The Wanquan River puts on new looks,
Its wide water enhances pure evening breeze.
Elites from all over the world gather here,
Boao becomes a more agreeable place.
--- JIANG Zemin (2001)
A rarely-known small fishing village over a decade ago has now become a grand platform for discussing Asia's development.
--- LI Keqiang (2012)
Boao Town (19.51° N, 110.30° E), located in the east of Qionghai City, Hainan Province, is the permanent venue for BFA conference.
Boao Town borders on Wanning City on the south and is about 18 kilometers east of Jiaji Town, Qionghai County Seat. It is about 134 kilometers from Haikou City and 217 kilometers from Sanya City. The Wanquan River, Jiuqu River, and Longgun River converge here and then rush to the South China Sea. At the convergence site, three isles, Dongyu Isle, Shapo Isle, and Yuanyang Isle, face each other across the water.
Boao is a semi-fishing and semi-farming town with rivers, lakes, sea, mountains, and isles. It also boasts farms, strange stones, hot springs, coconut trees, sandy beaches, and sea water. With rivers running into the sea, its natural landscape demonstrates the nearly perfect ecological protection.
Boao Town is subject to a tropical monsoon climate with barely noticeable change between four seasons but distinctive difference between dry and rainy seasons. It enjoys mild weather, sufficient sunshine, and plentiful of rainfall, with an annual average temperature of 24.1 degrees Celsius, an annual average sunshine length of 2,155h, an annual rainfall of 307mm, and a many-year average wind speed of 2.1 - 4M/S. The town has a dominant north wind in winter and spring and a dominant southerly wind in summer and autumn. April is its most pleasant month, with a temperature ranging between 23 and 30 degrees Celsius and averaging 27 degrees Celsius.
Its name, Boao, originated from the records of Hainan Annals in Zheng De Period by Tang Weizhou in the sixth year during the reign of Zheng De in the Ming Dynasty, which identified "fishing residents" as the earliest inhabitants of Boao. According to the CiHai, an unabridged dictionary, Boao means "abundant fish and fat fish" which also means the source of ample clothing and food for fishing residents, a connotation serving well its identity as BFA site.
Boao was already home to fishing residents in the Song Dynasty. In the early Ming Dynasty, it was called Boaopu Township, and at the end of the Ming Dynasty, Boao Township, a settlement for fishing residents. Such institution was maintained in the Qing Dynasty and until 1929 (the 18th year of the Republic of China). In 1930, Boao Township was annulled and Boao was put under the jurisdiction of Shoushan Town, Lehui County (renamed Fucheng Town in the 36th year of the Republic of China). In July 1950, Boao was under the jurisdiction of Huixian County Second District (Lecheng). In June 1955, Boao Township was set up and put under the jurisdiction of Lecheng District. In October 1958, Boao Township was annulled and put under the jurisdiction of Chaoyang Commune. On December 1, 1958, Lehui and Qiongdong counties were combined into Qionghai County. In March 1961, Boao Commune was separated from Chaoyang Commune. In September 1983, it was renamed Boao District and had jurisdiction over six townships, including Boao, Donghai, Dongyu, Tianyong, Zhulian, and Chaolie. In 1987, Boao District was transformed into Boao Town and its six subordinate townships into six administrative villages. In March 2002, Boao Town was set up by merging four administrative villages of Jiuqujiang Township, Beishan, Bei'an, Shamei, and Peilan, into Chaoyang Township and Boao Town. The township government seat was the former Boao Town, with its population increased to 23,270. Boao Town is under the administrative jurisdiction of Qionghai City and the government seat is Donghai Village.
Based on its unique landscape, local culture, and healthy ecology, Boao aims to build itself into a world-class conference center and a tourist holiday-spending resort with distinctive characteristics. According to BFA development demand, Boao will plan and perfect the service and supporting functions of its international conference center to provide all guests and celebrities with all-inclusive holiday-spending services. On April 29, 2003, the Sofitel Hotel on BoaoDongyu Isle opened for business, providing BFA with a new high-end conference venue. In July 2011, the hotel was renamed BFA Grand Hotel.
The Yudai Beach of Boao Town is an 8.5-kilometer-long natural beach peninsula. With the boundless South China Sea on one side and the tranquil mirror-like Wanquan River on the other, it separates sea water from river water. Such landform of the peninsula bears a strong resemblance to Miami of the US, Cancun of Mexico, and Gold Coast of Australia, making it the only of its kind in Asia. In June 1999, the northern part of the Yudai Beach was recognized by International Guinness Headquarters as a Guinness Record Holder, "the narrowest beach peninsula separating sea from river."
Located in eastern coastal area of Hainan Island, Boao abounds in marine and river products and tropical fruits. Among the famous Hainan snacks worth tasting are the Jiaji Duck, the delicious coconut salt, the appetizing and blood-enriching Paederia seed cake, and the white and fragrant Qiongzhou coconut soup. In addition, many other seemingly simple dishes will surely surprise your taste, including the pig's leg, fried sliced duck, hot spring goose, melon soup, white cake, and chilli orange.
With a time-honored history, a beautiful environment, a pleasant climate, a unique landform, rich natural products, and convenient transport, Boao will prove to be a living Eden bestowed on human by Mother Nature and a paradise for harmonious coexistence between man and nature.