Historical and Cultural Circle
A land full of history, Haikou is filled with unique landmarks and cultural references that take you to the past and help you understand the real essence of the city and its people, who are friendly, enthusiastic and welcoming by nature.
Whenever you visit Hainan island’s capital city, you’ll always find someone who is ready to give you some tips on what to do and where to go, to ensure that you enjoy the best experience possible.
If you’re the kind of person that marvels at history and cultural expressions, rest assured you won’t fall short of options.
As one of the top ten historical and cultural streets in China, Haikou’s Arcade Streets are a gateway to the city’s fascinating past, with unique buildings and architecture. This area also finds itself at the heart of nightlife. A place where you will find plenty of bars and restaurants where you can try delicacies such as Longquan coconut chicken soup and fried tofu, among many other tempting dishes.
Built during the reign of Emperor Wanli in the Ming Dynasty, Five Ancient Ministers Memorial Temple is another historical wonder that you shouldn’t miss during your visit. As the first building of Hainan, it was created to pay tribute to five famous ministers who were banished to Hainan during the Tang and Song dynasties. Nowadays, this is a shrine of peace and tranquility.
The complex boasts the Five Lords Ancestors Hall, the Sugong Memorial Temple and the Hairui and Fubo memorial temples, among other buildings.
You’ll also find plenty of buildings in the Movie Town, in Haikou’s Mission Hills Resort. It includes movie studios, guest apartments and administration buildings that reproduce the appearance of old movie sets, showing the evolution of Chinese architecture. Perfect to travel back in time.
Just like the Hainan Museum. With a collection of 25,000 cultural relics, this is the only comprehensive museum both of local history and art in the Hainanese province. In total, it boasts 21 pavilions and nine permanent exhibitions, giving you a wholesome insight into the heritage and culture of the island of Hainan and its capital city.
Another unmissable hotspot in Haikou is the Hai Rui Park, created in memory of a Chinese scholar-official and politician during the Ming Dynasty. Hai Rui became an icon of local culture and education. The park boasts a stone arch, Hai Rui’s tomb, Hai Rui’s statue and exhibition hall with plenty of relics under national protection.
If you are lover of music, then be sure to catch a performance of the Hainanese Opera. With three typical genres: drama, action and modern, this intangible cultural heritage has been preserved from generation to generation and is passionate about engaging today’s generation, from the digital age, too. The stories are all in Hainanese, but the plots and messages are universal.
If you are on a cultural trip in Haikou, it is good to know that other than ancient monuments and buildings, there are also plenty of other expressions of local identity and history you should look out for.
Don’t miss the chance to embrace the tradition of ‘Laoba Daddy Tea,’ drinking the typical afternoon tea.