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I am at a conference at TSIMF, and the featured outing is an excursion to "the tourist area" tomorrow afternoon. I thought this was just informal terminology, but the (sparse) program materials refer to paying an entrance fee, and TSIMF's Sanya tour page features a picture of the Nanshan Cultural Tourism Zone, which I guess is what is meant.

When I hear "tourist area", I think of a place that I want to avoid, far from paying to enter, where mainly it'll be a game of avoiding the people who want to sell me things.
I am much more interested in seeing the nature on the island (as in my other question). However, the picture and brief description on the TSIMF page actually looks kind of appealing, even within these constraints. I'd like to hear people's experience of the sights in this area, and if it has appeal beyond shopping.

  • nobody here can answer if something is worth it. But you might get some facts from those who have been there. – Kate Gregory Aug 7 at 17:22
  • Perhaps tripadvisor.ca/… will be helpful also. – Kate Gregory Aug 7 at 17:24
  • Sanya is not known for its old and amazing culture but there are some nice to see there depending what you interests are – Matt Douhan Aug 11 at 21:34
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+50

Well, from Wikivoyage:

1 DaDongHai (BigEastSea) (大东海; Dadonghai) (From the airport, take bus nr. 8.). The main "foreigner area" (especially Russian -- in visitors and signage, there is little English here!) Dadonghai is an easily accessible, beautiful beach -- and tourist/laowai haven. It has a good balance between development and natural beauty. The water is decently clean; the ocean bed is mostly just sand with a rare school of fish or eel. The beach is lined with expensive (and generally not very tasty) restaurants, but the beach is free (although cordoned into "zones" for swimming and boating). The beach is closed at night, but there is a section to the far east (the "military zone") that is just beyond a big fence (with a big hole in it) which is always open. It is not policed or seemingly controlled. The town behind Dadong Bay is more expensive than Sanya, but has foreign restaurants. The shopping, however, may not be as good as Sanya city's. See the beach both in the morning, at sunset (sets gorgeously over the hills), and at night (when people are more scarce). There're beach parties here on weekends, especially, starting early but picking up later (usually after hours) at the "Beach Bar", located in the middle of the beachhead. Just look for music, foreigners, fire torches, and dancing after midnight

Key to note that there's a 'good balance between development and natural beauty'. So hopefully from this, it won't be a total tourist trap for you, although that's obviously a bit subjective.

  • It's hard to guess from that writeup though which part would require an entry fee. In fact it seems like more of a puzzle now. The fee could be for Yalong Bay, which seems to be the beach area. But that conflicts with your writeup where it specifically says "free"... – hippietrail Aug 13 at 3:01

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