Hainan is the smallest and southernmost province of China, consisting
of various islands in the South
Hainan Island, separated
Leizhou Peninsula by the Qiongzhou Strait, is the
largest island under PRC control (Taiwan, which is slightly larger, is
also claimed but not controlled by the PRC) and makes up the majority
of the province. The province has an area of 33,920 square kilometers
(13,100 sq mi), with
Hainan Island making up 32,900 square
kilometers (12,700 sq mi) (97%) and the rest divided among
200 islands scattered across three archipelagos. It was administered
as part of
Guangdong until 1988, when it became a separate province;
around the same time, it was made the largest
Special Economic Zone
Deng Xiaoping as part of the Opening Up of China. There
are a total of ten major cities and ten counties in
Haikou on the northern coast of
Hainan Island is the capital while
Sanya is a well-known tourist destination on the southern coast. The
other major cities are Wenchang, Qionghai, Wanning, Wuzhishan,
Dongfang, and Danzhou.
According to China's territorial claims several territories in the
China Sea, including the
Spratly Islands (Nansha) and Paracel
Islands (Xisha), are notionally administered as part of the
2.1 Prehistoric Era
2.2 Imperial Era
2.3 Republic of
People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China rule
3.1 Rivers and lakes
3.2.1 Nearby islands
3.2.2 Disputed islands
3.3.1 Province-wide infrastructure improvements
3.4.1 Annual fog
4 Flora and fauna
7.1 Economic and technological development zones
7.3 Natural resources
7.6 Real estate market
7.7 Golf industry
7.8 Medical tourism
7.9 Automotive industry
13.2 Historical sites
13.3 Other attractions and destinations
15 Miscellaneous topics
15.1 Space centre
16 Notable residents
17 International partnership
18 See also
20 Further reading
21 External links
The provincial name derives from its major island, Hainan, in
Hainanese "Hai Nam", which is named for its position south of the
Qiongzhou Strait / Kheng Ju Haihiap. (To the north of the strait, the
Leizhou Peninsula / Lui Ju Buadau in
Guangdong is also known as
Haibei/Hai Bac or "North of the Sea".) Former names for
include Zhuya, Qiongya, and Qiongzhou. The later two gave rise to the
provincial abbreviation 瓊 or 琼 (Qióng/Kheng).
Hainan island was originally attached to the Northeastern part of what
is now Vietnam; however, the island was formed after it physically
broke away from
Vietnam due to volcano eruption and drifted southeast
China after the Mesozoic period, millions of years ago.
Hainan Island first entered written history in 110 BC, when the Han
China established a military garrison there following the
arrival of General Lu Bode. In 46 BC the Han court decided that the
conquest was too expensive and abandoned the island. Around that time,
Han Chinese people together with military personnel and officials
began to migrate to
Hainan Island from the mainland. Among them were
the offspring of those who were banished to
Hainan for political
reasons. Most of them arrived in
Hainan Island from the southern
Chinese provinces of Guangdong,
Fujian and Guangxi.
Li people are the original inhabitants of Hainan. They are believed to
be the descendants of the ancient tribes from the mainland, who
settled on the island between 7 and 27 thousand years ago.
Li people mainly reside in the nine cities and counties in the
middle and southern part of
Hainan – the cities of Sanya, Wuzhishan
and Dongfang, the Li autonomous counties of Baisha, Lingshui, Ledong,
Changjiang, and the 'Li and Miao Autonomous Counties of Qiongzhong and
Baoting'. Some others live elsewhere on
Hainan with other ethnic
groups in Danzhou, Wanning, Qionghai, Lingshui and Tunchang.
The area inhabited by the Li ethnic group totals 18,700 square
kilometers (7,200 sq mi), about 55 percent of the province's
Haikou, the capital of the province as seen looking south from
Evergreen Park, a large park located on the north shore of the city
Three Kingdoms Period
Three Kingdoms Period (184−280),
Hainan was the Zhuya
Commandery (珠崖郡) under the control of Eastern Wu.
At the time of the
Song dynasty (980−1279),
Hainan became part of
Guangxi, and for the first time large numbers of
Han Chinese arrived,
settling mostly in the north. Under the Mongol Empire (1206–1368)
the island became an independent province then in 1370 was placed
under the administration of
Guangdong by the ruling Ming dynasty. In
the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, large numbers of Han people
Guangdong began migrating to Hainan, pushing the Li
into the highlands in the southern half of the island. In the
eighteenth century, the Li rebelled against the Qing Empire, which
responded by bringing in mercenaries from the Miao regions of Guizhou.
Many of the Miao settled on the island and their descendants live in
the western highlands to this day.
During the 17th and 18th centuries, explorers referred to the island
as "Aynam", which remains the pronunciation of its name in the
In 1906, the revolutionary leader
Sun Yat-sen proposed that Hainan
should become a separate province although this did not happen until
Hainan was historically part of
Guangxi Provinces and as
such was the Qiongya Circuit (瓊崖道) under the 1912 establishment
of the Republic of China. In 1921, it was planned to become a special
administrative region (瓊崖特別行政區); in 1944, it became
Special Administrative Region with 16 counties containing the
China Sea Islands.
Hainanese residents in the countryside
During the 1920s and 30s,
Hainan was a hotbed of Communist activity,
especially after a bloody crackdown in Shanghai, the Republic of China
in 1927 drove many
Communists into hiding. The
Communists and the Li
natives fought a vigorous guerrilla campaign against the Japanese
Hainan (1939–45), but in retaliation the Japanese
launched numerous massacres against Li villages.
Feng Baiju led the
Hainan Independent Column of fighters throughout the 1930s and 1940s.
After the Japanese surrender in 1945 the Nationalist Party (KMT)
Hainan was one of the last areas of China
controlled by the Republic of
China during the
Chinese Civil War
Chinese Civil War when
it lost the mainland from 1946-49.
People's Republic of China
People's Republic of China rule
From March to May 1950, the Landing Operation on
captured the island for the Chinese communists.
Hainan had been left
to the command of
Xue Yue after
Chiang Kai-shek fled to Taiwan. Feng
Baiju and his column of guerrilla fighters played an essential role in
scouting for the landing operation and coordinated their own offensive
from their jungle bases on the island. This allowed the Hainan
takeover to be successful where the Jinmen and Dengbu assaults had
failed in the previous fall. The takeover was made possible by the
presence of a local guerrilla force that was lacking also on Taiwan.
