Posts tagged with "beaches"

Southeast Asia, 360 MAGAZINE

5 Islands in Thailand You Should Visit

If you love sandy beaches, water, and amazing scenery, then you have to make a point to visit Thailand. The country has vast coastlines that border the Andaman Sea and the Gulf of Thailand.

Find below our review of five islands in Thailand you should visit.

1. Phuket

You should look for time to visit Thailand’s largest island. The area is a popular tourist resort, and there are a lot of fun activities to engage in. If you are looking for entertainment, good shopping places, and amazing beaches, you will find them all in Phuket.

Visit Phuket old town where you’ll experience the real authenticity of the island. Many of the houses are colonial style, which gives a nostalgic feeling of days gone by. It has numerous eateries so that you get to sample the local cuisine. The Old Town is more laid back and is a good place to come and unwind.

Also take a minute to visit the countless number of temples, so that you can experience the Buddhist religion in its fullest. You may be lucky enough to see the Big Buddha; a statue that is 45-meters tall. It is made of white marble and is truly awesome.

If you like to dance, bars and pubs, you will enjoy the Bangla Road. Alcohol and food are cheap here, and boredom will not factor in anywhere in your nights in Thailand. However, do practice moderation and avoid drug use. If you like private beaches, take a trip to the Phuket freedom beach or the Surin beach. The sand is soft and white and goes perfectly with the clear blue seas.

Other fun activities include the weekend night market where you get to shop to your heart’s content. The Fantasea theme park is also a great place to visit, and you get a chance to experience the full Thai culture. Also visit the Phuket elephant sanctuary, Jui Tui Shrine, the Karon Viewpoint, the Gibbon rehabilitation project, among others.

2. Koh Samui

Thinking of a honeymoon destination? Think no more, Koh Samui is the perfect place. The beaches are to die for, and there are several natural sites like Hin Yai and Hin Ta, that would make wonderful places to go for long romantic walks. You may also spot the buffaloes grazing in the fields.

Learn about fishing at the fishing village at Boput, see the mummified monk at Wat Khunaram, or find some serenity in the peaceful secret Buddha garden.

If you like golf, you are in the right place; Kah Samui is a favorite destination for golfers. Once you finish your game, pamper yourself at one of the numerous spas available.

If you want the ultimate holiday deal, you will get it here; whether you’re looking to sightsee, want some adventure, or want to take it easy. Do note though, this is an upmarket destination, and so you may need to have enough spending money.

3. Koh Phi Phi

Koh Phi Phi has the distinction of being one of the most beautiful Islands in the world. Make sure you visit the Viewpoint for a view of the twin curved bays.

If you’re into water-related activities like kayaking, diving or snorkeling, you have a lot of access to such activities. Check out Dreamguides to find out more on kayaking and other outdoor activities. Alternatively, you can also choose to relax on the beaches. If you are a movie fan and got to watch ‘The Beach,’ you will be happy to know that Maya Bay was the location for the shoot.

Your evenings will be full of entertainment because of the live music on the beaches, and the famous Muay Thai fights.

4. Koh Phangan

If you like to party, make sure you visit Koh Phangan. The area is known for its full moon parties and is a great place to dance the night away.

However, if you want a quiet place, there are several beaches where you can go for scuba diving or snorkeling. You also get to enjoy body relaxation sessions like yoga retreats, massage parlors, meditation workshops, among others.

If you find the sound of waterfalls soothing, you have so many options, including Thaan Sadet, Thaan Prapaad, Sramanora, and Wangsai. Do not go during the dry seasons because you will not find any water.
Taste the local cuisine at the Thong Sala night market where you can also pick up a few souvenirs for guys back home.

5. Koh Chang

The Koh Chang would make a great setting for a movie. Think palm-lined beaches, mountain, and jungle settings. Carry your hiking boots and get ready for some fun in nature. When you complete your tour of the bamboo and dense forests, make sure you get a taste of the local cuisine at the many eateries available.

Alternatively, bring your swimwear and a good book for intense lazy Days at the beach. There are many you can go to including one white sand beach, Bailan Beach, Kai Bae, and Klong Prao Beach. When you get tired of reading, explore the Marine wildlife, or go fishing.

If you feel like you want more action, Bangkok is only half a day away.

Final Thoughts

Thailand is a fascinating place to visit. There is an interesting fusion of the modern while keeping a tight grip on the amazing culture and religion. We have shared with you 5 Islands you should visit while in Thailand. If you’re looking for a place to relax, you will find it on the sandy white beaches, which boast of crystal clear blue water. You also have numerous options for hiking, and even enjoy the sport of golf, if that is your cup of tea.

When you finish the more physical activities, you can visit the spas for a relaxing massage. Instead of eating at a fancy Hotel, go to the night markets and sample the authentic local cuisine. It will also give you a chance to buy interesting gifts for people back home.

When your stomach is full, dance the night away with your family and friends. Thailand has something for everyone, whatever your pocket size.

