I could have played a round of mini golf in the fading light or booked a hot air balloon ride for the following day or even watched The Simpsons at the theater named after a form of Indonesian puppet theater. Instead I went to the fanciest restaurant, where TI’s signature excess is best exemplified by a corn poulard dish that comes with corn on the cob and popcorn. Over a pretty good salmon teriyaki, I watched a hairy man wearing only a speedo get turned down when he requested a table. (Shirts were required, shoes were not.) It had been a long day of doing mostly things I really like—laying around reading, swimming, eating—but I didn’t feel rested or rejuvenated. I felt restless.
When snorkeling on or near coral reefs, care must be exercised to avoid contact with the delicate (and sometimes sharp or stinging) coral, and its poisonous inhabitants, usually by wearing protective gloves and being careful of one's environment. Coral scrapes and cuts often require specialized first aid treatment and potentially, emergency medical treatment to avoid infection. Booties and surf shoes are especially useful as they allow trekking over reefs exposed by low tide, to access drop-offs or deeper waters of the outer reef - this is, however, ecologically irresponsible.
People head out to OB for the nice, wide, swath of sand. There's also the Ocean Beach pier—the longest pier on the West Coast—where you can try your hand at pier fishing. If you have a four-legged friend, go to Dog Beach, just north of the main beach, and unleash your pup to romp in the sand and surf. Or, stroll along Newport Avenue, the main drag in OB's business district, and take in the small-town feel.
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When you want to relax and get some work done then I recommend settling for awhile in Goa. It’s something of a global mecca for hedonists, expat hippies and psychedelic raver mysticism. There is an interesting mix of people and you will almost never have a dull moment in a place like this. At the same time, it gets tiresome after awhile seeing all the preachy spiritual hipsters competing with each other in the game of spiritual one-upmanship.
Nearly twice the size of all the other Hawaiian islands combined, the snorkeling on Big Island is fantastic, especially at Honaunau Bay, also known as The City of Refuge, with an historic backdrop to boot. Pu'uhonua o Honaunau National Historic Park has smooth lava rock flats to help you ease effortlessly from shore to sea into year-round crystal-clear water, and you'll find healthy coral gardens teeming with tropical fish, moray eels, and even turtles in shallow depths to the right. Spinner dolphins frequent deeper waters to the left.
The more recently added water slides are surprisingly fast and the absence of lifeguards makes for a chaotic and extra fun experience. The long, steep blue slide with the mad curve accelerates you to such a colossal speed that you feel like you are facing your imminent death as you zoom down. But it's safe, and everybody survives with a smile. Other highlights: a walk-through jungle; a panorama balloon; a huge pool with a sea vista background and a lagoon with some small slides in a jungle/cave setting. You'll find a wild mix of Germans, Poles and Czechs here since the nearby borders are all open: walking around Tropical Islands sometimes feels like witnessing an Eastern European modeling contest.
OB is a vibrant, boho-chic neighborhood, with a classic beach bum vibe. Surfers can be found all over, with lots of fishermen and some stellar views. Nearby you can check out antiques shops, beachwear and surf boutiques, organic groceries, taquerias and bars. There is lots of beach culture- plus you can hear the soothing waves crashing into the rocks throughout the day.
“This is a great place to visit, but not on weekends and school holidays . Even on weekday there were a lot of people. We traveled with kids 10 and 7 years old. They enjoyed pools and slides. This place is really impressive. We stayed at family room that was comfort but not extremely clean. Breakfast was just perfect. It's easy to get there: we took RE2 from Friedrichstrasse station, Platform 1 (Cottbus direction) to Brand Tropical Islands. You can buy tickets right under 1&2 platform moving staircase at the tickets office (not ticket machines :)))) Don't forget to buy tickets for the return journey. At Brand, Tropical Islands bus was already waiting for us. Same way back.”