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Warner Robins, Georgia – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Feb 142016
 

Warner Robins is a city in the US state of Georgia, located in Houston County. As of the 2010 census, the city had a total population of 66,588. From 2000 to 2010, the Warner Robins city population growth percentage was 36.4% (or from 48,804 people to 66,588 people). Warner Robins is a part of the larger Macon-Warner Robins Combined Statistical Area with a population of 417,473.

Warner Robins was founded in 1942 from the community of Wellston. It was named for General Augustine Warner Robins of the United States Air Force. It was incorporated as a town in 1943 and as a city in 1956.[3]

The 1940 census shows that the community of Wellston was sparsely populated and inhabited primarily by farmers and their families. Its most notable landmark was a stop on the railroad line. Wellston also had a small sawmill and a grocery store. Peach orchards covered parts of the surrounding land.

World War II would soon change this. The War Department made plans to build an air depot in the Southeast. With the assistance of influential U.S. Congressman Carl Vinson, Wellston community leader Charles Bostic Boss Watson worked with officials in Macon to make a bid to locate this air depot in Houston County. In June 1941, the U.S. government accepted this offer which included 3,108 acres of land.[4]

This air base was initially called Wellston Army Air Depot when it opened in 1942. The first commander was Colonel Charles E. Thomas. He wanted to name this depot in honor of his mentor Augustine Warner Robins, who was called by his middle name Warner. Regulations prevented him from doing this, which required the base to be named after the nearest town. Not deterred by this, Colonel Thomas persuaded Boss Watson and the other community leaders to rename Wellston. So on September 1, 1942, the town was given the new name of Warner Robins.[5] Soon thereafter on October 14, 1942, the base was renamed to become Warner Robins Army Air Depot. So the city of Warner Robins has a unique name that no other town in America has.

Robins Air Force Base is not within the actual city limits of the town. But only U.S. Highway 129 (Georgia state highway 247) separates the base from the city.

Warner Robins is located at 323631N 833817W / 32.60861N 83.63806W / 32.60861; -83.63806 (32.608720, 83.638027).[6]

Warner Robins is approximately 100 miles south of Atlanta.

According to the United States Census Bureau, the city has a total area of 35.4 square miles (92km2), of which, 35.1 square miles (91km2) is land and 0.3 square miles (0.78km2) (0.82%) is water.

As of the census[1] of 2010, there were 66,588 people, 19,550 households, and 13,078 families residing in the city. The population density was 2,143.9 inhabitants per square mile (827.8/km2) . There were 29,084 housing units at an average density of 952.7 per square mile (367.8/km2). The racial makeup of the city included 50.00% White, 36.60% African American, 0.30% Native American, 2.60% Asian, 0.07% Pacific Islander, .10% from other races, and 2.60% from two or more races. Hispanic or Latino of any race were 15.60% of the population.

There were 19,550 households out of which 34.3% had children under the age of 18 living with them, 46.3% were married couples living together, 16.6% had a female householder with no husband present, and 33.1% were non-families. 28.1% of all households were made up of individuals and 7.5% had someone living alone who was 65 years of age or older. The average household size was 2.48 and the average family size was 3.03.

In the city the population was spread out with 28.0% under the age of 18, 9.6% from 18 to 24, 31.9% from 25 to 44, 20.2% from 45 to 64, and 10.8% who were 65 years of age or older. The median age was 33 years. For every 100 females there were 94.2 males. For every 100 females age 18 and over, there were 90.1 males.

The median income for a household in the city was $38,401, and the median income for a family was $44,217. Males had a median income of $33,030 versus $24,855 for females. The per capita income for the city was $18,121. About 11.0% of families and 13.2% of the population were below the poverty line, including 20.5% of those under age 18 and 8.6% of those age 65 or over.

