Yazhou, at the southernmost tip of Hainan Island was founded sometime during the Qin Dynasty in the 3rd century BCE. It started off as a simple mud brick city and grew in importance during the Yuan, Ming and Qing Dynasties. However it was far away from the power centres and was in fact referred to as ‘end of the sky and ocean’ or ‘end of the earth’. This was the place that high ranking officials at the imperial court were banished to when they fell out of favour with the emperor.
Historic records available from the Tang Dynasty onwards identify 14 high ranking court officials exiled here. Not many illustrious persons were associated with the city except for Jianzhen a Tang Dynasty Buddhist monk who accidently sailed into Yazhou on his way to carry out missionary work in Japan. Once he discovered the city he used it as a launching point for his missionary work overseas. Huang Daopa a female revolutionary during the Yuan Dynasty was another local historic figure. In 1912 the city’s name was changed to Yaxian. During the 20th century the city’s importance grew as a significant port city and during World War Two Japan occupied the city and stationed its 2nd fleet here. The invasions of Malaya and Thailand were launched from Yaxian (Yazhou).
In 1950 Hainan Island was taken over by the People’s Liberation Army and after several years of reorganization in 1987 Sanya city was established in place of Yaxian, formerly Yazhou. The attraction of the city has always been its beautiful seaside location and tropical climate. Six bays with turquoise water, 20 km of white sandy beaches all of which have a backdrop of forest covered hills provide a wonderful setting for the city.
Luhuitou Peak is the highest point and Jingmou Cape is the city’s southern most point. Several coral islands are scattered off the city’s coast. Attractions include ancient hot springs where the water is still clear and is suitable for bathing year round, a large cave in the shape of a turtle by the sea, a 108 metre tall Guanyin statue and the Nanshan Temple covering 40,000 sq metres and built in 1988 to commemorate 1,000 years of Buddhism in China.
Sanya / Yazhou is also home to members of the Li, Miao, Han and Hui ethnic groups that are some of the original settlers of Hainan.
One of the best features of Anantara Sanya Resort & Spa, the newest property on the seafront, is its selection of plush, spacious accommodation comprising of guestrooms, suites and pool villas. The contemporary design of this Sanya hotel with East Asian and Thai touches provides luxurious yet private spaces for relaxation and rejuvenation. Four restaurants serving international and Asian cuisines, a spa with treatments based on Asian traditions and rituals and a range of other excellent facilities and amenities make this Sanya resort a preferred destination.
Chandrishan Williams is a travel writer who writes under the pen name, Caleb Falcon. He specializes in writing content based on the many exciting world adventures that await intrepid travellers. Google+