Hainan has some of the best surfing beaches in China, and there are two easily accessible surf resorts on the east coast with foreign co-owners. Riyue Bay, 19km outside Wanning about halfway down the east coast, is home to the Riyue Bay Surfing Club who rent boards for ¥100/day; or you can get 2hr lessons in English for ¥400 (surfinghainan.com). Closer to Sanya, and with warmer water, Houhai Bay is where you’ll find the Karma Surf Hostel and School who have similar rates and surf from a number of different beaches depending on the season.

Northeastern and eastern swells bring waves of around 1–2m most of the year, though during typhoon season (June–Sept), waves will be more like 3–5m and sometimes up to 6m. Riyue Bay is a northeast open bay and probably better during the winter months, when it gets up to 5m waves, and is hence the setting for the ISA Hainan International Surfing Festival each January, and the smaller ASB Hainan Classic competition in November (hainaninternationalsurfingfestival.com). If you know your surfing, Houhai would be the Huntington Beach, and Riyue more like the Hawaiian North Shore.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

China features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The roof of the world: a first-timer's guide to Tibet

The ‘roof of the world’ has exerted a magnetic pull over travellers and adventurers for centuries. This vast, high altitude desert has spawned myths and leg…

10 Nov 2016 • Stuart Butler insert_drive_file Article
Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Video: 10 Taiwanese street foods you need to try

Street food in Taiwan has a charm that restaurants just can't match. There's a distinct pleasure to be found in wandering through the labyrinthine stalls glo…

24 Oct 2016 • Colt St. George videocam Video
Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

Beyond the Jade Dragon mountain: stunning pictures of Yunnan, China

After a few weeks exploring the region, Rough Guides travel writer and photographer David Abram shares some of his favourite images of Yunnan Province, China. …

18 Oct 2016 • David Abram insert_drive_file Article
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month