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Welcome to Haikou

A world-famous tourist city and a treasure house of cultural relics.

 

Introduction


Haikou and its neighboring areas, travel in ChinaHaikou, known also as the 'Coconut City', is the capital of Hainan Province, China's second largest island. The city is the provincial administrative center of Hainan as well being the focus of the local economy, culture and transportation. Haikou stands at the northern end of Hainan Island, on the west bank of the Nandu River estuary. This river is the longest on the island and the city's name appropriately means 'Mouth of the Sea'.

With the sea on three sides Haikou enjoys a long coastline that features excellent bathing beaches and sea side resorts. Holiday Beach is the most popular of these, while Xixiu Beach is where the National sailing and windsurfing teams train and hold competitions.

Haikou City, a clean city with convenient transportationThe downtown area of the city has an excellent environment with streets lined with coconut palms. Here there are modern and convenient public transport facilities and all that is best in a tropical seaside city that is pollution free and that meets the needs of the tourist in a friendly and welcoming way.

Besides its natural resources, Haikou has a number of important sites of historical interest. The Wugong Temple (The Five Official's Temple), the Tomb of Hai Rui and the Xiuying Emplacement each serve as reminders of the historical importance of Haikou.

The street of HaikouNo trip is complete without the opportunity to savor tempting local food and shopping opportunities. It goes without saying that for anyone coming to Haikou, seafood is definitely a must. However, the city is also famous for its other prized dishes. There are four to delight the gourmet and should not be missed. They are Wenchang Chicken, Dongshan Mutton, Jiaji Duck and Hele Crab. The climate means there is an abundance of fresh local fruits such as mangos, pineapples, jackfruits, coconuts and carambola, betelnuts, pawpaw, longan and lichee, loquat, naseberry and passion fruit. Maybe some of these will be new to you but we are sure that if you try them you will want to take come home!

As for transportation, don't worry! Hainan Meilan Airport, railway station, ship and expressway links cities of China and the whole world.

Haikou has evolved from a simple sightseeing city to an attractive seaside resort and business center. The services for visitors to the city are being extended with the aim of establishing Haikou as Southern China's key center for tourism.

 

Haikou Attractions

Tomb of Hai Rui
ETomb of Hai Rui
Tomb of Hai Rui is situated in the western outskirts of Haikou City, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the civic center. It represents people's esteem towards Hai Rui, an upright and uncorrupted official. It was originally built in 1589 during the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644), and some of the constructions in the tomb garden remain intact. With an area of over 4,000 square meters (4784 square yards), the layout was designed according to the level of the official titles at that time. Today it is rated as the Key Cultural Relic Preservation of Hainan Province.

 

Hai Rui (1514 - 1587), born in Hainan Province, was an official in the Ming Dynasty. He is famed as a statesman for his honesty and performance of his duty as well as his clean life. After his death, people chose the location in obedience to his spirit from 'heaven'.

One typical story illustrates his honesty. After seeing the emperor wink at the corruption of court officials, he prepared a coffin for his death and said farewell to his wife. Then he went to the emperor, expressing his criticism and advice. His words were not accepted but cost him his court position and he was jailed. After his release, he returned to his hometown and helped with irrigation projects. At the age of 72, he was employed again by the court to work in Nanjing, and passed away in the third year of his service.

His integrity also gained people's recognition. When he worked for the court, he was needy and could not pay for servants. He wrote articles or inscriptions for others in order to earn money. This was quite uncommon because in Chinese feudal society, most officials had servants and lived a rich life. After his death when people helped clear up his mementoes, they were surprised to find only eight taels of silver and a few clothes.

On the day they buried Hai Rui, their admired official, all the people ceased their own matters to attend the funeral, crying and grieving. When the coffin was carried to the very spot where the present tomb is situated, the rope of the coffin broke and people believed this was the place that Hai Rui chose for himself. Thus the tomb was built on that spot.

 

Tomb of Hai Rui
 
Wugong Temples
Wugong Temples
Wugong Temples, are approximately 5 kilometers (about 3.1 miles) from the centre of Haikou City, and were originally constructed during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644). It was renovated on several occasions during the Qing Dynasty (1644-1911). Now, it is a place known for its sense of peace, tranquility and beauty.
After many years of renovation and development, the existing Wugong Temples are now an attractive ancient architectural complex that include the Wugong Temple (Five Officials' Temple), the Sugong, Hairui and Fubo Temples, and Guanjia Tang (Watching Crop Hall), and Xuepu Tang (Studying Hall). They cover an area of about 2,800 square meters (about 0.69 acres). Wugong Temple is the main part of this building complex and Wugong Temple is considered to be "the No.1 Building in Hainan" even though it is only a two-storied wooden building. This was constructed to commemorate the five famous officials- Li Deyu, Li Gang, Zhao Ding, Li Guang and Hu Quan who were banished to Hainan during the Tang Dynasty (618-907) and the Song Dynasty (960-1279). The main hall houses the vivid and lifelike stone statues of the five prestigious officials. On the inner pillars, there are two much praised couplets which visitors, having learnt about the background of the five officials, cannot help but admire. Additionally, a stone tablet that is carved with calligraphy inscriptions of Emperor Huizong, from the Song Dynasty, is also displayed in the Wugong Temple.
Wugong Temples
 

Wuzhi Mountain

Wuzhi Mountain

The center of Hainan Island is mountainous with a range that extends southwards in contrast to the relatively lower lying northern regions. Wuzhi Mountain (Wuzhi Shan), located in Wuzhi Shan City, is the highest peak, with an altitude of 1,867m (6,125 feet). In fact this mountain is 343m (1,125 feet) higher than Mt.Tai, long regarded as the premier peak of China's five most famous mountains.

Wuzhi Mountain is the symbol of the island. The region has been listed by the International Tourism Organization in recognition of its supreme natural scenery which comprises one of the few natural rain forests surviving in the world today.

Wuzhi means five fingers in Chinese and the mountain owes its name to its formation. The overall shape extends like the five digits of a hand. Tradition has it that this is the hand of Sakyamuni and that the legendary Monkey King cannot escape from its control.

Wuzhi Mountain is high and steep, with a complex land form, and verdant forest. The abundant water resources feed groups of waterfalls, the most impressive being the Wuzhi Mountain Waterfall on the north face of the first peak. This has a height of 1,000m (3,281 feet), and is a grand sight. The various water falls have created a series of deep ponds as they cascade down to the great Wuzhi Mountain Canyon.

A boat ride through the great Canyon is a thrilling experience. Starting from the dam at its head a gentle current carries you through picturesque surroundings. Above you is a blue sky dotted with white clouds as you wonder at the green forests and rocks shaped by the water over thousands of years. However, this placid drift does not last as the water begins to plummet down the steeper reach resulting in the excited screams and laughter of the passengers.

City Wall
 

Please visit ChinaTravelGide to get more information about HAIKOU

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Last Update 11/01/2006 12:21