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Translated by Liu Ping
No place in the world can be perfect in its human geography,and some regions are a combination of obvious advantages and disadvantages.However,through the improvement on human culture,a geographical environment can promote advantages and abolish disadvantages,or reduce the disadvantages to the minimum.—Sanya is a place of this kind.
Once like a pretty girl with humble birth
In ancient times,Sanya was the first choice for exiling officials.Yaxian County(now Sanya)in the early liberation period lay unknown on the South China Sea,as simple as a pretty girl with humble birth to be married.Although it's charming and graceful,it was still unknown in its boudoir.
Sanya,formerly called Yaxian County,the population there was poor while it was sweltering hot.Since wild weeds were flourishing and there are poisonous snakes,people were often attacked by mosquitoes.Less rain leads to drought,while drought leads to food shortage.Floods usually came after typhoons and therefore even getting food was a problem.
Sanya is naturally beautiful,but its original disadvantage is obvious as well,such as lacking water.Sanya's drought could not be addressed until water conservancy facilities such as Fuwan Reservoir were set.
I interviewed Li Mingtian,former vice chairman of the CPPCC in Hainan Province.Li Mingtian said,Sanya was not famous at the early period of liberation.The most obvious evidence is the naming of the highway from Haikou to Sanya at that time.The road is named Hai Yu Zhong Xian instead of Hai San Zhong Xian,which shows that Sanya Yulin Port was much more famous than Sanya.
Besides the ancient city of Yacheng,another busiest place in Sanya is where we now call Yulin.Even in the early days of liberation,the location of the current urban area was only a barren beach and cemetery with weeds growing wildly everywhere.Now Hedong District is actually a small island surrounded by the sea,people did not realize that because there are many bridges here.With the bridges,the traffic is so convenient as a deep chasm turned into a thoroughfare.Thus the place has become a land of geomantic treasure.
Things have greatly changed as time goes by.The desolate land of Sanya Town has become a"golden location".But in the past,it was not an ideal place to live for its inconvenient to travel until Later,fishermen of Danzhou,Lingao,Dongfang,Baogang and Danjia who often fished in this area built some simple shelters on the shore for the convenience of going to sea,which gradually formed villages,and then a lively market atmosphere.
Focus shifted from agriculture to tourism
Sanya is famous for its mountains,seas,trees and stones.Green in mountains,beautiful in waters and blue in seas,as a tourist destination,Sanya is endowed with unique advantages.It has a total land area of 1919.6 square kilometers.It is 91.6 kilometers long from east to west and 51.2 kilometers wide from north to south.It is located in the south of Wuzhishan Mountain and faces the mountains to the north and the sea to the south.The terrain inclines from north to south,forming a long polygon.There are more than 10 islands and 19 harbors in the territory.The main harbors are Yulin Port,Yalong Bay Port,Sanya Port,Anyou Port,Gangmen Port and Jiaotou Port.
In the 1980s,the Sanya Municipal Party Committee and the Municipal Government realized that Sanya could not just conserve its beauty but be in poverty and wait for help with such a good condition.Instead,they had to change their thought to realize industrial transfer by making best use of the advantages of Sanya and bypassing its disadvantages,that is,to shift from"agriculture-oriented"to"tourism-oriented"thinking,hence Sanya embarked on a smooth drive.
On September 26,2009,I visited Sanya to interview Zhu Jiaren,the former Secretary of the Sanya Municipal Party Committee.Mr.Zhu admitted that Sanya was not a very ideal place for agriculture.Agriculture there is weaker than Ledong where is the biggest in area and has more reservoirs among the eight southern cities and counties.And Sanya was often criticized for its backwardness.Zhu Jiaren said that agriculture in Sanya has inherent deficiencies that it lacked water,which is critical for agriculture.Sanya has long illumination time,intense sunshine and large evaporation so seedlings transplanted were easy to become withered.Half of the harvest would already be good.What is more,there were fewer reservoirs and less rain.The annual rainfall usually did not exceed 1100 mm.Sanya people had to rely on the relief foods from the government.The situation were not improved until three large reservoirs were built,otherwise drinking water for the citizens would become a problem.
Sanya faces the sea on one side,and many bays have their own fascinating scenery.The East and West islands on the sea look like a gate facing the South China Sea,decorating the calm sea as a lake.The outline of the two islands are obscure when the sea fog is drifting,adding the scene a hue of mysterious beauty.
