So, I'm in the beautiful seaside resort of Sanya at the southern-most tip of China. Well, the resort itself is not especially beautiful. It calls itself the 'Hawaii of China' but it's more Miami than Hawaii, with lots of high rises and the inevitable construction work going on everywhere. The beach is a glorious sweep of golden sand, lapped by the blue, tepid (and possibly limpid) South China Sea. It is ferociously (??) hot but there are coolish sea breezes and the sea itself is quite cooling, if one doesn't mind a close encounter with jelly fish. They are quite harmless but a bit unnerving to touch unexpectedly. The beach backs onto a lively and colourful boardwalk with a string of restaurants and live music. I had a wonderful seafood salad in one of the restaurants the other night with masses of prawns, crabmeat, squid and other less recogniseable ingredients for less than 4 pounds! So, a very good place to spend a week but it is Little Russia. For some reason the Russians are here in their thousands, so much so that all the signage is in Cyrillic as well as Mandarin and us mono-linguists don't have a prayer.
Pale skin is very much prized among the Chinese, so they go to great lengths not to sun bathe and the beach, consequently, is a mass of umbrellas and sunshades. They also favour staying on the beach after dark. The lights from the boardwalk are sufficiently bright, and the children are equipped with torches, to make it possible to stay on the beach until quite late at night with no danger of getting brown!
I am in a nice hostel (The Blue Sky), about 5 minutes walk from the beach. I have a spacious, if rather spartan, room and I was actually asked if I wanted a hard or soft bed! Well, I must have hesitated all of a second...!! So, yet another contender in the quest for the Best Bed in China!
I leave (with my Chinese visa in my hot, sweaty hand) on Friday and fly back to Beijing to have another, and this time more successful, I hope, attempt at getting the other visas that I require. I have been assured by the Agents in China that they have my rail tickets and that they will deliver them to me on Sunday evening. So, I just hope that the Russsians are happy with that. My journey back to Beijing will be a bit protracted. I am flying from Haikou, at the other end of Hainan Island, so will have to take a bus and then the plane and I'm not due to get into Beijing until 11.05 pm. I am then hoping to spend the week end in Chengde, a summer mountain retreat of the Emperors and a fairly short hop from Beijing, so I'm making the most of the all the kicking back and relaxing that I'm doing right now!
Days are spent reading on the beach and on my very comfortable bed when it gets too hot. So, that's about it. Apologies again for the photo. I had hoped to be able to download my own, but it is strictly forbidden on the hostel (and internet cafe) computers. Until next time...