Laoya Island or Koh Laoya one of the most beautiful island in the east of Thailand.
Just out of Salakphet Bay lies the islands of Koh Laoya and Koh Laoya Klang. These two islands are home to one resort and are joined by a 50 metre long footbridge. Koh Laoya Klang has a couple of small beaches the eastern shore and a footpath encircles the island. It takes around 5 minutes to walk around it.
The main resort area is on the eastern side of the larger Koh Laoya. The resort mainly caters to Thai groups who visit at weekends and holiday periods, outside those times it is deserted except for the staff. The highlight of the island is the stunning white sand beach that runs from the pier in the northeast of the island to the southeastern tip.
This is one of the best beaches in the area, crystal clear water, white sand underfoot and views directly towards Long Beach in the southeast of Koh Chang. Pretty much the only western tourists who go here are Russian visitors in speedboats and tour boats who manage to avoid the crowds and take a tour to the less visited islands. Of course, it is much easier and cheaper to visit as part of a tour group, rather than if you are travelling on your own.
Suspended Nightclub in Hong Kong by Matthew Hussey
There are nightclubs on top of buildings, underwater, on board boats, and inside buses. But, if architectural studio Urbanplunger has its way, the newest hangout will be hung from another building.
The team’s design, which won the Night Club Hotel in Hong Kong’s design competition, uses the surrounding buildings as a framework to hang off and support the structure.
At ground level is a green space that is connected to the dangling structure above via a series of glass elevators. Directly above is the nightclub, which forms just one part of the overall building. Above that is a public lobby, which provides access to a spa, swimming pool, restaurants, and a business center. Keep going and you reach the hotel, which, thanks to the tapering design of the building, comes with its own balconies and aerial villas in the presidential suite.
At present, this parasitic building design is bathing in the glory of winning the design competition, so we're waiting to see if a building firm is brave enough to take this fantastic project on. We hope so.
The building rests on top of those around it, removing the need for a supporting structure. The sprawling nature of the upper parts allows the building to have balconies looking over the Hong Kong skyline.
A schematic of the plan's development, if it was ever built.
A cross-section of the floors as they rise through the building.
The nightclub is anything but an afterthought -- it takes up nine of the lower-ground floors.
Sometimes I think I shouldn’t read these lists, because they just make me want to leave everything behind and head for some waves.
The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands
With natural pools and grottoes formed by giant slabs of concrete, you will almost always be able to find some privacy at The Baths in Virgin Gorda, BVI.The Baths are also a great place for snorkeling and Scuba diving with lots of great coral formations.
Muizenberg Beach, Cape Town, South Africa
Muizenberg Beach is a perfect beach for almost every activity, nice moderate waves, yet still some great ones for surfing. Dolphin and whales can be seen not far from here. Muizenberg Beach is set in a Victorian style town for added atmosphere.
Zuma Beach (Malibu), California
Located in Southern California, Zuma Beach is one of the best known beaches on the West Coast. Some rate it as one of the best for surfing. You can also see dolphins many times when you swim at Zuma Beach.
Manuel Antonio National Park, Costa Rica
South of San Jose on the Pacific Coast, this is what I call a beach bum paradise. Beaches surrounded by forests, mangroves and lagoons. Coral reefs make this great for snorkeling and scuba, and rain forests make it perfect for those looking for some adventure and wilderness.
If you are looking to go to the Mediterranean, then check out Hvar, Croatia. It has been a center of tourism for over 140 years, and is considered one of the top 10 most beautiful islands in the world. Homegrown grapes and olives make Hvar the only place if you are into local food and wine.
Gold Coast, Australia
It’s Australia. Do I need to say more? With many, many beaches, you can pick and choose the beach that fits you, from beaches for kids, for surfing, for snorkeling, everything you want is on the Gold Coast.
Varadero Beach, Cuba
Varadero Beach is known by many as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. It has over 20 miles of beaches, which should make it easy to find a nice private spot. However, it is also one of the largest resorts in the Caribbean, so there will be a lot of people.
