Head out of Haikou city and uncover a fascinating moon-like landscape. Around 11 kilometres from downtown, you will come across the small village of Shicha, which sits at the foot of the Ma’anling Volcano.
Many visitors come here to climb the slopes and admire the breath-taking scenery, including the volcano crater, as well as to meet the locals and find out more about this ecologically important area.
Shicha enjoys a mild climate and its grounds contain selenium-rich volcanic ash, which helps to fertilise and grow a rare herb called dendrobium. Head for a plantation to see the herb in all its glory, where you can also admire ornamental trees such as Rosewood and Pawpaw.
If you’re eagle-eyed, you may even spot some local wildlife in the plantations too, including pheasants and lizards among others.
The Shicha Village Volcanic Dendrobium Garden is worth a look. It attracts over 100,000 visitors every year.
Dendrobium is a big part of village life. It’s a financial lifeline for villagers, who are encouraged to cultivate the herb and to explore new product uses such as wine and cosmetics. By taking part in the agro-tourism experience, tourists are helping to conserve this unique environment and traditional way of life.
If you want to overnight in Shicha, no problem. Some of the locals throw open their doors to visitors, so you can rest your weary body after a hard day of exploring. Traditional homestays are a great way to immerse yourself in the friendly local life here and to enjoy an authentic village welcome.
Shishan Town, Xiuying District, Haikou (海南省海口市秀英区石山镇)
Shicha village welcomes visitors all year round. There are no opening hours to worry about and no entry fees. No matter what the season, you are always sure to find a smile waiting to greet you.
The easiest way to reach Shicha is by taxi, which you can pick up in Haikou city – taking you straight to the heart of the village.
Make sure you bring some comfortable walking shoes with you and a camera to snap some shots of this amazing village.
Remember, if you are looking to extend your visit, you can always stay overnight in a homestay. Check out what is available at the time of your travels.
Nearby Attractions: Leiqiong Global Geopark Hainan