When people think of Hainan they mostly think about the Sanya beaches, probably the closest you can get in China to a good beach, but if – like me – you’d like to try and see a bit more than that, then there is the occasional historical site. the Hai Rui Tomb is one such example, in the capital city of Haikou.
Definitely not what I would call a must attraction, but it’s a nice little place with a pagoda or two in a rather boring city for a tourist. Dating back to 16th century, it is in memory of Hai Rui, a just and uncorrupted official.
Travel China Guide writes :
Tomb of Hai Rui is situated in the western outskirts of Haikou City, 5 kilometers (3.1 miles) from the civic center. It represents people’s esteem towards Hai Rui, an upright and uncorrupted official. It was originally built in 1589 during the Ming Dynasty (1368 -1644), and some of the constructions in the tomb garden remain intact. With an area of over 4,000 square meters (4784 square yards), the layout was designed according to the level of the official titles at that time. Today it is rated as the Key Cultural Relic Preservation of Hainan Province.
Hai Rui (1514 – 1587), born in Hainan Province, was an official in the Ming Dynasty. He is famed as a statesman for his honesty and performance of his duty as well as his clean life. After his death, people chose the location in obedience to his spirit from ‘heaven’.
His integrity also gained people’s recognition. When he worked for the court, he was needy and could not pay for servants. He wrote articles or inscriptions for others in order to earn money. This was quite uncommon because in Chinese feudal society, most officials had servants and lived a rich life. After his death when people helped clear up his mementoes, they were surprised to find only eight taels of silver and a few clothes.
The pagodas make for some neat photos…
The whole complex is quite pleasant…
But, not many visitors. The only other visitor there was…
If you’re bored in Haikou, this is a way to burn half an hour.