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LGBTQ+ Travel to Hainan Island, China

by Benjamin Kerns

Mar 8, 2020

© Pengkof | Dreamstime.com

Destinations / Asia

Hainan Island is a bastion of unspoiled nature and an idyllic spot for a beach vacation. The island was once a castaway spot for criminals and vagrants, but transformed in recent years to become the “Hawai’i of China.” Lush beaches, excellent cuisine and a blossoming culture make it worth a trip.

 

China has always been questionable when it comes to LGBTQ+ rights, but locals generally tend to “live and let live” when it comes to foreigners. On Hainan Island, you won’t find many, if any, bars catering to LGBTQ+ clientele. However, you also won’t be run out of town by angry crowds carrying torches. There’s a bohemian vibe to Hainan that is much more progressive than much of the mainland. Sanya, on the southern end of the island, is the largest city and offers the most cosmopolitan appeal. It also boasts some of the whites beaches. One of the only gay bars on the island, Sanya Tianchi Club, can be found here.

 

The Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark is another great reason to visit. The cluster of more than 40 volcanoes is home to two “lava villages.” You can also climb up to the rim of many of them for terrific views. Yanoda Rainforest also offers plenty of great activities, including zip lines, forest walks and gorgeous waterfalls to explore. To really experience China’s past colonial era you’ll need to visit the city of Haikou. Tea is a way of life here, and you’ll find dozens of tea shops littered across the cobblestone streets.

 

What makes Hainan Island truly amazing is the price. While China is considered an expensive country to visit, you can find plenty of accommodations on the island for less than $150 a night. Hainan is the perfect choice for a Chinese vacation whether you’re LGBTQ+ or not.

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