In 2009, Business Week magazine named Warner Robins the best place in Georgia in which to raise a family.[9] The ranking was bestowed once again for 2010.[10] The Warner Robins Area Chamber was named one of the top three chambers of commerce in the U.S. for a chamber in its division in 2009 by the American Chamber of Commerce Executives Association[citation needed]. In 2012, CNN Money named Warner Robins No. 7 on its Best Places To Live list for America’s best small cities.[11]

Warner Robins has a humid subtropical climate (Kppen Cfa). It experiences hot, humid summers and generally mild winters, with average high temperatures ranging from 92.0F (33.3C) in the summer to 58.0F (14.4C) high during winter. Snowfall is an extremely rare event. Warner Robins-area historical tornado activity is slightly above Georgia state average. It is 86% greater than the overall U.S. average.[12]

Warner Robins is home to the Museum of Aviation honoring the history of military aviation. It is located next to the air force base. The museum contains exhibits on military memorabilia, airplanes and ground vehicles, the Tuskegee Airmen and Operation Desert Storm. It is the second-largest aviation museum in the country.[citation needed] It is also the largest tourist attraction outside of Atlanta in the state of Georgia.

Warner Robins residents claim that in 1958, Claude Lewis, director of the Warner Robins Recreation Department, invented the game of tee-ball. The first game was played in March of that year with 20 children participating. Lewis wrote rules for the new game and sent rule books out to recreation departments all over the country.[citation needed] In 2006, a field was dedicated and named for Lewis, “The Father of Tee-Ball”, at the Warner Robins American Little League complex.[citation needed]

Warner Robins Little League won the 2007 Little League World Series 32 against Tokyo, Japan.[14]

On December 9, 2008 the Little League International Board of Directors unanimously voted for Warner Robins to become the new Southeast Region Headquarters of Little League Baseball and Softball. Games began to be played in Warner Robins in 2010.[15]

The Warner Robins American Little League girls softball team won the 2009 Little League Softball World Series, by defeating Crawford, Texas, making Warner Robins the only Little League to have won both a baseball and a softball Little League title.[16]

The Warner Robins American Little League girls softball team defended their 2009 championship by defeating Burbank, California in the 2010 Little League Softball World Series. By doing so, Warner Robins became only the fourth Little League program to produce back-to-back championship teams and the first since Waco, Texas in 20032004.[17]

The official motto of Warner Robins is EDIMGIAFAD, which is an acronym for “Every Day In Middle Georgia Is Armed Forces Appreciation Day”. (Originally: Every Day In Middle Georgia Is Air Force Appreciation Day). The coining of this phrase is attributed to Dr. Dan Callahan, a local civic leader.[18] In 2010, Dr. Callahan and a group of community leaders launched an effort to change the acronym to “EDIUSAIAFAD”, as part of a movement to take the sentiment national: “Every Day in the USA is Armed Forces Appreciation Day”.[19]

Robins Air Force Base is one of the largest employers in the state of Georgia and directly contributes over 25,000 military, civil service, and contractor jobs to the local economy.[20] It has provided economic stability for Warner Robins that has benefited the entire Middle Georgia community.

The city of Warner Robins is working on redeveloping and renewing areas that have suffered from urban decay and/or abandonment through neglect and city growth. The city’s plans include development of a centralized downtown area to include shopping, entertainment and restaurants. They want to increase amenities and attract more commercial business to the area.[citation needed]

In May 2009 Warner Robins was listed by the Adversity Index as one of four Georgia metro areas that have had less than nine months of recession over the past fifteen years and have only recently been affected by the Global Financial Crisis of 20082009.[citation needed]

In June 2011, Warner Robins was listed in Wired Magazine as one of 12 small cities that are driving the “Knowledge Economy”. Georgia was the only Southeastern state listed and Warner Robins was one of two Georgia cities ranked (the other one being Hinesville-Ft. Stewart). The rankings featured small cities that are luring knowledge workers and entrepreneurs and who have both a relatively high median family income and a relatively high percentage of creative workers who drive the economy.

Houston County Hospital was dedicated on July 2, 1960 with 50 beds. The hospital was renamed Houston Medical Center in 1986 after renovations. The patient rooms were converted at this time from semi-private to private with 186 beds available.

A new five-story northwest addition was completed in 2009 making a total of 237 beds.

Houston Medical Center is part of the Houston Healthcare system, which serves over 300,000 people annually.[21]

High school football has long been a storied and celebrated pastime in Warner Robins with the city laying claim to state championships, national championships, college stars and NFL players.

