Go beyond the tourist spots, head for ancient villages in Sanya
When talking about Sanya, people often think of its most famous tourist attractions: Tianyahaijiao (“The Ends of the Earth”), the city’s sandy beaches, Nanshan Temple, Dongtian Park, or one of a dozens others. Most people who have travelled to Sanya have visited any or all of these places already.
In addition to those widely known attractions, a large part of the city’s charm lies in its ancient villages. Take a leisurely trip to two ancient villages in Sanya, and experience the peaceful local lifestyle, view the ancient architecture, and enjoy Hainan’s graceful landscape.
Baoping Village 保平村
Located four kilometers southwest of Yacheng District in Sanya, Baoping Village has been honored as a “national famous historical and cultural village” by the Ministry of Housing and Urban-Rural Development and the National Antiques Bureau.
Although the village has over 1,000 years of history, most structures in the village are well preserved and maintain their original layout. There are over 210 ancient folk residences built with gray brick, retaining their layout from the Ming and Qing Dynasties.
Baoping Village is the birthplace of Yazhou folk music, a style of music that was listed as a national intangible cultural heritage item. The Yazhou folk song is still popular today; the music involves social activities, customs, marriage, and love, and also has tourism value.
Visitors strolling through this ancient village will discover traditional folk houses, ancestral temples, stone archways, white walls, and grey tiles. These features are all centuries old; in many ways, the residents continue to live as they always have, making Baoping Village something of an open-air museum.
Shuinan Village 水南村
Located at Yacheng Town, 45 kilometers west of Sanya, Shuinan Village is a famous ancient village with a history of more than 2,000 years.
In fact, the village is well known as a “village of scholars.” In ancient times, education was extremely important as a means of social mobility. During the Song Dynasty, Yazhou Academy was established as China’s southernmost institution of higher learning.
In the Ming and Qing Dynasties, Chubao Village experienced a boom in cultural development and has nurtured generations of prominent scholars, government officials, and brilliant politicians.
The village is also where Huang Daopo, a well-known innovator of weaving technology during the Yuan Dynasty, once lived and studied.