I am on the same trip departing March 4. My understanding from talking to HAL Excursions is that we do not need a visa for Sanya IF we are on a tour from the ship. HAL offers several to choose from & they seem like the easiest/best option to me.
I was on a cruise tour with the Royal Carribean in Sept 2011.
Like most cruise, the ship will call at the various ports. If you have the cruise itinerary, it will tell what time the ship will call at Sanya and what time it will depart Sanya. Therefore you will have a rough idea of the hours you can have in Sanya.
Whether it is worth paying for the tour trip from ship to Sanya and back , is very subjective. Most people will join the tour trip. Because after spending so much on the cruise, spend a little more and you have visited another place on the globe; unless you have been to Sanya before.
If you have not been to Sanya before, I will recommend visiting the Li or Mioa Tribe villages, or Nanshan Tourist zone (that is if the trip is organized
by the cruise). Not advisable to go on your own less you miscalculate the time and miss your ship.
Hoping the above is helpful.
We have been on the same trip with HAL and did not go on the organised trip in Sanya. We walked into the town (as many others did) and soaked up the atmostphere of the markets selling live fish, a huge selection of vegatables, meats and bustling streets of cycles, motorbikes, cars and pedestrians. There is a large outdoor market area but it was so busy we didn't bother going into the mayhem; it was so hot. The street of restaurants was facinating. We watched a variety of food being prepared on the pavements. It all looked lovely but obviously we didn't eat it. We did manage to get a cup of tea.......green and boiling and very refreshing. Souvenirs are cheap here but make sure you negotiate a 'good price'.
Thanks for that information. I'm on the same HAL cruise as ChrisJ and Sandy and wondered about going ashore alone in Sanya. I read somewhere that you could only go ashore independently if you had a Chinese visa. I'm going to Beijing in April so decided to get a double entry visa in case it was required for Sanya. If not, it's likely that I'll be going to China again in the next year so it won't go to waste. It sounds interesting!
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