Why You Should Take a Holiday to Saint Barts

Saint Barts in the Caribbean is a hotspot for luxury and adventurous travellers. The tiny island is St Martins neighbour and gets only a small number of annual visitors. You can find some spectacular Villas in Saint Barts along the coast that are among the best in the world. If you’ve never heard of the island or don’t know anything about it, check out these reasons why you should take a holiday to Saint Bart’s this year.

Some of the Caribbean’s Best Beaches

Saint Barts has a total of 22 beaches spanning the coastline. Some are popular with locals who like to hang out with their friends in the evening. Others have a handful of resorts and vacation rentals nearby. Expect a band of white sand curving around the shore. Thick jungle borders to the one side as the gentle waves roll in on the other. You can easily find secluded beaches in Saint Barts. Rent a car and drive around the mountain roads and you’ll find your own slice of paradise. If you like surfing, head to Toiny Beach where the waves crash offshore bringing in a current to ride.

St Bart’s Doesn’t Feel Touristy

The Caribbean receives millions of tourists each year. Cruise ships dock at the popular ports and the tiny seaside down become overrun with visitors every day. The resorts on other islands burst with holidaymakers taking away the charm and charisma of the islands. Saint Barts, on the other hand, is relatively unknown. This means it only gets a fraction of the tourists compared to more popular spots like Jamaica. So, you’ll have more opportunities to see the real Saint Barts rather than the superficial touristy zones.

The Perfect Honeymoon Destination

Because of the beauty of the island, it has become a magnet for honeymooners in recent years. Saint Barts can be defined as the closest thing to a tropical paradise. You can find vacation rentals next to the coastline overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Sit in the rooftop infinity pool. Relax with a glass of wine. Then watch the sunset. Then you can get a car and drive down to town and enjoy the exceptional dining experiences. If you want to have a luxury getaway filled with romance, Saint Barts is the place for you.

The Island’s Picturesque Capital Gustavia

Saint Bart’s capital Gustavia almost resembles a fairytale-like tropical paradise. The small buildings have the island’s characteristic red roofs which make them look a little bit similar to a gingerbread house. You can walk around the capital (more of a small town) in a single afternoon. Highlights include both Fort Gustaf and Fort Karl in the northern part of Gustavia. Spend an hour or two at Shell Beach or watch the world pass by overlooking the harbour.

Yacht-Lovers Paradise

Saint Barts is a haven for exclusive luxury yachts. Wealthy owners moor up on the island after cruising around the Caribbean. You can stand in the harbour and count hundreds of yachts of all shapes and sizes. Some of the larger ones cost millions of dollars. Even if you’re not a yacht owner, you can still soak up the atmosphere. Stand in the harbour and snap photos of the elegant vessels. Stroll around and read the quirky names and wave to the people on board.

Saint Barts has the Perfect Climate

It doesn’t get too hot in Saint Barts. Nor does it get too cold. Temperatures hover in the high 20s (Celsius) all year round. This is the ideal weather for wearing t-shirts and shorts and sunbathing on the beach. May and June see slightly cooler temperatures while December and January get higher temperatures. If you love the sun and want to top up your tan, Saint Barts makes the perfect holiday destination. Despite having a rainy season, you can practically guarantee good weather for most of the year.

Incredible Food

Stroll around the waterfront in Gustavia and you’ll find plenty of high-end restaurants. Some offer the catch of the day while others focus more on international cuisine. But the real culinary treat lies in the island’s unique fusion of French and Creole food. Order the grilled yellowtail snapper or warm zucchini soup with lobster fritters. If you want to try some of the more local dishes, order some street food from the vendors. You’ll feel an explosion of flavour when you bite down, and come away with a deeper appreciation of Caribbean food.

You Might Bump into Your Favourite Celebrity

Saint Martin receives the highest number of celebrities on vacation compared to its island-nation neighbours. The likes of Roman Abramovich and The Clooneys have their own private villas on the island. If you drive around, you’ll occasionally come across an enormous complex with a higher level of security than most properties on the island. These are where the celebrities spend their time. Paparazzi often follow the celebs on Saint Martin and you might see them hanging outside their villas. Because of the island’s population of just 35,000 people, you have a much higher chance of bumping into someone famous. Especially down near the waterfront or in the restaurants. Keep your eyes peeled. You never quite know who you’ll bump into.

Luxurious Holidays in Saint Barts

The island paradise allures celebrities and yacht-owners, but doesn’t see the hordes of tourists like some of its Caribbean neighbours. Visitors can book coastal villas, try a unique fusion of French-Creole cuisine and explore the quaint capital Gustavia. Check out the gorgeous white-sand beaches and keep your eyes open for famous faces.

Morro Bay Bike Ride

Public Invited to Ride across Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish at the Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event and Party at the Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet

Cycle through the Stage 4 Finish Line on Race Day, Meet Former Professional

American Cyclist and Author Bob Roll and other Pro Cyclists at The Siren, Volunteer and Watch the Race Front and Center, Book Race Day VIP Lodging Packages or Hotels along the Race Route

The public is invited to participate in Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 race day fun in #cyclingmecca Morro Bay. The 2019 Amgen Tour of California announced Morro Bay will host the Stage 4 Finish of the men’s race on May 15, 2019 following the scenic route the Amgen Tour took in 2017, when Peter Sagan won the sprint finish. After passing through picturesque Morro Bay State Park, where riders get their first glimpse of iconic Morro Rock, Morro Bay’s busting waterfront before sprinting uphill into downtown Morro Bay for the big finish.

