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Saturday, May 11: Ailsa’s Travel Theme for this week is Beaches. Here are some beaches I’ve encountered in my travels.

Let’s start at the beginning.  Here is the beach of my childhood, on the York River in Yorktown, Virginia.  I spent many of my teenage years hanging out with my friends on this beach.

Yorktown Beach with the York River Bridge in the background.  This is my hometown.

Yorktown Beach with the York River Bridge in the background. This is my hometown.

In general, I prefer deserted, quiet, peaceful and unpopulated beaches, NOT beaches packed with people and umbrellas and chairs and tents and inner tubes like Guryongpo Beach near Pohang, South Korea or Patong Beach in Phuket, Thailand.  Most beaches in South Korea are crowded, as Korea is a tiny country with a huge population of 48 million people.  Haeundae Beach in Busan is nice enough in early April, when this picture was taken, but it’s usually quite crowded.

the tacky, crowded Guryongpo Beach near Pohang, South Korea

the crowded Guryongpo Beach near Pohang, South Korea

another crowded and tacky beach in Phuket, Thailand

another crowded beach in Phuket, Thailand

Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea

Haeundae Beach in Busan, South Korea

It’s not so bad if the beach is set up with mostly EMPTY beach chairs and umbrellas, like this beach in Plakias, Crete, Greece.  At least it’s on the Mediterranean, and what could be better than that?

Plakias Beach, Crete, Greece

Plakias Beach, Crete, Greece

Plakias Beach in Crete, Greece

Plakias Beach in Crete, Greece

Sometimes it’s nice to hang out at a hotel beach, like this beach at Shangri-La Resort near Muscat, Oman. It has a huge pool and a lazy river, so you can dip in the fresh water and wash off the salt and sand from time to time.

Beach at the Shangri-la Resort near Muscat, Oman

Beach at the Shangri-la Resort near Muscat, Oman

Beach at the Shangri-la Resort near Muscat, Oman

Beach at the Shangri-la Resort near Muscat, Oman

Some beaches in Oman are quite deserted or are used mainly by fishermen.  Every time I’ve been to these beaches, they’ve been so extremely hot, I don’t find them enjoyable.  Some of the beaches are so deserted they’re used only by campers.

As Sifah Beach near Muscat, Oman

As Sifah Beach near Muscat, Oman

Omani fisherman at Al Musanaah Beach, Oman

Omani fisherman at Al Musanaah Beach, Oman

Seashells on the beach at Al Musanaah in Oman

Seashells on the beach at Al Musanaah in Oman

a deserted beach where people camp on the east coast of Oman

a deserted beach where people camp on the east coast of Oman

This beach on the Dead Sea in Jordan is quite small, and it’s really impossible to swim in the water because of the high salt content.  No matter what you do, you end up in a position like you are sitting in an armchair, with your arms, legs and head floating on the water’s surface.  Only your rear end sinks in the water.

beach at the Dead Sea in Jordan

beach at the Dead Sea in Jordan

Some beaches are just little strips of sand situated on a lake shore, like this beach at Lake Langano, Ethiopia.

a small beach at Lake Langano, Ethiopia

a small beach at Lake Langano, Ethiopia

Luckily, there are some picture-perfect beaches like Sangju “Silver Sand” Beach in South Korea.

Sangju "Silver Sand" Beach in South Korea

Sangju “Silver Sand” Beach in South Korea

Sangju "Silver Sand" Beach, South Korea

Sangju “Silver Sand” Beach, South Korea

To see more beaches, check out Where’s my backpack? Travel Theme: Beaches.

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