Letter From Hainan

A surfing town in Hainan where young Chinese go to ‘lie flat’

Hainan's Riyuewan has emerged as a destination for young Chinese who are looking to tang ping or “lie flat”, away from the pressure-cooker environment. ST PHOTO: AW CHENG WEI
China's government has rolled out plans to develop Riyuewan, which bustles with surf clubs, restaurants and cafes. ST PHOTO: AW CHENG WEI
Stalls on the beach at Riyuewan sell food ranging from Xinjiang noodles to qing bu liang, a dessert soup. ST PHOTO: AW CHENG WEI
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WANNING, Hainan - Graphic designer Sikey Shi, 23, visited Riyuewan on Hainan island in November 2020 hoping to find out more about surfing, a sport he had never tried but had been following on social media because it looked “cool”.

Unexpectedly, he fell so deeply in love with the sport and Riyuewan that he headed straight back to the tropical bay after completing his degree in 2021 and stayed put.

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