The vast Nanshan Temple is quite literally not to be missed, dominated by a soaring statue of Guanyin, the Buddhist goddess of compassion. Taller than the Statue of Liberty, she stands out to sea, connected to the shore via a bridge. The gold and jade statue of Avalokiteśvara, which glitters with rubies and diamonds, is another of the temple’s wonders.
For polished Cantonese cooking, book a table at Yi Yang. Floor-to-ceiling windows frame serene views of the bay, while the kitchen is known for its seafood, from Hele crab to steamed grouper. Local specialities are executed with real panache, such as the mountain-reared Dongshan lamb slow-cooked in coconut milk.
It’s around an hour’s drive to the small and laidback Houhai Bay, home to Hainan’s burgeoning surf scene. Hammocks swing lazily in the trees, while the waves are dotted with surfboards. It’s a great place to kick back and relax. Or hire a board and hit the beginner-friendly reef breaks.
Get better acquainted with China’s finest teas with a Zen Tea Experience: a memorable hour-long ceremony with Shaolin monk Master Hu. In the morning, you'll sip black and oolong tea, to refresh the mind and restore energy levels, while afternoon ceremonies focus on green, white and pu'er tea, to relieve stress.