The annual Northside vs Warner Robins game draws an estimated 21,000 fans and was named the #3 rivalry in the country by USA Today in 2006.

Warner Robins High School won two National Championships in 1976 and 1981. They have also won four State Championships in 1976, 1981, 1988 and 2004.

Northside High School was crowned State Champion in 2006, 2007 and 2014.

The Warner Robins Little Theatre was established in 1962 as a non-profit community theatre. Just thirty years later, this organization owned their theatre playhouse debt-free.

The theatre continues to thrive. There are five main shows produced every year. Occasionally there are workshops and other special events held for the Middle Georgia community.[22]

The bands Rehab, Stillwater, Doc Holliday Sugar Creek and Luke’s Cabbage Store are based in Warner Robins.

Warner Robins Law Enforcement Center

Nola Brantley Memorial Library

Southeastern Region Little League Stadium

Little League World Series display

Sacred Heart Catholic Church on Davis Drive

State Court of Houston County

The portion of Warner Robins in Houston County is served by the Houston County School System. The portion of the city in Peach County is served by Peach County School District.[citation needed]

On April 30, 1953 a F4 tornado with winds over 200mph hit the city and portions of Robins Air Force Base and killed 18 people and injured 300 more.

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Golden Isles of Georgia

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Feb 142016
 

Use the following navigation to visit the main site sections

The Golden Isles consist of many unique locations each offering a unique experience. Discover them at your leisure. Come Stay!

Nestled on the Georgia coast, midway between Savannah, GA, and Jacksonville, FL, lies the mainland city of Brunswick and its four beautiful barrier islands: St. Simons Island, Sea Island, Little St. Simons Island and Jekyll Island. Pristine stretches of marshland, punctuated by small islands known as hammocks, define the breathtaking landscape and create the appearance of a continuous stretch of land reaching out to the barrier islands.

The largest of The Golden Isles, St. Simons Island continues to reveal the remarkable beauty and fascinating history of what 16th-century Spanish explorers called San Simeon. Visitors come year round to swim, stroll and sail along its miles of lovely beaches, to challenge its 99 holes of superb golf and numerous tennis courts, and to explore its countless shops and restaurants.

Reached by causeway from St. Simons Island, Sea Island is an internationally acclaimed resort. Though much of Sea Island is residential, Island life centers around The Cloister, perennially honored as one of the worlds great hotels. Golf club, beach club, gun club, horseback riding, fine dining and numerous other activities are among the amenities enjoyed by its guests.

Jekyll Island offers an abundance of recreational activities that are sure to please visitors of all ages. Miles of white sand beaches, 63 holes of golf, an outdoor tennis complex, water fun park, fishing pier, nature centers, bike trails and more. Accommodations are invitingly varied and include a grand historic hotel, oceanfront properties, even camping. Jekyll Island, once a haven for Americas elite, now beckons to all.

Accessible only by boat, Little St. Simons Island is the northernmost of The Golden Isles and certainly the most secluded. For many years a privately owned retreat, the Island now offers a limited number of guests the rare opportunity to experience the enchantment and solitude of the isolated beaches and marshlands that bound its10,000 acres of pristine woodlands.

Mainland Brunswick is named for Braunschweig, Germany, the ancestral home of King George II, grantor of Georgias original land charter. The streets and squares of this quiet port city were laid out before the American Revolution and their names, like Newcastle, Norwich, Prince and Gloucester, give Brunswick a decidedly English flavor. The unmistakable flavor of the south, too, can be sampled here, home of the original Brunswick Stew.

Interstate 95, the main Interstate Highway on the east coast of the United States, also serves the coast of Georgia. Within Georgia, it begins from the south at the St. Marys River and the Florida state line and continues north past the border of South Carolina at the Savannah River. Exits 29, 36, 38 and 42 serve the Golden Isles of Georgia.

If you would like to receive our regular newsletter containing up-to-date news, information and special offers, subscribe below.

