Wuzhishan[dead link] (五指山; Wǔzhǐshān; formerly known as Tongzha or Tongshen) is a city in Hainan's central highlands. It is a scenic town with very few tourists, lively markets and exceedingly cheap food.
- 1 Wuzhishan Bus Station (五指山汽车站), 50 Haiyu North Road, Tongza (通什镇海榆北路50号), ☏ . The bus station is located more or less in the city center.
Take the bus from Sanya or Haikou or indeed almost any other city on the island (except Dongfang). Buses from Sanya leave from the main bus station (三亚车站) approximately every 30 minutes to 1 hour and cost ¥25 to ¥35 (2021), taking 2 hours to arrive at Wuzhishan. The first bus leaves at 06:30 and the last bus back to Sanya departs Wuzhishan at 18:30. You can buy tickets on the Hainan Bus Company website  (Chinese only).
A public bus service operates within the main urban area. The fare on most routes is ¥1. Bus nos. 5 and 6, however, charge a variable rate that depends on distance.
Motorcycle taxis are also available but have become much less common than they used to be. If you can find one, they will take you most places in the city for about ¥2. Auto taxis hang about by the bus station, and most don't have meters. They seem to charge about ¥10 or less for a trip within the city.
Towns outside the main urban area such as Maoyang and Shuiman are accessible by long-distance bus from the bus stop outside Wuzhishan Bus Station. Buses heading to Maoyang depart from the same side of the road as the bus station. If you're going to Shuiman, you will need to cross the road to get a bus.
Just walk around the town and its surroundings. The scenery is beautiful, and the town has an interesting market section, though it does resemble market sections in a lot of other small Chinese towns. Walking or motorbiking on the road past the Wuzhishan Shanguan (see below) takes you quickly into quite rustic quarters. You can then deviate off the road onto one of the small footpaths that leads out into the jungle. Try to get back to the main road before dark, as it can be easy to get lost on these paths.
- 1 Chubao Village (初保村) (about 18km from Shuiman and 44km from Wuzhishan City; best reached by car or taxi). One of the very few Li minority villages on Hainan Island where it is still possible to see the boat-shaped thatched cottages traditionally associated with the Li people. Free.
- 2 Former Site of the Office of the People's Government of Hainan Li Miao Autonomous Prefecture (海南黎族苗族自治州人民政府办公楼旧址), 8 Aoya Road, Tongza Town (通什镇奥雅路8号) (in the city center; opposite Sanyuesan Square). This is one of the very few historical sites in Wuzhishan City. It was built in 1954 and originally served as the seat of government for the now defunct Hainan Li Miao Autonomous Prefecture. The building is not open to the public but is worth seeing due to its unique design which blends traditional Chinese architecture with Western neoclassical architecture.
- 3 Hainan Nationalities Museum (海南省民族博物馆), 5 Taifei Road (泰翡路5号) (from the bus station turn right, walk about 15 m and turn right at a street that goes up a hill, take right at first street, you will see some old shops and apartments on that street, walk past those and museum will be on your right), ☏ . Tu-Su 09:00-17:30, no entry after 17:00, closed on Mondays (except public holiday Mondays). A museum about Hainan's ethnic minorities. Has lots of information in English. Free.
- 4 Taiping Falls (太平飞瀑, 太平山瀑布 Taiping Mountain Falls), Gangong Road (甘工路) (in the city's northern outskirts; a taxi ride should not be expensive; alternatively take bus no. 1 to the north campus of the Hainan Agriculture and Forestry Technical School (海南省农林科技学校) and walk from there - the waterfall is about 3 km from the school and about 2 km from the Jadeite Valley Eco Resort). A scenic waterfall in a forested area. ¥30.
- 5 Wuzhishan Revolutionary Base Memorial Park (五指山革命根据地纪念园), Maogui Village, Maoyang Town (毛阳镇毛贵村) (about 4km west of the center of Maoyang; there are regular buses to Maoyang from Wuzhishan Bus Station; the bus drives past the park, so you can ask the driver to drop you off just outside), ☏ . 08:30-12:00, 14:30-17:30, closed on Mondays. This was the site of a PLA army base from 1948 to 1950 during the final stage of the Chinese Civil War. The memorial park was established here in 2001. It features a 23-meter tall monument, the graves of two notable Communist martyrs and a museum about the history of the former base. Information is in Chinese only. Free.
- 6 Yahu Terraced Fields (牙胡梯田), Yahu Village (牙胡村) (about 4½ kilometers north of the center of Maoyang; there are regular buses to Maoyang from Wuzhishan Bus Station), ☏ , email@example.com. Open all day. Widely considered the most beautiful terraced fields on the island. Of course, the scenery tends to change according to the seasons. Some reports claim that November is the best time to visit. Free.
- 1 Red Canyon (红峡谷), County Highway 590 (590县道) (take the bus to Shuimanxiang and tell the driver you want to get off at Red Canyon; you can also get bus no. 5; a shuttle bus operates between the visitor center and the start of the rafting route), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 09:00-16:00 (rafting is normally between 14:30 and 15:00; during the dry season, rafting takes place between 14:00 and 15:30 from Sunday to Friday and between 13:30 and 15:30 on Saturday), no tickets are issued after 14:30. A popular site for whitewater rafting. Other possible activities include walking, hiking, climbing, paddle boating, and 'real life Counter Strike'. Camping and barbeque facilities are available and there's a restaurant here too. ¥38 (walking path), ¥58 (bridge climbing), ¥98 (Road of the Brave hiking trail), ¥168-200 (rafting).
