we had a choice of four land excursions. The Best of Sanya, which
cost $99, lasted for seven hours and included:
- Three theme parks: Buddhist Culture, Blessing and Longevity
Park, and Hainan Custom Culture. The Hainan are a minority
group among the residents of Sanya.
- Nanshan Temple along with a fine lunch.
- Guanyin Statue of Hainan, the third largest in the world.
- Pearl Culture Museum and shop.
Unfortunately, I didn't chose that excursion, but opted for the
four-and-half hour Leisurely Sanya tour instead.
Seeing the Sights
After disembarking, we boarded our buses and took off to the
interior of the island. My tour had three stops. The first was
Luhuiton Park for a scenic view of the bay and the city. The
second stop was the Pearl Culture Museum. And finally, we were to
spend a relaxing time on an exclusive beach, billed as the Waikiki
Because our tour didn't start till 1:30, we had plenty of time for
a leisurely morning, which worked out great since it was my
The bus drove up a winding road on a mountain that flanked the
bay. Near the top, we got off the bus and took golf carts up to
the view points. I have to admit that the view was spectacular and
gave us a good idea of the beauty of the island and the city. In
the picture above, see our ship docked in front of the huge
saillike apartment buildings.
of Bay and City
Our guide gave us about 20 minutes to wander around and see the
views from various angles. Luckily, the clouds had dissipated and
the views, as you can see, were clear. The weather was starting to
Pearl Culture Museum
I was looking forward to a museum full of exhibits, but we were
rushed through a perfunctory description of how pearls were formed
and harvested. We could barely understand the guide. The main
purpose of our visit soon became clear as we were ushered into the
store, where finished pearls were on sale at a 10 percent discount
for us. Jewelry doesn't interest me, but it was nice to have a
bathroom break at that point. Then back to the buses for our final
stop, the beach.
Our bus let us off in front of a large hotel that faced the beach.
The beach itself was jammed with Chinese in various stages of
undress. The beach itself was narrow, but very long as it arched
around a bay. The South China Sea looked pleasant, and the waves
were not too rough. But the beach was packed with people on
vacation to celebrate the two-week long Chinese New Year. Both
Dean and I were amazed at how out of shape flabby all the Chinese
were. Even the younger ones who were slender — no muscle tone. No
wonder China has a problem with a high rate of high blood pressure
it the population.
Our guide gave us 60 minutes to explore and enjoy the beach. The
time was about 60 minutes too long. We just walked around slowly,
checked out some of the booths with trinkets for sale and then
found a boardwalk that was relatively shady. At several points on
the boardwalk, vendors were selling food that smelled pretty good.
Finally, having had our fill of the hot, humid weather, we decided
to wait in the air-conditioned lobby of the hotel where we were to
rendezvous for the trip back to the ship. It turned out that lots
of folks from our bus had the same idea.
Finally, we boarded our bus, but the traffic was so intense that
it took forever to get back to the dock. By the time we embarked,
it was time to get ready for Dean's and my birthday dinner in the
Linda from Cruise World, who set up our trip, had given Bob McQ.
free passes to this exclusive grill aboard the ship. The room was
smaller and more intimate than the main dining room, and the menu
Dinner in the Pinnacle Grill with Birthday Boy Dean Left
After dinner, Dean and I adjourned to one of the lounges to listen
to our favorite group, a Romanian string quartet, named the Adagio
Strings. That evening, as we weighed anchor at 10:00 PM, we looked
out of our verandah and saw a spectacular light show. The lights
kept changing into different patterns, which you cannot see here
with just this static shot. But you get the idea. Soon we were out
to sea and would spend the next day sailing down the coast to
New Apartment Buildings
Evening Light Show
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