Sanya (Chinese: 三亚) is the southernmost city on Hainan Island, and one of the four prefecture-level cities of Hainan Province, in Southeast China.
According to the 2010 Census, the population of Sanya is of 685,408 inhabitants, living in an area of 1,919.58 square kilometres (741.15 sq mi). The city is renowned for its tropical climate and has emerged as a popular tourist destination, also serving as the training site of the Chinese national beach volleyball team. The city has become known as "China's Florida", drawing a large number of retirees from Northeast China during winter. Sanya is home to small concentrations of Utsul people.
Known in ancient times as Yazhou, postal romanization: Aichow (崖州), literally "cliff state or prefecture", Sanya's history dates to the Qin Dynasty (221–206 BCE). Due to its remoteness from the political centers during the Imperial China eras on Mainland China, Sanya was sometimes called Tianya Haijiao (天涯海角), meaning "the end of the sky and ocean" or "the end of the earth". As a result, the city served as a place of exile for officials who found themselves out of favor with the country's rulers.
During the Tang dynasty, the Buddhist monk Jianzhen accidentally landed here, using Sanya as a staging post on his missionary journey to Japan.
Sanya lies at the southern tip of Hainan Island at Sanya Bay, and, after Sansha (also administered by Hainan Province), is the second-southernmost prefecture-level city nationally. Located at 18° 15' N latitude, it is about as far north of the Equator as the Island of Hawaii is. Though the administrative area (Sanya City) has a rough topography, the city itself is generally flat, lying on a parcel of land between low-level mountains to the north and the South China Sea.
The area has a tropical wet and dry climate (Köppen Aw), featuring very warm weather all year around. Monsoonal influences are strong, with a relatively lengthy wet season and a pronounced dry season. The coolest month is January, at 21.6 °C (70.9 °F), while the hottest, unlike much of the rest of China, is June, at 28.8 °C (83.8 °F); the annual mean is 25.8 °C (78.4 °F). Water temperatures remain above 20 °C (68 °F) year-round.