Tag Archives: sanya

Last Days in China….

The last few days in Sanya, have been a bit hectic. I met a lot of nice people, finished a second book I’ll be announcing soon, found a great, reasonably-priced apartment (with a kitchen) for anytime I return to Sanya, and two days before I was scheduled to leave, my camera died, which meant I had to do something I hate doing: shopping. (I think I have evidence the camera I got is knock-off…stay tuned.) But before I tell you where I’m off to next, I’ll share some shots from The Last Days in China.

Met up with couchsurfer, Gemma at one of the hostels  in the area!

Met a new friend at Wang Hao Supermarket and we hung out a few days later at the amusement park near the UFO hotel. Turns out the ladies are new Mary Kay reps in Sanya! I have a warm spot in my heart for Network Marketing companies, as the one I had joined many years ago helped free me from corporate confinement to live true to my self!

Hang on, ladies!

Afterwards, we had dinner and a great time!

Said a few goodbyes to the ladies at Wang Hao who had gotten in the habit of seeing me come to buy my raw cashews every day at the same time!

I met June at Wang Hao supermarket. She was right behind me on line and helped me out when I was having trouble asking for change for the bus. She ended up being a vital part of my gastric happiness in Sanya (think “sea salt,” but keep it a secret)….

June also helped me purchase the camera I now use to document my travels. Yes, this shot was staged with the camera I had just purchased.

The sales girl who took my money!

Hung out with June and friend at a cafe overlooking Sanya Bay!

Posed for the obligatory Jamaican in China photos

and again…and again….

dinner in Sanya
Norway meets China. Harald, from Norway and Pan Hui, from China! Harald and Pan Hui helped me look for apartments…Harald, a dentist from a former life, is a great thinker and conversationalist..

Solved the world’s challenges with Harald…..(Next time, look at the camera, Harald!)

dinner in Sanya

Had the greatest vegetarian meal in Sanya, courtesy of a dinner invitation from my friend from the beach, Norwegian artist (painter) Jan Erik, and author wife Feng Xian Lin. They’ve also co-authored, designed and published various books. You can check out Jan’s paintings at www.willgohs.info

Hunan cooking and culture Feng Xian Lin

One of the books Fenx Xian Lin authored is a Hunan cooking and culture book. So you know I was treated to some great food….my last night in Sanya…darn….Now, I’ll have to wait until I return to show up un-announced with my chopsticks in hand and nothing in my stomach!

China meets Romania

Beijing transplant, Sandy and Romanian expat, Adrian…Can’t wait to hang a bit longer next time!

Eyes on Singapore…..Did he say, Singapore?????

The perpetual pursuit of the perfect, plump, plausibly-priced papaya

In the  previous installment of the Papaya Chronicles, I shared with you that the best price I was able to get for a papaya was about 5RMB, at the supermarket. Whenever I shop at independent vendors, I get the foreigner price. Seems they can always tell I’m not originally from China. I think my accent gives me away. In any event, last week, when I went shopping with Peggy and Fanny, they took me to an outdoor market and introduced me to their favorite papaya vendor. I selected my single papaya, he placed it on the scale, and announced the price 2RMB. I couldn’t help chuckling out loud. He laughed, too, likely because he knew foreigners don’t often get to hear those words, “Two RMB,” attached to anything in Sanya (or China) except perhaps a bus ride.

So, I asked them to tell him to remember my face (hee hee), so that when I returned, he would treat me like a regular ol’ Chinese customer since I planned to return. Then, “happy as a pig in papaya juice,” I took my new acquisition back home and enjoyed it.

Yesterday, I returned, found Mr. Fair Deal Perfect Papaya Man, he remembered me (good eye for faces), and sold me TWO papayas for 4RMB. So, I’m not exactly sure what the unit price is (my ability to palm and weigh in kg needs some work), what I do know is that this….

Costs me 2RMB, not 5, not 8, and not the 15 Mr. Papaya near Lost Hostel wanted me to pay.

