With the reputation as “Orient Hawaii” or “the Hawaii of China” for it stands between 18°09'and 18°37' latitude almost the same as Hawaii, Sanya City is named formerly “Yazhou”, located at the southernmost part of Hainan Island.
Sanya is a world-famous tropical seashore tour-enjoying and ecological Demonstration City. And it is the most important political, economic, cultural and foreign trade port in the southern part of Hainan, also a famous coastal tourist city with tropical landscapes and special local customs.
The area of Sanya is about 1,919 square kilometers, 91.6 kilometers long from the east to the west, and 51.2 kilometers wide from the north to the south. It lies in the southern valley of the Mountain Wuzi Range, and stretches from the higher north to the lower south. With a coastline of 209.1 kilometers, it has 10 islets and 19 harbors. Among them, the West Daimaozhou islet is the biggest of all, on which there are nearly two big harbors, and the Sanya harbor has now become an important port of entry-and exit for deluxe passengers ships and for trade with foreign countries. Sanya has an international modern airport——SYPIA(SANYA PHOENIX INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT) which is the second largest in Hainan Province, with flights to domestic and foreign cites.
Sanya City is a tropical international tourist city. It enjoys clean seawater, fresh air, beautiful beaches and bright sunshine and is rich in natural tropical scenery and historical sites. Its tourist attractions include Yalong Bay National holiday Resort, Dadonghai Tourist Zone, TianyaHaijiao, Luhuitou Park, Nanshan Cultural and Tourist Zone, the marvelous landscape of mountains and seas at Nanshan, Wuzhizhou Island, the Ancient City of Yazhou, Shuinan Village, Luobidong Cavern and the Muslim tombs built in Tang & Song dynasties,etc. Local specialties include handicrafts made of seashells, horn-ware, coconut shell carving products, squid and pepper, etc.
More than 20 nationalities, including Han, Li, Miao, and Hui, inhabit the city. There are altogether more than 483,100 people, among them 149,800 are registered for permanent residence(in 2000). Languages used here are dialects of Hainan, Junhua, Maihua, and Lihua Danjiahua, besides Putonghua, the common language in China.
The minority nationalities residing here retain their own characteristic culture and customs. The strong ethnic color, varied folklore and diverse national arts attract groups of tourists from both China and the rest of the world.