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Monthly Archives: November 2016

The Best Beaches in Phuket

Patong Beach

Patong, located on the west coast, is synonymous with everything Phuket stands for―and we’re talking both, carnal and surreal. The area is abuzz with the ‘mai pen rai’ or ‘take it easy’ attitude, for when you’re in Patong, everything, and we mean everything, is easy to get. From a Pad Thai breakfast off the street, to a Thai cabaret show to round off the night, nothing is impossible when you’re here.
But amidst the neon lights, the souvenir shops, the sleazy ladyboy bars lies Patong’s super-popular beach. Stretching 3 km, the beach holds quite a reputation for its nightlife. Which doesn’t mean that families refrain from coming here. There are endless activities to indulge in, including jet-skiing, parasailing, swimming, or simply lazing on those inviting lounge chairs―you may even get a Thai massage, if you please.

If the main beach in Patong is too overwhelming for you, head to Freedom Beach, a white sand haven dotted with granite rocks and surrounded by hills covered by thick cover of green. The beach can only be accessed by boat, which means, you’ll find relatively fewer crowds here. On the agenda here is soccer, volleyball, snorkeling, and sunbathing; all of which you indulge in complete peace and quiet.

Paradise Beach is another gem in the vicinity of Patong, which stands true to its name. The beach itself is tiny and rocky, with the clearest waters that are perfect for a spot of snorkeling. You can hire a boat from Patong to get here, provided the tides aren’t too choppy. People take the effort to sail down here to simply view the gorgeous corals, and spend a relaxed day here―mind you, there aren’t any vendors here. Yay!

Surin Beach

Surin Beach, again, is on the west coat of Phuket, and is around 15 km away from Patong. The beach is small, but makes up in terms of scenic beauty. Like other beaches, Surin is commercialized as well―you’ll find endless rows of loungers here. The atmosphere, though, is much less charged, which is a pleasant change indeed.
The tiny resort town of Surin also goes by the name of Millionaire’s Row, owing to the many famous names that come here to vacation and/or own some spanking, sea-facing property here. You’ll find some excellent grub for cheap over here, along with some high-end restaurants as well, and you can particularly enjoy a leisurely dinner here, as you watch the sun go down―truly, one of life’s greatest pleasures.

Surin is not exactly a place for those into water sports. The sea here is a little too rocky for novice surfers, and you’ll hardly find any speedboats over here. Kayaking is one activity which does find some takers, with excursions going to the Laem Singh Beach which is close by.

Karon Beach

Karon Beach is favored by families, and you won’t spot a lot of the singles crowd here. It’s across the street from Hilton Phuket, so many of the hotel’s guest often do the hop-skip-and-jump to get here. The beach is long and clean, and more importantly, not as crowded, which makes it perfect for long walks. If you’re looking for a spot of isolation, head to the northern end of the beach, which tends to be practically deserted all the time. The nighttime markets are also a great place for some unusual finds and souvenirs to take home.

Water sports operators make their vociferous presence felt at all times on Karon. So, from parasailing and jet skiing to windsurfing and wakeboarding, you’ll find plenty of exciting options here. The beach is a great spot for snorkeling as well. A favorite way to pass the evening here, according to the locals, is to play a game of volleyball, and everyone is invited to play or watch.

Karon Beach suffered a lot of damage in the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, but has made quite a recovery ever since, and is now one of the most remarkable beaches in Phuket.

Kata Beach

Kata Beach is located further south from Karon, and is a gem of a spot in the shape of a cove. The street that lines the beach is lined with trees―a refreshing splash of green in searing hot Phuket. It has all the beach essentials―loungers under humongous umbrellas, water sports like surfing, parasailing, and jet skiing. You’ll also find the beach staple of food carts and shacks selling some delicious Thai food here.
With all the white sand and turquoise water loveliness around you, it’s really hard to be wanting anything more. But even so, snorkeling is one activity that must be enjoyed here on Kata Beach, for the water is perfectly clear, shallow, and warm. Windsurfers and Hobie Cats can be rented by the hour. The southern end of the beach is predominantly a surfer’s zone. It doesn’t matter if you’re a beginner, the waves here are not as fierce, and you can even avail surfing lessons.

Kamala Beach

An erstwhile fishing village, Kamala has undergone a complete facelift in recent years. A stone’s throw away from Padong, Kamala Beach is the antithesis of its more famous neighbor. So, if you’re coming here (and you should), expect a more laid back scene, with families and couples having a relaxed day on the beach. Also, you won’t be too hassled by vendors when you’re here, which in Phuket, is a major plus.

