Iain Inglis: Hainan TV host and entrepreneur

Iain Inglis: Hainan TV host and entrepreneur

Dates: Oct., 2021        Location: Hainan


The Hainan International Free Trade Port is a great place for people from around the world to visit, live, and work! Today Explore Hainan is introducing Iain Inglis, an entrepreneur currently collaborating with Hainan Satellite Television, where he hosts the weekly travel show ‘Hidden Hainan’. In the show, Iain takes the viewer on an in-depth exploration of Hainan’s fascinating culture, cuisine, villages, and more. You’ll see him learning to make traditional handicrafts such as Miao minority hand-dyed batiks, finding out how to cook local specialty dishes like Salt Baked Chicken, and trying his hand at doing all kinds of activities across the island, including picking tea in Wuzhishan, going out to sea with local fishermen, performing Hainan Opera, and more!


Let's take a look at a clip of a recent episode of the show:

But how did Iain get started with all of that? Originally from the UK, Iain came to Hainan in January 2007 as a Guest services manager at the then Crowne Plaza Hotel in Sanya’s Yalong Bay, and then also at the Hilton Sanya Resort & Spa. He got his big break in the summer of 2010, when he took part in a televised singing competition on Jiangxi Satellite Television and ended up taking fifth place at the national level. 


Soon he found himself traveling around China singing and appearing on a large variety of television programs, stage events, and more, but always returned to his adopted home in Hainan, where he is now working with several Hainan Television Channels, a cruise ship company, and other clients.


Filming in Hainan

In his time living and working in Hainan, Iain has been able to travel to more parts of the island than most other expats, and even more than most other born and bred Hainan locals! He has found many places to love, but his favorite is a tiny village high up in the mountains of Changjiang, a county located on the west side of Hainan. The tropical environment in the village, which is about an hour’s drive away from the nearest town, was superb and unspoiled, and he found the local culture of the Li people who live there to be fascinating. 


A Li woman weaving brocade using a traditional foot loom

Hainan is a foodie paradise, with seafood fresh from the miles of surrounding ocean, juicy tropical fruits, and traditional cooking methods passed down through the ages. Iain’s tried nearly all of Hainan’s amazing food, so we asked him to tell us a bit about what he’s discovered. “Hainan’s typical cuisine is light in flavour, although watch out for the super-spicy condiment made from Hainan yellow lantern chilis. The flavours tend to be natural and simple, with many vegetables and fruits featuring on the Hainan dinner table. Hainan’s rice dumplings (粽子) and its coconut-filled sticky rice dumplings (薏粑) are among my weaknesses.” There you have it! The dumplings are to die for! 


Hainan coconut-filled sticky rice dumplings ( 薏粑 )


Hainan rice dumplings ( 粽子 )

While we had him, we also asked Iain to give some tips for first-time Hainan visitors. “Be careful, as you might well fall in love with the place and end up staying. Failing that, you are at risk of putting on weight after you become hooked on the food. Above all, bring plenty of sun-tan lotion. After all, Hainan does have: All the sun, all the fun!” Good advice from a well-seasoned Hainan hand! 


Interested in getting to know Iain and Hainan better? Watch each week' s episode of "Hidden Hainan" on Hainan TV.

by Nicki Johnson


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Copyright Department of Tourism, Culture, Radio, Television and Sports of Hainan Province