Tropical Hainan Island is the 'Chinese Hawaii'... kinda

Victoria Vergara, Wanning, China. Photo: Poullenot/Swatch

There is surf up and down the east coast of Hainan Island, China, south of Hong Kong, east of Vietnam, but really, does anyone  care?

A smattering of western ex-pats care. They have formed a surf scene here. But I am suspicious of all of them.

Why, oh why would anyone want to live here? They must have dirty secrets, things they are not telling.

Did they roll a car drunk and maim a teenage girl in their final year at college and not show up in court?

Do they owe Uncle Sam for tax? You do not up sticks and move to Hainan, China because you like rice. But if you did find yourself holed up here, and you had the inclination, you would surf warm, fun Chinese surf by yourself.

Surf Consistency: 4 – Wave Variety: 4 Climate: 7 – Budget: 4 – Radness: 8

Surf rolls in off the South China Sea in the NE monsoon which blows obediently from October to March. The heat is oppressive, the water piss warm. There are points, mainly lefts, and beachbreak peaks all up and down. So many waves, so few  surfers.
I am in a nightclub at 2am. It is a rural nightclub, and jumping. The attractive girls “are all hookers” one of the ex-pats tells me. On stage, a drag queen is toasting over pop tracks on the loudest sound system in the Orient.

I break from the dance floor to urinate the watery Tsingtao beer, and another of our group, a Frenchman is a few urinals up. Next to him, two locals are in ruptures over the size of our Frenchman’s average-by-western-standards schlong. This sounds like the worst made up piece of national eastern-man-small-willy stereotyping, but it is what’s happening.

They are amazed at the length and they are amazed at the girth.

On the floor a man is trying to talk to me about David Beckham. The odour coming from his breath is raucous. I can’t look at him while he talks, it’s that bad, it’s making my eyes water, and I have fairly low personal hygiene standards myself.

“That’s rotting meat,” says one of the ex-pats, the most suspect of them all, (thick goatee, guilty eyes) who seems to know most of the hookers in here and several of the pimps.

“They don’t brush their teeth here, ever. Welcome to Dirty China.”



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