Burgers & Seafood: Sanya Dining Guide


The Sanya Where to Eat Food Guide is part of The Year of the Monkey Trip Report which covers the following places:

If you’re going to Sanya, you have many options for food. The worst thing you can do is eat at the hotel which overcharges for seafood. Instead of hanging out in the Prison of Posh, spend your money on a taxi and head to the city center.

Suggestion #1: Dolphin Bar

After weeks in Asia, I needed a burger. The most famous bar for expats in Sanya is Dolphin Bar. There you will find a cover band playing your favorite hits, drink specials, and moderately priced Western food. Who cares if you are breaking the rule by eating comfort food instead of local food? I ordered the pepperoni burger, fries, and many beers.

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Suggestion #2: Fresh Seafood 

You can’t go to Sanya without trying the seafood. There are many nondescript restaurants where customers go in, pick out a fish, whack it over the head, and enjoy it minutes later. I do not know the name of this particular restaurant but I had them prepare me fish, spicy style (ask for it ‘hen la’) along with great fried rice. The prices vary from restaurant to restaurant so ask your hotel for price recommendations. I haggled my fish down to 100RMB, no idea if this was a good or bad deal. I had the same price issue in Kota Kinabalu where I think I overspent on the fresh crab.

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Sanya has a great variety of food from Russian, to Chinese, to Western. It slipped my mind to go for Hainan chicken rice, though I hear it is prepared differently than when I order it in Singapore. Even with this oversight, I stand by my food choices.






    • good eye. so the first one in the bucket was 300 rmb, so we had to go back to the tank and find a cheaper one, i think that’s the second fish i took a pic of

  1. They even scam mainland chinese tourist, Sanya has very bad reputation amongst the southern cities of China. The fair only when you ask for the bill, all of a sudden the fish would cost ten times the price you were told and water was 100RMB per glass, and toothpicks were 10RMB each, so on and so on.

    • Oh not for this tourist. I pay ahead of time but I’m glad youre writing this. So any idea how much a fish should cost? I bargained down to 100 from 130. If this was the fake market, I would’ve said 30 total

      • It all depends on the species, like wild caught grouper would cost 100RMB per teal, and cultivated fish usually with 100RMB per catty or so. And live fish is always more expensive than dead one. And also, look for the switch in the kitchen. sometimes they would switch a dead fish with the live fish you pick.

        • Hmm. Very, very interesting. So the first fish he picked which was 300 I believe died in the bucket. Then I got the cheaper one. The names were in Mandarin and all I know is 鱼 so who knows. Next time, we can go together. Thanks for the comments.

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