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The shrill peep of the whistle must be for me, as I am the only one here except for theChinese lifeguard in his tall wooden tower. Can he swim? I do wonder-there are two surf skis beside the tower which I am sure he would use if I needed assistance. The signs along the beach read “high waves”,” Strong current”, “steep drop off”, “jellyfish”! Enough to put any swimmer off venturing into the South China Sea. I am the only one on the whole beach, aside from the whistle blower, there to protect me from the evils illustrated on the signs. And being Kiwi, I am swimming outside of the buoys-two roped off areas that are “safe”. It is too hot to walk to this roped off area, I have just dived in to the bath water in front of my lounger. There is not a wave in sight, the seabed is knee high for about ten meters where it slowly falls away to shoulder height and then deeper still. I have not felt a pull of the current at all, and I did see one jellyfish-quite large, but already marooned on the sand.

So I feel very safe. And this is how China is-a very cautious, safe place. For the Chinese, swimming is not a natural thing. We see them practising in the huge lagoon pool, and understand why there are the signs and the roped areas on the beach.

What do we need most in our winter? A beach escape. Some salt water, some sunshine, some warmth, some rest, some walking slowly because it is too hot to walk fast. Some afternoon siestas. Some reading of books. Breakfast at 11.00 and afternoon snacks with a beer at a bar. Dinner? Maybe later. Some exotic cuisine. This is the best way to get through the winter chill and recharge before the end of the year holidays are upon us.

So we have just experienced Hainan Island and The Renaissance Hotel Haitang Bay, Sanya. It is all of the above. I have discovered Kiwi Icecream in the “Coffee Box” the coffee shop. It is the yummiest ice cream I have ever had, just because it is 30 degrees plus out side, and it costs the equivalent of NZD9.00 for a little tub!

A 5 star hotel at this time of year is not expensive. This is the off season for the Chinese-it is not cold yet in other parts of China, so the hotel is fairly empty. What better reason to come? Good prices, beautiful facilities, hot sunny days, air conditioned nights. Fly via Hong Kong and do some shopping on your way home.

Just what the doctor ordered.

Talk with your World Traveller to arrange your next winter tonic. We are World Travellers just like you!

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