“Of all sports, it is cycling that has the most beautiful stadium and this ocean front Stage 4 Finish in Morro Bay is a stunner,” according to Bob Roll, former professional American cyclist and author. “With perfect year round riding weather, the world will get its chance to experience what the locals have enjoyed for years: varied terrain, wide open roads, first class dining and drop dead views. Can’t wait to be there!”

Morro Bay Bike Ride Pre-Event: Ride Across the Amgen Stage 4 Finish Line

Join event producer RaceSLO on race day for the Morro Bay Bike Ride May 15, 2019 from 1:30 to 2:30 pm. This ride ends with a sprint through the Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish line on Harbor Street! All levels are welcome to this celebratory cycle pep rally with three participation options: kid-friendly, recreational rider or seasoned cyclist. Enjoy vendors, food and beverages as the crowd awaits the professional racers to start crossing the finish around 3:40 pm. Participants receive a collectible event t-shirt and free bike valet. Ride proceeds go to local non-profit partner Bike SLO County.

Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet at Siren Rhythm & Booze

Stick around after the race and head to the FREE Bob Roll Pro Cyclists Meet & Greet Event at The Siren May 15, 2019 at 5:30 pm, produced by RaceSLO. Get some cool cycling swag and raise some cold craft pints while helping raise funds for Bike SLO County during a LIVE Auction. Enjoy live music and catch a glimpse of Amgen competitors up close and personal. The event is over 21 only and FREE, but seating is limited so you must pre-register and present a ticket at the door.

Volunteer at Amgen Tour of California Stage 4 Finish

Amgen Tour of California is a Tour de France-style cycling road race created and presented by AEG that challenges the world’s top professional cycling teams to compete along a demanding course that traverses hundreds of miles of California’s iconic highways, byways and coastlines each spring. Tour officials say the 2019 race will be the longest and most challenging in its 14-year history. Many volunteers are needed to make this event a success. You don’t have to live in Morro Bay to participate. Click here to sign up and see the race up close!

Book Lodging Along the Race Route or Amgen Tour of California VIP Packages

Book your stay at a hotel along the Amgen Tour of California route to get a front row seat as the riders pass by. Or, book a suite or waterfront room in one of the participating Morro Bay hotels and receive exclusive access into the Amgen Tour of California VIP tent filled with perks and goodies! Hospitality Passes provide exclusive access into the main VIP Hospitality Tent located adjacent to the FINISH Line. VIP Hospitality Includes:

  • Swag bag of goodies that you’ll receive upon check-in
  • Premium Viewing Location right at the finish line
  • Gourmet foods catered from local restaurants throughout the area
  • Open Bar (includes beer and wine)
  • Lounge Style Seating with closed-circuit tv viewing
  • Live Race Coverage (last two hours of the broadcast)

For additional information on hotels in Morro Bay check out our booking engine here. Recently named one of the Best Small Towns in CA by Country Living Magazine, Morro Bay offers year round mild weather, perfect for epic outdoor adventure all year long. For more information on visiting Morro Bay, go to www.morrobay.org. #multisportmecca

About Morro Bay

A true #outdoormecca, this active seaside fishing village with bustling waterfront offers a picture-perfect getaway for travelers who seek food, wine and outdoor adventures found in nature. Located along coastal Highway 1 in San Luis Obispo County just south of Big Sur, midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, Morro Bay offers year-round activities in an unspoiled slice of California. From ocean-side golf, kayaking, sailing, hiking, fishing, surfing, biking, and bird watching, to kite flying, shopping, dining, wine bars, local craft brews and miles of unspoiled beaches, there is something for everyone.

Sitting majestically between the beach and the harbor lays the iconic and historic landmark Morro Rock, welcoming travelers from miles away as they approach Morro Bay. Located just minutes from world-renowned Hearst Castle, historic missions, breathtaking Montana de Oro State Park, and surrounded by vineyards from Paso Robles to Edna Valley, Morro Bay is a destination designed to fit any style and budget for families, couples or groups. Morro Bay also offers a myriad of year-round events including food, wine and music festivals, art fairs and car shows unique to the town. For more travel information visit www.morrobay.org or follow Morro Bay on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest.

Off The Hook Seafood Festival

The 4th annual OFF THE HOOK Seafood Festival celebrates National Seafood Month on the iconic Santa Monica Pier on Saturday, Oct. 6, 2018 from 4-7 PM (VIP access at 3PM). The event features tastings from the city’s best seafood restaurants and chefs, live music, the popular oyster shucking competition, sustainable seafood VIP Lounge and more. This seafood-loving food fest is 100% free of single-use plastics and benefits Heal the Bay who help to keep our oceans, waves and beaches clean.

