Sanya (Hainan), China
Hainan is the largest island administered by the People’s Republic of China, and comprises the lion’s share of the nation’s smallest and southernmost province. Warm and tropical, it has earned a reputation as “China’s Hawaii.” In fact most of the island is given over to facilities and services catering to visitors. The Serenity Coast, DadongHai, Yalong Bay and Haitang Bay all are filled with restaurants, resorts and hotels, and shopping malls suited to serve tourists from Asia, Russia and all over the world. One of the island’s top attractions is the 20 square-mile Nanshan Park, developed in 1988 to celebrate 2,000 years of Buddhism in China. There is a large Nanshan Temple, and numerous smaller pagodas and temples, as well as the world’s tallest Buddhist statue, a three-sided depiction of the Bodhisattva Guan Yin rising from the sea. Further afield, the newly developed Yanoda Rainforest Park has boardwalks winding through huge ancient trees and lush tropical vegetation.