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Things to do in Haikou - Old Town


Haikou old town or Qi lou lao jie 骑楼老街, is situated in the heart of Haikou and one of the most popular tourist attractions. In this article, I will show you how to get there, some places to see, where to buy gifts for people back home and where to eat. I would recommend a full morning or afternoon for exploring old town. If you want to go when its busy go early morning or late afternoon, the photos in this article, I took at midday and when it's hot most people in Haikou have a nap, although all the shops will still be open. Best time to go is probably late afternoon into the evening as it's a little cooler, the street bursts into life

If you want to learn a little more about the history of old town you can have a look at this article below

Qi lou is most famous for its buildings




So how to get there?

Taking a cab

我要去骑楼老街 - wo yao qu qi lou lao jie  I want to go to arcade town

Taking the bus

Bus numbers 3, 6, 14, 37, 39, 43, 26, 30, K4, 38, 61, 87

The name of the bus stop you need to get off at is 水港口 or 钟楼站 One is next to the bookstore pictured below and the other is opposite the clocktower also below

Clock tower bus station and clock tower


Book store bus station and book store


  Which ever bus stop you get off, the old town is situated, directly south of your location ( the river across the main road is north)


On the way in, you will see the book store, this is the large building with flags on the roof, it has three floors, 1st floor is a coffee shop book store, 2nd art gallery and 3rd is activity room and balcony ( at the time of reading this, there was a calligraphy activity going on) A coffee will set you back around 15 yuan and they have other drinks too, people that live here will use this as a meeting point as it's position is quite prominent. Books are all in Chinese, there are some photo books, you've just to find them.



Want to get onto this balcony? Keep reading below



This is one of the Nan guo speciality food stores, you will see many on old town, this is also the entrance to the balcony where I took the photo above. As you walk into the store, there are some stairs on your left hand side, they will take you up to a hotel, there's a balcony on the second floor and also one on the 3rd if you keeping walking up

3rd floor balcony

Back to the speciality food store......

Not a bad store for getting some Hainan food stuffs to take to people back home, they have: Hainan coffee grown in Xinglong and Fushan, Coconut flavoured everything, dried fish, dried fruit, chilli paste, snazzy holiday shirts and much more. you can also buy cold drinks here to take up to the roof


Have a chilli lover in the family, get some of this... it will blow their head off! You can also find it in the supermarkets

Moving on....

Leaving the food store and heading onto Zhong shan lu which is the street directly opposite the food store, on your left hand side you will see this store. I think this lady is famous on old town, as I see lots of news stories about her and her paintings, she sells, paintings, bracelets, earrings and little trinkets. She speaks a little English and is always friendly



Across the street, there is a bank and a little further down, this coffee shop, Zi zai coffee 自在咖啡 from the doorway it just looks like your average coffee shop, but you need to go inside and into the garden in the back. Most weekends they also have the Hainan opera performing there and some other traditional shows, usually around 2pm. A coffee here will set you back around 28 RMB

They also have a cat who is really friendly and loves it if you give him the milk from your coffee

A couple of doors down, you will also find a shop that sells Qi pao which is a traditional style of dress


They have kids sizes too


Across the street from here, there is a boutique style hotel called Huan ke, I have stayed here before and would highly recommend to anyone, despite the fact it's right on the busy high street, it's really quite inside, it also has a roof top. You can learn more about Huan ke hotel and see more photo's at the link below


There are also toilets on qi lou, just a few doors down from the hotel

Half way down zhong shan lu you will find this temple

When standing in the templ courtyard, you will see a little side door into an alleyway, go through it and turn left, you will find this older temple

There is ice cream in old town, I threw this photo in there, in the hope it may help some parents out, If your kids aren't sold on the temple idea and local Hainan food stuffs, just show them the ice cream


Across the road from the temple, there is a traditional Li minority silversmith, that sells silverware and Li embroidery. Learn more about the Li minority from the article below

Right let's get onto the food, you should check out this place, it's reasonably cheap, great for groups and there's always something for fussy eaters. It's just around the corner from the book store. They operate on a cashless system so you will need to top up a card, pictured below is the cashiers desk, hand them some money and they will top up a card for you, then go pick what you like and hand over your card to pay, on your receipt it will show your remaining balance

To get here, walk out of the bookstore and head towards the main road by the river, once at road turn right on footpath, it will be on your right hand side in around 30 metres



If you see places like this, give them a try, they're where the locals eat and they're also cheap

That's enough from me today, if you went to old town or I missed anything you feel I should have included, as always give me a message below or you may add me on wechat: jake_canning



Jake-canning 29.04.2018 0 810
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