The unique decaying architecture of the old centre of Haikou is a mix European and Asian style. It was built by returning overseas Chinese. The area roughly expands from the bridge at the end of Renmin Dadao (人民大道) to East Lake (Dong Hu, 东湖). Explore the area and hutong alleys and you will get a taste of real traditional Haikou life. There are many small shops and real life community temples hidden in the back alleys.
There is an interesting food market street at Dong Men (East gate, 东门). This market street can be found on Boai Lu (博爱路). Expect to see a vast array of dried seafood, fake antiques, and many animals from Cobra snakes to turtles on sale for food.
Walk: 15 minutes. Head south down Renmin Dadao, cross over the bridge and the road into the old section.
Bus: Catch either 20, 26, 30, or 5 from opposite side of the road, outside the hostel. Get off at the Bell Tower (zhong lou 钟楼), then go across the street.
Bicycle: A good way to explore the area because you can easily cover a lot of ground, stopping and turning as you please. 10 minutes by bike to get to old section.
骑 楼建筑最早见于2000多年前的古希腊，近代才流行于南欧及地中海一带，并传至东南亚。海口得胜沙路、文明东路、中山路、博爱路、解放路，两侧都是一幢幢 始建于十九世纪末的南洋风格柱廊式骑楼。编号 011的"海口市骑楼街(区)"最早建于1849年，具有浓郁的欧亚混交化特征，至今还发挥着情感价值。