We are delighted to be part of this year’s OFF THE HOOK,” said Apryl Boyle, Associate Director of Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium, “This event brings together the best restaurants and seafood dishes while also helping to draw awareness for sustainability and ocean friendly lifestyle practices.

This year’s festival will feature Santa Monica’s top chef’s showcasing dishes with their underwater ingredients such as oysters, baja kanpachi, ahi handrolls, shrimp mac and cheese, lobster rolls and more. Participants include Chef and Restauranteur Jason Fullilove of Barbara Jean, Barbara Pollastrani from Heroic Deli and Govind Armstrong from The Lobster, and bites from other amazing restaurants such as BOA, Sushi Roku, Herringbone, Red O, Blue Plate Oysterette, 1212 Santa Monica, The Albright,T MBI Craft Indian Kitchen, Del Frisco’s Grille, Astro Doughnuts & Fried Chicken, Enterprise Fish Co., Bubba Gump Shrimp Co., TrashFish Box, Jimmy’s Famous American Tavern and more.

The OFF THE HOOK Oyster Shucking Competition, sponsored by The Albright, is always a crowd favorite where competitors battle it out for “Best in Shuck.” The Heal the Bay Santa Monica Aquarium, located directly under the Pier, will also be offering free entry to VIP ticket holders.

Tickets are $50.00 in advance for general admission, which include tastings, access to beer and wine garden, spirits tasting, live music, games and more and VIP tickets are $85.00 in advance and include early entry at 3 p.m. and access to the Sustainable Seafood VIP Lounge with curated cocktails and specialty seafood dishes from FIG, Barbara Jean, and Omega Blue Seafood.

OFF THE HOOK is proudly sponsored by Peroni/Blue Moon, Odwalla, The Albright, Getaround, Kevita, Fresh Wata, Kikori Whiskey, Cheeky Plates, Get Around, Eco Eats Party Ware, Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce, Buy Local Santa Monica, Santa Monica Daily Press, LA Weekly, Angeleno, ATOD Magazine and Yelp.

A portion of proceeds will benefit Heal the Bay to help preserve our local oceans, waves, and beaches for future generations. Tickets are available now www.offthehookseafoodfest.com.

ABOUT HEAL THE BAY:

Heal the Bay is an environmental nonprofit dedicated to making the coastal waters and watersheds of Greater Los Angeles safe, healthy and clean. To fulfill our mission, we use science, education, community action, and advocacy. Learn more at www.healthebay.org.

Social Links

Instagram – @othseafoodfest
Twitter – @othseafoodfest
Facebook – @offthehookfest

BAWAH RESERVE

Bawah Reserve appoints JG Black Book for PR & Trade Services

JG Black Book, a leading full-service consulting firm specializing in integrated PR, sales, marketing, and branding services to clients in the luxury travel sector, announces the addition of one of 2018’s most exciting openings – Bawah Reserve – a pristine archipelago of six private islands located in Indonesia’s Riau Islands, to their expanding portfolio. JG Black Book will handle the brand’s media and trade relations in North America.

“We are thrilled to represent the new Bawah Reserve off the coast of Singapore and leverage our industry expertise in Southeast Asia and private islands,” shares Alexandra Avila, President of JG Black Book. “We are excited to have the opportunity to unveil this spectacular property and share its unparalleled offerings with sustainably-minded travelers of the world.”

Located 150 miles northeast of Singapore on the Anambas Archipelago in Indonesia, Bawah Reserve is a remote paradise of six private islands where explorers can be immersed in a rare ecosystem and enjoy true barefoot luxury. Covered in lush jungle canopy, the private islands feature three crystal-clear blue lagoons and 13 powder-white beaches, offering access to world-class adventure and diverse wildlife in an intimate setting. Bawah Reserve’s pristine waters and unspoiled terrain allow avid travelers to enjoy adventurous island experiences, such as marine-based activities and treks through the jungle, while also indulge in downtime at the Bawah’s beachfront infinity pool and holistic wellness center.

Accommodating up to 70 guests, Bawah Reserve consists of 35 private suites thoughtfully designed to coexist with the surrounding jungle canopy and offer superior style, comfort and privacy. Adorned with luxury wooden interiors and expansive verandahs, the resort offers 11 overwater bungalows overlooking the aquamarine lagoons, 21 safari-like tented beachfront suites and three garden suites nestled amidst the island’s lush green flora.  The canvas and bamboo interiors of the suites create a contemporary and tropical setting that is in perfect harmony with the surrounding landscape.

Bawah Reserve is a passion project designed to integrate people with nature and share the wonders of a diverse ecosystem within an untouched archipelago. With a strong commitment to environmental sustainability and ocean conservation, the recently launched Bawah Anambas Foundation has been established with the mission to preserve and protect marine life, indigenous flora & fauna and local communities living within the surrounding 200 islands.

Commenting on the appointment, Marketing Manager of Bawah Reserve Georgina Bullworthy shares, “We are thrilled to appoint JG Black Book as we launch integrated efforts to introduce Bawah Reserve in North America – one of our most important and growing markets. We look forward to working together to raise awareness of our unique setting and guest offering, in the heart of the South China Sea”.

