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Wuzhishan (五指山; Wǔzhǐshān; formerly known as Tongzha or Tongshen) [1] is a city in Hainan's central highlands. It is a scenic town with very few tourists, lively markets and exceedingly cheap food.

Get in[edit]

Take the bus from Sanya or Haikou. The Wuzhishan bus station is located more or less in the city center.

Get around[edit]

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.

See[edit][add listing]

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
  • Wuzhishan Tropical Rainforest Scenery (五指山热带雨林风景区), located not in the city of Wuzhishan, but in Shuimanxiang county (水满乡) (You can go there by bus, that goes directly to Shuimanxiang. Buses go from the bus station and start at about 7:30 AM. It takes an hour to get there and costs 10 RMB. After getting off from the bus, catch a mototaxi and ask a driver to get you there, it will cost you about 15 RMB, or you can walk by map 3 KM there, on the way there's an abandoned butterfly ranch. It used to be a tourist spot but it was closed according to unknown reasons. Not so much to see there, but anyways). The place itself is recently built landscape scenery for tourists. After buying a ticket, the bus will take you to the place where the path starts. The path contains mostly ladders, but sometimes trails. It will lead you through nice scenic spots, two or three bridges through an amazing river and then will take you to the beginning. It takes about an hour walk it all. Near the entrance to the park, there are some shops selling food and drinks and some women selling some local products, like bamboo rice, duck eggs, etc.  edit
  • Buddha Temple, (It's also located in Shuimanxiang (水满乡). You will see the temple when you are in the village, just be sure there is no way to it from the right side (if you look on it from the village). It is a huge buddha temple, located quite high above the village. Stairs containing 280 steps lead to it. There is a big squre in front of the temple, from it you can see beautiful mountain landscapes. It's definetely worth visit.  edit

Do[edit][add listing]

  • Wuzhi Mountain, (Take a bus from the Wuzhishan bus station to Shuimanxiang (水满乡) for ¥7. Buses start at 7:30AM and go with 45-60 minutes interval. 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 were 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.

Attention: Since December 2014, Non-Chinese are not allowed anymore to enter the park without a special permission, which should be available in Haikou (but nbo one here seems to know from which ministry and how to get it). In another words, it's impossible to enter the climbing area, the staff won't let you in. As locals say, there is another little road (they call it 小路 XiaoLu), but it's very small and it branches into many directions, so many drivers won't even take you there. It's somewhere near the big buddha temple. As people say, you can easily get lost there, so please don't try to climb by yourself. The best option is to ask some local to find a local guide for you who could take you there. It shouldn't cost much.

Also there is a nice new hotel complex inside the park (WuZhiShan YaTai Rainforest Resort), but also only accessible with special permission.

Buy[edit][add listing]

Wuzhishan is famous for its green tea. And actually the tea is really good. Also Chinese say it's very healthy. Search for places that sells tea and ask them for their local tea (五指山绿茶 wǔzhǐshān lǜchá).

Eat[edit][add listing]

WuZhiShan (五指山) doesn't have a specific local food (unless you find a place that serves snake meat), but local people prefer to eat these dishes:

  • Stewed pork (扣肉 kòuròu). Mostly pieces of stewed pig's fat, there is some meat though. Greasy.
  • Beef brisket (牛腩 niúnǎn). Also mostly fat of beef with some meat. Seems like people there like to eat greasy stuff.
  • Pig knuckle (猪脚 zhūjiǎo). Foot of a pig cut into small slices of meat with fat.

As everywhere in China, there are a plenty of small cheap street food restaraunts where you can get a usual Chinese dish for about 10 RMB. Near the bus station prices are a little bit higher.

But be aware there are no English spoken at all, unless you find some Chinese student who can speak some English.

Drink[edit][add listing]

There are a lot of tea places, where you can get tasty drinks that are popular on Hainan: milk tea (奶茶 nǎichá), milk shake (奶昔 nǎixī), sorbet 冰沙 (bīngshā) along with a usual tea.

If you want to buy some alcohol, there's nothing special, you can get Tsingtao and other types of Chinese beer everywhere there. There is a big Baijiahui supermarket, where you can get an imported beer (you know what I mean, Tsingtao is not a beer).

By the way, 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 LuDaoKaFei. Black brewed coffee was 28 RMB though.

Sleep[edit][add listing]

  • Youth Hostel (五指山山水国际青年旅舍). Very nice hostel with a super cheap price. The cheapest bed costs about 40 yuan. Usually there are not so many guests. The staff speaks a little bit English. Search for the specific location of the hostel on the map, and then search for a building where there are written 4 blue characters 山水旅舍. The location of the hostel is quite convenient, because it's easy to catch a bus that goes to 水满乡 (ShuiManXiang) that will drop you at the place where you can climb mountains. The staff can explain you how to go there.  edit
  • 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
  • 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

Get out[edit]

The Wuzhishan bus station has more or less hourly buses to Haikou, and Sanya until about 5:30PM.

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