Founded back in the West Han Period, around 100 BC, the city was opened to trade in the latter stages of the Qing Dynasty and became capital city of Hainan in 1988. At the same time the province was elevated to "Special Economic Status" with Haikou developing into one of the most important producers of tropical products in China.
Amongst the attractions for visitors to Haikou is the pleasant year round climate and a fascinating mixture of traditional and modern Chinese folk culture.
Dongjiao Coconut Plantation
Reached from Qinglan Harbour via a twenty minute ferry journey, the Dongjiao Coconut Plantation contains half a million coconut trees of various species and varieties.
This is a very tranquil setting with many shady log huts for tourists to relax in. Development is now underway with plans for beach resorts consisting of luxury chalets and villas in the area. Admission cost is 25¥.
Tomb of Hai Rui
Hai Rui also known as "Lord Bao of the South", lived during the Ming Dynasty and was a respected official who was exiled to Hainan island after falling from the emperors' favour.
The Tomb of Hai Rui was constructed in 1589 by his admirers and an inscription on the archway at the entrance reads "Yuedong Zhengqi" or "Righteousness in Eastern Guangdong".
A 100 meter path leads to the tomb and is lined with sculptures of animals and humans with the tomb itself a brick structure resting on a marble pedestal. This popular tourist attraction is located about 5km west from the center of Haikou and admission cost is 5¥.
Located about 30 km from Haikou, the beautiful and relaxing Nanli Lake is made up of many small islands and peninsulas. The area covers 26 square kilometers with an average water depth of 12m. Activities such as swimming, fishing and boating are available all year round and yachts can be hired for around 80¥.
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