Bawah Reserve’s amphibious private seaplane takes guests on a 75-minute journey from Batam and lands directly in the clear blue waters of the luxurious outpost. The all-inclusive nightly rate (based on two sharing) starts at US $1,780 for a Garden Suite and includes full round-trip transfers from Singapore, villa accommodation, daily meals, laundry, soft drinks, access to treatments and classes at the wellness center, surface water sports and snorkeling equipment.

For more information on Bawah Reserve, please visit www.bawahisland.com

DURBAN × EATS

BRAAI AND BEYOND: WHAT TO EAT IN DURBAN AND WHERE TO EAT IT

South Africa’s melting pot swirls with a sophisticated and contemporary culinary scene that gives a nod to its cultural heritage

Durban, South Africa, the seaside gem of KwaZulu-Natal Province, is best known for its golden beaches and relaxed surf culture which is about to heat up in the summer months of November through March.

Beyond the waves, Durban’s vibrant culinary scene offers a mix of classic dishes that are a delightful blend of the Zulu, Indian, and European cultures that make up the city’s rich heritage. From flavorful hometown favorites like Bunny Chow, to the regional barbecue known as braai and traditional afternoon tea, visitors can eat like locals with thefollowing culinary experiences that give Durban its unique flavor.

Indulge in braai & Zulu cuisine at Max’s Lifestyle

V1328 Mbe Road, Umlazi

Meat is at the heart of Zulu cuisine, so it is no surprise that South Africans love a good barbecue, known as braai throughout the country. The legendary Max’s Lifestyle in the heart of Umlazi Township is the best place to enjoy a traditional shisa nyama, Zulu for “hot meat,” while listening to local Kwaito music and sipping a cold drink. People from around the world mingle over drinks and traditional food at this hotspot, which also boasts a VIP lounge and Sunday dance parties. The onsite butchery offers a variety of meat prepared braai style and served on a wooden platter in the traditional Zulu way.

Grab pub grub & a craft beer at Robson’s Real Beer

72 Mahatma Gandhi Road, Point Waterfront

Maize starches are another staple of Zulu cuisine and are often used in porridges, or in the liquid form as beer. Robson’s Real Beer brewery and restaurant, located on the reclaimed Point Waterfront, is home to one of the oldest craft beers in South Africa. A family-owned business, Robson’s pioneered bottle conditioned beers, made by a method similar to champagne that produces beer with remarkable complexity and taste. The eatery located inside Robson’s brewery pairs natural, locally inspired beers like the Robson’s Pale Ale and East Coast Ale with sophisticated pub fare, like panko crusted prawns and grilled peri-peri chicken. Robson’s also brews up an immersive experience for visitors by offering beer tasting tours for those wanting an inside look at the craft brewing process.

Catch some rays and fresh eats at a beach shack

Surf Riders Café (17 Erskine Terrace, South Beach)

Afro’s Chicken Shop (2 OR Tambo Parade, South Beach)

After working up an appetite with a stroll along Durban’s popular Golden Mile promenade, visitors can kick back at one of the beach shack-style eateries where the views and food can’t be beat. The laidback beachy vibe at Surf Riders Café captures Durban’s quintessential surf culture, offering burgers, pizza, and more, along with breakfast served in biodegradable cartons for visitors to enjoy at a table or on the beach. Afro’s Chicken Shop offers up simple and affordable chicken takeaway in an iconic bright yellow refurbished shipping container. Known for its chicken and “tjips” (chips), Afro’s Chicken also serves post-surf fare like egg and bacon rolls.

Hop over to CaneCutters for Bunny Chow

53/55 Helen Joseph Road, Glenwood

Durban’s top culinary delight is its signature dish of Bunny Chow, Indian curry housed in a hollowed-out loaf of white bread that serves as a portable bread bowl. Not to worry, no rabbits were harmed in the making of this dish. The name “bunny” originates from an Indian term referring to merchants. Highly recommended by locals and known for its award-winning Bunny Chow, CaneCutters is an authentic Indian restaurant that uses recipes handed down from generation to generation. Visitors can enjoy freshly prepared curries, like their popular “bean bunnies,” traditionally served with crushed chili pickles, carrot sambals (a simple carrot salad), and coriander.

Kick back with a golf legend at Big Easy Winebar & Grill at Hilton Durban

Echoing champion South African golfer Ernie Els’ laidback style, Big Easy Winebar & Grill at Hilton Durban is an unpretentious yet sophisticated spot to enjoy perfectly executed South African cuisine among friends. Dishes like oxtail and marrow fritters; grilled ostrich; and a braai platter for two with lamb chops, boerewors, sirloin steak, and peri peri chicken wings bring a true South African spirit to the table. Diners Club Winelist Awards has recognized the restaurant’s stock of Ernie Els’ signature and other carefully selected wines with its highest accolade, the coveted Diamond status.

