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.
This underdeveloped island is on the fast track to becoming Vietnam’s next major hotspot. Although it’s technically a Vietnamese island, you’ll find it positioned just off the coast of Cambodia in the Gulf of Thailand. Its sparkling waters, silky smooth sand and dramatic scenery make it a very picturesque locale. Although it’s now home to an international airport (PQC) and cruise ship port, the north and east sides of the island remain largely untouched by hoards of tourists. Take one of the dirt roads out past the rugged jungle for a taste of what the island was like way back when. Nowadays, visitors come to Phú Quốc for many reasons other than just the surf and sand. Explore its azure waters, isolated coves, pearl farms, pepper plantations or opt for a full-day tour of the nearby An Thoi islands, an archipelago of 15 islands and inlets off the southern coast. The best part is, you’ll find hardly any tourists — for now, that is.
Archaeologist James Mellaart described the earliest bikini-like costume in Çatalhöyük, Anatolia in the Chalcolithic era (around 5600 BC), where a mother goddess is depicted astride two leopards wearing a costume somewhat like a bikini. The two-piece swimsuit can be traced back to the Greco-Roman world, where bikini-like garments worn by women athletes are depicted on urns and paintings dating back to 1400 BC.
Modern designs use silicone rubber in the mouthpiece and one-way clearing and float valves due to its resistance to degradation and its long service life. Natural rubber was formerly used, but slowly oxidizes and breaks down due to ultraviolet light exposure from the sun. It eventually loses its flexibility, becomes brittle and cracks, which can cause clearing valves to stick in the open or closed position, and float valves to leak due to a failure of the valve seat to seal. In even older designs, some snorkels were made with small "ping pong" balls in a cage mounted to the open end of the tube to prevent water ingress. These are no longer sold or recommended because they are unreliable and considered hazardous. Similarly, diving masks with a built-in snorkel are considered unsafe by scuba diving organizations such as PADI, BSAC because they can engender a false sense of security and can be difficult to clear if flooded.
The quiet island of Koh Kradan, off Thailand’s west coast in the Andaman Sea, is home to Hat Chao Mai National Park where you can snorkel atop untouched corals and beds of anemones, home to tons of clownfish. The island itself offers accommodation, albeit the rustic variety. Those seeking a more posh experience can bed down on the nearby island of Koh Lanta and take a day trip.
I came to this beach numerous times during my trip to San Francisco and each time, it was fairly quiet and super clean. During the day, we walked down the hill from Land's End (couldn't hike it since it was closed off due to the govt shut down) passing the Cliff House. On separate visits, I was able to enjoy the sunset and long walks along the water. This isn't something I do often (or ever, tbh) since NY beaches are pretty filthy and cannot compare at all. If you're lucky, you'll get to see all of the sand dollars on the shore. Parking spaces around here are tough to snag, but not impossible. You'll just need a bit of patience, but its worth it.
Though no dinosaurs are to be found, there is no escaping the enchanting feeling that Nuku Hiva, in the super remote Marquesas Islands of French Polynesia – resembles Jurassic Park. Maybe it’s the fact that there’s hardly anyone around, or maybe it’s the fact that you thought such incredible natural beauty only existed in Hollywood productions – Nuku Hiva is dramatically beautiful beyond imagination. The few visitors who make the long journey to Nuku Hiva will spend their days hiking to hidden waterfalls and secluded beaches, exploring the island’s ancient temples and natural wonders by 4X4, horseback or small boats, and meet the proud local Marquesans – whose rich history has developed over centuries of isolation.
Dehydration is another concern. Hydrating well before entering the water is highly recommended, especially if one intends to snorkel for several hours. Proper hydration also prevents cramps. Snorkelers who hyperventilate to extend sub-surface time can experience hypocapnia if they hyperventilate prior to submerging. This can in turn lead to "shallow water blackout". Snorkeling with a buddy and remaining aware of the buddy's condition at all times can help avoid these difficulties.
If your looking to step aboard something that is more modern, try Catamaran Reef Snorkel. On this tour, you get to sail on a luxurious 68 foot sailing catamaran, and get to explore the living coral reef’s ecosystem in style. If you are looking for a shorter snorkeling trip, this is the one for you, lasting only three and a half hours, and providing a full hour of snorkeling and the rest of it traveling by wind power.
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In most cases you need to have boots on the ground to find the really cheap long-term accommodations. Online locals usually jack up their prices to get the 1 to 2 weekers who will pay $1000s for a nice place. To get yourself started, you can find places as cheap as $29/night on AirBNB (try VRBO too) and you can negotiate those prices much lower if you’re staying long term and it’s outside the busy tourist season. I usually start with AirBNB and then ask around to find the cheaper places when I get to know some locals.
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