Ride the waves
Head east from Sanya to Riyue Bay, Hainan Island’s surfer hideout. You’ll find experts carving the breaks here, but there are also smaller waves where beginners can take classes with ISA-certified instructors. They often get even first-timers standing on the surf (and whooping with glee). In between catching waves, enjoy the serenity of sitting on your board and looking out to the horizon. surfinghainan.com
The Shaolin way
Shaolin kung fu, one of China’s oldest styles of martial arts, was developed for monks to improve the body, mind and spirit. And one place to pick up its moves is the Mandarin Oriental Sanya, where Master Hu takes guests through motions that can be strong and fast or controlled and measured, while explaining the practice’s philosophy. After this challenge of flexibility, coordination and fitness, a Zen tea ceremony adds a comforting touch.