite busy as there were a few families about. Some were building sandcastle and others dipping their toes in the sea. The weather wasn't too bad, a little windy but it did take the edge off the heat. There was also a nice blanket of bright white clouds in the sky and beyond that I could see the beautiful bright blue sky. The sea was pretty rough looking and there were a couple of blokes on a quad bike with a microphone shouting out instructions. I presume they were lifeguards.

I spent a couple of hours or so walking down the beach. The area surrounding the beach wasn't as built up as Dadonghai had been and I could only see a few huge buildings. The beach, while not too busy, was a hive of activity. There were people going up and down on quad bikes, others riding horses, helicopters flying overhead and parasailing happening too. The only place with little activity was the ocean. Despite all this, the beach still felt peaceful and I loved watching the waves crashing into the shore. I also ended up wandering along part of a path between the palm trees that belong to one of the resorts close to the beach, but it looked like it had been left unattended for quite a while as the path was all overgrown and the boardwalk falling apart in places. I wondered if this was due to the drop in tourist numbers due to Covid or if it just hadn't been as popular as expected.

I decided to head away from the beach and see if there was anything to see just beyond it. On the map it looked like there a couple of malls and stuff like that. I walked up the side of a resort. There wasn't really anything to see on the road away from the beach. I passed quite a few fancy hotel/resorts that were all set well back from the road so I couldn't see. I also passed Aquaventure, which is some kind of aquarium/theme park. Not my cup of tea. I think I must have walked along this way for about thirty minutes before I reached the CDF (China Duty Free) Sanya Mall. This place was packed. I was surprised to see so many people there, given how empty the beach had been. I shouldn't have been surprised really given people's love for consumerism, designer goods and a bargain in this country. I did have a bit of a walk around the mall but found it pretty meh. A lot of the stores only let a few people in at a time so they had big queues outside of them. I'd never even heard of some of the stores that people were queuing in front of. I had to laugh at Swarovki, they are in pretty much every big mall in China and in my opinion not that high end, but they had the queuing system in place. The mall did have some nice bathrooms though and there was also a Starbucks so I could get a coffee. The coffee shop was tiny though so I had to sit outside and it was little bit too windy.

I headed out the bus stop and ended up waiting ages for a bus. There was actually a quite good queuing system in place and people were sticking to it. I was envious of the people queuing for the other buses as their queues were tiny, but the bus I needed had a massive queue. After a good wait a bus turned up and I managed to get a seat on it. The bus drove off and we turned the corner and pulled in at the bus stop there. The bus driver made announcements in Chinese, didn't have a clue what he was saying but a few people got off and got on the bus behind that had turned up. I presumed we were skipping some parts of the route and hoped that my stop wasn't being skipped. Although checking the map, it wouldn't take me too long to backtrack if we did. The bus took a different road across this section of the island and despite being a quicker route due to a number of stops being skipped, it still took forever due to the traffic. We re-joined the main route just before Yalong Bay train station so I was able to get off at my stop.

I was feeling a bit peckish so stopped by the bakery for a little sandwich. That was good and I had a nice relax in the hotel. I ventured out again later for a little walk with the main purpose being to get some beer. After the beers, I ordered some dinner. I had noodles and a little meat bun. The noodles were really nice, simple and tasty. I don't know what they are called in Chinese. I really need to make a note of it as I would eat them more frequently if I knew what they were called. But saying that I still haven't looked up the name...

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