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Channel Islands of California – Wikipedia, the free …

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Feb 122016
 

The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America. Five of the islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, and the waters surrounding these islands make up Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The islands were first colonized by the Chumash and Tongva Native Americans 13,000 years ago, who were then displaced by European settlers who used the islands for fishing and agriculture. The U.S. military uses the islands as training grounds, weapons test sites, and as a strategic defensive location. The Channel Islands and the surrounding waters house a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species and subspecies.

The eight islands are split among the jurisdictions of three separate California counties: Santa Barbara County (four), Ventura County (two), and Los Angeles County (two). The islands are divided into two groupsthe Northern Channel Islands and the Southern Channel Islands. The four Northern Islands used to be a single landmass known as Santa Rosae.

The archipelago extends for 160 miles (257km) between San Miguel Island in the north and San Clemente Island in the south. Together, the islands land area totals 221,331 acres (89,569ha), or about 346 square miles (900km2).

Five of the islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara) were made into the Channel Islands National Park in 1980. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles (11 kilometers) off Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara islands.

Santa Catalina Island is the only one of the eight islands with a significant permanent civilian settlementthe resort city of Avalon, California, and the unincorporated town of Two Harbors.

Natural seepage of oil occurs at several places in the Santa Barbara Channel.[1] Tar balls or pieces of tar in small numbers are found in the kelp and on the beaches. Native Americans used naturally occurring tar, bitumen, for a variety of purposes which include roofing, waterproofing, paving and some ceremonial purposes.[2]

The Channel Islands at low elevations are virtually frost-free and constitute one of the few such areas in the 48 contiguous US states. It snows only rarely, on higher mountain peaks.

Separated from the California mainland throughout recent geological history, the Channel Islands provide the earliest evidence for human seafaring in the Americas. It is also the site of the discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America.[3] The Northern Channel Islands are now known to have been settled by maritime Paleo Indian peoples at least 13,000 years ago. Archaeological sites on the island provide a unique and invaluable record of human interaction with Channel Island marine and terrestrial ecosystems from the late Pleistocene to historic times. Historically, the northern islands were occupied by the island Chumash, while the southern islands were occupied by the Tongva. Scott O’Dell has had a book written about the indigenous peoples living on the island, Island of the Blue Dolphins. Aleuts hunters visited the islands to hunt otters in the early 1800s. The Aleuts purportedly clashed with the native Chumash, killing many over trading disputes. Aleut interactions with the natives were also detailed in O’Dell’s book.[4]

The Chumash and Tongva were removed from the islands in the early 19th century, taken to Spanish missions and pueblos on the adjacent mainland. For a century, the Channel Islands were used primarily for ranching and fishing activities, which had significant impacts on island ecosystems, including the local extinction of sea otters, bald eagles, and other species. With most of the Channel Islands now managed by federal agencies or conservation groups, the restoration of the island ecosystems has made significant progress.Several of the islands were used by whalers in the 1930s to hunt for sperm whales.[5]

In 1972, the Brown Berets seized and claimed the islands for Mexico, citing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a treaty between Mexico and the USA by which Mexico lost more than half of its territory, and arguing that the treaty does not specifically mention the Channel Islands nor the Farallon Islands. Though the United States had occupied them since 1852, the group speculated that Mexico could claim the islands and seek their return through litigation before the International Court of Justice. However, a detailed analysis of its situation puts in doubt the likelihood of Mexico winning the case at the International Court of Justice.[6]The Channel Islands National Park’s mainland visitor center received 342,000 visitors in 2014. The Channel Islands itself attracts around 70,000 tourists a year, most during the summer.[7] Visitors can travel to the islands via public boat or airplane transportation. Camping grounds are available on Anacapa, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands in the Channel Islands National Park. Attractions include whale watching, hikes, snorkeling, kayaking and camping.[8]