The relative solitude here at Kamala Beach is a treasured quality for the locals, mostly comprising retirees and long-term holiday makers. As far as activities are concerned, this beach is quite good for scuba diving, although you need to get in touch with any of the local schools here to arrange a trip for you. Surfers usually head to the northern end of the beach which has beach break with stable sandbanks, owing to the presence of reefs. Besides, you’ll also find the seaside regulars like parasailing and jet skiing.

A bit about the overall beach-scene in Phuket
Being an island, you’re never too far away from a beach when you’re in Phuket. But yes, we all have our reasons for coming here, so you need to chalk out a purpose before you hit the beach.
Padong, by a long shot is the clear winner if you’re looking for action and excitement, be it water sports or nightlife.
There are calmer spots in Phuket too, like the Freedom Beach or Paradise, depending upon your activity of choice.
Most beaches on the island are accessible by car or motorbike. You may have to even take a ferry to reach a few beaches.

The Dangers of Water

Fraser Island, Australia

Fraser Island is situated along the Southern coast of Queensland, Australia. Its length is about 150 kilometers and width is about 30 kilometers. This island is known to be the largest sand island in the world. It is also largest island of

Queensland and sixth largest island of Australia.

While the scene and waters surrounding Fraser Island looks beautiful, it is strictly a prohibited zone, as the seas are home to loads of jellyfish and sharks. The water also carries strong rip currents. The island is home to a few world’s deadliest spiders and crocodiles. There are also dingoes seen, which are known to attack humans at times.

Bikini Atoll, Marshall Islands

Bikini Atoll inhabits a large number of marine creatures, and it’s known to be a great place for divers. However, the place is dangerous due to sharks and radiation levels in the area. Around 1944s to 1960s, it was also a testing ground for nuclear weapons. Between 1946 and 1958, around 25 nuclear devices were exploded by the United States at seven test sites situated on the reef, inside the atoll, in the air, or underwater. This is why, the island is polluted with radiation. The place has been declared to be a safe zone now.

Kilauea, Hawaii, U.S.

Kilauea is a town which is located on the Northeastern shore of Kauai. Kauai is one of the eight islands of Hawaii. Hawaii is well-known for its beautiful beaches, rolling waves, and pleasant weather. However, there are also dangers associated with it. The place has many number of active volcanoes. Mount Kilauea is mostly popular for its active volcanoes. The beach is dangerous since it’s located close to active volcanoes.

Playa Zipolite Beach, Mexico

This beach is situated in San Pedro Pochutla municipality on the Southern coast of Oaxaca state in Mexico. It is well-known for being one of Mexico’s few nude beaches and for maintaining its hippie culture. It became famous in the 1960s and 1970s. The water of this beach looks gorgeous due to its crystal clear appearance and brilliant white sands in Southern Mexico. It is also known for its deadly water currents and for taking lives of many people every year. Some of them who have died were pulled into deep sea and returned to the beach by the water in a circular pattern back. Some others were lost in the sea. It is recommended to stay away from the waters and enjoy the beach without swimming or surfing.

New Smyrna Beach, Florida, U.S.

The beach is a city in Volusia County, Florida, United States. The area offers many facilities for outdoor recreation like fishing, sailing, motor-boating, hiking and others. Visitors enjoy their vacation by swimming, scuba diving, surfing and others. This beach is also a well-known spot for shark attacks. The kinds of sharks which dwell there are black-tip reef sharks and bull sharks. There are more than 260 shark attacks on record for New Smyrna Beach, which is the highest number of attacks than in any other beach. However, the attacks are mostly minor and rarely fatal. The waters also have unpredictable and deadly rip currents. It is recommended to stay in the beach rather than going for swimming or surfing to avoid danger.

Victoria Falls, Zambia

The Victoria Falls in the Zambia is a spectacular sight for its beauty, but is one of the most dangerous places in the world. There is a natural pool called Devil’s Pool near the edge of the falls. The pool is a great spot for swimmers, but dangerous too. Occasional deaths have taken place when people had slipped over the rock barrier. The huge cliff over which the falls move rapidly, changes the calm water to a violent stream cutting through many gorges. Guides are available there to supervise and make sure you don’t move over the edge.

Belle Fourche River, Wyoming, U.S.

