Getting There

From Haikou's Meilan Airport (tel. 0898/6575-1333), 25km (15 miles) southeast of town, daily flights connect to Beihai, Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen. There's a daily flight to Hong Kong and weekly flights to Bangkok, Macau, and Singapore. Tickets can be purchased at the CAAC office at Xisha Lu 22 (tel. 0898/6676-3166) from 8am to 7pm. Dragon Air flies to Hong Kong and Gaoxiong (Kaoshiung in Taiwan), and has an office at the Hainan Mandarin Hotel at Wenhua Lu 18 (tel. 0898/6855-0312). CAAC buses (¥15/$1.95/£1) depart from the Minhang Binguan on Haixiu Lu every half-hour from 5:30am to 8pm. A taxi to the airport costs around ¥50 ($6.50/£3.25).

New air-conditioned express buses with lots of leg room run to Sanya (3-3 1/2 hr., ¥70/$9.10/£4.55) every 30 minutes from 6:45am to 18:45am; they depart from the South Bus Station (Qiche Nan Zhan) at Xin Hua Qu Long Kun Nan Lu, Li Jiao Qiao Xia (tel. 0898/6676-9671). The Long-Distance Bus Station (Changtu Qiche Zongzhan) on Nanbao Lu (tel. 0898/6677-2791) has ferry/sleeper buses to Guangzhou (15 hr.; ¥190/$25/£12) from 9am to 8pm.

From the Xiuying Matou (tel. 0898/6866-1943) 8km (5 miles) west of town, daily boats sail across the Qiongzhou Straits to Beihai (10 hr.; ¥ 211/$27/£14 double) at 6pm; and to Shenzhen (18 hr.; ¥390/$51/£25 for first class) at 3:30pm. A boat to Guangzhou (21 hr.; ¥303/$39/£20) departs at 3pm every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Tickets can be bought at the dock. A taxi out to Xiuying Dock costs around ¥20 ($2.60/£1.30).

Getting Around

Taxis charge ¥10 ($1.30/65p) for 3km (2miles), then ¥2 (25¢/15p) per kilometer thereafter. Gas prices are 30% higher here than on the island and road transportation reflects this. Also there are a surprisingly large number of DO NOT DRINK AND DRIVE signs, which should tell you something.

There are at least two choices for bike rental. The first is just outside the Xin Jia Yuan Hotel, at the 517 Bike Club, Nanbao Lu (tel. 0898/6669-8989;; open 9am-8pm), which only has a relatively small selection compared to the much larger Tianya Bike Club on Jiefang Dong Lu 40 (tel. 0898/6624-9551). Both places have good quality mountain bikes for ¥20 ($2.60/£1.30) per day. Be warned, though, that riding in Haikou gets tiresome quickly as road conditions are poor and local drivers incompetent at best.

Fast Facts

Banks, Foreign Exchange and ATMs -- The Bank of China (open Mon-Fri, 8:30am-5:30pm) is behind the International Finance Center at Datong Lu 33.

Post Office -- The 24-hour post office is at Jiefang Xi Lu 9.

Visa Extensions -- The PSB is in the western part of town at Jinlong Lu 43 (tel. 0898/6859-3666; open Mon-Fri 8am-noon and 2:30-5:30pm).

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.