You may not have heard of Sanya, but China’s most southerly city, perched on the coast of tropical Hainan Island, is a seafood lover’s dream destination. Its proximity to the ocean and large fishing fleet keep the city teeming with some of the freshest seafood.
There are plenty of restaurants, but a visit to one of the city’s markets is the best way to sample the latest catch. Chunyuan Seafood Square (Tianya Qu, Sanya Shi, Hainan Sheng) is seriously popular with locals. The vast wholesale and retail market also features a large open air food court where your purchases can be taken to one of the hundred or so vendors who’ll steam or fry them up for you.
Another popular local spot is No 1. Market (Diyi Shichang, Xinjian Street and Xinmin Street). This busy wet market sells a staggering variety of seafood – local hele crabs, lobster, scallops and shellfish, amberjack, sea bream, squirrel fish, snapper, caral fish and garrupa. Grab your dinner and take it to one of the nearby restaurants who will cook it up for a small fee. Wash everything down with a cold Hainan beer or shanlan rice wine. The best thing? It’s seriously cheap.
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