Hence, while many observers of the Chinese civil war thought that the
Hainan Island to the
Communists would be followed shortly by
the fall of
Taiwan Island, the lack of any communist guerrilla force
Taiwan Island and its sheer distance from the mainland made this
impossible, as did the arrival of the US 7th fleet in the Taiwan
Strait after the outbreak of the
Korean War in June.
The capital city of Haikou, although highly populated relative to many
other international cities, is geographically quite small, with almost
no urban sprawl. Much of the city limits end abruptly with forest or
On 1 May 1950, under the PRC, the
Special Administrative Region became
an Administrative Region Office (海南行政区公署), a branch of
Guangdong provincial government.
Communists resumed development of the island along the lines
established by the Japanese, but the results were limited by the
island's isolation, its humid and typhoon-prone climate, and its
continuing reputation as a place of danger and exile by mainland
Chinese. With China's shift in economic policy at the end of the
Hainan became a focus of attention.
During the mid-1980s, when
Hainan Island was still part of Guangdong
Province, a fourteen-month episode of marketing zeal by
District Administrator Lei Yu put Hainan's pursuit of provincial
status under a cloud. It involved the duty-free imports from Hong Kong
of 90,000 Japanese-made cars and trucks at a cost of ¥ 4.5
billion (US$1.5 billion), and exporting them – with the help of
local naval units – to the mainland, making 150% profits. By
comparison, only 10,000 vehicles were imported into
Hainan since 1950.
In addition, it involved further consignments of 2.9 million TV sets,
252,000 videocassette recorders & 122,000 motorcycles. The money
was taken from the 1983 central government funds destined for the
construction of the island's transportation infrastructure (roads,
railways, airports, harbours) over the next ten years.[citation
On October 1, 1984, it became the
Hainan Administrative Region
(海南行政区), with a People's Government, and finally as province
Guangdong four years later. In 1988, when the island was
made a separate province, it was designated a
Special Economic Zone in
an effort to increase investment.
The central government funds were deemed insufficient by the Hainan
authorities for the construction of the island's other infrastructures
(water works, power stations, telecommunications, etc.) and had taken
a very liberal interpretation of the economic and trade regulations
Hainan and thirteen coastal cities; the regulations did not
mention on prohibiting the re-selling of second-hand goods. Some of
the proceeds, from unsold units, were later retrieved by the central
government to re-finance the special district.
Hainan, separated by the
Qiongzhou Strait from the Leizhou Peninsula
of Guangdong, is the largest island administered by the People's
Republic of China. The area of
Hainan Island (32,900 km2
(12,700 sq mi), 97% of the province) is similar to that of
Belgium. To the west of
Hainan Island is the Gulf of Tonkin. Wuzhi
Mountain is the highest mountain on the island at 1,840 m
Hainan Island measures 155 km (96 mi) long and 169 km
(105 mi) wide.
The northern half of
Hainan is covered with the ancient Hainan
Volcanic Field. Beneath the topsoil is volcanic rock while the topsoil
itself contains small pieces of this vesicular rock.
Wetland covers 320,000 hectares, 78,000 hectares of which were created
artificially. Most of this is located in the eastern and northern part
Rivers and lakes
Most of the rivers in
Hainan originate in the central area of the
island and flow radially in different directions. The
Wanning River in
the southern part of the island is the largest river surrounding
Hainan. It is 350 km (220 mi) long. The
Nandu River in the
northern part of the island is 314 km (195 mi) long, and its
tributary, the Xinwu River, is 109 km (68 mi) long. The
Changhua River in the west is 230 km (140 mi) long, and the
Wanquan River in the east is 162 km (101 mi) long.
Evaporation during the dry season around the coastal areas greatly
reduces the flow of the rivers.
There are very few natural lakes in Hainan. There is a well-known
artificial reservoir, the Songtao Reservoir, in the central-north
Further information: Islands of Hainan
Several small islands exist around the coast of
Dazhou Island is located about 5 km (3.1 mi) off the coast
Haidian Island, on the north coast, is part of
Nanwan Monkey Island, in actuality a peninsula
Phoenix Island is an artificial resort island currently under
Wuzhizhou Island is located within Haitang Bay
Xinbu Island is located directly to the east of Haidian Island
Due to their close proximity to the main island, the flora, fauna, and
climate conditions are very similar.
See also: South
China Sea Islands
Maritime claims of South
A number of small islands, which are located hundreds of kilometers to
the south, are claimed and administrated by
Sansha as part of Hainan
Province. Sovereignty of these islands is however disputed. These
Paracel Islands Xisha Islands – "The West-sands" – claimed by
Vietnam, the PRC and the Republic of
China (Taiwan, ROC)
Money Island, Paracel Islands
Rocky Island, South
Tree Island, South
Woody Island, South
Zhongsha Islands – "The Middle-sands"
Spratly Islands – Nansha Islands – "The South-sands" are subject
to claims by Vietnam, the PRC, ROC, Malaysia, The Philippines, and
Flat Island (Spratly)
James Shoal (southernmost point)
Sin Cowe Island
West York Island
Compared to most of mainland China, the air quality of
Hainan is far
higher since it strays away from factory pollution, which has plagued
the air on the mainland. Throughout 2012,
Hainan had the highest air
quality in the country for 351 days.
The provincial government's environmental protection campaign has
taken action against a number of industrial plants. During 2012,
several outdated manufacturing facilities had their business licenses
revoked, and 175 cases related to illegal sewage discharge were
Total sulfur dioxide emissions for the province were 34,000 tons in
2012, a 3 percent year-on-year reduction. In 2011, smog emissions were
reduced 6.3 percent to 15,000 tons.
Province-wide infrastructure improvements
A typical example of a town's improvement. The above images show the
same place in
Guilinyang roughly four and a half years apart.