The United States Navy controls San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, and has installations elsewhere in the chain. During World War II all of Southern Californias Channel Islands were put under military control, including the civilian-populated Santa Catalina where tourism was halted and established residents needed permits to travel to and from the mainland.[9] San Miguel Island was used as a bombing range[10] and Santa Barbara Island as an early warning outpost under the presumed threat of a Japanese attack on California.[11] San Clemente Island was used to train the Navy’s first amphibious force to prepare for Pacific combat against the Japanese in World War II.[12] San Nicolas Island has been used since 1957 as a launch pad for research rockets. San Nicolas was considered out of eight possible locations as the site of the Trinity nuclear test.[13] Santa Rosa Island was used in 1952 as a base for the USAF 669th AC&W Squadron and they operated two Distant Early Warning FPS-10 radars from the hilltops there. In 1955 another FPS-3 search radar was added, and in 1956, a GPS-3 search radar was installed. A new MPS-14 long-range height-finder radar was installed in 1958. The base was shut down in March 1963, when the 669th was moved to Vandenberg AFB In Lompoc, California. The islands still house US Navy SEALs training facilities and continues to use the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field located on San Clemente Island.[12]

The Channel Islands are part of one of the richest marine ecosystems of the world. Many unique species of plants and animals are endemic to the Channel Islands, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, and flora including a unique subspecies of Torrey pine.

Flora on the Channel Islands include a unique subspecies of pine, oak, and the island tree mallow. Santa Rosa Island holds two groves of the Torrey pine subspecies Pinus torreyana var. insularis, which is endemic to the island. Torrey pines are the United States’ rarest pine species.[14] The islands also house many rare and endangered species of plants, including the island barberry, the island rushrose, and the Santa Cruz Island lace pod. Giant kelp forests surround the islands and act as a source of nutrition and protection for other animals.[15]

Invasive species, such as the Australian blue gum tree, olive tree, sweet fennel and Harding grass threaten native species through competition for light, nutrients, and water. The Australian blue gum, for example, releases toxins in its leaf litter which prevents other species of plants from growing in the soil surrounding it. The blue gum, as well as other species including the Harding grass, are much more flammable and better adapted to wildfires than native species.[16]

The Channel Islands and the waters surrounding hold many endemic species of animals, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, island scrub jay, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, San Clemente loggerhead shrike, San Clemente sage sparrow. Many species of large marine mammals, including pacific gray whales, blue whales, humpback whales, and California sea lions breed or feed close to the Channel Islands. Current occurrences, if still happen, of the critically endangered North Pacific right whales, and historically abundant Steller’s sea lions in these areas are unknown. Seabirds, including the western gulls, bald eagles, pigeon guillemonts, and Scripps’s murrelets use the islands as well for shelter and breeding grounds. The endemic island fox is California’s smallest natural canine and has rebounded from its near extinction in the late 1990s. Several endemic reptile species including the island fence lizard, island night lizard, and Channel Islands slender salamander live on the islands.[17]

Conservation efforts are being made to maintain the islands’ endemic species. Feral livestock, including pigs, goats, and sheep, pose a threat to many of the species, including the San Clemente loggerhead shrike and Channel Islands spotted skunk. The National Park Service eradicated the feral pigs on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands during the 1990s and on Santa Catalina Island in 2007.[4][18] Introduced pathogens have devastated island species due to isolation from the mainland. In 1998, an outbreak of canine distemper swept through Santa Catalina Island severely reducing the island skunk and fox populations. Rabies and distemper vaccination programs were initiated to protect the island’s wildlife. Canine distemper is thought to have been brought to the islands on a stowaway raccoon or a domestic dog.[19]

In the 1950s, bald eagles and peregrine falcons on the Channel Islands became locally extinct after widespread use of pesticides such as DDT.[20] The birds ingest contaminated fish and seabirds which poisons the adults and weakens their eggs. Golden eagles, which are natural competitors of other birds of prey, do not primarily feed on these animals and were able to colonize the islands in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, golden eagles were live trapped and relocated.[21] In 2002 and 2006 breeding pairs of bald eagles were reintroduced to the northern islands.[22] Later in 2006, the introduced adult eagles hatched chicks on the islands for the first time since their extinction. The Channel Islands National Park established a bald eagle webcam on their website in 2007.[4]

Coordinates: 340058N 1194814W / 34.01611N 119.80389W / 34.01611; -119.80389

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Meadowlands Hotels Secaucus Nj New Jersey

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Feb 052016
 

Hotel El Roble Meadowlands Hotels Secaucus Nj New Jersey With the collegiate aspect of Oxford so important, there are fierce rivalries that exist whether its an architectural comparison of respective colleges or the perhaps more brazen rivalries on the sports field. Meadowlands Hotels Secaucus Nj New Jersey Meadowlands Hotels Secaucus Nj New Jersey

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With Meadowlands hotels secaucus nj new jersey the collegiate aspect of Oxford so important, there are fierce rivalries that exist whether its an architectural comparison of respective colleges or the perhaps more brazen rivalries on the sports field.