Originally known for the turtles coming ashore, and therefor turtle meat and turtle soup, Mexico has since declared Mazunte a reserve, and the area has started to focus on sustainable eco-tourism. So if you are in to saving the planet, but doing it from the comfort of a beach, then this is for you.
Goa, India has a number of beaches. From very well touristed beaches to secluded ones. If you can find a spot for yourself, you could definitely enjoy the view.
Back to the Mediterranean, to Skiathos, Greece. Skiathos is a small island that is a protected environment, so it will never see much development. That is excellent news for those wanting to head to the beach. It will always be a very natural beach setting.
Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ambergris Caye is the largest island in Belize, which is in the Caribbean. No matter what you like to do, you can find it here. Exploring Mayan ruins, trekking through the jungle, snorkeling and scuba on the second largest coral reef in the world, and of course, swimming in the Caribbean and laying on the beach.
Hawksnest Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Hawknest Bay Beach is a National Park Beach. That means no hotels, no restaurants, no resorts no interruptions. Just you and the beach. Maybe some coral formations and forests and rocks to climb, but mostly the beach.
Santa Catarina, Brazil
If you are into surfing, then you definitely want to check out Sanata Catarina, Brazil. Many international surfing championships have been held here, and you can get a piece of the action. Also, Brazilian nightlife, beaches, the southern Atlantic, what else would you want?
Montauk, Long Island, New York
At the end of Long Island, Montauk claims to be one of the best spots in East Hampton. If anyone has watched the new USA Network show Royal Pains, you’ll have seen the Hamptons. However, it stretches the truth a bit, the median income is around $42,000, not millions. Although quite a bit north of many of our other beaches, it does have a warmer climate zone than you would think. Plus, on a clear day you can see Rhode Island.
Hitting the beach? You're going to need the right trunks. We've chosen the best swimwear for your sandy weekends
PHOTOGRAPHS BY ELISSA WIEHN
Get healthy, beautiful skin (in the sun!)
Sunscreen does amazing things for your complexion, above and beyond preventing you from getting scorched. "If your skin isn't constantly fighting off UV rays and free radicals, it can actually have the leeway to repair itself and reverse past damage," says Leslie Baumann, M.D., a dermatologist in Miami Beach. "Put sunscreen on daily and you'll look younger over time." Add that to your list of reasons to make an SPF effort.
—Alyssa Kolsky Hertzig
Keep these simple rules in mind before you shell out money for a sunscreen.
Look for the term broad-spectrum or UVA/UVB protection on the label. The familiar SPF number isn't enough, because it refers only to protection against UVB rays (the ones responsible for burning skin); you need a sunscreen that also fends off at least some UVA rays (which don't burn but can break down collagen and age skin). It pays to make sure that's spelled out: The Archives of Dermatology reports that of 29 popular moisturizers that touted an SPF and broad-spectrum on the label, only six offered adequate UVA protection. Try Avon Anew Solar Advance Sunscreen Body Lotion SPF 30, $34.
Read the fine print.
Once you've found a broad-spectrum sunscreen, you need to narrow your search even further, as the term doesn't guarantee that every UVA wavelength is covered. "So you might diligently apply but still see premature aging," says Steven Q. Wang, M.D., director of dermatology at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Basking Ridge, New Jersey. To be sure, look for a mix of avobenzone and octocrylene (found in any of the sunscreens here) or 5 to 10 percent zinc oxide. Try MDSolarSciences No Touch Body Spray SPF 40, $21.
Crunch the numbers. You may think that a daily moisturizer with SPF 15 is adequate if all you'll be doing is heading to the office and running errands during lunch. And, true, it's better than nothing. But the American Academy of Dermatology now recommends bumping that up to an SPF 30 for daily use; if you'll be in the sun for an extended period, a moisturizer or sunscreen with SPF 50 is ideal. Don't forget the broad-spectrum protection and reapply often, especially after breaking a sweat or taking a swim. Try Origins A Perfect World UV Face Protector SPF 35, $28.
Got skin issues? Sunscreen may be the solution.
Banish breakouts.Convinced that (a) sunscreen will clog your pores and lead to zits, and (b) the sun has magical pimple-drying powers? Wrong. As long as you stick with oil-free sunscreens (and especially avoid formulas with mineral oil, paraffin wax, liquid paraffin or petrolatum), your breakouts shouldn't increase at all, says Howard Sobel, M.D., a dermatologist in New York City. In fact, they could decrease if you try a sunscreen with zit-fighting 2 percent salicylic acid. As for the sun clearing acne by drying up oil, again, no dice. "It might seem as if your pimples vanish following a day at the beach, but your skin will eventually react to the UV damage by producing more sebum, which clogs pores and fuels the pimple cycle," Dr. Sobel says. A better idea: Instead of relying on the sun to combat pimples, cover (and heal) them with a mineral-based powder; the minerals have inherent bacteria-fighting qualities and deflect UV rays. Try Physicians Formula Mineral Wear Airbrushing Loose Powder SPF 30, $14.
Ease dry or sensitive skin. Opt for creamy formulas packed with hydrators such as oat protein or sodium hyaluronate (the latter attracts water from the air and binds it to skin) along with omega-3s, essential fatty acids that are also deeply moisturizing. To further seal in moisture, apply when skin is a bit damp, Dr. Sobel says. Prone to mystery rashes? Use formulas that contain titanium dioxide and zinc oxide—physical protectors that deflect UV light and are less apt to be irritating. They can leave a white sheen on skin, though, so dab lightly on your face, then rub in completely (rather than pouring a blob in your hands). Try Aveeno Natural Protection Sunblock Lotion SPF 30, $10.
Erase lines and wrinkles. Look for a sunscreen laced with antioxidants such as vitamins E and C, caffeine, coffeeberry or niacin. "Antioxidants fight free radicals before they lead to wrinkles and cancer," says Fredric Brandt, M.D., a dermatologist in NYC and Miami. For the highest level of protection, apply a separate antioxidant serum to skin first; serums are ultra-thin and designed to penetrate deeply into skin. (SELF likes Dr. Stanley Jacobs Visco-Elastic Transforming Serum, $120.) Then layer a souped-up sunscreen on top. Try StriVectin-SH Age Protect SPF 30, $49.
There are some places in this world that are so dingy, smelly, overpopulated, or unhappy that make you want to forget where you are and dream a little dream.
Then there are these places. The 20 most awe-inspiring sites to lay your eyes bellowed.
Las Vegas, NV Information by Rough Guides Shimmering from the desert haze of Nevada like a latter-day El Dorado, Las Vegas is the most dynamic, spectacular city on earth. At the start of the twentieth century, it didn't even exist; now it's home to two million people, and boasts nineteen of the world's twenty-five largest hotels, whose flamboyant, no-expense-spared casinos lure in thirty-seven million tourists each year.
Las Vegas has been stockpiling superlatives since the 1950s, but never rests on its laurels for a moment. Many first-time visitors expect the city to be kitsch, but the casino owners are far too canny to be sentimental. Yes, there are a few Elvis impersonators around, but what characterizes the city far more is its endless quest for novelty. Long before they lose their sparkle, yesterday's showpieces are blasted into rubble, to make way for ever more extravagant replacements. A few years ago, when the fashion was for fantasy, Arthurian castles and Egyptian pyramids mushroomed along the legendary Strip; next came a craze for constructing entire replica cities, like New York, Paris, Monte Carlo, and Venice; and the current trend is for high-end properties that attempt to straddle the line between screaming ostentation and "elegant" sophistication.
While the city has cleaned up its act since the early days of Mob domination, it certainly hasn't become a family destination. Neither is Vegas as cheap as it used to be. It's still possible to find good, inexpensive rooms, and the all-you-care-to-eat buffets offer great value, but the casino owners have finally discovered that high-rollers happy to lose hundreds of dollars per night don't mind paying premium prices to eat at top-quality restaurants, while the latest developments are charging room rates of more like $300 than $30 per night.
Although Las Vegas is an unmissable destination, it's one that palls for most visitors after a couple of (hectic) days. If you've come solely to gamble, there's not much to say beyond the fact that all the casinos are free, and open 24 hours per day, with acres of floor space packed with ways to lose money: million-dollar slots, video poker, blackjack, craps, roulette wheels, and much, much more.
