Let me try to be a little fairer about Hainan. there are long stretches of lovely beaches here, yes, fringed with coconut trees and fine sand like what you see in pictures. we had fun dashing through the lapping waves of the South China sea. what other enjoyable moments were there? raiding the coffee factory :) and sampling different flavours of coffee, and the tea brewing session was interesting. the weather is gloriously sunny and does not come with searing heat. Hainan is an island blessed with many different natural attractions, but i am utterly underwhelmed by the human attempts to exploit the tourist factor.
when we tour the End of the World Beach, i was impressed by the beauty of the sea. what i really hated was that they actually managed to broadcast one inane catchy song throughout the beach, over and over again, it does something like, 'oh what a beautiful beach, welcome to hainan island and may you enjoy yourself..' :P this is a dreadful addition to the place.
and part of our itinerary was Southeast Asia Village. i wonder if i am spoilt, but it is hard to fake interest in a replica of Chao Phraya when i have seen the real thing :P there was even an ugly statue of the Merlion. oh no, so this is what they think represents singapore! >:1
of course, much of my experience of Hainan has been coloured by the looming presence of our guardian gargoyle. sigh...it has been one long battle of wits, will and words. this man hadn't reckoned on us fighting back this morning. there was some blustering and voice-raising on his part but we stood firm. bully. just because we have been so polite, he thought we were meek and stupid. we threatened to call the main agency in Hainan to ask them why we have turned into an illegal (and therefore underprivileged) tour group, and he finally capitulated. i am not sure what he is really doing, probably double-dealing and trying to take advantage of both the agency and us...among other things, sharing our tourist privileges as our relative *grimace*. after the lambs bucked and kicked, he spent today trying to appease us. it is just as well. at least, now there is no more of the 'table for 3' nonsense.
besides, we managed to shake him off for the evening and ran around Sanya on our own :) i forbade HL from speaking, in case she betrays our alien origins, and i put on my very best Beijing accent. if i am careful, we pass off as mainlanders. that makes us merely foreign, instead of alien.
anyway, we would be returning to Hai Kou tomorrow to spend the last night, then this curious experience would be all over.