From 2015 to the present, a widespread program to improve cities and
other settlements has been taking place. It includes the removal of
litter from towns, villages, and many roadsides. Small, illegal dumps
are being removed. Large, plastic dumpsters have been put in place
within villages and at countryside road intersections. Towns are being
improved with new road and sidewalk surfaces, landscaping features are
being created, and many buildings are receiving new façades. This
Haikou has seen entire neighbourhoods demolished and
rebuilt, sanitation improved, illegal structures used for business
removed, roadside vendors banned, roads and sidewalks replaced, and
new street crossings with traffic lights installed.
The climate of
Hainan varies from subtropical to fully tropical.
Northern Hainan, including the island's capital Haikou, has a humid
subtropical climate, while most of the rest of the island has a
tropical monsoon climate with warmer annual temperatures the further
south a location is. The coldest months are January and February when
temperatures drop to 16 to 21 °C (61 to 70 °F); the
hottest months are July and August, and the temperatures are 25 to
29 °C (77 to 84 °F). Except for the mountainous regions in
the central part of the island, the daily average temperature in
Hainan in all months is well above 10 °C (50 °F), and the
total number of growing degree-days reaches eight thousand to nine
thousand degrees Celsius. The summer in the north is
hot and, for more than 20 days in a year, the temperature can be
higher than 35 °C (95 °F). The average
annual precipitation is 1,500 to 2,000 millimetres (59 to 79 in)
and can be as high as 2,400 millimetres (94 in) in central and
eastern areas, and as low as 900 millimetres (35 in) in the
coastal areas of the southwest. Parts of
Hainan lie in the path of
typhoons, and 70% of the annual precipitation is derived from typhoons
and the summer rainy season. Major flooding occurs due to typhoons,
which can cause many problems for local residents.
From January to February, the island of
Hainan is affected by thick
fog, particularly in coastal areas and the northern part of the
island. This is caused by cold winter air from the north coming into
contact with the warmer sea, causing the moisture that evaporates from
the sea to be condensed into fog. The fog remains from day to night,
and is evenly distributed. Visibility may be reduced to 50 metres for
days at a time. During this period, residents normally keep windows
shut. The moisture in the air is so extreme that the walls in homes
weep, and floors often accumulate a layer of water several millimetres
Flora and fauna
This view in
Wanning near the southeast coast is typical of the inland
Hainan has over 1,500 km2 (580 sq mi) of tropical
forest, in which live 4,600 kinds of plants and more than 570 species
of animals. However, due to an invasion of exotic
species, human impact from tourism, deforestation, and the release of
pollutants, many species are under threat. A report from the
Department of Land, Environment and Resources of
states that 200 species are near extinction, with 6 species, such as
Maytenus hainanensis and Sciaphila tenella already extinct.
The majority of Hainan's land mass is forest with 61.5 percent
coverage (210,000 hectares) reported at the end of 2012. This is an
increase of 34,133 hectares since 2011. A further 1,187 hectares grass
and trees were planted along the province's highways.
Hainan yellow lantern chili
There are 53 genera in 29 families of wild and cultivated fruit
Hainan Island. There are few large trees on the island;
coconut palms are very common along with other smaller trees. Most of
Hainan Island is however covered by forest.
Hainan yellow lantern chili
Hainan yellow lantern chili is a pepper similar to the scotch bonnet.
Hainan white pine, a species of tree.
Cephalotaxus hainanensis is a species of plum-yew.
There are numerous protected areas and wildlife preserves on the
island. Animals that are ubiquitous throughout the island include
frogs, toads, geckos, skinks, and butterflies. Present, but less
commonly observed, are snakes (Asian palm pit vipers, red bamboo
snake, and occasionally cobras), Siberian chipmunks, squirrels, and
the masked palm civet. Almost no large animals remain in the wild. The
lakes are largely populated with carp and catfish.
There are 362 known bird species. Seabirds such as gulls are not
generally seen. Egrets are common in agricultural areas. Similar to
many subtropical areas, insect species are diverse, and mosquitoes are
Hainan gymnure (Neohylomys hainanensis or
Hainan moonrat) is a small
Hainan partridge (Arborophila ardens) is a species of bird endemic to
Hainan peacock-pheasant (Polyplectron katsumatae) is an endangered
species belonging to the
Hainan black crested gibbon
Hainan black crested gibbon (Nomascus hainanus) is one of the world's
most endangered primates. Seacology, a non-profit organization in
Berkeley, California, United States, initiated a project to protect
the highly endangered
Hainan gibbon in exchange for scholarships for
the children of four villages near
Hainan Bawangling National Nature
Hainan hare (Lepus hainanus) is a species of hare endemic to Hainan.
A subspecies of the leopard cat (Prionailurus bengalensis alleni) is
endemic to Hainan.
Hainan leaf-warbler (Phylloscopus hainanus) is an Old World warbler in
In the ocean, sea turtles and whale sharks are known to migrate in
Hainan island has rich bio-diversity of cetaceans and is the site of
studying these in Chinese waters. Many whales such as North
Pacific right whales, western gray whales, humpback whales, and blue
whales (all of these are almost extinct in Chinese waters) were
historically seen in the winter and spring to mate and calve. These
gentle giants of the sea had been hunted heavily and were wiped out by
Japanese whalers (established whaling stations on various sites on
Chinese and Korean coasts including
Hainan and Daya Bay). A few
Bryde's whales and minke whales may still occur in the adjacent waters
along with on
Leizhou Peninsula and the Gulf of Tonkin.
Smaller species of whale and dolphins, such as short-finned pilot
whales and pantropical spotted dolphins, but most notably the
endangered Chinese white dolphin. Declared sanctuary for the species
extends along the coasts. These dolphins may appear among clearer
waters such as vicinity to Sanya.
Dugongs still occur in small number, mostly on
Gulf of Tonkin
Gulf of Tonkin side.
Historical ethnolinguistic groups on Hainan, 1967 map
(Link to entire map including key).
The population density of
Hainan is low compared to most Chinese
In 2000, the ethnic groups of
Hainan included the Han Chinese, known
Hainanese people, who are the majority (84% of the population);
the Li (Hlai) (14.7% of the population); the Miao (0.7%) and the
Zhuang (0.6%). The Li are the largest indigenous
group on the island in terms of population. Also found on the island
are the Utsuls, descendants of Cham refugees, who are classified as
Hui by the Chinese government. There is a Tanka community that live at
Although they are indigenous to the island and do not speak a Chinese
language, the Limgao (Ong-Be) people near the capital (8% of the
population) are counted as Han Chinese.
