Phone Code: 0898
Postal Code: 570100
Area: 2,304.84 square kilometers (890.6 square miles)
Population: 2,046,189 (statistics in 2010)
Nationalities: Han, Li (The population of Han makes up to 97.66% of the total.)
Neighboring Areas: Guangdong Province
Location: Haikou is located in the north of Hainan province. The latitude is between 19°32′-20°05′N, and the longitude is between 110°10′-110°41′E.
Physical Features: It is borded by Qiongzhou Strait to the north, and faces Anhai Town of Guangdong across the sea. The city is high in the south and low in the north and slopes from southwest to the northeast. With low-lying plains at the coast and also along Nandu River, most of the land in the city is below 100 meters (328 feet). The surface is largely strewn with basic volcanic rocks, loose sediments, sea-accumulated terrace and volcanic landform.
History: The history of Haikou can trace back to the Western Han Dynasty (206 BC - 24 AD). During its early history, Haikou served as a port for Qiongshan County, which belonged to Guangdong province. In 1926, it was established as an administrative city, since it overtook Qiongshan County in population. In 1988, it was upgraded to the status of a prefecture-level city as well as the capital of the newly-created Hainan Province (Hainan was established as a special administrative region in 1949).
Attractions: As the capital city of Hainan province, Haikou attaches great importance to the development of tourism. Its long coastline includes a number of excellent bathing beaches like the Holiday Beach and seaside resorts like the Tropical Ocean World. Harbor Mangrove Natural Reserve Area in Dongzhai is one of the major tourist destinations in the city which has been regarded as the "Forest Park over the Sea". Known as the 'Kingdom of Coconuts', the Dongjiao Coconut Plantation located on the seaside of Dongjiao Town is also worth a visit. Wuzhi Mountain and Shimei Bay are also well known examples of the many attractions. There are also many sites of historic interest, such as Wugong Temples and Tomb of Hai Rui.
Transportation: Since Haikou was selected as the capital city of Hainan province, transportation in this city has been greatly improved. The establishment of a highly developed, modern system of sea, land and air traffic makes it a city prepared for tourism.
Air: Haikou Meilan Airport provides 95 airlines which connect Haikou with many cities nationally and internationally. It takes only half an hour from the airport to the central city. Airport buses leave every 30 minutes and the price is RMB 15. To travel by taxi, it costs around RMB 30-40.
Train: Guangdong-Hainan railway is China's first maritime rail service to cross the Qiongzhou Straits to Haikou. Trains are shunted onto the ferry and the journey across the sea takes about 55 minutes. This line is also connected with the railway to Sanya. Nowaays, trains run from Haikou Railway Station to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou.
Ferry: There are 2 ports in the city - Xiuying Port (Also called Haikou port) and Haikou New Port. From Xiuying port, there are over 40 ships to coastal cities of mainland China, such as Guangzhou, Zhanjiang, Hai’an, Shekou, Beihai and Hong Kong SAR. Haikou New Port mainly operates ferries to Beihai, Zhanjiang and Hai'an.
Bus: There are 4 bus stations. Haikou South Bus Station mainly operates buses to the suburban counties in the city. From Haikou General Long-distance Station, there are long-distance buses to Yunnan, Guizhou, Hunan, Hubei, Guangxi and Guangdong provinces. Furthermore, visitors can take long-distance buses from the East Long-distance Station and the West Long-distance Station to other cities and counties in Hainan province.
Taxi: The starting fare of taxi is CNY10, but you can bargain with the driver to cut it down to CNY8-9.
Weather: Under control of tropical oceanic monsoons, Haikou is dry in spring and winter, and cool in autumn. Rain comes in summer and between times there are typhoons and rainstorms. The best time to visit the city is between November and April.
Dining and Shopping
Haikou Cuisine is similar to Canton Cuisine, but with distinct coconut flavor such as Ye Nai Ji (Chicken in Coconut Soup) and Yezi Yanwo Zhong (Streamed Coconut with Swiftest Nest). Whilst traveling in the city, the seafood in Qukou is an opportunity not to be missed. Aside from the famous Hainan dishes like Wenchang Ji (Wenchang Chicken) and Jiaji Ya (Jiaji Duck), and Shishan Yongyang (Shishan Mutton), visitors can also enjoy local specialties of the city, such as Bao Luo Fen (Baoluo Rice Noodle), Hainan Qingbuliang (Cool Herb Drink), Qing Xie Zhou (Crab Congee), and Tian Shu Nai (Sweet Potato Mousse). Chinese Cuisine Street in Jinlong Road, Longkun South Road and Bo'ai South Road are best places for dining.
As a business center of Hainan, Haikou collects all products from the whole island. Haixiu Avenue is the most famous where a vast array of beautiful pearls, crystals, hawksbill can be found. Stores dealing with local specialties are gathered there also: Xinglong coffee, pepper, coconut sugar, ox horn carvings, coconut shell sculpture, Li brocade, seashell, and cultural souvenirs of the Li Minority. A wholesale fruit market is located at Zhongshan South Road where visitors can buy local produce like lichee and durian. For dried seafood, Dongmen (East Gate) Market is the best choice.