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Hotel El Roble

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Hotel El Roble

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Islands | ARKive

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Jan 312016
 

Over the past 400 years, around half of all animal extinctions have occurred on islands. Island species are often only present in relatively small numbers, putting them at greater risk, and the limited habitat available to them means they cannot easily disperse elsewhere. This also means that island species are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, such as rising temperature and sea levels, extreme weather events, and fires.

Island species are also vulnerable to the introduction of invasive species, as they have typically evolved in isolation with limited competition. Many island species also lack the adaptations to cope with introduced predators. As humans have travelled the world they have introduced large numbers of non-native species to islands, sometimes with devastating consequences, and on some islands the alien species now outnumber the native ones.

The other main risks to island species are natural disasters, habitat destruction, tourism development, overexploitation and pollution. These pressures show their impacts on islands before they would be visible on larger land masses.

Although once widespread throughout Southeast Asia, today the Bornean orangutan is restricted to the island of Borneo. Currently, the main threat to this species is the loss of forest habitat. In the past 20 years, 80 percent of this species habitat has been lost to illegal logging, gold mining and conversion to permanent agriculture such as oil palm plantations.

The Juan Fernndez petrel faces its greatest threats on its tiny breeding island, where numerous introduced species are causing extensive damage to the natural ecosystem.

The Lord Howe Island stick-insect was believed Extinct due to predation by introduced black rats until it was rediscovered surviving on a single island outcrop known as Balls Pyramid.

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US Virgin Islands Americas Paradise

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Jan 312016
 

Charlotte Amalie Harbour, St. Thomas USVI

Welcome to usvi.net, the US Virgin Islands oldest and longest running travel website.

There are three main islands to visit in the US Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. There is also the small, and historically fascinating Water Island.

St. Thomas is the most popular cruise port in the Caribbean. St. Thomas is home of Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the US Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie is both the principle cruise terminal as well as the location islands airport.

St. Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands at 82 square miles in area. St. Croix consists of two distinct towns; Christiansted and Frederiksted. The architectural quality and historic interest of the one-time Danish West Indiescapital has made part of Christiansted (founded in 1734) a National Historic Site.

St. John is mainly aUS National Park. St. John offers incredible vantages of nature in the Caribbean.Friends of the Virgin IslandsNational Park volunteers staff an information kiosk on St. John Island. This is a good place to start your visit of St. John.

Spend day after day on beach after beach, each with its own panoramic view. Try camping under the stars. Let a friendly mongoose lead you along a woodland trail. Many of the trails end on a plateau high in the sky, offering panoramic views of white beaches, emerald cays, and turquoise waters.

Water Island is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands at fewer than 1.3 square miles. Water Island is only a short 10-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas. If youre looking for something more than shopping, you will find it on Water Island. To help get around Water Island golf carts can be rented right off the ferry.

Some of the things that can be done in the US Virgin Islands include sailing, scuba diving, skin diving, water skiing and most other water sports. Newer attractions like zip lining are also available. Taking in a round of golf or horseback riding are also options if time allows. If staying over night take the time to enjoy the nightlife.

If looking for a tropical wedding location but do not want to worry about passports this is the perfect place! Imagine being wed on the beach at Magens Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Receptions can be held at any number of locations from beaches to five star hotels and anywhere in between. With scheduled daily flights provided by American, Delta, Jet Blue, and United from major mainland hubs Atlanta and Miami the Islands are a reasonable location for those along the eastern seaboard.

Driving is on the left hand side of the road, steering wheel also on the left!