The East Mosque in Sanya, an example of Chinese-Islamic architecture.
Most of the
Hainanese population practices
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion and
Chinese Buddhism. The Li population has a
Theravada Buddhist minority.
Most of the Utsuls of the island, a branch of
Cham people living near
Sanya, are Muslims. Because
Hainan was a point in the travel route of
missionaries, there are some Christians. According to the Chinese
General Social Survey of 2009, Christians constitute 0.48% of the
Nanshan Park is the centre of Buddhism on
Hainan Island. Encompassing
more than 50 km2 (19 sq mi) of rainforest, the site
includes countless grand temples, statues and spiritual gardens the
likes of Saviour Garden and Longevity Valley, with intricately trimmed
hedges and abundant in lotus flowers, a venerated symbol in Buddhism
meaning virtue or purity.
At the heart of the valley is the grand Nanshan Temple, its gates
flanked by stone figures of Buddha in front of the Tang dynasty-style
entrance. The interior displays images of the Four Heavenly Kings amid
statues of other deities enshrined in renderings of stone, gold and
Perhaps the most popular site within the Nanshan Buddhist Cultural
Zone is the awe-inspiring stone rendering of the bodhisattva Guan Yin,
emerging out of the South
China Sea to stand at 108 metres, taller
than the statue of liberty.
The Nanshan Buddhist Cultural Zone is visited by thousands of tourists
and pilgrims each year who come pay homage to the site that plays a
significant role in the religion in
China and to sample some of the
finest Buddhist vegan cuisine on the island.
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Han Chinese of
Hainan speak a variant of the
Min Nan Chinese
language, known as Hainanese. In addition, the national standard
Putonghua is understood and spoken by most people, and
understood by some local Hainanese. The Li, the Zhuang and the Limgao
(Ong-Be) speak Tai–Kadai languages. The Miao speak Hmong–Mien
languages. These groups would usually speak
Putonghua as a second
4,500 people in the villages of Yanglan (羊栏) and Huixin (回新),
two villages on the outskirts of Sanya, speak the Tsat language, a
member of the Austronesian Chamic languages.
Adults who are members of a minority also have quite high literacy
skills in Chinese. Most adults speak several Chinese dialects, and
some also speak Li. In old Yacheng City and its vicinity as well as
for several dozen miles west of Huihui and Huixin, the so-called
military speech (the official language of the southwest among the
northern Chinese dialects) is spoken. In Yanglan Village to the
northeast, two Min dialects, both closely related to Cantonese, are
Mai dialect and the
Danzhou dialect, spoken in Haipo
Village in the south, which is the same dialect as the dialect spoken
Danzhou in Dan Country in the northern part of the island. From the
east to the west along the seashore, the
Hainanese dialect is used. In
Sanya City itself one sometimes finds speakers of Mandarin Chinese and
The general public can also use
Standard Chinese to communicate with
mainlanders. When Chams interact with the
Hainanese dialect speakers
Hainan Province, they use the
Hainanese dialect, though
youngsters generally use Mandarin. Not many can communicate in Li when
interacting with the Li, so the
Hainanese dialect or Mandarin is often
used. In the market place and within the
Sanya Municipality, the Cham
speakers use Cham among themselves, and when they interact with
speakers of other languages, they mostly use the
However, in the market places near the government seat of Yanglan
Township, the Chams either use the
Hainanese dialect or the Mai
Hainan Island was a part of
Guangdong it had a considerable
amount of local autonomy; the southern half of the island was an
autonomous prefecture. Hainan's elevation to provincial level in 1988
increased its accountability to the Central People's Government, but
by designating the new province a special economic zone the central
government expressed its intent to allow
Hainan maximum flexibility in
devising programs to facilitate foreign investment and economic
growth. Administratively, the province has been divided into five
economic major districts.
Politics of Hainan
Politics of Hainan and List of provincial leaders of
the People's Republic of China
The politics of
Hainan is structured in a dual party-government system
like all other governing institutions in mainland China.
Governor of Hainan
Governor of Hainan is the highest-ranking official in the People's
Government of Hainan. However, in the province's dual party-government
governing system, the Governor has less power than the Hainan
Communist Party of
China Provincial Committee Secretary or CPC Party
Per the research conducted by Information Warfare Monitor,
the physical location of GhostNet. The Chinese government has
officially denied the existence of a cyber war and intelligence
In the official PRC territorial claim,
Hainan Province includes not
just one island, but also some two hundred South
China Sea Islands.
Whilst the containment of the South
China Sea Islands means that
Hainan Province has a very large water body, it has a
disproportionally small land area.
James Shoal (曾母暗沙 Zengmu
Ansha), which is presently marked by the PRC, signifies the country's
southernmost border. But
Malaysia also claims that it is on their
List of administrative divisions of Hainan
List of administrative divisions of Hainan and List of
township-level divisions of Hainan
Hainan Province uses a slightly different administrative system than
the other provinces of China. Most other provinces are divided
entirely into prefecture-level divisions, each of which is then
divided entirely into county-level divisions. County-level divisions
generally do not come directly under the province. In Hainan, nearly
all county-level divisions (the eight districts excepted) come
directly under the province. This method of division is due to
Hainan's relatively sparse population of around 8 million people.