Delight in quality steaks & wine at Butcher Block

140 Florida Road, Windermere

2 Ncondo Place, Umhlanga

Butcher Block prides itself on serving the best steaks in the country with locations on Florida Road, Durban’s bustling culinary and entertainment epicenter, and the upscale beach resort area of Umhlanga Rocks. The menu includes meats aged to perfection, like tender fillet stack with herbs and spicy butter, and steak with bacon and biltong, a dried, cured meat that originated in South Africa. Nestled inside of each Butcher Block location is a celebrated wine cellar, featuring some of South Africa’s best-known wines.

Experience the decadent high tea or famous curry buffet at The Oyster Box

2 Lighthouse Road, Umhlanga Rocks, 4319

An ode to its colonial past, the tradition of high tea is still celebrated in Durban. Visitors can step into The Oyster Box hotel’s charming sunlit Palm Court and enjoy the grandeur of the past surrounded by ceramic chandeliers purchased from the Savoy Hotel in London, natural sunlight, and towering palms. This leisurely affair takes place each afternoon from 3 to 5 p.m. and features live piano music and lavish baked scones, pastries, quiches, cakes, and finger sandwiches. Visitors will also want to take their time savoring the bold flavors of the renowned curry buffet in the hotel’s Mediterranean-inspired Ocean Terrace Restaurant with stunning views of the Indian Ocean. Foodies seeking to spice up their life can indulge in more than 10 meat, fish, and vegetarian curries accompanied by homemade chutneys and a selection of Naan.

ABOUT DURBAN

Located an hour southeast of Johannesburg by air, Durban is the beachfront gem of KwaZulu-Natal Province (KZN). A bustling harbor city and popular surfing spot, Durban lies on the Indian Ocean and is South Africa’s third largest urban area.

Remnants of British colonialism and a mix of Zulu, Indian, and Afrikaans traditions give the city a rich cultural heritage, while outdoor activities abound on the signature Golden Mile beachfront and in the lush rolling hills that encompass Durban’s suburbs. For more information, visit http://visitdurban.travel.

BOB ATISSO

Bob Atisso’s sand sculptures

He has showcased at Masa 2018 in Ivory Coast and at the Fulong Beach Festival in Taiwan.

To program on your beaches or indoors, choose your formula.

Africa Top success : The creator and his work has been a “great attraction” for the public Masa…

Fratmat : From the first day of the 10th edition of the Arts Market in Abidjan (Masa), we were impressed by an artist: Bob Atisso.

Culturiche : A sculptor of sand, star of the art market …

> Artist’s info sheet

> Technical rider

> Follow him

Bob Atisso is a Togolese sand sculptor. Ephemeral creations are his specialty. An art form which translates the meaning of life. The secret of his sculptors comes from the field of physics.

His creations have clearly drawn attention. Over the past years Bob Atisso has won the Public Award in India, the 2nd Prize at World Sand Sculpting  championship in Taiwan, the 1st place at the Ruse Sandfest in Russia, 2nd at the Sentosa Sandsation in Singapour and the list continues…

Words are not strong enough to describe the works of Bob. Extremely precise, it often happens that one wonders how such monuments can be built  with almost exclusively bare hands and sand as only material.

In his work, he masterfully presents the daily life in Africa while giving the artistic touch a special engineering. Bringing to life the sand is respecting nature.

Cycling Across Ireland’s West Coast

Journey from Ireland’s Extreme South to Far North on NEW Cycling Adventure

Wilderness Ireland launches 400-mile Wild Atlantic Way trip for 2018

Wilderness Ireland, specialists in crafting outdoor adventure experiences, has launched a new 12-day bike tour covering over 400 miles along the The Wild Atlantic Way, travelling from Ireland’s extreme south to its northernmost point, through three National Parks and eight counties.

The epitome of an adventure challenge, this is the bike tour of a lifetime. Cycling the best of western Ireland’s Wild Atlantic Way, travelers will traverse wild mountain passes, find secret beaches, admire steep cliffs, and visit quaint villages while taking in the dramatic coastal scenery from one extreme of Ireland’s west coast to another.

This bucket list journey begins at Mizen Head, Ireland’s southernmost point, with a scenic ride past rocky coves and fishing villages following beautiful coastline. Cross the rugged peninsulas and mountain passes of Cork and Kerry and pass through the remote and suitably-named Black Valley (the last place in Ireland to get electricity) before exploring Killarney National Park. On a short break from the bikes, island hop to the famed Aran Islands, a final outpost of the Irish language.

Cyclists continue biking along Connemara’s rocky shoreline, offering some of the most impressive Atlantic panoramas, including the world-famous Sky Road. Visit two of Ireland’s three glacial fjords before covering the quiet back lanes of Yeats Country – Sligo’s stunning, windswept landscapes that have inspired much of the famous poet’s writing. Bike through the Bluestack Mountains of Donegal, exploring its rugged landscapes before ending at Malin Head, Ireland’s northernmost point, a rocky headland that feels so alien, it has been featured in Star Wars: Episode VIII – The Last Jedi.