Who needs a bathing suit when you've got a birthday suit? All ages, all sizes, come bare your beautiful beach bod in these top tan-line free zones. All you need to bring to get in is absolutely nothing at all.
Saline Beach - St. Barth
Tucked away underneath St. Barth's rocky hillside, feel free to forget everything at St. Barth's most secluded beach. Including your clothes. One sbhonline.com member recalled his favorite all-time memory of St. Barth as "enjoying a Cuban cigar and a glass of french rose wine on Saline beach in the late afternoon - wearing nothing but a hat."
Es Cavallet Beach - Ibiza, Spain
In America, we have the right to remain silent. The saucy Spanish, however, have the right to remain nude. According to this PDF, penalization for nudity violates constitutional rights. We're happy about that because this rear view above makes us giggle. Es Cavallet (pictured) is one of Ibiza's gay-friendly nude beaches.
South Beach - Miami, Florida
Enter the beach near Haulover Park for big, bouncy, nude beach volleyball bliss. Who knew volleyball could ever be such a spectator sport.
Black's Beach - San Diego, California
UC San Diego's mascot may be King Triton, but over by Black's Beach, its the bear. Join the Black Beach Bares, a group of local nudie sport enthusiasts, for a friendly round of stripped snorkeling, birthday suit boogie boarding or jiggly jogging.
Plage de Tahiti - St. Tropez, France
No cameras allowed around this jet set crowd. Skip the ragmag subscription and catch a peak of your favorite celebrities' itties and bitties for free at this nude beach for the rich and the famous.
Praia do Pinho -Santa Catarina, Brazil
The "itsy-bitsy-teeny-weenie-yellow-polka-dot-bikini" is nowhere to be found here. In 1987, Pinho became the first nationally sanctioned au natural beach in Brazil. It's motto? "Clothing is not an option". Amen.
Paradise Beach - Mykonos, Greece
Paradise Beach is just that. Marvel at the tannest and fittest bosoms Greece has to offer while partying all day and night at the bars and clubs surrounding the sand line.
Little Beach - Maui, Hawaii
Feast your big eyes on Maui's Little Beach. Little Beach is Maui's official "unofficial clothing optional beach". If you're lucky, you might run into Dr. Leisure, an artist whose been painting scenes of nude beaches for the past ten years. If you're luckier, Dr. Leisure might paint you.
Playa El Aqua - Margarita Island, Venezuela
Here's an interesting fact. Margarita Island in Venezuela claims that in countries where nude sunbathing is the norm, there is less incidence of sexual assault. Here's to unclothing with a cause.
Clifton Beach - South Africa
Get naked, not nipply. Backed by steep dunes to protect against pervy gawkers, Clifton beach promotes itself as the ideal nudist beach because its four sheltered coves protect sunbathers from chilly winds.
Baker Beach, San Francisco
Baker Beach is part of San Francisco's famed Presidio and was once host to Burning Man. The half-mile long beach, which lies on the peninsula of San Francisco, has stunning views of the Golden Gate Bridge and the city. Be forewarned: nude bathing (or rather "clothing optional") is only allowed on the northern section.
Haulover Beach, Florida
This beautiful, family friendly, regionally run park beach north of Sunny Isles is a great example of a US clothing optional beach that is open to the public.
Wreck Beach - Vancouver, B.C., Canada
With or without their bathing suits, hundreds of thousands of people visit Canada's first and largest clothing-optional beach each year.
This all-natural beach is 7.8 kilometers long and follows the coastline below a forested, 200-foot high, cliff system on the western tip of Vancouver.
Eagles, kingfishers, and escaped domestic birds like parrots, lovebirds, and magpies hover about – as do vendors selling everything a sunbather’s heart desires, from sunscreen for your sensitive bits, to empanadas, organic fruit juices, and buffalo burgers to stave off those west coast munchies! Ah, Wreck Beach…so near to the city, and yet so far!
Polo Beach, North Shore Oahu, Hawaii
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