Pastries to go. On your way out, stop by the ritz-carlton, haikou’s patisserie, in the lobby, for exquisite breakfast pastries, confections and coffee.
Hit the beach. The aptly named Holiday Beach is Haikou’s top public beach, with nearly 4 miles of white sand to enjoy the azure-blue water, tropical breezes and palm trees. Stake your claim at one of the rentable beach umbrellas, complete with beach chairs, and relax or explore from there. Swimming, sea kayaking, riding personal watercraft, sailing and fishing are all in play.
Explore Qilou street. As the only area in Haikou where the old buildings have been preserved, this is the perfect place to experience the region’s authentic atmosphere. Peruse the variety of shops and explore the bustling Dongmen market.
Go back in time. Visit the temple of five lords, also known as Wugong Ci, for a glimpse of ancient Chinese architecture and sculpture during the ming dynasty (1368–1644). The grounds are stunning, with winding walkways, exotic flowers and ponds dotted with lily pads.
Explore volcanoes. At Haikou volcanic cluster global geopark, 9 miles west of Haikou, more than 40 volcanoes lie dormant, covered in a dense blanket of tropical trees including banyans, lychee and pear blossom. Make your way to fengluling (“furnace mountain”), a 730-foot volcano with a series of steps to peer into its crater. Be sure to walk the surreal basalt garden corridor, and check out the lava rock villages.
A dinner to remember. Dine at the park’s volcano restaurant for authentic local dishes prepared in a tranquil garden setting. Afterward, enjoy a moving live performance by Li and Miao ethnic folk dancers.