Your Ultimate Guide to Kiteboarding in China
- On July 5, 2017
- By Cez Krol
- In Places to visit
Kiteboarding. It’s where you use a kite and board to glide across the ocean as though you were weightless. The experience is truly uplifting (excuse the pun).
Being serious though, kiteboarding is a lot of fun, and coming to China to do it is a great excuse for visiting the most populated country in the world. Hopefully, you already know the most popular myths about China (and the fact that they’re just myths). If you don’t, then the quality of Kiteboarding in China should set you straight.
Hainan is a beautiful, tropical resort area in the south of China. Located along the coast, you’re going to have some beautiful sea views. If you’re reading this article, though, then that’s not why you’re here. You’re here to see what options there are when it comes to Kiteboarding.
How to get there
Once you’re in China, it’s easy to make it to Hainan. While the location isn’t on the top of all international tourists’ lists, in China, it’s one of the most popular getaways (especially during winter for those from the North).
To get to Hainan, you can either take a train or a plane. Trains available are not the fast bullet trains which run down the east coast. This means that you’re looking at a long journey, especially if you’re coming from Beijing (38 hours to make it into Sanya). So, if the long journey doesn’t sound appealing to you, you’re always able to take a plane for a little extra.
The best season to head to Hainan is undoubtedly summer. It does get incredibly hot. If you want to experience Hainan without the added heat, then towards the end of summer (around the end of August / September) is better. Many of Hainan’s beaches are usually crowded during these times though, especially Sanya. Expect to come across the Chinese concept of people mountain, people sea.
Sanya is the most well-known location in Hainan. Visited by millions of tourists every year, the beach is one of the best (if not the best) in China. The wind tends to aim in a South, South-west direction, yet they’re not too powerful. Just make sure to keep an eye on the shoreline.
Alternatively, you can head to Haikou. Haikou is better for Kiteboarding between the months of October and March. If you’re a winter Kiteboarder, it’s perfect. The winter weather here is still pretty warm, but make sure to pack a ‘thicker’ wetsuit, just in case. Expect flat sea with little waves and a North blowing wind.
Xiamen, known for its beautiful university campus, and it’s cooling sea breeze, is located around halfway between Shanghai and Guangzhou along China’s Eastern Coast. The city is home to some of the most beautiful natural gardens in China. For those more interested in extreme sports, it’s also a good place to visit for Kiteboarding. Some have said it’s the best place in China for it.
How to get there
It’s possible to head to Xiamen via the fast train from either Shanghai or Guangzhou. If you’re coming into China from Beijing, you can also take the fast train from here, but be prepared for a longer journey. Heading from Shanghai is the best bet, and will only take you six and a half to eight hours. Expect to pay around ¥350 for a hard seat.
It’s also possible to fly into Xiamen. Flights from all major Chinese cities are available, and from many international cities around the world. The city itself, while not a tier one city, is quite large. If you find problems flying into Xiamen, try flying to the nearby Fuzhou, where you’ll be able to take a train the rest of the way.
If you prefer to go when it’s warm, then the summer period for Kiteboarding is between May and July. The wind tends to go in a Southeasterly direction during this time and is fairly moderate at 10-20 knots. Xiamen is beautiful during this time, and you’ll find its peach blossoms in full bloom at the end of May.
Xiamen Kiteboarding is also available during the winter period from September to January. The North-easterly winds mean that it’s a little easier to take part in, later in the season. Don’t let this fool you though, while it might be possible to go in January; it’s still going to be cold. Fujian province is not known as the warmest during the summer months. Then again, it’s nowhere near as cold as the Northern cities such as Beijing and Harbin.
Please note that the area is susceptible to typhoons, meaning you’re potentially going to see wind speed pick up to over 35 knots. That’s pretty quick, and it’s advisable you don’t try Kiteboarding in this weather if you’re only a beginner. Keep an eye on the forecast.
Hai Yun Tai Beach is probably the best spot for Kiteboarding in Xiamen – you’ll look like just like ex-president Obama. It’s located right between two of the city’s most popular resorts – the ‘Asia Gulf Hotel’ and ‘Seaview Resort’ – so it’s easy to get to, and you won’t get lost. The beach itself is a fantastic sand beach, with a great view Eastwards. While this may be the only real location for Kiteboarding in Xiamen, it won’t disappoint.
Which should I choose?
If you’re looking for convenience, then Xiamen might just be it. Located on China’s east coast, you’re guaranteed good transport links and quicker travel to other cities, especially by land. Hai Yun Tai Beach is a pretty good location as well, with different seasons catering to different levels of kiteboarders.
If on the other hand, you would prefer more options when it comes to locations, then Hainan might be the better choice. Sanya is still widely regarded as the best location; its beaches beautiful and its tropical climate is enough to make anyone want to stay for more than just a holiday.
Do you know anywhere better for going Kiteboarding?
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