Administrative divisions of Hainan
Pinyin / Hainanese
Area in km2
Hainan / Hai Nam
Hǎinán Shěng / Hai Nam Teng
Haikou / Hai Khau
Hǎikǒu Shì / Hai Khau Si
Xiuying District / Tiu Eng Khi
Sānyà Shì / Tam Ah Si
Jiyang District / Kiet Riang Khi
Sansha * #
Sānshā Shì / Tam Sa Si
Yongxing Town / Riong Heng Dien
Dānzhōu Shì / Dam Ju Si
Nada Town / No Dua Dien
Wǔzhǐshān Shì / Ngouji Tua Si
Tongzha Town / Khong Ta Dien
Qiónghǎi Shì / Kheng Hai Si
Jiaji Town / Kia Zec Dien
Wénchāng Shì / Von Sio Si
Wencheng Town / Von Tia Dien
Wànníng Shì / Van Neng Si
Wancheng Town / Van Tia Dien
Dōngfāng Shì / Dang Fang Si
Basuo Town / Boi To Dien
Ding'an County **
Dìng'ān Xiàn / Deng An Kuai
Dingcheng Town / Deng Tia Dien
Tunchang County **
Túnchāng Xiàn / Ton Siang Kuai
Tuncheng Town / Ton Tia Dien
Chengmai County **
Chéngmài Xiàn / Deng Mai Kuai
Jinjiang Town / Kiom Kiang Dien
Lingao County **
Língāo Xiàn / Liom Ko Kuai
Lincheng Town / Liom Tia Dien
Autonomous County **
Báishā Lízú Zìzhìxiàn / Be Tua Loitoc Seji Kuai
Yacha Town / Ge Sa Dien
Autonomous County **
Chāngjiāng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn / Siang Kiang Loitoc Seji Kuai
Shilu Town / Jo Loc Dien
Autonomous County **
Lèdōng Lízú Zìzhìxiàn / Loc Dong Loitoc Seji Kuai
Baoyou Town / Bo Yu Dien
Autonomous County **
Língshuǐ Lízú Zìzhìxiàn / Leng Tui Loitco Seji Kuai
Yelin Town / Hia Liom Dien
Baoting Li and Miao
Autonomous County **
Bǎotíng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn / Bo Deng Loi-Miautoc Seji Kuai
Baocheng Town / Bo Tia Dien
Qiongzhong Li and Miao
Autonomous County **
Qióngzhōng Lízú Miáozú Zìzhìxiàn / Kheng Tong Loi-Miautoc
Yinggen Town / Riong Kien Dien
* - Sovereignty over
Sansha (including the Paracel, Spratly and
Zhongsha Islands) is disputed as of 6 April 2018.
** - Directly administered county-level divisions
# - direct-piped cities - does not contain any county-level divisions
Main article: People's Liberation Army Navy
Hainan Island is home to the
People's Liberation Army Navy
People's Liberation Army Navy Hainan
Submarine Base and strategic nuclear submarine naval harbor at
18°13′16″N 109°41′10″E / 18.221°N 109.686°E /
18.221; 109.686. The naval harbor is estimated to be 60 feet
(18 m) high, built into hillsides around a military base. The
caverns are capable of hiding up to 20 nuclear submarines from spy
satellites. The harbor houses nuclear ballistic missile submarines and
is large enough to accommodate aircraft carriers. The U.S. Department
of Defense has estimated that
China will have five type 094 submarines
operational by 2010 with each capable of carrying 12
missiles. Two 950-metre (3,120 ft) piers and three smaller ones
would be enough to accommodate two carrier strike groups or amphibious
Further information: Tourism
Hainan's economy is predominantly agricultural, and more than a half
of the island's exports are agricultural products. Hainan's elevation
to province-level status (1988), however, was accompanied by its
designation as China's largest "special economic zone", the intent
being to hasten the development of the island's plentiful resources.
Prior to this, the province had a reputation for being a "Wild West"
area, largely untouched by industrialisation; even today there are
relatively few factories in the province.
Tourism plays an important
part of Hainan's economy, thanks largely to its tropical beaches and
The central government has encouraged foreign investment in
has allowed the island to rely to a large extent on market
Hainan's industrial development largely has been limited to the
processing of its mineral and agricultural products, particularly
rubber and iron ore. Since the 1950s, machinery, farm equipment, and
textiles have been manufactured in the
Haikou area for local
consumption. A major constraint on industrial expansion has been an
inadequate supply of electricity. Much of the island's generating
capacity is hydroelectric, and it is subject to seasonal fluctuations
in stream and river flows.
Its nominal GDP for 2011 was 251.5 billion yuan (US$39.9 billion),
making it the 4th smallest in all of the PRC and contributes just
0.53% to the entire country's economy. At that time, its GDP per
capita was 19,166 yuan (US$2,805).
By the first quarter of 2010,
Hainan had the highest increase in GDP
of any province in China, with a year-on-year increase of 25.1%. The
GDP of Hainan's
Qionghai city grew 58.7%.
In December 2009, the government of
China announced that it plans to
Hainan as an "international tourist destination" by
2020. This announcement contributed to a surge in the province's
economy, with a year-on-year increase in investment of 136.9% in the
first three months of 2010. Hainan's real estate sector accounted for
more than one third of the province's economic growth.
Economic and technological development zones
Haikou Free Trade Zone
Haikou New & Hi-Tech Industrial Development Zone
Yangpu Economic Development Zone
On April 20, 2011, a pilot duty-free program commenced with the aim of
increasing luxury goods purchases. It permits domestic Chinese
visitors to claim tax refunds on imported luxury items purchased
within the province. The maximum value is set at 5,000 yuan (US$762),
with lowered tax rates on purchases over 5,000 yuan. In October
2012, duty limits were raised to 8,000 yuan ($1,273), and became
available to both domestic and international tourists.
The total sales of duty-free products for 2012 was 2.4 billion
The world's largest duty-free shopping complex is scheduled to open in
Haitang Bay in August 2014.
Hainan has commercially exploitable reserves of more than 30 minerals.
Iron, first mined by the Japanese during their occupation of the
island in World War II, is the most important. Also important are
titanium, manganese, tungsten, bauxite, molybdenum, cobalt, copper,
gold, and silver. There are large deposits of lignite and oil shale on
the island, and significant offshore finds of oil and natural gas have
been discovered. Virgin forests in the interior mountains contain more
than 20 commercially valuable species, including teak and sandalwood.
One of the many rice fields in Hainan
Owing to Hainan's tropical climate, paddy rice is cultivated
extensively in the northeastern lowlands and in the southern mountain
valleys. Leading crops other than rice include coconuts, palm oil,
sisal, tropical fruits (including pineapples, of which
China's leading producer), black pepper, coffee, tea, cashews, and
sugarcane. In the early 20th century Chinese emigrants returning from
then British Malaya, introduced rubber trees to the island; after
1950, state farms were developed, and
Hainan now produces a
substantial amount of China's rubber. The hot
Hainan yellow lantern
chili, a variety unique to the island, is grown in the southeast and
Domesticated farm animals comprise mainly goats, cows, water buffalo,
chickens, geese and ducks.
