If you’re planning for a visit to China, make sure that you spend some days in Sanya – the Southern end of Hainan Province. This city has gorgeous coastal lines and famous water sports destinations. Aside from its vibrant days, Sanya is also a great host for those looking for a lively nightlife. In this Sanya nightlife guide, we listed five of the best places to visit, drinking etiquette, and some reminders to keep you safe while having fun.
For late-night drinks with class: Sky Bar at The Sanya EDITION
If you want to experience the finest late-night drinks in Sanya, head to the Sky Bar at The Sanya EDITION. This upscale bar has a picturesque waterfront view and all the razzmatazz of high-end nightlife in the city. Any Sanya nightlife guide won’t be complete without this rooftop spectacle.
Sky Bar is a classy place and if you’re planning for a wild night, you should look somewhere else. The Sky Bar offers a more laidback ambiance where you can sip the most expensive selection of alcoholic drinks. The Sky Bar also serves dinner and an extensive range of quick bites.
There’s a DJ on the bar during nighttime that plays some loud records. The staff is also accommodating and the service is a reflection of their shiny and classy place.
Aside from their food and drinks, the Sky Bar also has an infinity pool where you can relax while enjoying a glass of Dom Perignon. If you want a casual night, you can stay in one of their alfresco tables to savor the great view and some drinks.
Take note that Sky Bar isn’t for the faint-hearted in terms of price. You should prepare a hefty budget if you plan to get wasted here.
For a cultural night: Sanya Haichang Fantasy Town
If drinking isn’t your idea of exciting nightlife, Sanya is still a great place to be. You can head to the Sanya Haichang Fantasy town, an ocean-themed entertainment complex. Here, you can watch cultural shows and other performances, among other immersive experiences.
This place is in Haitang Bay and stretches on its massive 232,500 sq. m. complex. Inside, eight culturally themed areas allow you to experience the local culture in many ways.
The fantasy town operates for 24 hours, a first of its kind. Its highlight is the 88 meter-high Ferris wheel that boasts the stunning view of the Haitang Bay coast at the top. No Sanya nightlife guide would be complete without this enchanting place.
If you want to chill for the night, you can watch a movie on the 5D Cinema. It has a 270-degree movie theater that provides visitors an immersive viewing experience
The Sanya Haichang Fantasy Town is a happy place for those who want to spend the night alone. Also, it’s a perfect place for families, even those with young kids. The Adventure Island is a must-visit as they have a seal that performs tricks.
If ever you go hungry and wants to down some shots, the place is dotted with restaurants that serve alcohol.
For date nights: Beach Barbacoa at The Sanya EDITION
If you’re on for a date night, you shouldn’t miss the Beach Barbacoa at The Sanya EDITION. It shares the stunning waterfront view of the hotel. It’s a paradise in Sanya with its candle-lit and cozy alfresco dining areas.
This seafood grill restaurant is inspired by the Jimbaran Bay at Bali, Indonesia. You can go barefoot on their cozy alfresco area. You can also dine and stare at the starry skies of Sanya. It makes a romantic place for lovers who want to spend a quiet and intimate night.
Beach Barbacoa has comfy cabanas, hanging lanterns, festoon lighting, and a spectacular sunset that sets the romantic mood for every couple.
You can make a reservation or walk-in if you’re setting a last-minute date. The staff here is very accommodating and the food won’t disappoint. They serve the most delicious seafood in Sanya as well as barbecues and other Asian-Indonesian inspired cuisines. You can also order a posh bottle of champagne and other spirits.
Take note that there are mosquitoes in the area. Anyway, the staff is always ready with an insect repellent lotion. Not even mosquitoes will hinder your romantic date night.
For a late-night pub experience: Sanya Dolphin Sports Bar & Grill
For those who are craving for burgers, fries, and beef ribs, the Sanya Dolphin Sports Bar & Grill is the place to be. They serve American and European food as well as an extensive range of spirits. It’s one of our favorites in this Sanya nightlife guide.
The place has all-day dining and they are also open for late-night drinks. The excellent food and alcohol are paired with live music at night for the night owls who want to have a good time. Their nightly live music performances are the highlight of the party. Take note that things can go wild here once the patrons are getting wasted.
Also, they accept credit and debit card payments, which is a bit rare in Sanya. If you want to drink to your heart’s content, the Sanya Dolphin Sports Bar & Grill is the perfect place. This is also frequented by expats, which makes it a homey place for tourists.
Aside from the Western flavors, they also have great vegetarian cuisines. The staff is also fantastic and accommodating to all the guests.
For those who want to eat cheap and get decent drinks for a low price, the Sanya Dolphin Sports Bar & Grill is an ideal night-out destination.
For the waterfront wonder: Fresh at Mandarin Oriental Sanya
If you want to experience a luxurious nightlife by the sea, you should visit the Fresh at Mandarin Oriental Sanya. Their alfresco dining experience as the sun sets is a sight to behold.
Their European and seafood menu is equally amazing. If you want to have small portions, you can try the tasting menu first. Of course, a night in Fresh won’t be complete without trying one of their topnotch cocktails.
