The Virgin Islands are divided into the U.S. Virgin Islands, which are comprised of St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, and the British Virgin Islands, made up of Tortola, Virgin Gorda, Anegada, and Jost Van Dyke, along with numerous smaller islands and cays. All are part of the Lesser Antilles in the Caribbean. On the U.S. side, St. Croix is the charming, historic, culturally diverse island, St. John is the favored eco-friendly destination, and St. Thomas is the chic and sophisticated island. On the British side, the islands are less developed, but more exclusive, catering to wealthy luxury travelers and sailing enthusiasts.
Have just discovered your blog today and love it! I am a student from NZ and want to travel to somewhere fantastic next year for a few weeks to get away from the hussle and bussle of study and work. Originally thought Thailand would be fantastic, and I see you agree with me here so great! But I also did not realise Bali was also so cheap. For a first trip overseas for a poor student (apart from Aus), where would you recommend? Bali or Thailand?
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We have been to Maui three times and we’re going on our fourth visit in November. That’s how much we love it here. What is not to love? The hang loose island vibe is contagious and leaves you feeling recharged even after just a short visit. If you have time, make sure you venture all the way to the Seven Sacred Pools on the Road to Hana and don’t miss a stop at Red Sand Beach!
Beautiful beach with a very large and diverse demographic of visitors, although I do think it leans more towards the younger side. Lots of surfers, potheads, tourists, families, retirees, beggars, and high school/college aged students. It's a very stereotypical SoCal experience with the numerous blondes and dreads everywhere, the smell of weed and ocean water in the air, and the crazy beautiful beach with a stunning sunset.
Swim Slowly! Exhaustion is a common problem for first time snorkelers. Swimming takes a good bit of energy. The trick with snorkeling is to stay relaxed and calm. You can wipe yourself out quickly if you are not careful. Only swim at a speed that allows you to breathe slowly and easily through your snorkel. Your snorkel does limit your breath, so keep your activity level at a pace that does not demand heavy breathing. Your fins will make it much easier. Learn to just float without effort. Only swim rapidly if necessary for safety.
8:30am-4:30pm moderate 1.5 hrs
We all love a basic black one piece swimsuit or one of our modest tankinis now and then, but when it comes to your summer swimsuit, the hotter the better! Ditch the one piece bathing suits and go bold and statement-making in a skimpy bikini, like string bikinis swimwear! Is there anything more daring than string bikini bottoms?! Or try the super trendy high waisted bikini bottoms with a high neck bikini top to create a flattering shape. Trade the high waisted swimsuit for boy-style swim shorts for women-- another slimming option! For tops, go with a halter top bikini or a push up bikini. Finish off the look with stylish swim cover ups and beach cover ups and you’re ready to make waves.
In snorkeling, the swimmers nose and mouth are submerged and covered by a mask. Breathing takes places through a mouthpiece connected to the L or J shaped tube that gets air from being above the water surface. If diving, the swimmer has to hold his breath, the tube is allowed to flood when underwater. The snorkeler expels water from the snorkel either with a sharp exhalation on return to the surface (blast clearing) or by tilting the head back shortly before reaching the surface and exhaling until reaching or "breaking" the surface (displacement method) and facing forward again before inhaling the next breath. The displacement method expels water by displacing its presence in the snorkel with air; it is a more advanced technique that takes practice but clears the snorkel with much greater efficiency.
Thanks for the fascinating article. I’m currently based out of Vancouver myself (but soon back to Toronto). I’m enthralled by the idea of taking my show on the road somewhere cheap and warm next winter. I’m a planner, though, but it seems like (from both your comments and my failed attempts thus far) the best way to get something like this is to show up somewhere and then go from there; whenever I’ve looked at somewhere like AirBNB, it seems like everything is $50/night and upwards (with the exception of some stuff I’ve found in Goa).
If you followed the coverage of Hurricane Irma in September 2017, you might expect that the reefs of Key Largo suffered damage. Thankfully, this upper Florida Key was within the eye of the storm, and thus the reefs were largely spared any consequence. The high-profile corals of Molasses Reef, part of the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary, are still surrounded by cruising nurse sharks, Southern stingrays, and several species of turtles including loggerhead, green and hawksbill. The famed Christ of the Abyss statue, found at the John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park, is also unharmed and the park is accepting visitors.
Boracayis an idyllic tropical island in the Western Visayas islands of the Philippines. Visitors will be mesmerized by White Beach with sand so soft it’s been compared to baby talc. The four-kilometer-long beach has been called the ‘finest beach in the world.’ Shoeless vacationers lounge on the beaches, get massages, and hang out at beach establishments. After sunset, the vibe turns lively where dancing and partying take center stage. On an island where the outdoors rules, visitors find opportunities to sail, kayak, trek, golf, dive, mountain bike, boat, windsurf, boardsail, and explore. Mambo Number 5 excursions include a little of everything.
