Hi to Knittah and the rest of you!
Boy, the first thing I have to do is to observe that travel here in China is not for the faint of heart nor the weak of body. Travelling with Swatchy is a constant reminder of my dear friend Knittah, and I am always thinking about what this trip would be like for her. It is NOISY, and involves constant negotiation, long lines, and much physical activity.
OK, we're having some issues with uploading photos here... I think our hotel room computer is too slow... I'll have to work out the kinks later.
So, Swatchy Hugz (whose Chinese name is "wawa"), Daniel and I have been in Sanya now for a day. Time is passing so quickly, with all of the moving around we've been doing. We arrived in Haikou, Hainan on Monday morning at 1am local time, stayed there for a day, then headed to Sanya, Hainan on the 19th. Yeah, that was kind of a fiasco. A friend had made a reservation in a "bed and breakfast" which turned out to be more of a hostel or a shabby inn than anything else. After checking in there, then wandering through all of the hotels close by, we finally found a place - an actual hotel - across the street. Daniel managed to smooth talk his way into a discount, so the room that should have been 288RMB ended up being just 188RMB. (The exhange rate is 1usd:7.88rmb.) You have to make a special request here for a "big bed" or you'll get 2 twins in a room, so part of the challenge was finding a place that still had "big bed" rooms available... the tourist season kicks off this weekend for Christmas and continues through Chinese New Year, so it's already pretty busy here.
After such a long day, we were happy to spend the evening doing one of the popular things here in Hainan: getting a massage... again involving shopping around. The first place we went to wanted to charge 168RMB for an hour, and then we ended up paying 30RMB for an hour at another, nicer, place down the road. They have so many kinds of massage: Chinese medicine, Japanese, Russian, aromatherapy and plenty of others I couldn't understand. They even have what they call spa treatments: wooden tubs that you soak in with milk, seaweed and other concoctions. We did simple Chinese massages that were very nice - and we got to be in a private room side-by-side.
Today was our first day to relax, and for the most part, we did just that. We walked the few blocks to the beach (very nice beach - this one is called "Da Dong Hai" - and is a little bay framed with mountains beyond the city of Sanya).
Actually, it's about 6pm now, I guess, and we've got to go get something for dinner. I'll be back as soon as I can with more about the sun, sand, street peddlers, and delicious treats of Sanya! Until then, be well and know I'm thinking of you!
ETA: Here's a little video of the hotel room & view to whet your appetite: