Hainan’s next surfing paradise - Tianxin Village

By Lin Jianing / HICN / Updated: 17:37,11-June-2021

Tianxin Village, a village just a few hundred meters away from Riyue Bay, Wanning, has been transformed by surfing.

In 2010, the first Wanning International Surfing Competition was held in Riyue Bay. That event however, which later established Riyue Bay as a "surfing destination", didn't cause any ripples in Tianxin Village at the time. 

"People thought it was merely an ordinary competition and didn’t realize the potential impact," said Chen Zhenguo, the Party Branch Secretary of Tianxin Village.

(Photo by Hinews.cn)

In the past, people in Tianxin Village mainly grew rice and cash crops for their living, in contrast with the continuous development of surfing in Riyue Bay, where local young people are trying their hand at surfing and making a career out of it. Some villagers have also started small businesses during their free time to make some money from tourism.

Until 2020, Tianxin Village was no different from any other ordinary village in Hainan. This year, as the troubles caused by the Covid-19 epidemic gradually faded, the surfing industry in Riyue Bay experienced a development boom. 

As one of the few villages equipped with relatively complete surfing facilities in the Bay, Tianxin Village has now become a new surfing paradise for surfers from all over the province. Surfers and capital flowed into the small village, and surf clubs and guesthouses sprouted up like mushrooms. Along with these upgrades, a “revolution” also happened in the population structure, industrial structure, and ideology of Tianxin Village.

(Photo by Hinews.cn)

Sensing the development opportunity, investors rushed into the village and scrambled to open businesses there. They sought cooperation opportunities to open guesthouses in the village, as the amount of surfers staying there was soaring. At present, 68 guesthouses have opened, and the number of surf clubs has grown from one or two at the beginning of the year to more than a dozen currently. Shops, restaurants, coffee shops, and other facilities tailored to surfers have also popped up in the village.

Now, local surfers as well as those from all over the world gather in Tianxin Village, adopting it as their second “hometown”. No matter where they come from, they all seem to enjoy having a bowl of Hainan rice noodle soup every morning and heading out to Riyue Bay to surf. It’s hard to believe that not so long ago, no one in the village used to pay surfing any attention at all! 

(Photo by Hinews.cn)

However, as the villagers enjoy the profits of rapid development, Huang Wen, a local resident who has worked in the surfing industry for over ten years, foresees a worrying future. 

"The reputation of the village is growing, but the restaurants, accommodations, and other conditions here are not advanced enough to keep up with the growing numbers of surfers, which might cause a loss of customers in the future," he explained.

Huang believes that it is essential for Tianxin Village to take the initiative to upgrade its supporting services. He is looking forward to developing a surfing “utopia” which not only integrates the lodging, dining, entertainment, and culture industries so as to cover the needs of ordinary travelers, but also provides surfing training, competitions, and other services that cater to industry needs.

(Photo by Hinews.cn)

That was exactly what the local officials were thinking. Recently, a document planning a well-designed surfing town was completed and published. According to the document, Tianxin Village lies at the core area of the whole development. More agricultural entertainment facilities, themed sports halls, and competitive venues will be set up there.

Ji Hao, the vice-mayor of Wanning, said that the city sees the surfing town as an important platform to promote the surfing industry. Wanning plans to bring in event operators, training institutions, and examination institutions to expand the upstream and downstream industry chain. Meanwhile, hotels, entertainment services, shopping, and other supporting industry formats will be situated in the area as well.



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