The Park and Ocean Railroad ran along Lincoln Way on the south edge of Golden Gate Park and then turned north into the western end of the Park along La Playa Street. This standard-gauge railway began service on 1 December 1883 using four locomotives built by Baldwin Locomotive Works in November 1880 for the Central Pacific Railroad but lettered Market Street, Park & Cliff Railroad. These four 0-4-2T (tank locomotives) (C/N 5357, 5357, 5375 & 5377) were joined by four 2-4-2T Baldwins (C/N 7201, 7203, 7238 & 7243) built in March 1884. When the line was electrified in 1900, locomotive #1 went to the Mendocino Lumber Company, three of the 2-4-2Ts went to Canadian Collieries, and the remaining four became Southern Pacific Transportation Company numbers 20, 21, 22 and 80. Number 20 was preserved at Travel Town Museum in 1954.
What was once a French colonial resort town in southern Cambodia is now a quiet coastal getaway surrounded by tropical islands. Known for its seafood market, where the fish practically jump from the water to your plate, it’s easy to see why Kep won’t be kept a secret for long. For the time being, you’ll find very few tourists among the locals sampling fresh crab, lobster, shrimp (and pretty much anything that swims) at its popular seafood market — you can go there around sunset and have yourself a five-star meal for less than a few dollars. Travelers visit Kep for its laid-back atmosphere rather than an extensive list of activities. In the past, Kep was primarily limited to expats living in Phnom Penh looking for a quiet weekend getaway, but with a variety of nearby tropical islands like Koh Tonsay — better known as Rabbit Island — it’s no wonder Kep is becoming more difficult for visitors to stay away from.
There's no shortage of genuine superlatives among the exotic, fun-packed highlights at Tropical Islands: the world's largest indoor rainforest, the world's biggest self-supporting hall and the tallest water slide in Germany for a start! The houses in the tropical village – a great place to relax – are typical of those found in Thailand, Borneo, Bali, Samoa, Kenya and the Amazonas. Let yourself be pampered in the huge tropical spa complex with its breathtaking backdrops and its saunas, steam baths and Far East therapy treatments. The tropical rainforest, home to around 50,000 plants, the Bali lagoon with its counter-current, the underground water slide, the hot tubs and the huge South Seas paradise with its white sand beach, palms and many hundreds of loungers. Where else in the world would you find anything like this under one roof? There's always something going on here, whether on the giant slides, in the water or by the poolside. In the fitness club, with its state-of-the-art equipment, all muscles can be trained to the max. The tropical shopping boulevard, meanwhile, is a great place to take a break from the action. For appetites large or small, and for all tastes, there are service stations offering tasty treats and delicious food, even in the middle of the night! Sound like too much for one day? That's why there's the night! Sensors automatically dim the lights, the underwater lighting gives everything a turquoise hue, the jungle awakens and entertainers perform on stage. The varied programme ranges from the grand evening show featuring acclaimed acrobats to the Tropino children's club with its climbing equipment, go-kart track and much more besides.
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The community has actively opposed chain businesses opening in Ocean Beach, and only a few exist there. In the 1970s, community protests led a chain of donut stores to drop its plans to open a store in O.B. In 2000 an Exxon station abandoned its attempt to open a gas station there. In 2001, an organized grassroots effort attempted unsuccessfully to block Starbucks from opening a coffee shop in Ocean Beach.
The pair built the Cliff House, a resort hotel, and subdivided the area into lots. To promote their subdivision, Carlson and Higgins organized various activities, including mussel roasts and concerts. Despite their efforts, the development did not do well, because it was two and a half hours by carriage from downtown San Diego. They rented a locomotive, but by that time, the boom ended and the development was put on hold. The Ocean Beach Railroad, launched in April 1888, was a casualty of the economic decline. Passengers could take a ferry from San Diego to Roseville in Point Loma to ride the train to the Cliff House. Later, Higgins committed suicide, and a fire started by a fallen chandelier burnt down the Cliff House in 1898. Carlson sold the Ocean Beach tract to an Eastern financier, delaying its development for 20 years.
The Med might not be your first thought when it comes to private islands. It might not even be your third or fourth. But it COULD be your sixth and might even be your fifth after you learn about Tagomago Island, a private island with one five-bedroom mansion about 10 minutes from Ibiza. The entire estate has terraces, views of the Med, a swimming pool, and Jacuzzi. There's also, for those who worry about where to dock the yacht, a private jetty and mooring. Whew.
The 1,971-foot (601 m) Ocean Beach Municipal Pier, built in 1966, is the longest concrete pier in the world and the second longest ocean pier in California.  The pier supports a restaurant and bait shop (Ocean Beach Pier Cafe), which is located about 200yd/.03m down the pier. It is open 24 hours a day. A concrete walkway spans part of the length of the 1 mile (1.6 km) beach.
