Today, China is experiencing a tourist boom even in the outermost provinces. Hainan Island is the smallest and most remote province of the Celestial Empire, and it is as different from the Chinese mainland as Beijing is from Shanghai. Gorgeous beaches, extinct volcanoes, hot springs, sea pearls, coconut groves, plantations of coffee, tea, mangoes, and bananas – all these things are there, on Hainan. However, the island has known bad times. For example, in imperial China, except for the death penalty, the strictest punishment was exile to Hainan Island for the offender and his entire family.
We were there for the first time ten years ago, when my Victor Travel Blog was not even a project yet. Sanya City—the tourist capital of the island—did not impress us, and squalid houses built on its outskirts were in stark contrast to a chain of luxury hotels on the half-empty Yalong Bay beach. Today, ten years later, Hainan Island is different, and its capital, Haikou, is looking more and more like Hong Kong.