Bounties of the ocean on every street corner

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 20 June, 2012, 12:00am


Sanya is seafood heaven. The warm waters of the South China Sea provide Sanya's tables with dozens of excellent dishes, with hele crab, abalone and sea cucumber among the most popular.

The city of Sanya has seafood on every corner, down every street. Hundreds of large, open-air restaurants have seafood on display in large water tanks and most are full to capacity during the tourist seasons. At night, roadside barbecue stands serve up some of the best, freshest fare around until sunrise. Many of the stands along Sanya Bay are just as popular as the luxury restaurants in the city and along Yalong Bay.

There are few places in China that serve up more delicious combinations of seafood, spices and vegetables than the high-end restaurants along the five-star hotel strip in Yalong Bay, within the city of Sanya and down on Luhuitou Peninsula.

World-class chefs unlock flavours that are surprising to mainland visitors accustomed to Hainan food and downright exotic to visitors from abroad. Sanya also has access to some of the best chicken in China and the famous Dongshan mutton. Visitors can spend a full holiday sampling saltwater fish, crustaceans and other fruits of the sea, all manner of barbecue food, fresh fruits, Wenchang chicken and Jiaji duck and still not have made a dent in all that the region offers.

The great selection, freshness and skilled preparation have created a huge demand for the best. Restaurants have raised their prices as high as possible. This has led to some conflict as tourists dispute the price-quality ratio and restaurateurs protest that extraordinary demands require extraordinary prices.

Taxi drivers and other intermediaries demand exorbitant fees for introducing customers to certain locales. All this means that the buyer must be discerning. Nothing has changed in terms of taste, flavour and quality - just the price.