Fish farms in Chengmai
Grouper, Spanish mackerel, and tuna constitute the
bulk of the catch from offshore fishing grounds. Scallops and pearls
are raised in shallow bays and basins for local use and export.
Shrimp production is estimated to have been 120,000 to 150,000 metric
tons (130,000 to 170,000 short tons) in 2007, more than 50% of which
Hainan has over 400 hatcheries, most being located
Wenchang and Qionghai.
Tilapia production in 2008 was 300,000 metric tons (330,000 short
tons). The island has an estimated 100,000 local, commercial fish
Real estate market
Hainan province was the site of the largest property bust in
modern Chinese history With 2009 and the announcement of the
Chinese Government's plan to develop the province into a major
international tourist location, property sales rose by 73%, creating
the possibility of another bubble in Hainan's property market.
Since March 2010, commercial and residential property values in some
Hainan have slowed down since the market peaked in February.
In March, average month-on-month transaction prices dropped 12.82% to
RMB per square meter, with a reduction in volume to 627,000
square metres (6,750,000 sq ft), a 19.05% decline. Later in
April, prices declined 2.84% to 11,932 yuan per square metre, with a
57.59% decline in volume to 567,200 square meters
(6,105,000 sq ft). Then in May prices declined a further
29.74% from the previous month to 8,483 yuan per square metre, with a
57.95% decline in volume to 229,000 square metres
(2,460,000 sq ft). However, property prices in the
tourist resort of
Sanya remain strong as of January 2011, with prime
developments selling at prices of up to 80,000
RMB per square metre.
Data for 2016 data shows that
Hainan saw an increase in house sales of
44%. Volume in sales was 129 billion
RMB ($18.82 billion) which is a
rise of 51.2 percent year-on-year. During that year in November,
commercial apartments in
Sanya sold for 20,695
RMB per square meter a
rise of 15.75% year-on-year. The total amount of
Sanya real estate
sold during that time was 212,400 square metres.
Out of China's twenty leading real estate developers, eighteen had
Hainan during 2016.
In the beginning of 2017, the price for a house in
RMB ($1,170) per square meter and $20,000 RMB
($2,977) per square meter in Sanya.
See also: Golf in
China § Hainan
This industry is expanding in Hainan, with numerous courses being
constructed, including Mission Hills Haikou, which is one of the
largest golf complexes in the world. The golf industry attracts
foreign investment and overseas golfers from such countries as
Australia, South Korea, and Japan.
The government of
Hainan intends to expand the province's medical
tourism industry. The provincial government plans to establish
Boao Lecheng International Medical Travel Zone in the
This was announced at the
Boao Forum for Asia
Boao Forum for Asia in 2011. The State
Council has approved the development of Lecheng Island as a
medical tourism-themed destination. Lecheng Island is a small
island in the
Wanquan River about 3 km (1.9 mi) west of the
coastal town of
Bo'ao on the west coast of the province. Construction
on the 20 km2. zone is expected to begin in December 2014, will
cost a projected 1.5 billion yuan, and is scheduled for completion in
2016. It will be the first special zone for medical travel in
Domestic Chinese manufacturer,
Haima Automobile has its global
headquarters in Haikou.
Map showing main highways
Before 1950 there were practically no transportation links with the
interior of the island. The first roads were built in the early 20th
century, but no major road construction was undertaken in the
mountains until the 1950s. Parallel north–south roads along the east
and west coasts and through the interior of the island constitute most
of Hainan's road network.
Hainan Province has two international airports (
International Airport and
Sanya Phoenix International Airport) and two
domestic airports (
Bo'ao Airport and
Danzhou Airport, the
latter is under construction.)
Hainan is ringed by standard-gauge railways. Since 2004, a
rail ferry connects the island's railroad network to the mainland.
In 2005, Ministry of Communications allocated 20 million yuan (US$2.4
million) to set up a committee to research and study the possibility
of a bridge or tunnel link connecting the island to the mainland.
From the ferry terminal, located near
Haikou Railway Station (west of
Haikou), freight and passenger trains arriving from the mainland can
proceed on the
Hainan Western Ring Railway
Hainan Western Ring Railway along the island's west
coast, via Dongfang to Sanya. This railway line has been developed
over several decades, starting with a few short
3 ft 6 in (1,067 mm) narrow gauge lines
constructed during the Japanese occupation in the early 1940s.
Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway
Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway links
Haikou and Sanya
along the island's east coast. There are 15 stations in between,
either in operation or still under construction. Trains are designed
to travel at 250 km/h (160 mph). Travel time from
Sanya is approximately 1 hour and 22 minutes. The
total length of
Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway
Hainan Eastern Ring High-Speed Railway is
308.11 km (191.45 mi). The in-between railway stations
Haikou East, Changliu, Xiuying, Meilan Airport, Wenchang,
Qionghai, Bo'ao, Wanning, Shenzhou, Sun and Moon Bay, Lingshui and
Tiandu. The first train run started on 30 December 2010 at the
price of 114
RMB for first-class seat and 95
RMB for a second-class
seat for a full journey between
Haikou and Sanya. The Hainan
Western Ring High-Speed Railway is on the west coast of Hainan,
roughly paralleling the existing
Hainan Western Ring Railway. It links
up with the
Hainan Eastern Ring Railway at both ends, thus forming a
high-speed railway ring around the island.
Haikou Xiuying Port
Haikou Xiuying Port (海口秀英港) serves as the main passenger and
Haikou New Port (海口新港) opened June 1, 2005
Macun Port (马村港) located in
Chengmai County; opened June 1,
Hainan Strait Port
Basuo Port in Dongfang City is a small port on the west coast of
Hainan. One of its main cargos is iron ore from the Shilu Mine.
Hainan received 11,000 tons of products via ports November 2010, up
90.1 percent month-on-month. Between January and November 2010,
102,000 tons of products were exported via Hainan, 34,000 tons of
which were exported to the US, and 14,000 tons sent to the EU.
Haikou College of Economics,
See also: List of universities and colleges in Hainan
The level of primary and secondary education has improved since 1949,
but facilities for higher education remain somewhat
Hainan University (海南大学)
Hainan Normal University
Hainan Normal University (海南师范大学)
Qiongzhou University (琼州大学)
Hainan Medical Institute
Hainan Medical Institute (海南医学院)
Haikou College of Economics (海口经济学院)
China Tropical Agricultural University
(华南热带农业大学, merged into
Hainan University on Aug 14,
Hainan Provincial Museum
Hainan has always been on the fringe of the Chinese cultural sphere.
Traditionally, the island was a place of exile for criminals and
disgraced officials. As a frontier region celebrated by such exiled
poets as Su Dongpo,
Hainan acquired an air of mystery and romance. The
influx of large numbers of mainlanders after 1950 – particularly in
the 1970s, when young Chinese from southern
Guangdong were assigned to
state farms to help develop Hainan, and in the 1980s, when thousands
more came to take advantage of the economic opportunities offered –
has perpetuated the frontier atmosphere on the island.
As well as programming from Central
China Television (CCTV), Hainan
has a number of local TV stations including
Hainan TV and
Chinese language Nanguo Metropolis Daily,
Haikou Evening News, and
Hainan Daily newspapers are published in Haikou.
A large movie studio is located in the south part of Haikou. Movie
Haikou comprises several studio buildings and an artificial town
used as filming sets and a visitor attraction.
Common dishes served in Hainan
Hainan cuisine is said to be "lighter, with mild seasonings." A lot of
local taste is mixed with the
Han Chinese taste. Seafood predominates
the menu, as shrimp, crab, fish and other sea life are widely
Wenchang chicken / Von Sio Coi is a dish known throughout the province
of Hainan. Although there are many varieties of this dish, the name is
usually used to define a type of small, free-range chicken from
Wenchang, located on the east coast of the province. As opposed to
battery chickens, its meat has more texture and is somewhat drier.
Hainan chicken rice / Coibui is a famous dish in Southeast Asia
bearing the region's name. However, whilst many restaurants use
chicken fat to quickly add flavour to the dish, the proper local
method is to 'marinate' the rice with chicken soup to add a more full
Located in Sanya, this beach is typical of those along the entire
eastern coast of Hainan
Hainan Island is often divided into eight regions for tourism
Haikou and area (Haikou, Qiongshan, Ding'an); the Northeast
(Wenchang); the Central East Coast (Qionghai, Ding'an); the South East
Coast; the South (Sanya); the West Coast also called the Chinese
Riviera (Ledong, Dongfang, Xianghsui, Changjiang); the North West
(Danzhou, Lingao, Chengmai); and the Central Highlands (Baisha,
Qiongzhong, and Wuzhishan/Tongzha).
Popular tourist destinations include the beaches and resorts in the
southern part of the province. Inland is Five Finger Mountain, a
scenic area. Tourists also visit the capital of
Haikou with area
visitor attractions such as Movie Town
Haikou and Holiday Beach.
In 2000, the province initiated a visa-upon-arrival policy for foreign
tourist groups. It is available to citizens of twenty-six different
countries, and was established in order to attract visitors.
During 2008, 20.6 million tourists visited Hainan, producing total
revenues of 19.23 billion yuan (US$2.81 billion). Of these tourists,
979,800 were from overseas with the largest numbers coming from South
Russia and Japan.
In 2010, the amount of overnight tourists visiting
Hainan was 25.87
million, 663,000 of which came from outside China.
During 2011, more than 30 million tourists visited Hainan, mostly from
mainland China. Of the 814,600 overseas tourists, 227,600 of them came
from Russia, a 53.3 percent a rise year-on-year. Total revenue
during that year was 32 billion
RMB ($4.3 billion US), up 25 percent
In the first quarter of 2012, the
Hainan Provincial Tourism
Development Commission reports that
Hainan received 208,300 overnight
visitors, 25 percent of whom came from Russia.
Hainan received 50.2 million tourists, 660,000 of whom were
Hainan received 53 million visitors.
In 2016, over 60 million tourists went to Hainan, up 12.9% from
Hainan received more than 1.1 million overseas tourists.
Main article: Major national historical and cultural sites (Hainan)
Haikou is the province's capital and contains interesting historic
sites. Also known as Coconut City,
Haikou is a major port. The Five
Officials Temple (Chinese: 五公祠; pinyin: Wŭgōng cí,
20°0′35.79″N 110°21′17.34″E / 20.0099417°N
110.3548167°E / 20.0099417; 110.3548167) consists of five
traditional temples and halls that were built in honour of five
officials of the Tang (618-907) and Song (960-1279) dynasties. These
officials were banished to
Hainan for periods ranging from 11 days to
11 years for speaking out against what they felt were wrong practices
by the emperors. (It is perhaps significant that the establishment of
Five Officials Temple
Five Officials Temple in the late 19th century coincides with a
time when China's territorial integrity was under threat, and that
several of the officials honoured here were exiled for espousing
aggressive policies on the recapture of the north of
China from the
Jurchens during the Southern Song dynasty.)
Xiuying Fort was built in 1891 to defend the southeastern corner of
China during the Sino-French War. The
Xiuying Fort Barbette covers
about a third of an acre. Its five large cannons are still intact and
viewable at the site.
Tomb of Hai Rui
The Tomb of
Hai Rui (20°0′29.66″N 110°17′30.18″E /
20.0082389°N 110.2917167°E / 20.0082389; 110.2917167) is a key
national cultural protection site.
Hai Rui was a compassionate and
popular official of
Hainanese origins who lived during the Ming
dynasty. He was famous for his lifelong honesty and his willingness to
speak out on behalf of local people. In later life,
Hai Rui was
persecuted and fell out of favour with the emperor. His admirers built
Hai Rui Tomb after his death to commemorate his great works.
Construction of the tomb began in 1589.
Yangpu Ancient Salt Field
Yangpu Ancient Salt Field is a heritage site in Yantian village on
Yangpu Peninsula. The area comprises more than 1,000 stones, cut flat
on top, used to dry seawater to produce salt.
Other attractions and destinations
Yalong Bay, the most expensive and well-known beach in Hainan, and
location of numerous 5-star hotels.
Hainan Island has a number of beaches, hot springs and other
attractions. Some top scenic sites include Yalong bay National Resort;
Dadonghai Tourist Resort; Qizhi Shan (Seven Finger Mountain), Nuilin
mountain tropical botanical reserve in Lingshui county, Guantang Hot
Spring Resort, Shishan Volcanic Garden; the Wanquan River, Baishi
Ridge Scenic Zone and Baihua Ridge.