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US Virgin Islands Americas Paradise

Spratly Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jan 242016
 

The Spratly Islands (Chinese: ; pinyin: Nnsh Qndo, Malay: Kepulauan Spratly, Tagalog: Kapuluan ng Kalayaan,[8]Vietnamese: Qun o Trng Sa) are a disputed group of more than 750 reefs, islets, atolls, cays and islands in the South China Sea.[9] The archipelago lies off the coasts of the Philippines, Malaysia, and southern Vietnam. Named after the 19th-century British whaling captain Richard Spratly who sighted Spratly Island in 1843, the islands contain approximately 4km2 (1.5sq mi) of land area spread over a vast area of more than 425,000km2 (164,000sq mi).

The Spratlys are one of the major archipelagos in the South China Sea that comprise more than 30,000 islands and reefs, and which complicate governance and economics in this part of Southeast Asia due to their location in strategic shipping lanes. The islands have no indigenous inhabitants, but offer rich fishing grounds and may contain significant oil and natural gas reserves.[10][11] and as such are important to the claimants in their attempts to establish international boundaries.

The area northeast of the Spratlys is known to mariners as Dangerous Ground and is characterized by its many low islands, sunken reefs, and atolls with coral often rising abruptly from ocean depths greater than 1,000 metres (3,300ft) – all of which makes the area dangerous for navigation.

In addition to various territorial claims, some of the features have civilian settlements, but of the approximately 45 islands, reefs, cays and other features that are occupied all contain structures that are occupied by military forces (from China (PRC), Taiwan (ROC), Vietnam, the Philippines and Malaysia). Additionally, Brunei has claimed (but does not occupy) an exclusive economic zone in the southeastern part of the Spratlys, which includes the Louisa Reef. These claims and occupations have led to escalating tensions between these countries over the status and “ownership” of the islands.

The Spratly Islands contain almost no significant arable land, have no indigenous inhabitants, and very few of the islands have a permanent drinkable water supply. Natural resources include fish and guano, as well as the possible potential of oil and natural gas reserves.[12]Economic activity has included commercial fishing, shipping, guano mining, and more recently, tourism.

The Spratlys are located near several primary shipping lanes.

The Spratly Islands consist of reefs, banks and shoals that consist of biogenic carbonate. These accumulations of biogenic carbonate lie upon the higher crests of major submarine ridges that are uplifted fault blocks known by geologists as horsts. These horsts are part of a series of parallel and en echelon, half-grabens and rotated fault-blocks. The long axes of the horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens form well-defined linear trends that lie parallel to magnetic anomalies exhibited by the oceanic crust of the adjacent South China Sea. The horsts, rotated fault blocks, and the rock forming the bottoms of associated grabens consist of stretched and subsided continental crust that is composed of Triassic, Jurassic, and Cretaceous strata that include calc-alkalic extrusive igneous rocks, intermediate to acid intrusive igneous rocks, sandstones, siltstones, dark-green claystones, and metamorphic rocks that include biotite-muscovite-feldspar-quartz migmatites and garnet-mica schists.[13][14][15]

The dismemberment and subsidence of continental crust into horsts, rotated fault blocks and half-grabens that underlie the Spratly Islands and surrounding sea bottom occurred in 2 distinct periods. They occurred as the result of the tectonic stretching of continental crust along underlying deeply rooted detachment faults. During the Late Cretaceous and Early Oligocene, the earliest period of tectonic stretching of continental crust and formation of horsts, half-grabens, and rotated fault-blocks occurred in association the rifting and later sea-floor spreading that created the South China Sea. During the Late Oligocene-Early Miocene additional stretching and block faulting of continental crust occurred within the Spratly Islands and adjacent Dangerous Ground. During and after this period of tectonic activity, corals and other marine life colonised the crests of the horsts and other ridges that lay in shallow water. The remains of these organisms accumulated over time as biogenic carbonates that comprise the current day reefs, shoals and cays of the Spratly Islands. Starting with their formation in Late Cretaceous, fine-grained organic-rich marine sediments accumulated within the numerous submarine half-grabens that underlie sea bottom within the Dangerous Ground region.[13][14][15]

