After some research with Google Earth we planned a trip to Chanjiang County in the west of Hainan. Chanjiang is almost shaped like a wedge that spans from the lowland coastal area to the mountains near the centre of Hainan. The coastal area is home to Qizi Bay (棋子湾 qízǐ wān) and Changhua Town (one of the oldest settlements on Hainan). This area did not offer too much interest and we spent a minimum time exploring here. The real purpose of the trip was to head inland to explore the mountains, caves, and rivers.
It was soon apparent that Chanjiang has rich resources of stone, particularly limestone. This limestone helps form some of its dramatic landscapes. The old west coast railway stops in Chanjiang and trains fill with rock from the huge quarries there. On the way into the mountains there was much evidence of the mining industry. We spotted a conveyor belt several kilometers long, snaking through the trees like a roller coaster. It's destination was a limestone mountain near Qicha township. Half the mountain had already been transported away along the conveyor belt, the grand scale of the mining was awe inspiring. Even with all the mining, Chanjiang was still an beautiful place.
Further inland the scale of the mining diminished and gave way to winding mountain valley roads, minority villages, and banana plantations. One area we particulary wanted to explore was Exian Mountain (俄贤领). Exian is a dramatic limestone mountain ridge the leads down to the Daguangba reservoir (大广坝水库 dàguǎngbà shuǐkù). The road to Wangxia Village has a particularly good view down the ridge to the water (see photos). We found a way to the bottom of the ridge and took out the bikes and kayaks for some exploration. We also found the Emperor Cave (皇帝洞 Huángdì dòng) and Hongshui village (A Li minority village). Hongshui village is being modernised, but still has the greatest number of mud houses I have seen anywhere on Hainan.