03 June 2007

Trippers Best of...Beaches

The first of the 10-15 part series, best of. See the unfinished best of index here.

80% of the world's population lives within 50 miles of the coast. Kansas is not 50 miles from the coast. So here are the best coastal beach areas of the world, from Portugal all the way to Cambodia...and the winner is....!

1. Sihanoukville, Cambodia. Free accomodation, cheap food, and plankton illuminating the night sea. That, and 50 cent mango shakes, what more could you ask for?

2. Middle of Nowhere, Mekong River, Laos. See here for the story behind this magnificent, stat studded, beach on the river. A very close second.

Songklha, Thailand. I've never seen so many seashells in my life. A untouristed, authentic, southern Thai beach.

4. Lagos, Portugal. Walking among the cliffs of these beautiful, pristine, algarve beaches, which, may I mention, were topless in many locations?

5. Chigasaki, Japan. The birthplace of surfing in Japan greeted us with this amazing sunset over the perfect hood of Mount Fuji during our mid-spring BBQ.

Dishonorable Mention: Koh Phanang, Thailand. When I first walked onto this disneyland-like neon-lit beach, I looked around. Everyone was white. Even in Southern California, or Southern France, I'd never seen this many pale, white bodies before. Aren't we in Thailand?

Other memorable beaches: Pale English in Malaga, Spain, the beautiful sunsets of Palau Perhenthian, Malaysia, the too-peaceful battlefield beaches of Gallipoli, Turkey, and the tiered cliffs leading down to the small, serene beaches at Cinque Terre, Italy, all just missed the cut.

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