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Tuesday, 29 September 2015

8D/7N Hainan Itinerary: Day 5


We've decided to go for another day tour and sought the concierge officer from our hotel to help put us on a 'local tour' once again. Our choice was Yanoda Rainforest Cultural Tourism Zone which we heard was a worthwhile place to visit. 
[Click to learn more about day tours in the previous post: 8D/7N Hainan Itinerary: Day 3]

Like most tourist attractions the entrance fee of 170CNY (RM115) for a walk-in visitor is rather steep. The optional buffet lunch within the park is 78CNY which totals 248CNY/pax excluding transport if we were to go on our own.
Through the local group tour, we paid 206 CNY/pax (RM140) for entrance, lunch and return transfer which even though was not cheap, was still a money-saving deal.

Yanoda is about 40 km from Sanya. Approaching the site, we saw a nice hotel perched against the hill. From the place where our bus parked, we still had to take a 15 minutes shuttle bus ride along a hill road to the entrance of the park.
Yanoda is actually an extensive tropical rainforest reserve that boasts of a wide range of floras including century old trees. The 'cultural' aspect of it however, is vague and to name it a cultural zone may be a little misplaced. This rainforest park is elaborately landscaped and the landscaping starts at the entrance itself.


The guide who was assigned to our group was apparently keen to get us to join the water activity which needed an extra payment on top of the entrance fee. This activity which costs 100CNY/pax involves waterfall climbing, river crossing, etc which would get the participants entirely drenched so we opted out. Another pay activity is the zip line which costs 60CNY. 
The park is very vast but there are signboards at intermittent points to guide visitors along.
Wooden platforms and walkways are specially built to facilitate visitors who are exploring the place on their own. 

HIGHLIGHTS OF THE PARK:

1. A lookout platform to see the vastness and the lushness of the forest.

2. A thousand year-old tree with roots that wraps around a big rock.

3. Two thousand year-old banyan trees that intertwine around each other (LHS) and Python's Nest where China's first python was released (RHS).

4. Orchid Stream where wild orchids are cultured and thrived.
At Orchid Stream
At Orchid Stream

5. Friendship Gate where ornaments can be purchased, personal messages written on them and left to dangle at the park as mementos.

6. Tea Tasting House where visitors can get to taste a variety of tea which is also available for purchase.

7. There are a number of waterfalls and streams but we didn't hike deeper into the forest to see the bigger waterfalls as it was drizzling and the path was slippery that day.

8. The buffet restaurant which is a good place to savour some local cuisines.


9. The only thing cultural I saw in this park was a group of musicians clad in traditional costumes playing traditional musical instruments outside the buffet restaurant.

10. The best and most beautiful part of the park is around the lily ponds. The scenery is superb here.



11. There is a Wifi Zone where visitors can access free internet. The toilet around here is very beauu..tiful and I regretted not taking a photo of it.

We spent quite many hours at the park. Shuttle cars are available to ferry visitors who are too tired to walk.

I like the park but I am not excessively impressed as I've been to many rainforests before. If you have never been to one, this is a good place to visit in Hainan.

YALONG BAY
Our journey back from the rainforest park was a long one. The tour operators reshuffled the tour participants and we ended up in a bus that went into Yalong Bay to drop off passengers residing there. That was a good thing as we caught glimpses of this renowned bay which we didn't have plans to visit.

Dinner At Ai Yu Yang Guang
It was past 7pm when we arrived at Sanya. We were among the last to be dropped off.
We walked to Ai Yu Yang Guang which has become our favorite restaurant since coming here.
Ai Yu Yang Guang is a fast food restaurant serving local cuisines.
One set meal costs around RM18 to RM25 (excluding drinks). This place is a hit among local folks and it is packed each time we came.
Our 5th day in Sanya ended with a simple but nice dinner. 

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