For cyclists, Bó’áo (博鳌) is a natural stop along the coast. For all travellers, it’s an unpretentious (though rapidly developing) beach town surrounded by pretty countryside. Just to the west are small villages of stone and brick buildings where locals dry rice in the middle of the lanes, and burn incense for their local folk deities in small shrines.
Officially Bó’áo is starting to cover a large area, but the ‘downtown’ blocks, where most travellers both stay and eat, are tiny. The beach is a five-minute walk away.
Avoid visiting during, or the week before, the Bó’áo Forum for Asia (BFA), an annual April meet-up of top-level officials, academics and economists exclusively from the Asia region. The town is pretty much closed off under the scrutiny of high-level security (there are even warships in the harbour).