Their service is faultless and top that with a beautiful location, you’ll want for nothing. Although the place doesn’t serve late-night drinks, you can still down some shots at the Sunset bar.
The Fresh is perfect for date nights, casual dinner, or even getting drunk. You can check-in at a room in Mandarin Oriental to have this dining experience every day during your stay. Aside from the bar, you can dip in one of their pools while sipping a nice cocktail.
The Fresh is expensive, but we can say that it’s worth it considering the ambiance and location of the restaurant. Overall, it’s Sanya at its best.
The Sanya, China drinking etiquette
If you shout “Gan Bei!” before downing a glass, make sure that you can live up to it. “Gan Bei!” means “Bottoms Up!” and your drinking buddies will expect that you’re going to do what it is. In case you can’t drink to the max, say “Peng Bei!” or “Cheers!”.
Also, it’s customary to make a toast on the table when drinking Baijiu (white spirits).
Baijiu is China’s national drink. It’s a word that pertains to white spirits and white alcohol. It usually comes in a clear drink with added tea leaves or other herbs. If you’re headed to an exotic club, you might taste one with preserved snakes and scorpions.
There are two common types of Baijiu in China, the ergoutou and maotai jiu. Both are stronger than whiskey and vodka.
Ergoutou is inexpensive and commonly drunk in most cheap clubs around Sanya. It’s also the choice of party-goers on a budget. Meanwhile, Maotai jiu is the high-end one since it’s made from quality wheat and sorghum.
Baijiu is usually offered to guests and during special events. However, Chinese women don’t often drink Baijiu. It’s a matter of culture and the fact that some women don’t like to be too drunk in public.
-Filling the glass
When the guests’ glasses went empty, the polite move is to fill it, starting with the person with the most money. The one who fills the glasses should fill his or her own glass last.
In the traditional drinking setting, you should hold the bottle with two hands: one supporting the bottom and one on the body. Also, it’s a bit rude to say no when you’re offered to join a toast.
If you can’t drink any alcohol, fill your glass with something else to join the toast. The locals will toast with their glass lower than the man of the hour. It’s best to toast lower than the other people on the table. It’s just a tiny on a Sanya nightlife guide, but it will save your face.
In Chinese culture, those who can drink more and still stand up to their feet gain the most respect. If you can gulp down glasses of Baijiu and even manage to look normal, you’ll definitely impress the locals.
Anyway, never drink to impress. Just chug glasses that you can handle so you won’t wake up in a bed of puke. Like what they say, don’t write cheques your body can’t cash.
Also, you’re not supposed to gloat about your drinking prowess on the table, especially if someone is already getting wasted. Just be modest and pretend to be drunker than you really are so no one will lose face.
Before you head out and enjoy the night, it’s essential to know these reminders first:
*Things can get loose
If you’re spending the night on a bar or pub, expect that things can get wild. Groups of tourists can drink their wits out and even locals can get too intoxicated.
Make sure that you maintain enough sobriety to go back to your hotel room. Also, it’s best to drink with a group of friends so someone can help you on your feet if you fail to watch the glasses.
*Sitting is the new dancing
In Sanya, the nightlife is less about crazy dancing. Most clubs we’ve seen in Sanya have floors occupied with tables and chairs. The locals aren’t fans of Western-style clubbing.
Also, you’ll find the patrons drinking and dicing. If you want to experience nightlife the Sanya way, you should join the locals and other patrons with their game.
*The locals love KTV
The locals love singing and it’s evident on numerous KTV bars and KTV rooms in many clubs across the city. Even if the club doesn’t have a KTV room, a short stroll at night will surely land you one.
Take note that most Chinese who party at night loves to sing their hearts’ out until the wee hours. Anyway, the locals won’t mind if you take catnaps on the side. If you plan to party this hard, make sure that you tag along a trustworthy friend to watch over you.
*Don’t underestimate ‘small glasses’
When it comes to drinking in Sanya, never underestimate a small glass. A small glass doesn’t mean a small drink. Chinese people love strong alcohol, those that have as much as 60% alcohol. So even if you chug small glasses, you can get pretty hammered in just a few shots.
Some affordable clubs in Sanya won’t stop the party unless the patrons get wasted. So before you down that small glass, make sure that you ask what’s on it.
*You should drink and dice
Patrons don’t just spend the night drinking to dance wildly. They love to drink and dice, a drinking game and a favorite past time of the party-goers. Most of the drink and dice players sit on round tables.
*Smoking inside bars are allowed
This is one thing you should know in this Sanya nightlife guide. Smoking inside isn’t prohibited and everyone will sniff the second-hand smoke. If you have respiratory issues, make sure that you ask about the smoking rule. It will save you from an asthma attack or a coughing fit.
Sanya is a vibrant place both for daily activities and nightlife. This city never seems to sleep with its 24-hour theme park, late-night bars, and KTV joints.
We hope that this Sanya nightlife guide helps you plan fun nights in the city. Do you have something to add? Have you visited any of our listed places above? Let us know below!