Your City Match: Haikou
Population: 2.2 million
Average Wage: $9,692/year
Air Quality Index: 55 (Moderate)
Migrant Percentage: 34.6%
The provincial capital of Hainan, Haikou can be likened to the “Honolulu of China.” The tropical island has invested significantly in the tourism industry and has been the successive host to a key Asia-focused conference, the Boao Forum. In 2017, more than 60 million visitors came to Haikou for its resorts and beaches. The city is also a major export hub, mainly exporting agricultural products and livestock. In early 2018, the central government announced its plan to build a free trade zone in Hainan by 2020, which further bolstered the city’s economy and drove up housing prices significantly.
Despite being on a small island, Haikou has considerable cultural offerings, including the Hainan Provincial Library and Museum, Hainan Center for the Performing Arts, and the Haikou City Stadium. The night life scene involves various bars and KTV that are open into the wee hours of the night, along with street vendors hawking local takes on BBQ meats and tropical fruits.