|You Sexy Beach!|
By Luke Clark ~ thetransitcafe.com
Saturday, 24th June 2006
Who's got the sexiest beaches in the world? Tel Aviv - of course - Luke Clark takes issue with the latest Conde Nast hit list, and then sets out to prove the come-hither attraction of 10 of Asia's hottest sand spots.
When the uber-hip yet extremely American Conde Nast Traveler published its list of The World’s Sexiest Beaches 2006, I was somewhat excited. Partly because when you live in a place with an endless summer, it's gratifying when the media world declares summer too.
Strange but true.I was also eager to see which corners of Asia I should check out next. After all, we in Asia have great beaches, right? We’re famous for them. And Asia in general is, well, damn sexy, correct? The film, fashion and online world keeps saying so. So feeling pretty good, I took a look at CN's hot list.
After my slow server laboured through all 17 of the World’s Sexiest Beaches, I was less excited. In fact, I felt like the kid on prom night who’s left out after all the picks have been made for last dance.
How many picks did a region associated with sun, sand and sultriness score in the hallowed realms of Sexy Beaches?
One. One out of 17.
Life's a beach, as they say. That’s like only 5.6% of the world’s sexiest beaches.
In search of reasons
I got to justifying at first. Well, sure. It’s an American magazine, so it will go for destinations close at hand for its travellers. And sure, our beaches have had a few too many bombs, tourist imprisonments, border disputes and freak waves lately... all of which always tend to lower the libido of potential travellers.
And after all, neighbours Australia picked up one vote. And Maldives got one as well – although according to Conde Nast, the whole country is one beach.
But still. Even though this is a nation that can call their domestic sports competition “The World Series”, it did seem a bit rich to name five out of 17 of the “world’s” sexiest beaches as American ones. And three from California? As the Governator would say, hasta la vista, baby.
Then once my rage died a little, I began to take solace in the fact that every beach in the world still has a chance for fame and acclaim. If a beach like Venice Beach can hit the list, well anyone can.
Sexy, as mags like this rate it, means personality. And it also means putting odd hip descriptors together like, “Think Gwen Stefani meets Olivia Newton-John: quirky, '80s-inflected, and heavy on the Lycra.”
Hmm. I still say we were robbed.
So I made my own list, below. Read it yourself. Then go on, get angry too, and then add another sexy beach to the list yourself. Here’s sand in the eye to them.
"WORLD'S SEXIEST BEACHES 2006"
1. Angra Dos Reis, Brazil
2. Corfu, Greece
3. Huahine, Tahiti, French Polynesia
4. Venice, California
5. Las Salinas, Ibiza, Spain
6. Hua Hin, Thailand
7. Jose Ignacio, Uruguay
8. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia
9. El Matador Beach, Malibu, California
10. Blue Beach, Nice, France
11. The Maldives
12. Maui, Hawaii
13. St. Tropez, France
14. Marina Street Beach, La Jolla, California
15. South Beach, Miami, Florida
16. Tel Aviv, Israel
17. St. Barths
TEN SEXY ASIAN BEACHES THAT WERE ROBBED!
1. Seminyak, Bali. Even the name suggests sex. With The Oberoi, Ku De Ta and La Lucciola dishing out the ice blends, cool towels and funky house music, and the distant thump of a Balinese ceremony down at beach side, you sure won’t find yourself wishing you were at Venice Beach.
2. Goa, India: Sure it has its hippies and acid freaks, but that’s part of the beauty of Goa, the sandy gateway to Indian chic. Great food too. Take me here over Tel Aviv any day of the week.
3. Mactan Island, Cebu: Cebuanos are just sexy people. They laugh a lot, they eat delicious seafood, they have white sand so perfect that it’s an export commodity. And they have the world’s best dried mangoes. Bring it on.
4. Railay Beach, Thailand: Towering limestone cliffs form the frame for this incredible beach destination. Sure, Railay isn’t the undiscovered paradise it once was. But when the golden light floods into the bay, and the mottled red and black rock glows… you don’t exactly yearn for Florida.
5. Lagundri Bay, Nias Island, Indonesia:As close to Nirvana as surfers can find, Nias has one of the best 3.5 metre surf waves in the world.
6. Tanjong Beach, Sentosa: No, really! Thanks to day-time beach club KM8 pumping out funky music all day long, the spectre of ships in the distance cannot disguise the newfound sexiness of this man-made beach. A great respite from Orchard Road. Fun and frolicking, with an easy cab ride home to safety afterwards.
7. Angsana Beach, Bintan: In Japan, Bintan is marketed as a perfect paradise – safe, serene, quiet and unhindered by the world’s problems. Hit Angsana’s Beach – also the beach for Banyan Tree, and you’ll see why. Aesthetically pleasing, beautifully quiet, sit back here and say, ahhh.
8. Bentota, Sri Lanka: One of the nicest stretches of sand in Sri Lanka is complemented by people who will charm the pants off you, and local food that will surprise even the most world-weary of Asian travellers.
9. Ngapali Beach, Burma: Never been, but one of my friend who has traversed IndoChina time and again swears by it. In fact, she held her 40th birthday here. Enough said.
10. Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Sure, it’s got a touch of the ‘new Vegas’ about it, with cheap charters flying in, but when you’ve sand as nice as it has, people as charming, and an economy that needs the guests desperately, it all adds up to a mighty satisfying blend. My biggest memory was diving an as-yet unmarked dive sight near the Vietnam border. Priceless.
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