So, here’s my traveler’s tip for you: when YOU come to Sanya, Hainan, and want a plump, perfect, plausibly-priced papaya, take the number 8, 16, 10, 2, 7 or 10 bus to the stop closest to original Wang Hao Supermarket #1, not the Wang Hao nearest to the bus station, but the one that’s now the new location of the original Wang Hao after the owner of the building they were renting from didn’t renew their lease, forcing them to move to the new location near the International Hotel, (got it?), and then walk through the mall, out the back, across the street, through an alley, past the covered area with the meat vendors, past the vegetable vendor ladies who may gawk at you if you’re Jamaican, step over the dog lazing in the exit, and into the open area where the fruit vendors are located, make your way through the crowd and find this man….

Mr. Fair Deal Perfect Papaya Man.

Say, Ni Hao in your best Putonghua, and then tell him that Walt, the Jamaican, sent you. Pay for your papaya, and enjoy!

Secret Sanya Sea Salt Safari! (…..don’t tell anybody!)

The ebook edition is completed, but my writing energies are still being diverted towards completing the paperback edition of Living True to Your Self. However, I’ve been able to raise my standard of living here in Hainan:

I was able to locate sea salt here in Sanya. Now, that may not seem like earth-shattering news to you, but it is for me.  I don’t eat table salt (check the ingredients of your favorite brand of supermarket-bought salt, and note the dextrose (sugar), aluminum (think “Alzheimer’s), and other unnecessary anti-caking and otherwise harmful ingredients. Sanya, being a coastal town should have natural sea salt readily available, right? You would think.

However, the authorities have convinced the people that consuming sea salt is bad and that it is most often contaminated. Whether true or not, it takes a bit of asking and searching to find it, as vendors are forbidden to sell it openly, and one has to ask (with the help of a Chinese person), the right questions, the right people, and, presumably not appear to be a government plant searching for violators.

I won’t reveal my methods, my contacts, or my supplier. I’ll just show you the hand-off.

Sea salt on Hainan

Psssst. Hey, buddy, wanna buy some sea salt?


I’m presently at the UFO hotel in Dadonghai, Sanya, Hainan. It’s much more centrally-located, close to supermarkets, a small, but great beach and many visitors from Kazakhstan, from Russia and all over China. Note for travelers on the Jamaican in China tour of Hainan: If you take the #8 bus from the airport, get off the bus at Summer Mall (夏日百货 in Chinese; Dadonghai Square), then walk back down Yuya and you’ll see an 18-story building (next to City Hotel). the entrance to UFO is behind the 18-story building.


The young entrepreneur proprietors of UFO, a great, small hotel in the heart of activity in Sanya, Hainan.

In the lobby

On the day before my first day at UFO–while I was using their wi-fi, I met Fanny and Peggy from Changsha, college students on holiday who came to Hainan to see the ocean for the first time. Fanny (left) is studying English (to be a translator), and Peggy is studying Interior Design to perfect her artistic talents

The girls were nice enough to go shopping with me the next day to help me communicate and locate some items I’d been interested in getting. So, we met at 8:00am the next morning and headed out by bus to the Number One Market!

Trying to find soy milk


returning after a morning of shopping

As is the custom at many of the hostels, Peggy made her mark on history by adding a painting to the wall of the UFO hotel.

Outside the UFO!

The girls had to leave to catch a train to Haiku, and then a boat to their next destination. So we said our goodbyes at the bus stop across the street!

See you someday!

From Russia with….you know the drill

There are many Russians vacationing in Hainan, China. I know this because as I walk or relax on the beach, all of them have come up to me to ask me to pose for a photo. … The photomeister….Takin’ photos….makin’ friends…Papparuskies takin’ photos with the Jamaicameister….(Saturday night Live? Rob Schneider? Remember? Anyone?)

Russian vacation on hainan china
Jamaicans have all the fun!

Russian vacation on hainan china
The lady from Baikal

Russian vacation on hainan china
My new friends from Siberia

Russian vacation on hainan china
Finally, someone as skinny as I am!

Russian vacation on hainan china
But, of course, I’m still rebuilding from the fast…

Russian vacation on hainan china
Babushka has a daughter who visited Myrtle Beach, Florida, and fell in love with a Jamaican….Can you blame her?

Russian vacation on hainan china
What??? No new friends?? Give it a minute…