THE BEAU­TI­FUL BEACH ES­CAPE

TIRED OF PACKED BEACHES WHERE NAB­BING A SUN LOUNGER RE­QUIRES THE SKILL OF A NINJA? HEAD TO ONE OF THESE COASTAL REFUGES

Australian T3 - - TRAVEL & GADGET GUIDE -

The Thai is­lands are of­fi­cially full. Although neigh­bour­ing coun­tries are try­ing to recre­ate sim­i­lar idylls, it’s eas­ier said than done. On the Viet­namese is­land of Phu Quoc, for ex­am­ple, overde­vel­op­ment has pro­duced a rash of gaudy ho­tels and casi­nos. Our ad­vice? Visit Cam­bo­dia’s coast. Although the sea­side city of Si­hanoukville is pop­u­lar with back­pack­ers, those in the know are head­ing east to the coastal prov­ince of Kep, where a num­ber of beau­ti­ful bou­tique ho­tels are pop­ping up. We’re smit­ten with Knai Bang Chatt, a beach ho­tel with its own sail­ing club. Else­where in Cam­bo­dia, the open­ing of Alila Vil­las Koh Russey is gen­er­at­ing huge buzz, as is the launch of the all-villa Six Senses Koh Krabey, a short boat ride from Si­hanoukville.

Fur­ther afield, Mon­tene­gro is shap­ing up to be the next big beach des­ti­na­tion. The coun­try’s coast­line shares the same ex­panse of ocean as Greece, Italy and Croa­tia, and one of its finest beach re­sorts, Bečići, is an hour’s drive from its cap­i­tal, Pod­gor­ica. In­dus­try ex­perts are also pre­dict­ing that Tur­key will make a come­back in 2018, with İzmir prov­ince the place to be. Our favourite lo­ca­tions in­clude the re­sort town of Çeşme, and Foça, a quaint beach town. May 2018 saw the re­turn of tour op­er­a­tor Mark Warner to Tur­key, and the com­pany chose this area as the site of its new prop­erty, which opens from May un­til Oc­to­ber. Phokaia Beach Re­sort will have an enor­mous wa­ter sports cen­tre and a wide range of ac­tiv­i­ties, in­clud­ing yoga, cy­cling, hik­ing and ten­nis.

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