The economy of Ocean Beach is dominated by small, independent retail businesses. Newport Avenue, the main business street, featured family-owned businesses from the 1930s through the 1960s, such as a bakery, drug stores, a book and novelty shop, a shoe store, men's and women's apparel shops, and a family-owned pet store. In the 1960s and 1970s larger stores and shopping malls elsewhere in the city gradually ran the small local stores out of business. Many of the storefronts were then turned into antique stores, and the area is now known as the Ocean Beach Antique District. Also on Newport are restaurants, head shops, tattoo and piercing shops, coffee houses, bars, bike and surf shops, and an international youth hostel. In 1969 Hodad's opened on Newport, gaining national attention in 2007 after appearing on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. There are several small independent hotels in O.B., but no nationally franchised hotels.
In 1950, American swimsuit mogul Fred Cole, owner of Cole of California, told Time that bikinis were designed for "diminutive Gallic women", as because "French girls have short legs... swimsuits have to be hiked up at the sides to make their legs look longer." In 1961, The New York Times reported the opinion that the bikini is permissible for people are not "too fat or too thin". In the 1960s etiquette writer Emily Post decreed that "[A bikini] is for perfect figures only, and for the very young." In The Bikini Book by Kelly Killoren Bensimon, swimwear designer Norma Kamali says, "Anyone with a tummy" should not wear a bikini. Since then, a number of bikini designers including Malia Mills have encouraged women of all ages and body types to take up the style. The 1970s saw the rise of the lean ideal of female body and figures like Cheryl Tiegs. Her figure remained in vogue in the 21st century.
But Indonesia has more than just Bali. The nearby Gili Islands are another incredible island getaway. Both destinations make for a more active tropical vacation and the weather remains pretty constant all year round (though April to October sees slightly drier weather). Both Bali and the Gili Islands are close enough that you should be able to visit them both on your trip to really get the most out of this idyllic corner of the world.
I unzipped my tent, which looked like the ones I’d seen a few weeks before when watching Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened. Inside, the otherwise unremarkable heat became overwhelming. T.I. had largely emptied, but because the dome functions like a gigantic echo chamber it felt like I was camping inside a soccer stadium with a game going. Condensation pitter-pattered down on one corner of my tent from hundreds of feet above. Before I finally passed out, I heard the anguished cry of a single flamingo.
Ocean Beach has two schools: Ocean Beach Elementary (a K-4 public school) and Warren-Walker (a K-8 private school). The community also features multiple churches, a public library, a U.S. post office, and a vegetarian food co-op. Recreational facilities include the Ocean Beach Recreation Center, Dusty Rhodes Park, and the Robb Field athletic fields and skate park.
Snorkeling is mentioned by Aristotle in his Parts of Animals. He refers to divers using "instruments for respiration" resembling the elephant's trunk. Some evidence suggests that snorkeling may have originated in Crete some 5,000 years ago as sea sponge farmers used hollowed out reeds to submerge and retrieve natural sponge for use in trade and commerce. In the fifteenth century, Leonardo da Vinci drew designs for an underwater breathing device consisting of cane tubes with a mask to cover the mouth at the demand end and a float to keep the tubes above water at the supply end. The following timeline traces the modern history of the swimmers' snorkel during the twentieth and twenty-first centuries.
While this price might inspire you to blurt out a string of expletives, take note that it encompasses all 14 bures (Fijian for "hut") on the island -- so you're splitting that nightly rate with 27 other people. Now that is entirely reasonable. Also, it's all-inclusive. Everything. Food, booze (including Champagne by the bottle), activities, private seaplane transfers, the works. Treat yourself to pontoon dinners, sunset cruises on the Blue Lagoon (yep, from the movie), a private butler, fishing, hiking, kayaking, massage... you're paying 35 grand a NIGHT. Basically do whatever the hell you want.
Underwater photography has become more and more popular since the early 2000s, resulting on millions of pictures posted every year on various websites and social media. This mass of documentation is endowed with an enormous scientific potential, as millions of tourists possess a much superior coverage power than professional scientists, who can not allow themselves to spend so much time in the field. As a consequence, several participative sciences programs have been developed, supported by geo-localization and identification web sites, along with protocols for auto-organization and self-teaching aimed at biodiversity-interested snorkelers, in order for them to turn their observations into sound scientific data, available for research. This kind of approach has been successfully used in Réunion island, allowing for tens of new records and even new species.
Some of the most spectacular scenery can be found in the Maldives which have been the location for filming world famous movies. This is the place for overwater bungalows where you can jump in and swim with the fish as much as your heart desires. Check into Angsana Velavaru which is fronted by powdery white sand. You will be able to enjoy stunning sunsets, relaxing massages and dinners over the water.
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