This July marked the opening of Gaya Island Resort off the coast of Malaysian Borneo. With 120 villas overlooking the South China Sea, the hotel takes full advantage of their stunning national park space with a resident naturalist and marine biologist, private yacht, and underwater photography classes. This land is as pristine as it gets.
The Scientific Visualization Studio at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center has released a mesmerizing animation, Perpetual Ocean, in which 2½ years' worth of data recording the oceans' surface currents was fed into a modelling program. The result—extravagant and whimsical and truly beautiful—merits a couple of minutes viewing.
Beach TomatoSpecial Report | To celebrate the Queen's Diamond Jubilee this year, Prince Harry touched down in Jamaica on Monday, as part of the royal tour of the Caribbean. Since arriving the Prince has been mixing with the locals and keeping himself very busy. There's been rum tasting, dancing and a beading brow or two (note to self, Harry: long sleeved-shirts and midday heat don't go hand in hand). But with so many flawless stretches of sand on offer, we've been pondering which beach he will head to next. And, from the thousands to be savoured, this is our guide to the best beach to meet your Prince.
This lovely reef may be one of the most photographed in the world, but do you know where it's located? Now since you guys have guessed everything so easily in the past, I want to make this harder for you. This time, I not only want to know where it is, but also the name of the country's capital city. Do you know?
Log in and leave your guesses below and check back on Monday for the answer!
UPDATE 2/13/12: Ysaac andLingLing08 both guessed this one right. This heart-shaped wonder is located in the Great Barrier Reef near the Whitsunday Islands off the coast of Queensland. (And the capital of Australia is Canberra!)
Lyndsey Matthews is an assistant digital editor at Travel + Leisure.
An unspoiled beach in Thailand has become an increasingly rare sight. And an unspoiled beach destination with decent accommodation is almost unheard of these days. So I was excited to learn about Khanom in southern Nakhon Si Thammarat province, which faces the Gulf of Thailand. It’s got eight miles of pristine beachfront property as well as dramatic waterfalls and caves. The waters offshore are also breeding grounds for the rare pink dolphin. One newcomer, Aava on barely inhabited Na Dan beach, could be a sign of things to come. Owned by a Finnish husband-and-wife team, the resort has 28 bungalows and villas whose minimalist design is inspired by their countryman, Alvar Aalto. (The fusion restaurant is named after Aalto.) A few villa and condo developments are in the pipeline, so now is the time to visit Khanom.
Jennifer Chen is Travel + Leisure's Asia Correspondent.
Breaking news for surfing enthusiasts: The new website Wavecation.com—think of it as a HomeAway or VRBO tailored to the surfing community—lists hotels, private homes, and other rental options close to ride-worthy waves all over the globe. The most important criteria? The property has to be oceanfront (or front-row, in cases when a jungle or other natural barrier blocks coastal views) to the water and surf spots. “These places are the equivalent of ski-in, ski-out properties on a snow mountain,” says founder Matt Thomson, who has turned down a number of interested homeowners to maintain his super specific standards. The Austin-based resident is surf-obsessed himself. He started riding when he was 12 and has traveled the world—from the coasts of Nicaragua and Mexico to Hawaii and California—in search of the best breaks.