The Belle Fourche River is a tributary of the Cheyenne River, in the U.S. states of Wyoming and South Dakota. The river runs 290 miles from Gillette, Wyoming, and moves eastward to the Cheyenne River in Western South Dakota. This river is not poisonous or radioactive. However, it is turbulent in one particular area. As several deaths have taken place in the area, authorities near the river’s dam want the area closed to public. Many other fatal incidents have occurred over the years because of the unpredictable water currents that prevail in the area.

Lake Kivu, Rwanda

Lake Kivu is one of the great lakes in Africa. It is located on the border between the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Rwanda. The lake inhabits loads of fish, which are an important food and income source for the residents. However, deep below the waters, a gas containing carbon dioxide and methane lurks. It is very dangerous, as it can cause a sudden outburst of methane into the atmosphere. Evidences show that the lake had sudden releases of gas in the past. Scientists say that the lake could become deadly in the future.

Hanakapiai Beach, Kauai, Hawaii, U.S.

This beach in the Hawaiian islands is a well-known tourist attraction. It is located on Kauai’s Nāpali Coast. Its sandy shore line is well visible during the summers, while during winters, powerful giant waves and high tides sweep away the sandy shore line. This beach has no road access and is remotely located.
The beach is dangerous for its strong rip currents. The coast is especially unpredictable because there are no reefs to block the water currents. The spot is known to have taken the lives of many beach visitors.
There is a wooden sign near the beach, which welcomes visitors to the beach and cautioning not to swim, for the strong water currents have killed people. You can enjoy the beauty of the beach, but do not ever go for swimming, surfing or bathing.

River Nile, Egypt

The Nile river is the most famous river in Egypt. It is the longest river in the world. It is located in Northeastern Africa. It is also one of the most dangerous water bodies in the world. It is home to over 600,000 of Nile crocodiles, which are regarded as the most dangerous of the crocodile family. They kill hundreds of people every year in Saharan Africa. Others organisms like flatworm, spiders, snakes and mosquitoes also dwell in the river’s habitat.

Recife, Brazil

More than 100 shark attacks and 30 fatalities have occurred since 1931. Most of these attacks were in Brazil. It took place in a town called Recife, which has a beach, well-known for shark attacks. It was bustling with swimmers and surfers, but that is not the case today. Today, the place is known to be one of the top 10 shark-infested places in the world according to the International Shark Attack File. There are also signs along the edge of the beach, which tell about the dangers of swimming.

Bolinas Beach, California, U.S.

This beach is well-known for its fine rolling waves. The water is ideal for every type of surfing or paddle-boarding and swimming. However, it is also a spot for the giant white sharks.

East Coast Beaches for Family

Sandbridge Beach, Virginia
Virginia holds some of the most beautiful clear water beaches, which are suitable for family getaways. Among them, Sandbridge Beach is frequently visited by many tourists. The seashore is covered by rich golden sand, blanketed by sea oats. Beautiful beach houses and cottages make for a good and a comfortable stay for families who want to visit Sandbridge Beach. The area around the Sandbridge Beach offers some interesting shops, giving you a chance to indulge into some shopping. Arrangement of certain activities such as kayaking, surfing and dolphin tours keep the tourists engrossed into their vacation. After plunging into the activities of your choice, you can enjoy a nice sunset dinner at the beach with your family.

Maryland Beaches
Ocean City is a popular beach here. It is heavily packed by many tourists and has many amazing activities to offer to its tourists. Due to its good climatic conditions, people around the world love chilling at the Ocean City Beach of Maryland. It is one of the most crowded beaches, and the seashore has soft light brown sand accompanied by crystal clear water. Being one of the commercialized beaches, Ocean City has a number of hotels and restaurants that provide all sorts of accommodation, as per the requirement of the family. Occasionally, Ocean City arranges for live concerts and many more amusing activities that people take pleasure in participating.

Sandy Hook Beach, New Jersey
Sandy Hook beach stretches up to 6 miles and is located towards the eastern coast of New Jersey. Throughout the year, Sandy Hook Beach plays host to many families, couples and youngsters who visit the beach for recreational purposes. The beach is equipped with life guards for the protection of the visitors, rest rooms and little shacks that provide excellent food for its visitors. The nearby accommodations available around the Sandy Hook Beach are Sandy Hook Cottage, Seascape Manor, Grand Lady and Nauvoo. Restaurants such as Sea Gulls’ Nest Deck, Landmark Bahr’s Landing, Something Fishy and Moby’s are great options for dining purposes.

