The encrusted lava burst out in Leiqiong Area at an unidentified ancient time when the land trembled dramatically under the sky blanketed by the licking flames…After numerous crust movements of the Earth which resulted in the drastic geologic changes, a beautiful scenery has taken shape – that is Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark.
Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark, also known as Leiqiong Global Geopark, Haikou Crater Park, or Hainan Crater Park, is located at the two flanks of Qiongzhou Strait, approximately 15 km west of Haikou, the capital of Hainan. The geopark is considered topmost among the Quaternary volcanic belts of China, and one of the few dormant volcanoes in the country shaped since Holocene, some 15,000 years ago. It is also the only ancient volcanic cluster in China that stands at the outskirts of a provincial capital. The park was listed as Global Geologic Park by UNESCO in 2006.
Covering an area of 108 square kilometers, Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark spread in two towns – Shishan Town and Yongxing Town. The geopark possesses more than 40 quaternary volcanoes, covering almost every type of eruptions from Basaltic Rock to Steam Rock. And there are over 30 lava tunnels inside, with the longest one stretching over 2,000 meters. Rich in diversified, typical and systematic volcanic landscapes and lava structures, Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark wins the reputation as the “Natural Museum of the Basaltic Volcanoes of the Quaternary Period”.
The main scenic spots of the Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark include Ma’anling Crater Scenic Area、Shuangchiling Maar Volcano, Luojingpan Maar Volcano, and so on.
Ma’anling Crater Scenic Area is the major part of Haikou Volcanic Cluster Global Geopark. It consists of four volcanoes: Mount Fengluling, Mount Baoziling, and two little volcanic mountains called Yanjingling as they look like a pair of glasses. Ma’anling, which has been complimented as the “perfect dormant volcano family”, is one of the best preserved dormant volcanoes in the world. The Ma’anling Crater is the highest peak of Leiqiong Geopark. It is 222.8 meters above sea level, 90 meters in depth, and 130 meters in inner diameter.
Shuangchiling Maar Volcano is the smallest Maar volcano among the Haikou volcanic clusters. It consists of two volcanoes, the East and West ridge which are 93 meters and 105 meters in height respectively, with a inner diameter of 130－300 meters and 15 meters in depth.
With an inner diameter of 1,000 meters, Luojingpan Maar Volcano has a round and flat crater surrounded by radial and multi-layered pastoral scenery.
Yet time flies fast. The flowing lava and blackened sky are now just an imagination silhouetted by the tourists in their minds when walking along the lanes towered by trees. Without the suffocating heat sprawling from the thundering eruption, the surroundings of the park, dotted with the ancient tropical trees including banyans, lychee trees, pear blossom trees, Syzygium cumini, olive and palm trees, is now more like a cooling house, sheltering the tourists under its dense greenery.
Because of the subsequent ecological chain stemmed from the volcanic eruption, the Mt. Ma’an is encircled with many villages, which will offer you a unique countryside scene and a glimpse into country life and culture. For thousands of years, the villagers have created marvelous cultures from volcanic rocks.
There is a restaurant in the park which offers authentic local dishes and also provides Li & Miao minority folk performances during meal times.