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12 Dishes That Should Convince You To Book A Flight To Hainan

Fact: Holidays are an excuse to eat everything and anything on offer.

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1. Start off your day with some fresh fruit...

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Hainan is the perfect destination for any traveller looking to get their five-a-day, thanks to its abundance of fresh fruit. The island grows its own pineapples!

2. ...or a fruit smoothie.

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The dragon fruit smoothies alone are worth the travel time.

3. Before moving on to devouring some breakfast noodles. Yes, BREAKFAST NOODLES.

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Breakfast noodles are a pretty ubiquitous breakfast dish in regional Chinese cultures, and Hainan is no different. While the contents change from place to place, the dish is usually topped with roasted peanuts and a bamboo stick.

4. For lunch, why not share some Wenchang chicken in the city of its origin...

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This dish is the hometown speciality of the Wencheng city area in the north-east of Hainan.

5. ...or have a whole dish of Hainanese chicken rice to yourself.

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This dish, made of Wenchang chicken, has reached cult status in Hainan and beyond. A simple dish, the rice has been cooked with the juices of the chicken, and it comes with a cool dipping sauce and chillies.

6. You might as well try some Hainanese yellow lantern chilli sauce while you're at it.

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Yellow lantern chillies (also known as emperor chillies) are considered to be one of the *hottest* chillies in the world. Restaurants often provide a bottle of the sauce with meals, so, if you're brave enough, you can give it a go.

7. Seafood lovers would be silly not to order a dish of Hele crab.

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Originating from Hele near Wanning, this dish more often than not comes steamed with ginger and vinegar. The meat of the crab should have a distinctive yellow colour and a slightly oily texture. Get cracking!

8. Fancy a mid-afternoon snack? Go on a hunt for some Hainanese udon noodle soup...

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Satisfy the rumblies in your tummy with this popular and versatile dish. While the signature fat and chewy wheat noodles are the base of this dish, you can pretty much freestyle with the other elements.

9. ...or a sharing-sized "hot pot" dish.

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This dish is made for sharing, so gather the troops and tuck in. Your hot pot will arrive bubbling with the meat still cooking. In the meantime, you can get creative and mix in other elements like vegetables, noodles, and spices before ladling out your own individual portion. The choice of add-in options is endless, but, thanks to Hainan's island location, seafood is a popular addition.

10. Broaden your horizons by trying something unusual, like sea urchin.

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While you might not want to step on a sea urchin, you'll definitely want to try this local delicacy, which is filled with scrambled eggs.

11. But if you're feeling homesick, order a plate of Hainanese roast pork.

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It's not just the British who love a good roast. Much like ours back home, this one is served with a bit of veg, a savoury sauce, and potatoes.

12. But before you leave, make sure you try a chicken chop dish.

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This Hainanese version of fried chicken with gravy is popular not just on the island itself but also in Singapore and Malaysia. If you've eaten enough Wenchang chicken already, then order the pork version.

No matter what you try while you're in Hainan, rest assured it'll be damn tasty.

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