The Volcanic Cultural Circle
In the past, volcanoes had an influential role in shaping Hainan island’s geography and today are a big attraction for visitors fascinated by these natural wonders. Crowds of people come here to check out the volcanic landscapes every year.
Also known as Haikou’s Scenic-Shishan Volcano Cluster, the Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark is, by far, one of the most popular places to be seen on the outskirts of the city.
Covering an area of 11000 hectares, the UNESCO-listed park is the cradle of more than 40 volcanoes. They’re all dormant these days, but their mystique and the inner secrets they hide never fail to create interest and amazement.
If you enjoy nature hiking and exercising, rest assured this place is for you. You can ever arrive on a rented bike, with the park just 15 kilometres away from the city centre.
The Geopark is perfect for families too, with young visitors never left disappointed by what they see. The park boasts several activities to keep them busy during your visit, including a small museum of volcanic rocks.
Once on the ground, you’ll have the chance to discover volcanic tunnels, to have a glimpse of lava-rock formations and to descend into one of the large craters.
From the Ma’anling crater, you’ll be able to see Haikou’s unique silhouette as this is the highest point in the north of Hainan island. The views are breathtaking, looking out to the countryside where you can spot authentic and iconic houses built by villagers with volcanic stones.
Among the most important nearby villages is Meishe. It has several houses converted from traditional volcanic buildings. You can also have a look around the Meifu Village, dating back six centuries; the Rongtang Village, filled with lush green plants; and Sanqing village.
After all of that sightseeing, you’re welcome to take a rest and enjoy some typical Hainan food in one of the many local restaurants.
To make the most of your out of this world, volcanic visit, it’s important to think ahead and plan your itinerary, so you make the most of your time.
Bring fresh clothes and comfortable shoes to explore this wonderful, natural environment. Don’t forget to bring some refreshments as well to keep you hydrated and energised.
You don’t have to worry about where you can find food. There are several restaurants available, offering local delicacies. Dishes to look out for include Shishan black beans, Shishan noodles and Dendrobium chicken soup. Why not try one of the following recommended restaurants?
1. Huoshankou Golden Hall(火山口金色大厅)
Address: Volcanic Cluster National Geopark, Shishan Town, Xiuying District, Haikou (海口市秀英区火山口地质公园)
Address: Meishe Village, Shishan Town, Xiuying District, Haikou (海口市秀英区石山镇美社村)
3. Kuolin Farmhouse (阔林农家乐)
Address: Scenic Road, Shishan Town, Xiuying District, Haikou （海口市秀英区石山镇风景区）
4. Liwan Farmhouse (荔湾农家乐)
Address: Scenic Road, Shishan Town, Xiuying District, Haikou（海口市秀英区石山镇风景区）