Things to do in Dongfang - 517 hostel, fish market, beach and roast pig
Last weekend, myself and Patrick from Tropicalhainan.com visited Dong fang on a mission to unlock more destinations to visit and provide useful information on how to get there, prices, where to go etc. Dongfang is situated on the North western corner of Hainan Island and is 225km from Haikou and 163km from Sanya. I would recommend Dong fang to a seasoned traveller or an expat that has already spent a little time in China already, without a little knowledge of Chinese or this guide, Dongfang could be quite difficult to get around. In this article I will highlight, the 517 hostel, Dongfang fish market, Lin zhou scenic spot (beach with lighthouse), roast pig street, and Dong fang North beach.
It is quite easy to get to Dong fang and you can take the train from Haikou east train station which costs 77 yuan if you catch the fastest train, this takes 1 hour 26 minutes according to Qu na APP. If you’re travelling to Dong fang from Sanya, the train will cost around 50 yuan and take around 1 hour. If you want to check out the train times and prices, check out my ‘Useful APPs before visiting China’ blog post HERE:
Dong fang is situated on the North western point of Hainan island
As you can see from the map below, everything in Dong fang is pretty close together
The 517 hostel
Address: 东方517驿站：东方市琼西路59巷27号 Contact number: 18208983716
No.27 Qiongxi road west street 59 alley, No. 27 Dongfang
You can also add this Wechat I.D: wangchong168
We stayed at the 517 hostel which cost 35 yuan for a single bed in a shared room of 4 bed’s and a shared bathroom. There are now twelve 517 hostels around Hainan island and whenever I travel around the island, I will always try and find a 517, If you would like more Information on the other 517 hostels, you can follow this link (all in Chinese but you could translate with Bing/Google translate) http://www.hn517.cn/
The 517 is around 6.5km from Dongfang train station and can be a little tricky to find, on the map below I have circled the gas station in red and the entrance to the alley way in green, photo’s of Gas station and alleyway entrance are below.
Alleyway 59 - Opposite gas station
Lin zhou scenic spot – Lighthouse beach
Address: 鳞州风景区西南海滩 – Lin zhou feng jing qu xi nan hai tan- Lin zhou scenic spot north west beach
The light house beach is 5.5km away from the 517 hostel and 7.3km away from Dong fang train station. Looking on Baidu, I couldn’t find any information on what bus goes to the beach, so will need to be a taxi job, around the city I did see private taxis and the 3 wheel tuk tuks and motorbikes driving people around. The best time to visit the beach is probably sunset, not many people are on the beach during the day but in the evening it springs to life, with people sat on the beach eating BBQ and drinking coconuts. The sand isn’t too soft and the sea Is good for paddling around in. To the south of the lighthouse you can also see the Dong fang windfarm
Light house beach at sunset
Dong fang roast pig
Dong fang is famous for roast pig, walking around Dong fang you will occasionally see restaurants roasting pig on the street. I have only been to the one place which is on Nong ke road (info below) but I am sure most places are similar. The one I went too is on Nong ke road and was 100 yuan for 1 Jin / 0.5kg and was more than enough to feed two hungry people and it was served with a sweet sauce.
Address: 17号 农科路东方 – No. 17 Nong ke road, Dong fang
请你给我一斤烤猪 – Qing ni gei wo yi jin kao zhu - Please give me 0.5kg of roast pig
半斤 – Ban jin – 250g
一斤 – 0.5kg
This was half a Jin - 250g
The shop we ate at
Dong fang fish market / Harbour – 东港路海鲜广场 – Dong gang lu hai xian guang chang – Dong dang road fish market
Unfortunately the fish market has changed a little since my first visit to Dong fang just over a year ago. Before the fish market was outside and right on the harbour, now it’s moved down the road and a little, under a roof and a little more sanitised, I miss the hustle and bustle of the old one, although I can see why they have changed it.
The fish market is 4.6km away from the light house beach and is perfect to go for an evening meal and drinks or early morning to watch the boats come in and out. You can also get a nice sunset here.
The fish market is similar to the one in Haikou on Ban qiao lu, where you go,buy your fish and take it to a restaurant to be cooked, If you would like to visit the one in Haikou, follow the link below
The only difference with this one is that the restaurants are floating on the water and not on concrete pads. Go steady on that gang plank after a few beers
To get to the fish market, when you see this red sign turn right, the fish market is down the road 100 metres and on your right hand side, the floating restaurants are directly opposite
Fish market at night around 11pm, if you get here late and the market is closed, the floating restaurants also sell fresh fish
Floating restaurant opposite the Dong fang fish market
Dong fang north beach
Dong fang North beach is around 8.3km out of Dong fang centre, I would recommend this for travellers with a car as it could be difficult to get back as there are no taxis in this area. The north beach is a working beach and one of my favourite spot’s in Dong fang, we spent around an hour photographing people working on the beach collecting shellfishing and fishing, one man came back with a bucket full of starfish
If you have a driving licence from your home country and want to transfer it to a Chinese licence, so that you can hire a car here, follow the link below. Car hire on Hainan island goes for as little as 75 yuan a day
If you want to get to the north beach, I wouldn’t recommend using maps and follow the road north out of Dong fang which hand rails the side of the coastline, stay on this road through the small villages and keep to your left, you will go over a small bridge, then keep left when the road splits.
Have you visited Dong fang before and I missed something that should be in this article? Leave a comment below, need a little extra help getting to Dong fang, leave a comment below and I’ll get back to you as soon as possible.
All photo's were taken by tropicalhainan.com