Seizing good opportunities of publicity
Apart from shifting focus from agriculture to tourism,the reason why Sanya can be famous at home and abroad,and cast its old self is closely related to celebrities'comments on Sanya.The Chinese characters"天涯"（Tian Ya）written by the ancients Cheng Zhe on the megalithic stones is an“advertisement”that runs through ancient and modern times,with a value hard to measure.
Guo Moruo,a famous historian and archaeologist,once proofread Yazhou Chronicle.A number of well-known cultural scholars and writers have written poems for Sanya,especially Yalong Bay.These poems have contributed greatly to the rapid promotion of Sanya's popularity.Through the ages,celebrities'movements in Sanya easily caught eyes as“news”.These"news"are often the"advertisements"with the lowest cost and the best effect.Take the"promotion"of the Director of the National Tourism Administration about Sanya as an example.
In 1986,Zhu Jiaren,the then Secretary of the Municipal Party Committee,visited Han Kehua,the former Director of the National Tourism Administration in Beijing with relevant personnel.Speaking of his impression of Sanya,Mr.Han felt a sudden urge to write poetry and composed the following lines:
The scenery of Yazhou excels elsewhere in South China.The beach covered with silvery sand stretches thousands of miles with the sea of clear blue laying beside;
Born to be wonderful and unique with fascinating scenery.It’s warm all year round and flowers never cease to bloom.
Since Pangu,the place has long been a desolate land,people there frowned on then leaders for inadequate effective approach to promote their livelihood.
Ten years later from now,flourishing age should arrive,and there would be abundant materials and outstanding talents,presenting an unprecedented positive picture of the land.
Mr.Han said,"there is a saying that Guilin's scenery tops the rest of China but Yangshuo’s scenery excels it.Some others said Hangzhou is the most beautiful place in China.But I personally feel they are not as appealing to me as Sanya!”Mr.Han's"praise"on Sanya is of extraordinary significance.
What makes Sanya"expensive"?
Some people would never understand:Why is the price of real estate in Haikou,the provincial city even less than that of Sanya?The answer is simple:Sanya to some extent is more of a world renown city,people like Sanya for they can enjoy sunshine,the beach and sea water there all year round.What about Haikou?The story of the city is no less than that of Sanya,but the distinction between the four seasons is still clear.In winter,people in Haikou generally wear sweaters,cotton-padded clothes and even down jacket while Sanya is bathing in the sunshine as it locates at 18 degrees north latitude.Compared with the coldness and humidity in Haikou,unsurprisingly,Sanya is the first choice for visitors.
When it comes to the price of real estate,most of the houses near the sea in Haikou face the north,the humid and cold air from the Northwest has more or less negative impact on household electric appliances and people’s daily life in winter.For the houses in Sanya face south and the cold wind in winter has been blocked by Atuoling Mountains and has passed through the forests of Wuzhishan Mountain,the wind in winter can't be harsh to Sanya,hence no big damage is likely to happen.More often,Sanya enjoys cool and comfortable Southeast wind.
Sanya is more well-known than Haikou,though I was not very convinced on this before until I climbed to the top floor of the Phoenix Island:in the north of Sanya,one can see mountains,and besides boats in the sea,there are also mountains in the water...The scenery is shocking and fascinating!
Sanya is usually hot.The air conditioning can address the indoor hotness while the outdoor hotness just provides a good reason for going to the sea side.Hence,romantic stories can find their right place all the seasons in Sanya.
Literature related to Sanya
Sanya is also a place where adventures often occur.Li Shaojun once attended a meeting in Sanya accompanied by writer Qiu Huadong,who was an alumnus of the University of Wuhan.They co-sponsored"Luojia Poetry Society",when they were at the university.They unexpectedly learned that internet writer Murong Xuecun and the horror novelist Li Ximin both lived in Sanya.
The online novel,Chengdu,Leave Me Alone Tonight written by Murong Xuecun ten years ago created a sensation.The novel vividly depicts the love,hate,hope and depression of urban white-collar workers.It still remains a classic of online literature.Murong Xuecun change his living places every few years,and writing a book for the place,first Shenzhen,then Hangzhou,Lhasa,and then Sanya.Xuecun rented a house with sea view in the Dadonghai,Sanya and wrote his novel facing the sea every day.
Li Ximin is more interesting.He said that horror stories must be written in sunny places,otherwise he would be depressed.So Li Ximin comes to Sanya every winter.He likes to compose stories in this city of sunshine.