The city of Haikou – known to some locally as "Coconut City" – is the capital of China's Hainan province, an island province off the south coast of China. It is home to some two million people, a busy trading port and the Hainan University, and life as an expatriate in Haikou will be busy and vibrant. There is plenty for newly arrived expats in Haikou to see, notably the the Wugong Temple, or 'Five Officials Temple' in English, which is dedicated to a group of five officials banished to the island during the Tang dynasty for being critical of the Chinese government. The beautiful Haikou Shishan Crater Cluster National Geological Park is also worth exploring early on. The city has plenty for urban spirited expats living in Haikou as well, with striking new developments sat alongside traditional Chinese architecture as well as, interestingly, various streets in French and Portuguese styles, built by wealthy travelling Chinese residents on their return from Europe.
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As the capital of an island province, the city has two ports, Haikou Xiuying Port and Haikou New Port. Both take passenger ferries, with the former a popular route for both Chinese nationals and expatriates moving to Haikou from the mainland. The Haikou Meilan International Airport is the other popular entry point to the city, and is well served by flights to mainland China and other south Asian destinations. Expats moving to Haikou can get additional information on expatriation and working abroad on the InterNations website. Our online Expat Magazine is a comprehensive collection of articles on a range of subjects such as cross-cultural communication and living abroad, and we also have a set of articles and other pieces written by InterNations members, who very often have great hints and tips for expats based on their own experiences.
The city's economic life is centered in large part around its two seaports, which together account for over half the island's trade. It is a bustling city, with high standard of living and one of the top 6% Chinese cities for average GDP. The city has a mixed economy with a local airline headquartered in Haikou, a Free Trade Zone and a strong agricultural and livestock industry. There is plenty for an adventurous expat working in Haikou to explore in the city, including a number of urban parks; the Evergreen Park's vast collection of coconut trees gives rise to the city's nickname. Expatriates working in Haikou can also get in touch with the local international community using the forums and private communications on the InterNations website – this is a popular and easy way to find other global minds, organize meet-ups and socialize with other expatriates in Haikou.