Tianya Haijiao

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Opened in 1988, Tianya Haijiao is a popular visitor attraction 15 miles west of Sanya city on the southern coast of Hainan Island in China. It literally translates as “edge of the sky, rim of the sea”, since in the past, Chinese people believed that the sky was square and the earth was round. The venue is usually considered the southernmost point of China’s land area and is, therefore, a popular sightseeing destination for tourists.

In Chinese literature, the cape is mentioned in many famous poems, such as “I will follow you to Tian-Ya-Hai-Jiao“, suggesting that couples who travel here will never be separated. It is therefore, a popular destination for newlyweds to spend at least part of their honeymoon.

One of the most popular rock formations, The Rocks of the Sun and Moon (or “husband” and “wife”) resemble, from a distance, a couple entwined in each other’s arms (though in fact, they are separate rocks). Many of the uniquely-shaped boulders and formations are also carved with Chinese inscriptions (like the ones pictured).

Two of the most famous, “Romeo” and “Juliet” (below), are carved with the characters “Tianya” and “Haijiao”. There is a romantic story about these two stones as well. In ancient times, two young lovers eloped when their parents disapproved of their marriage. Unfortunately, when they arrived in Hainan, agents, sent by their parents, were waiting for them. Facing the sea, they had no escape, so they just held each other as they jumped into the sea. Suddenly, a thunderstorm arose and they were struck by lightning which transformed them into the two large stones. The agents were turned into the many smaller stones around them. Now, these two stones are regarded as symbols of eternal and faithful love.

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  • Visited: Feb 2004

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