Although Sanya is in many ways a thriving metropolis, it lacks convenient metro systems commuters have grown to rely on in other cities. Tourists and locals alike quickly realize that mopeds are the best way to get around. When you’re here on holiday, that means finding a place to rent one.
There are two ways to go about getting your hands on one of these efficient beasts. The first is similar to renting shared e-bikes. Meituan, Didi and analogous companies place shared electric bikes in ‘remote’ tourist and hotel areas. The best way to actually find one of these hunks of metal on purpose is by walking in one direction for a few hours until you see a pile in a hedge. A couple of scrapes and bruises after you’ve wrenched it out, just use your Alipay or Wechat to scan the QR code and follow the instructions.
Thankfully, the other way is significantly easier, and you don’t have to walk as far. Some merchants use Meituan to rent out electric bikes in various spots around Sanya. Open WeChat Pay, then open Meituan (or ‘local attractions’ in the English version) and search for 电动车 to find and select from the scooter packages offered. Once your e-bike is booked, you can go to the store location and pick it up or call the company and have it delivered to your door. Toppings cost extra.
When you pick it up, you’ll probably have to provide your ID/passport, verify the payment and drop a RMB200-300 deposit.
To return the moped, take it (and all the parts that fell off) back to the store or call to have someone collect it. The merchant will do a quick inspection and hopefully return the majority of the deposit to you.
Renting an electric bike usually costs around RMB40-60 a day, depending on the battery’s cruising range. The best rentals can travel up to a sweet 150 kilometers on a single charge, with an invigorating maximum speed of about 66 kilometers per hour. Exciting, we know.
Image via Pexels
Before you start pulling on your leather pants and looking up where to buy one of those cool Hells Angels jackets, there’s a few things you need to know:
Most businesses have no restrictions on hiring out mopeds to foreigners, but they might charge a little extra if you pitch up to negotiate in person.
Remember to take ‘before’ pictures of the bike so that when you’re offroading adventures go south you can prove how many of those scratches were definitely not your fault.
Always wear a helmet. Sanya traffic police are numerous and extremely strict about this, and if you get caught, you may have to sell your new jacket to front the fine.
If you’re put off by Chinese navigation apps or wandering in search of hedge mopeds, there’s an even easier solution. We combed the shores of Sanya to find the addresses you need to make your rental-moped holiday a success. Behold:
Free Travel Electric Car Rental (Yalong Bay)
Open daily, 8.30am-10pm. Liupan Village, Yalong Bay. 18789585018. 自由行电动车租赁. 三亚亚龙湾六盘村.
Qile Infinte Electric Car Rental (Dadonghai)
Open daily, 8.00am-7pm. No.46, North Lane 1, Lane 4, Binhai Fishing Village, Dadonghai 18976285411. 18976611433. 琪乐无穷电动车租赁. 大东海南边海渔村四巷北一巷46号(华莱士背后).
Sanya Electric Car Rental (Sanya Bay)
Open daily, 7.30am-11pm. Jinjiling Road 10 Lanhai Garden Phase 1. 19943357456. 13904695399. 三亚电动车租赁. 金鸡岭路10号兰海花园一期.
West Point Gas and Electric Car Rental (Haitang Bay)
Open 24/7. Longhai Road Joint Investment Haitangyun. 15501863399. 西点汽车电动车租赁. 龙海路联投海棠韵.
Angela M. Dekenah is a writer and teacher interested in environmental conservation, creative arts and social issues. Follow her on Instagram @angiedeks.
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[Cover image via Pexels]
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