Motorcycle taxis are ubiquitous and easy to flag down. None of them are licensed. They will take you most places in the city for about ¥2. Auto taxis hang about by the bus station, and most don't have meters. They seem to charge about ¥10 or less for a trip within the city.
Just walk around the town and its surroundings. The scenery is beautiful, and the town has an interesting market section, though it does resemble market sections in a lot of other small Chinese towns. Walking or motorbiking on the road past the Wuzhishan Shanguan (see below) takes you quickly into quite rustic quarters. You can then deviate off the road onto one of the small footpaths that leads out into the jungle. Try to get back to the main road before dark, as it can be easy to get lost on these paths.
Hainan Nationalities Museum. Free museum about Hainan Minorities, lots of information in English. From the bus station turn right, walk about 15m and turn right at a street that goes up a hill, take right at first street, you will see some old shops and apartments on that street, walk past those and museum will be on your right. Opens at 9AM.edit
Wuzhi Mountain, (Take a bus from the Wuzhishan bus station to Shuimanxiang (水满乡) for ¥7. Buses start at 8AM, and also run at 9AM, 10AM and 12PM. They will pick up other passengers, vegetables and dead chickens on the way to Shuimanxiang. At the terminus, take a moto-taxi to the trailhead (¥5). Make sure to get a cell number from the driver so he can pick you up on your way down (or try 138-7650-0626) because otherwise you will have an extra 3km to walk on your way back. From the trailhead, hike up to the archway, and hang a left (either before or after you go through it, as long as the trail leads uphill you are probably going the right direction). Buses leave Shuimanxiang back to Wuzhishan at 1PM, 2:30PM, 4:30PM, 5:30PM and 6:40PM). The adventuresome (and fit), might try climbing the 1,868 meter peak of Wuzhi Mountain itself. From the trailhead, hike up to the archway, and hang a left (either before or after you go through it, as long as the trail leads uphill you are probably going the right direction). The hike to the top is a grueling 2.5-3.5 hours. You will be climbing up ladders and roots, as the trail is extremely steep. You will probably have the whole mountain to yourself unless you go on one of the holy days of the local minorities. On these days, the trail is apparently quite crowded. Whatever they celebrate, it causes them to leave a lot of trash and firecracker wrappers lying about. Make sure to take A LOT of food and water, dehydration could even be fatal. Do not do this unless you are in pretty good shape and have some experience hiking. The area is officially a nature reserve. Staff discourage using the tropical trail on the grounds that you may get lost. This is true, as the trail branches off in many directions and does not conform to the map. The tropical trail is almost completely free of visitors and garbage. Near the start of the tropical trail (on the rainforest trail, by the bridge) there is a very small outdoor restaurant.Entrance fee of ¥50, which includes a bus ride to the start of the rainforest trail. edit
Be aware the Wuzhishan tourism scene at Shuimanxiang is rapidly developing. The information about about the buses is more or less accurate (last bus leaving Shuimanxiang for wuzhishan city is 6:30pm). From the Shuimanxiang bus stop there will probably be many autoricks, you can get to the wuzhishan gate for 10rmb ad get the drivers phone number (as indicated above). At the gate, you pay 50rmb to enter (less if you're a student, or your guide...couldn't really understand why some got less), and then there is an official park buggy that will take you from the gate to the 'base.' There is a store here selling processed cookies and water/drinks, and it looks like 2 restaurants (but still potentially under construction). There also seems to be a hotel, but don't count on it - might be only for corporate retreats of something, it have off that YMCA vibe. From there you hike up the pave path to the stairs, when the stairs end you climb the roots and when the roots end you climb ladders. It is a pretty long and intense hike, but there wee many Chinese tourists in really I'll prepared clothes and they had no problems, so that might give you some motivation. Definitely budget about 6hrs if you want any rest time on the trail or at the viewpoints. Bus to Shuimanxiang was 9rmb. March2014.
Wuzhishan abounds with ridiculously cheap noodle and dumpling shops. Even the "upscale" dining at the hotels is quite inexpensive.
The people are nice, but be aware there is no English unless you find a student-tourist. The prices at the noodle shops around the bus station are reasonable although I wouldn't say insanely cheap.
Of significant note - there is an EXCELLENT coffee shop serving real brewed coffee, even in the morning. It's directly across the street from the bus station, called Lu Dao Ka Fei. Black brewed coffee was 28rmb though
Wuzhishan Resort Hotel (五指山旅游山庄), ☎ +86 898 8662 3188, 8662 3560, 3563. A beautiful hotel with well appointed and comfortable rooms and nice staff. It is quiet and affords very nice views of the town and surrounding mountains.Well under ¥200 for a double. edit
Guest House, (At the foot of the mountain, right next to the archway). Looks pretty basic, cheap and not particularly busy. You probably do not need a reservation. In fact, you might not be able to get one at all. As of February 2008, there is no accommodation available at the foot of the mountain.edit
Hongye Hotel. A very clean hotel with prices for a double room starting at 170 yuan. Best value. directions="Most convenient location to the bus station. When you exit turn left and go about 30m."edit
Zhujiang Shuijing Hotel (Crystal International). A 4 star hotel that has very nice rooms, great swimming pool. Its possible to book online to save some money, it's about 400 Yuan for a Queen bed. directions="Very close to the bus station, about 50m away."edit
Jadeite Valley Eco Resort. Very standard Chinese rooms, green swimming pool (in color, not eco), rooms booked online are about 250Y and 100 if you dont have a reservation. Free breakfast consists of cold noodles, boiled eggs and hot dogs, but has a great view. Has a cool castle that has rooms but cant stay there. Have to Take a car to and from there about 10 yuan for a tuk tuk and 20 for a car.edit
There are hotels in Shuiman some within walking distance of the bus station.
Shuimanyuan Hotel (Shuimanyuan Jiudian), ☎ +86 898 86550333. Pleasant architecture and idyllic pastoral views.edit