While expert guides interpret this wild place, travelers can focus on the challenge of biking the Wild Atlantic Way, ticking off classic Irish biking routes such as the Ring of Kerry, Corkscrew Hill, and Mamore Gap.

Wilderness Ireland’s new Wild Atlantic Way bike tour includes 11-nights’ accommodation in unique guesthouses, most meals, ride support, luggage transfers, admission and entrance fees. The trip runs July 28 – August 8 and August 18 – 29, 2018, from approx. USD$3,900.

For more information about Wilderness Ireland, visit www.wildernessireland.com.

BUCKET LIST × MENDOCINO COUNTY

BUCKET LIST/2018: MENDOCINO COUNTY IN THE OFFBEAT FILE

 

FROM ROTHSCHILD GIRAFFES TO PYGMY FORESTS, BOWLING BALL BEACH & 10,000 BUDDHAS, MENDOCINO COUNTY UPS THE TRAVEL EXPERIENCE WITH AN INSPIRING LINEUP OF ADVENTURES

Diving deep into Northern California’s crown jewel delivers an experience that’s both easy on the wallet and hard to replicate.  This is the land of ancient redwood groves, natural oddities and awe-inspiring attractions; an earthy blend of maverick farmers, cutting-edge brew masters and personalities with a passion for the offbeat.

Just two hours north of San Francisco, Mendocino County is the true call of the wild, effortlessly mixing wine, waves and wilderness.  Linger on the Lost Coast, break a sweat at Bowling Ball Beach or dive deep into flights of award-winning Alsatian wines.  Boasting 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 24 state/national parklands, the options for adventure are endless.  www.VisitMendocino.com.

TOP TREKS FOR THE EXPERIENTIAL TRAVELER

• Lost Coast Adventure/Candelabra Tree Forest – North of Fort Bragg lies California’s famed Lost Coast, Mendocino’s most wild and remote coastal wilderness with plenty of bragging rights. The Shady Dell Trail – a three-mile excursion – invites visitors to discover the rugged region including the mysterious candelabra tree forest. Free; www.mendocinolandtrust.org.

• B. Bryan Preserve – Experience the African veldt on Mendocino County’s south coast. Join the twice-daily tours to feed the rare African hoofstock- Rothschild Giraffe, Zebra, and Antelope-at B. Bryan Preserve. This remote outpost tucked into Point Arena along scenic Highway 1 also offers an eye-popping giraffe barn for offbeat events. $35 per adult/$20 per child for 1.5 hour Land Rover tour; www.bbryanpreserve.com.

• Pygmy Forest – From Jug Handle State Beach, step back through time as you hike the 2.5-mile self-guided nature trail called The Ecological Staircase, which explores five ocean terraces (each representing 100,000 years) that have been uplifted over time and have created this unique coastal range.  Visitors can take a walkabout in the local gardens or bed down for a deal at Jug Handle Creek Farm, a European-style hostel for just $45/night; http://www.jughandlecreekfarm.org/nature-education/ecological-staircase/.

• Bowling Ball Beach – Rows of boulders carved by time and tide await at Bowling Ball Beach. Hidden, like the Terracotta Army, at low tide these concretions reveal themselves once the sea has retreated. The beach is part of Schooner Gulch State Beach, free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=446.

• City of 10,000 Buddhas – Peacocks, pagodas and “Vigor” and “Virtue” signposts — backed with the resonance of chanting monks – this is the stop for a peaceful walkabout at one of the nation’s largest Buddhist monasteries.  Open to the public, this stunning City of 10,000 Buddhas offers daily prayer (12:30 p.m.) in the eye-popping Jeweled Hall, complete with 10,000 golden Buddhas lining the facility from floor to ceiling; free.  Stay for a tasty lunch at Jyuan Kang Vegetarian Restaurant on-site. www.cttbusa.org.

• Solar Living Institute/Memorial Car Grove – A scout about the Memorial Car Grove at the Solar Living Institute in Hopland is certain to spur a selfie.  Tucked along the Inspiration Highway (101) at the gateway of Mendocino County, this oddity takes shape in the form of hulking gas guzzlers, including classic Edsels repurposed as art.  These rusting relics from the 1950s and ’60s with grown trees sprouting from the interiors are a statement to our times.   Get up close and personal with a grinning grille or hug that tree.  Free; www.solarlivinginstitute.org.

• DIY Point Arena-Stornetta Lands Hike – Relish the wild outdoors at the only land-based portion of the 1,100-mile California Coastal National Monument: Point Arena-Stornetta Lands. The newly acquired lands and moody bluffs of Mendocino’s coast — incorporating more than 1,600 acres — give hikers new access to a 12-mile stretch of coastline laced with cypress forests, scenic cliffs and wildflower fields.  Free; https://www.visitmendocino.com/point-arena-stornetta-public-lands/.

• Point Arena Lighthouse – Make a day of scouting the coast with a pit stop at Point Arena Lighthouse.  The tower is the only West Coast lighthouse of significant height (115 feet) that visitors can access all the way to the top. Breathtaking 360-degree views and a museum and shop await.  Six lodgings dot the 23-acre property including the romantic Lighthouse Keeper’s Apartment ($200/dbl.). General admission $7/children 11 and under $1; www.pointarenalighthouse.com.