- 2 Shuiman River Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area (五指山水满河热带雨林风景区, 五指山热带雨林风景区 Wuzhishan Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area), Shuiman Township (水满乡) (about 2½ km from the Shuiman bus stop; you can walk or get a motorized pedicab), ☏ . 08:30-16:30, no entry after 15:30 (scenic area); 09:00-14:00 (rafting area). Compared with the trails at the Wuzhi Mountain National Nature Reserve, the walking trails here are fairly easy. Moreover, if you don't feel like walking or are short on time, you have the option of taking a tour bus around the park. The visitor center also sells tickets for the nearby Rainforest Valley Rafting Area (五指山雨林谷漂流). ¥30 (scenic area entry ticket), ¥20 (scenic area bus ticket), ¥50 (scenic area entry ticket + bus ticket); ¥156 (rafting ticket), ¥30 (rafting area bus ticket), ¥186 (rafting ticket + bus ticket); discounts are available for tour groups.
- 3 Wuzhi Mountain (五指山) (Take a bus from the Wuzhishan bus station to Shuimanxiang (水满乡) for between ¥8 and ¥16. Buses start at 10:00, and also run at 10:30 and 11:00; they will pick up other passengers, vegetables and dead chickens on the way to Shuimanxiang. At the terminus, take a moto-taxi to the trailhead (¥5). Make sure to get a cell number from the driver so he can pick you up on your way down (or try 138-7650-0626) because otherwise you will have an extra 3 km to walk on your way back. From the trailhead, hike up to the archway, and hang a left (either before or after you go through it, as long as the trail leads uphill you are probably going the right direction). Buses leave Shuimanxiang back to Wuzhishan at 13:00, 14:30, 16:30, 17:30 and 18:40), ☏ . 07:30-16:00. The adventuresome (and fit), might try climbing the 1,868 meter peak of Wuzhi Mountain itself. From the trailhead, hike up to the archway, and hang a left (either before or after you go through it, as long as the trail leads uphill you are probably going the right direction). The hike to the top is a grueling 2½-3½ hours. You will be climbing up ladders and roots, as the trail is extremely steep. You will probably have the whole mountain to yourself unless you go on one of the holy days of the local minorities. On these days, the trail is apparently quite crowded. Whatever they celebrate, it causes them to leave a lot of trash and firecracker wrappers lying about. Make sure to take a lot of food and water, dehydration could even be fatal. Do not do this unless you are in pretty good shape and have some experience hiking. The area is officially a nature reserve known as the Wuzhi Mountain National Nature Reserve (五指山国家级自然保护区). Staff discourage using the tropical trail on the grounds that you may get lost. This is true, as the trail branches off in many directions and does not conform to the map. The tropical trail is almost completely free of visitors and garbage. Near the start of the tropical trail (on the rainforest trail, by the bridge) there is a very small outdoor restaurant. As of 2021, the mountain is closed to foreigners. Foreign tourists should instead visit the nearby Shuiman River Tropical Rainforest Scenic Area (listed above). Entrance fee of ¥50, which includes a bus ride to the start of the rainforest trail.
Wuzhishan abounds with ridiculously cheap noodle and dumpling shops. Even the "upscale" dining at the hotels is quite inexpensive.
- 1 Do Like (多喜爱时尚餐厅), Level 2, Zhongsheng Building, Jiefang Road, Tongza Town (通什镇解放路中盛大厦2层) (intersection of Jiefang Road and Shanlan Road; bus nos. 1, 2, 5 and 6 stop nearby), ☏ . 07:00-24:00. Clean and spacious restaurant serving both Asian and Western food. The restaurant is popular with family groups and can get a little noisy. There is a children's playground at the back.
- 1 Woye Coffee (沃野咖啡), 15/8 Sanyuesan Avenue, Tongza Town (通什镇三月三大道8-15) (near the Wuzhishan Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medixine (中医院); take bus no. 1), ☏ . 10:00-22:00. A clean and well-decorated cafe run by a husband and wife team. Serves tea, coffee and fruit juice.
- 1 Jadeite Valley Eco Resort (翡翠谷生态度假山庄), 2 Gangong Road (甘工路2号) (take bus no. 1 from outside the bus station and get off at the Hainan Agricultural and Forestry Technical School (农林技校) - the hotel is about 600 meters from the bus stop; taxi fare should be about ¥20 and motorized pedicab should cost about ¥10), ☏ , . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. Very standard Chinese rooms. Has a green swimming pool (in color, not eco). Breakfast consists of cold noodles, boiled eggs and hot dogs, but has a great view. Has a cool castle that has rooms but you can't stay there. Rooms booked online are about ¥250.
- 2 Zhujiang Crystal Hotel (珠江水晶酒店), 2 Hebei West Road (河北西路2号) (very close to the bus station, about 50m away.), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 14:00. A 4-star hotel that has very nice rooms and a great swimming pool. Its possible to book online to save some money, it's about ¥350 for a queen bed.
There are also hotels in Shuiman, some within walking distance of the bus station.
- 3 Wuzhishan Yatai Rainforest Hotel (五指山亚泰雨林酒店), Wuzhishan National Nature Reserve, Shuiman Township (水满乡五指山国家级自然保护区内) (at the foot of Wuzhi Mountain, close to the nature reserve's main entrance), ☏ , email@example.com. Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 12:00. This five-star hotel is the only place within the nature reserve that is open to foreigners. Rooms are available from around ¥500 per night.
- 4 Yujing Hotel (海南御景酒店), Shuiman Township (水满乡) (a short distance west of the Shuiman Township Government building), ☏ . Check-in: 14:00, check-out: 14:00. A three-star hotel. Rooms are available from around ¥400 per night.