The Singing and Dancing Tribe

Hainan Island is famous for Sanya: sun, sand and beach. However, there is much more in Hainan than sun and sand. Hainan is home to the Li people, one of the 56 ethnic minorities of China. Li women have a custom of tattooing their arms and backs after a certain age.

It is believed the Li people has been living on the island some 3,000 years ago, living by the river banks in the mountains. They live in unique thatched-bamboo houses with woven bamboo or rattan floors erected around half a meter above the ground. They are also good at singing and dancing and have a rich heritage of oral literature covering many folklores and legends. On the third day of the third lunar month, it is the most important festival of the Li people, which is also known as “Li’s Valentine Festival”: young men do traditional Li folk dances and men and women sing and chant call-and-response love songs to one another, looking for a partner. Weaving is also a traditional handicrafts of the Li, and it is an intangible heritage.

The Binglang Valley Theme Park is around 28km from Sanya. This Li village showcases traditional accommodation of the Li, their costumes, food, festivals, and singing and dancing shows.

Next time when you visit Sanya, make a day trip to Binglang Valley to meet these friendly Li people.

Hainan Li People

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