• Mendocino Coast Botanical Gardens — Work up a thirst while touring one of the few botanical gardens located directly on prime Pacific Ocean frontage. Known for its spectacular displays of rhododendrons and dahlias, the garden delights in all four seasons.  Bee Friendly Gardens and Sustainable Vegetable Gardening are a snapshot of the annual seminars held.  Pet- and kid-friendly. $14 adult/$5 children (5-17); www.gardenbythesea.org.

• Beer Flight at North Coast Brewing Company – Tame your thirst with a flight of brews at the north coast’s best brewpub. Slither into a tasting flight of four beers ($6) or splurge with the 14-beer sampler with a friend; $21.  The Tap Room is the stop for wood-fired pizza and weekends deliver live jazz; www.northcoastbrewing.com.

• Glass Beach – An anomaly that is eye-popping, visitors can seek out sea glass on Fort Bragg’s unique trash-to-treasure state beach. Formerly the city dump, Glass Beach has evolved over tide and time polishing the glass from head- and tail-lights, jars, bottles, and more into tiny, colorful glass pebbles.  Red and blue are the rarest! Free; www.visitmendocino.com/does-glass-beach-really-have-glass.

• Roots of Motive Power – The age of steam is alive and on show in Willits, California. Just east of town off the Inspiration Highway (101), Roots of Motive Power shows off its cache of classic steam engines, donkeys and railroad track to visitors on their work days each month, free; www.rootsofmotivepower.com/work-days.

• Orr Hot Springs – Soak up some relaxation at this clothing-optional outpost nestled in the rolling hills near the town of Ukiah. The mineral waters flow through communal tubs, a cold pool, rooftop and private tubs.  Simple lodgings are also offered as well as camping on site.  Day use is $30 for adults/$25 children. Reservations required; www.orrhotsprings.org.

• Montgomery Wo0ds State Reserve – Near Orr Hot Springs lies one of the state’s most magnificent groves of virgin redwoods. To stand among the redwood spires deep in the forest is to stand in the nave of one of nature’s cathedrals. High up in the canopy, past flying buttresses of enormous branches, the green treetops soar 300 or more feet above.  A network of easy trails links the Reserve and adjoining fern groves.  Free; www.parks.ca.gov/?page_id=434.

• Disc Golf at Anderson Valley Brewing Company – Pick up a six-pack at the Tap Room and head outside to play a round of disc golf on the brewery’s 18-hole course. Or, take a tour of the brewery offered daily at 1:30 p.m., (and 3:30 p.m./summer); free; www.avbc.com.

• Pennyroyal Farm – Get your goat on at this new, polished venue marking the entrance to Anderson Valley.  A daily tour at this award-winning farmstead dairy includes a visit to the barn to meet 143+ dairy goat companions and 30 dairy sheep, view of the creamery and finale cheese tasting; $15 for adults/$10 for children/under 5 free.  New Pennyroyal Farms wines are also on tap; (Daily tours $15/adults; $10/children.) www.pennyroyalfarm.com.

• Chandelier Drive-Thru Tree – Size matters. Soaring at 315 feet high with a girth of 21 feet, this 2,000-year-old towering tree is a definite show stopper.  Cut in the late 1930s as a tourist attraction, the Chandelier Tree seems to defy nature, allowing autos a smooth passage through its center, albeit tight at times.  Ideal for Instagram Live, a $5.00 fee gains entry through this gentle giant; there are also wonderful hiking trails in nearby Standish-Hickey State Recreation Area.  www.drivethrutree.com.

• Skunk Train – It’s a train thing and it doesn’t get any better than tucking deep into mystical redwoods aboard the legendary Skunk Train.  Depart from Fort Bragg or Willits, which offers an adventure on the Northspur Flyer, for a four-hour trek ascending the 1,740 ft. summit then pushing through to the lush Noyo River Canyon aboard a vintage railcruiser (one of the original 132-year old Skunks) with an open-air coach.  Prices vary. www.skunktrain.com.

      BACKGROUND

Mendocino County welcomes nearly 1.8 million visitors annually who explore its 90 miles of prime Pacific coastline, 90+ wineries and 10 diverse AVAs (earning the highest percentage of organic and biodynamic vineyards in the United States), 24 state/national parklands and 450+ unique accommodations. Straddling scenic Highways 1 and 101, “The Redwood Corridor,” the County delivers an ideal vortex of waves, wines and redwoods laced with historic villages and outback adventures. Located 114 mi./184 km. north of San Francisco, the region’s gateway airports are San Francisco International (SFO), Oakland International (OAK), Sacramento  International Airport (SMF), and Charles M. Schulz-Sonoma County Airport (STS).  Visit Mendocino County is a non-profit destination marketing organization designed to enhance the economic vitality of the community by increasing tourism revenue.  For more information, go to www.visitmendocino.com.

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