PHOTOS: Fairy Fountain Waterfall in Wanning Mountains

By David Janke, July 5, 2021

0 0

If your senses ever get full of the invitingly quaint yet appropriately hipster delights of Riyue Bay, a short drive or ride up into the mountains will bring you to Xiannu Tan, a bijou and easy-to-reach waterfall pool recently designated as an official tourism site.

As you approach Xiannu Tan (仙女潭), which literally translated means ‘Fairy Pool’, a typical Hainanese tropical vista treats your eyes. You will wonder what awaits as you wind up the mountain road.


Having been there on three occasions now, I can say two things. Firstly, the fairies are either invisible or have been driven away by the modern world (I stand with the latter theory). While that is regrettable, going out of the way to get to this pool three times now proves it is worth a visit.

The waterfall is not particularly high, but it is quite ferocious. Standing under it, which is perfectly possible and recommended, can be likened to the force applied through traditional Chinese massages. Below the drop lies a generously proportioned pool, brimming with icy, crystalline water, and garnished with leaves from overhanging trees.


As the water runs off the mountains, the water level can vary. On my first and second visits during the relatively dry period of Hainan’s winter, the level was low enough to provide plenty of exposed rock on which to bask and relax with a beer or water, depending upon if you’re the designated driver or not. The low level also revealed a shallow cave into which the braver of us might like to venture.


On my most recent visit, it had been raining heavily the preceding day, and so with the higher water level, the cave and rocks were more or less submerged. The water level or the rains seemed to have instilled some local youths with the confidence to slide down or jump off the waterfall into the frigid depths. Admittedly, this is not an activity I would recommend, but after a few hours of observation, the youths in question all seemed to be uninjured.


The path of the river that supplies the waterfall extends quite a way behind it. It’s quite a fun experience climbing and rock hopping, but do bring some ‘sensible’ shoes if you intend to explore that area.


The whole area is well-maintained. From what I saw, locals and tourists alike were mindful to take their trash with them as they left. There is ample parking overlooking the waterfall, and a roadside stall across the road selling coconuts alongside a whole host of other refreshments. There are no changing facilities, so best to bring a big towel with you or simply ride back to Riyue Bay wet!

The most convenient way to reach Xiannu Tan is from Riyue Bay via X187, taking a left turn onto X228. For those who want truly unparalleled views to accompany their journey, consider a day trip to Xinglong first to get some local coffee, then set your GPS to 仙女潭瀑布 (Xiannu Tan Waterfall). You won’t regret it.

READ MORE: 3 Inner Hainan Escapes: Rainforests, Waterfalls, Canyons and More

Based in Qionghai, David is new to Hainan, having spent the past 13 years adrift on the Chinese mainland and in Hong Kong. He arrived back in 2007 to study Chinese Language and Literature at Nanjing University. After graduation, he ended up in Hong Kong, then Shanghai, working as an educator and on/off translator for nine years. He can’t wait to meet more people and make Hainan his home.

Would you like to promote your business, organization or product? Contact Vanessa Jencks via email at and on WeChat by scanning the QR code below:


[Images by David Janke/That's]

Follow That’s Sanya 

Stay up to date on all things Sanya. Find us on FacebookInstagram and WeChat (Search for SanyaPlus) or scan the QR code below. Click ‘follow’ to get daily info about Sanya – from hotels and holiday options, beaches to mountains, restaurants to nightlife, fitness to spas – as well as talking to the diverse people who make Sanya the destination it is.


more news

Top 10 To Do In Sanya This Week: Wakesurfing, Parties & More

There's a lot of fun going on this weekend.

New Dolphin Location Brings and End to an Era in Sanya

If you’ve ever had a conversation about where is a must-see, must-do or must-eat for Sanya, no doubt you’ve heard of Dolphin.

Top 10 Things To Do In Sanya This Weekend: Hot Air Balloons & More

Though we don't get changing leaves, we too can enjoy the chilly air and fun of fall.

PHOTOS: 10 of Our Favorite Areas to Run in Sanya

Pick one of these places to get the best run.

14 Chill Sanya Events for a Cool Weekend

Chill out this weekend before the work week starts back up again.

Three Thai Ladies and Sanya’s Fave Homestyle Food at Dolphin

If your food plans fall through, you’re bound to end up at Dolphin Sports Bar & Grill in Sanya.

27 Sanya Halloween Events & More

Get out and have some spooky fun!

0 User Comments

In Case You Missed It…

We're on WeChat!

Scan our QR Code at right or follow us at ThatsSanya for events, guides, giveaways and much more!

7 Days in Sanya With

Weekly updates to your email inbox every Wednesday


Download previous issues

Never miss an issue of That's Sanya!

Visit the archives