Sea Island, Georgia
Sea Island is more calm, quiet and a little isolated from the city life. These reasons pull many people to visit the Sea Island beach in Georgia. It has some great spas and also has a variety of activities in store for its visitors. While the women rejuvenate themselves in spas, children and men can engross themselves in different activities such as tennis and horse riding. Cloister is among the well-known resorts of Sea Island that offers luxurious suites and can comfortably accommodate families. If you want to wake up to the early morning sea, then this beach has beautiful beach cottages in store for you. Summers is the best time to visit the Sea Island beach.

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina
Located in South Carolina, Myrtle Beach has a many motels, resorts, condos and beach houses where families can settle in. Children enjoy spending time at the water and amusement parks set up at Myrtle Beach. Flea markets, malls and boutiques offer some great shopping too. Myrtle Beach is a suitable place for family vacations and weekend getaways.

The French Riviera Beaches

French Riviera beaches have developed into one of the most popular holiday destinations in Europe. It first evolved as a winter health resort for tourists from cold countries searching for balmy warm climes at the end of the 18th century. By the mid-19th century, it was patronized by British, Russian, and other aristocrats, such as Queen Victoria, and King Edward VII while he was Prince of Wales. As its popularity grew, it drew artists and writers, including Pablo Picasso, Henri Matisse, Edith Wharton, Somerset Maugham, Aldous Huxley, as well as other wealthy people from all over the world. In the latter part of the 20th century, it was promoted as a destination for mass tourism through trade fairs, exhibitions, and business conventions. While it still remains the playground of the rich and famous, and celebrity sightings are common here, it has not remained exclusive to them.

Contrary to the burgeoning popularity of these French beaches, many have pebbles rather than sand, are often small or narrow, and located near busy roads or highways. The beaches turn into seas of humanity in the height of summer, and visitors often find that they have to pay for a stretch of sand to lie on, as many of the beaches are privately owned. For those who want to get away from the crowd and commercialization, there still exist pristine stretches of sand that allow for a relaxed peaceful holiday experience.

Plage de La Paloma, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat

East of Nice, Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat is where the truly affluent live in their palatial villas that dot the rocky peninsula. However, the Plage de La Paloma still has stretches that are open to the public. So find yourself a spot on this crowded beach, put down your towel, and park yourself there. The steep steps that lead down to the plage open up to a view of yachts and sailboats, the resort of Beaulieu, the cliffs at Eze, and Cap d’Ail. The bay is shallow with soft sand and clear water. A swim out to about 100 meters in the ocean gives you a view of the magnificent mansions above the beach.

Plage de Notre-Dame, Porquerolles

Porquerolles is one of the islands of The Golden Isles, located off the south coast. It is a beautiful Mediterranean island, teeming with vineyards, forests, fruit groves, and fragrant eucalyptus and pine trees. As cars are not allowed here, exploring has to be done on foot or by bike, which adds to the experience. The outdoor restaurants serve flavorful locally caught fish.

The Plage de Notre-Dame is a stunning beach on the north-east coast of Porquerolles. It is a bay, and offers an enchanting seascape of ships floating in and out of view on turquoise waters. As it is in the south of France, you are likely to find people bathing au naturel. If it is activity you seek, the beach offers the opportunity for swimming and snorkeling. However, it is the perfect place for quiet contemplation too. Remember to pack a snack, for the beach has no snack bar.

Côte Vermeille

At the southernmost tip of France is the département of Les Pyrénées Orientales, often referred to as French Catalonia in the region of Languedoc Roussillon. The beaches of Côte Vermeille here are relatively secluded and dotted with rocky coves. The stretches of flat sandy beaches of Côte Radieuse are a good option too. The best beaches on this stretch are La Franqui and Leucate near Narbonne, and Portiragnes and Sérignan near Béziers. A wonderful view of the Pyrénées can be enjoyed from the northern end of Argelès-sur-Mer beach. As the Côte Vermeille is close to Spain, the area has some Spanish flavor and thus a different feel to it. The closest cities are Perpignan and Montpellier.

Mala Plage, Cap d’Ail

This beach is at the small town of Cap d’Ail, west of Monaco. For reasons unknown, this posh French Riviera beach is uncrowded, even in the summers. This could be because of the tricky 10-minute downhill road from Avenue Princesse Grace that needs to be taken to get here. One can enjoy Mala Plage’s extensive public areas, by sunbathing on the beach or kayaking or snorkeling in the coves under the cliffs to the west. This beach is about a ten minute walk from the Cap d’Ail train station.

The French Riviera has always been perceived as a holiday destination for the wealthy. While its high glamor beaches and hotels are best known, it also contains secluded pristine beaches and affordable living options.