Haikou, China

by - May 29, 2018

Our journey to China begins in Haikou, a city in Hainan province. Hainan is a subtropical island south of mainland China. Haikou is characterized by tropical climate, beaches, forests and mountains.

Haikou Arcade Streets 骑楼老街
Movie Town-Haikou 电影公社双街 

To start off the day, Mr Piggy and I went to try a local speciality called Baoluo Fen (抱罗粉). It's a rice noodle that evolved from Hainan Fen (海南粉), which I will talk about a little more later in the post. Baoluo Fen is a thick, translucent noodle with a soft mouthfeel that has a sweet and sour taste and a kick of spiciness. For want of a better word, it has a distinctive smell reminiscent of smelly feet 😱
Beef Brisket Baoluo Fen RMB ¥15
The noodle comes in a light broth with tender beef brisket, pickles and peanuts. 

Beef Baoluo Fen RMB ¥12
This beef (jerky-like) one had a stronger flavour, the toppings were similar with an additional bamboo pickle. Both noodles were on the sweet side for us.

Glutinous Rice Wrapped In Bamboo Leaves (Zongzi) RMB ¥13
Zongzi is eaten widely across China, and most commonly during the Dragon Boat Festival. It can be made into savoury or sweet flavours. Savoury zongzi is the most popular one, pork and salted egg yolk are typically used to fill the inside of the sticky rice ball, the ingredients varies depending on the local people's taste.

Food: 3/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Hygiene: 5/10
Address: 海甸二东路27号炬鑫商住楼一楼

Haikou Arcade Streets (骑楼老街)
The Arcade Streets are a Chinese historical and cultural sight in Haikou. The streets are marked by arcades that used to be post offices, banks, churches and so on. The place was built in the 1940s, where the buildings were influenced by Southeast Asian and European architecture at the time. The streets extend for 4.4 km in length, with about 600 small to big arcades. 

Address: 海口市龙华区水巷口路34号
Website: http://www.qiloulaojie.com/
Fee: Free

Movie Town Haikou (海口电影公社)
Movie Town Haikou is a movie studio with stunning architecture inspired by one of China's most famous directors - Feng Xiaogang. Feng's movies include "Back To 1942", "Tangshan Earthquake" and "If You Are The One". The town recreates scenes from those movies. There are plenty of hot spots for taking the perfect selfie.

Department Store
Traditional Chinese Medicine Shop
Pawn Shop
Herbal Tea Shop
Giant Cake Mould
Fortune Teller

Address: 海口龙华区观澜湖大道1号
Website: http://www.movietownhaikou.com/zh-cn/home.php
Fee: RMB ¥148 (includes 1942 Street and Nanyang Street)

Beef Hainan Fen 牛肉腌粉 (S) RMB ¥12
Pork Hainan Fen 阿公腌粉 (S) RMB ¥8
Both noodles are a variation of Hainan noodles, which is a traditional Hainan snack. The noodles are made with rice and are round in shape, slightly thicker than vermicelli. The two bowls of noodles are quite similar in taste, they were sweet, salty and sour from the pickled bamboo. 

Food: 2/10
Atmosphere: 2/10
Hygiene: 2/10
Address: 海甸岛三东路银谷苑铺面

For dessert we came to a place that serves traditional Cantonese snacks.
Ginger Milk Curd 姜撞奶 RNB ¥10
Ginger milk curd, a.k.a ginger milk pudding (姜撞奶), simply translates to ginger crash milk. It is made with three simple ingredients, ginger juice, milk and sugar. It is milky and creamy with a spicy ginger kick to it, with a soft pudding-like feel.

Milk Bricks 牛奶砖 RMB ¥10

Living up to it's name, these white square shaped milk bricks tasted like just like milk (or milk powder) with a firmer texture than the ginger milk curd.

Food: 3/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Hygiene: 5/10
Address: 蓝天路36号欣怡综合楼A商铺

Hainan is a tropical island, and that makes it a fruit heaven with a wide selection of tropical fruit to choose from. Something that's worth trying if you are planning to visit.

For a review of Hainan Airlines flight from Sydney to Haikou see the video below.

Chengdu is coming up next so stay tuned...

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