China's hot tropic / by Thomas O'Malley

Hainan Island, China's Hawaii and proud host of the Miss World Contest for the last couple of years.

As well as being China's smallest province, the beaches of Sanya in the south are where middle class Chinese go to kick back and relax, and put on matching Hawaiian shirts, shorts and hats.

It's also full of Russian package holiday makers, so Chinese hawkers speak to all white people in Russian and guys on the beach walk up and down selling illustrations of Stalin and Kruchev.

Culturally, it can get quite confusing.

Yep, it's a policewoman posing for photos on the beach.

Which are empty during the day, probably because Chinese don't like to get tanned / burned. But come sunset, people crowd the sand to take photos.

Tropical paradise... Well the beaches are good, and it is fun to see the Chinese party. Plus menus written in Russian are no harder to read than in Chinese. So yeah, why not?