Haikou is the capital of Hainan. Although most travelers head straight for the beach resorts near Sanya, the old ‘Coconut Capital’ has a few things worth checking out as well.
The city is located on the southern bank of the Qiongzhou Strait, facing the mainland’s Leizhou Peninsula. Built on a mound of the coast, it is the biggest city in Hainan Province.
Haikou’s industries include tropical crops processing, electronics and textiles as the mainstays of its light industry. It is a foreign trade and sea port city with advanced communications and a complete range of service equipment. The city has beautiful scenery, a pleasant climate and luxuriant vegetation.
Haikou is an ancient city. Tourist sites include:
*Wugong Temple commemorating five officials banished to Hainan in the Tang and Song dynasties (i) built in the 1890s, when China’s territorial integrity was under threat (ii) four of the five officials were exiled for advocating recapturing lands from northern barbarians. Now put 2 and 2 together! Nobody will tell you this, but this is a very political shrine!
*The admirable Qiongtai Academy of Classical Learning
*Xiuyang Fort Babette (gun installations from the late 19th century)
*The old quarter of the city. With narrow streets and somewhat decaying colonial architecture, this area has atmosphere.