Other attractions in
Phoenix Island, an artificial island in
Monkey Island, near the well-known perfume bay or Xiangshui Wan, a
popular tourist destination located in Lingshui County, is a
state-protected nature reserve for macaques.
Yalong Bay (Crescent Dragon Bay or Yalong Wan), a 7 km
(4.3 mi) long beach east of
Xiangshui Bay Scenic Area, 48 km (30 mi) from
Luobi Cave, 15 km (9.3 mi) north of
Nanshan Temple, a Buddhist cultural area west of
Sanya featuring a 108
metres (354 ft) statue of Guanyin, Buddhist Goddess of Mercy.
Yanoda is a rainforest area. It is open to visitors with guided
walking tours, a zipline, and a waterfall climbing activity.
To encourage the international yachting community, new regulations now
allow foreign yachts to stay for a total of 183 days each year, with a
maximum single stay duration of 30 days. 13 additional ports will be
built around the island to accommodate this market.
Numerous events are hosted or sponsored on the island, including:
Swatch Girls World Pro
China - Annual Elite Women's surfing
competition, held at Wanning
Hainan International Surfing Festival, held annually at Riyue Bay,
Miss World beauty pageant is regularly held in the city of Sanya.
Mission Hills Star Trophy
Mission Hills Star Trophy is an annual golf tournament that started in
Tour of Hainan
Tour of Hainan bicycle race
Hainan Rendez-Vous, an annual four-day event that draws China's ultra
high-net-worth individuals to the Chinese Riviera-like shores of
Boao Forum for Asia, held in Boao, is an international high-level
government, business, and academia forum.
H1 Hot Air Balloon Challenge is held annually in Haikou. Balloons from
across the nation fly over the
Qiongzhou Strait from
Haikou to a
designated location on the mainland in Xunwen County,
The novel, Red Detachment of Women, by Liang Xin, was set in Hainan.
The novel was first adapted to a feature film in the 1950s, and then a
ballet in the 1960s as one of the Eight model plays. Most of the
people of that time derived their romanticized image of
from the scenes in the ballet, particularly that of the vivid forests
of coconut trees, the Five Finger Mountain (Wuzhi Shan), and the
Parts of the 2010 movie If you are the One 2 (非诚勿扰 2) were
shot in Shimei Bay (石梅湾) near Sanya.
Two notable lighthouses are located on Hainan: the Baishamen
Mulantou Lighthouse are among the tallest in the world,
the latter being the tallest in China.
3024 Hainan, named for the province, is an outer main-belt asteroid
discovered in 1981.
Hainan Kopi Tales is an award-winning Singaporean Chinese drama serial
set in a famous
Hainan coffee shop that explores the
Hainanese way of
life from the 1960s to the 1980s.
Hainian Resort is also a multiplayer map in the 2013 video game
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center
One of China's satellite launch centers is located in
Hainan east of
the city of Wenchang. The
Wenchang Satellite Launch Center, a 1,200
hectares (3,000 acres) facility, is the closest Chinese launch center
to the equator. The construction plan was first announced in October
2007. The new launch centre began operations on November 3, 2016 with
Long March 5
Long March 5 rocket making its maiden flight.
Su Shi (1036–1101) popularized Hainan's isolation and
exoticism when he was exiled there under the Song dynasty. The Dongpo
Academy was built on the site of the residence where he lived in
Hai Rui (1514–1587) was a famous Chinese official of the Ming
dynasty. His name has come down in history as a model of honesty and
integrity in office.
Chih-Ping Chen (1906-1983) was a distinguished diplomat and statesman
for the Republic of China, who served to build the Yunnan-Burma Road,
and a diplomatic career that spanned four decades.
The most well-known native of
Hainan is Chinese-American Methodist
minister turned businessman, Charlie Soong, father of the
Shanghai-born Soong sisters: Soong Ai-ling, wife of
H. H. Kung
H. H. Kung (once
China's richest man); Soong Ching-ling, wife of Sun Yat-Sen; and Soong
Mei-ling, wife of former ROC President Chiang Kai-shek.
Hainan has international relationships with these places: 
Prince Edward Island
New Britain Island
Papua New Guinea
Grande Comore Island
Federated States of Micronesia
Hainan Island incident
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Wikimedia Commons has media related to Hainan.
Hainan Government Website
Hainan travel guide from Wikivoyage
Economic profile for
Hainan at HKTDC
Dr Howard M Scott "Hainan"
Resources on the
Hainanese in the National Library of Singapore
Hainan Province Official English Language
Places adjacent to Hainan
Gulf of Tonkin
Haiphong, Nam Định, Quảng Ninh and Thái Bình Provinces,
Gulf of Tonkin
Hà Tĩnh, Nghệ An and Thanh Hóa Provinces, Vietnam
Gulf of Tonkin
Quảng Trị and Thừa Thiên-Huế Provinces, Vietnam
Historical and cultural sites
Islands of Hainan
Yongxing Island/Woody Island
Flora and fauna
Hainan yellow lantern chili
Hainan black crested gibbon
Nanguo Metropolis Daily
Hainan Eastern Ring HSR
Hainan Western Ring HSR
Haikou Meilan International Airport
Sanya Phoenix International Airport
Haikou New Port
Haikou Xiuying Port
Port of Yangpu
Haikou College of Economics
Hainan Medical University
Hainan Normal University
Hainan Tropical Ocean University
Buildings and structures
Crown of Beauty Theatre
Haikou Century Bridge
Haikou Great Hall of the People
Hainan Centre for the Performing Arts
Hainan Exhibition & Convention Center
Hainan chicken rice
Statue of Guanyin
Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark
Mission Hills Star Trophy
Nanwan Monkey Island
Temple of the Five Lords
Yangpu Ancient Salt Field
County-level divisions of
Yongxing Town (Yongxing Management Area)
Qilianyu Management Area
Yongle Archipelago Management Area
(directly governed — no township-level divisions)
* Not a formal administrative subdivision
Township-level divisions of Hainan
Politics of Hainan
Economic Development Zones of China
Special Economic Zones
New open development zones
Provincial-level divisions of the People's Republic of China
Special administrative regions
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