The geological surveys show localised areas within the Spratly Islands region are favourable for the accumulation of economic oil and gas reserves. They include thick sequences of Cenozoic sediments east of the Spratly Islands. Southeast and west of them, there also exist thick accumulations of sediments that possibly might contain economic oil and gas reserves lie closer to the Spratly Islands.[10][16]

In some cays in the Spratly Islands, the sand and pebble sediments form the beaches and spits around the island. Under the influence of the dominant wind direction, which changes seasonally, these sediments move around the island to change the shape and size of the island. For example, Spratly Island is larger during the northeast monsoon, (about 700 300 meters), and smaller during the southwest monsoon (approximately 650 320 meters).[17]

Some islands may contain fresh groundwater fed by rain. Groundwater levels fluctuate during the day with the rhythm of the tides.[18]

Phosphates from bird faeces (guano) are mainly concentrated in the beach rocks by the way of exchange-endosmosis. The principal minerals bearing phosphate are podolite, lewistonite and dehonite.[19]

Coral reefs are the predominant structures of these islands; the Spratly group contains over 600 coral reefs in total.[9] In April 2015 the New York Times reported that China were using “scores of dredgers” to convert Fiery Cross Reef and several other reefs into military facilities (runways, etc.).[20][21]

Little vegetation grows on these islands, which are subject to intense monsoons. Larger islands are capable of supporting tropical forest, scrub forest, coastal scrub and grasses. It is difficult to determine which species have been introduced or cultivated by humans. Taiping Island (Itu Aba) was reportedly covered with shrubs, coconut, and mangroves in 1938; pineapple was also cultivated there when it was profitable. Other accounts mention papaya, banana, palm, and even white peach trees growing on one island. A few islands that have been developed as small tourist resorts had soil and trees brought in and planted where there was none.[9]

A total of 2,927 marine species have been recorded in the Spratly Sea, including 776 benthic species, 382 species of hard coral, 524 species of marine fish, 262 species of algae and sea grass, 35 species of seabirds, 20 species of marine mammals and sea turtles, etc.[22]

Terrestrial vegetation in the islands includes 103 species of vascular plants of magnolia branches (Magnoliophyta) of 39 families and 79 genera.[22]

The islands that do have vegetation provide important habitats for many seabirds and sea turtles.[9]

Both the green turtle (Chelonia mydas, endangered) and the hawksbill turtle (Eretmochelys imbricata, critically endangered) formerly occurred in numbers sufficient to support commercial exploitation. These species reportedly continue to nest even on islands inhabited by military personnel (such as Pratas) to some extent, though it is believed that their numbers have declined.[9]

Seabirds use the islands for resting, breeding, and wintering sites. Species found here include: streaked shearwater (Calonectris leucomelas), brown booby (Sula leucogaster), red-footed booby (S. sula), great crested tern (Sterna bergii), and white tern (Gygis alba). Little information is available regarding the current status of the islands’ seabird populations, though it is likely that birds may divert nesting sites to smaller, less disturbed islands. Bird eggs cover the majority of Song Tu, a small island in the eastern Danger Zone.[9]

This ecoregion is still largely a mystery. Scientists have focused their research on the marine environment, while the ecology of the terrestrial environment remains relatively unknown.[9]

Political instability, tourism and the increasing industrialisation of neighbouring countries has led to serious disruption of native flora and fauna, over-exploitation of natural resources, and environmental pollution. Disruption of nesting areas by human activity and/or by introduced animals, such as dogs, has reduced the number of turtles nesting on the islands. Sea turtles are also slaughtered for food on a significant scale. The sea turtle is a symbol of longevity in Chinese culture and at times the military personnel are given orders to protect the turtles.[9]

Heavy commercial fishing in the region incurs other problems. Although it has been outlawed, fishing methods continue to include the use of bottom trawlers fitted with chain rollers. In addition, during a recent[timeframe?] routine patrols[by whom?], more than 200kg of Potassium cyanide solution was confiscated from fishermen who had been using it for fish poisoning. These activities have a devastating impact on local marine organisms and coral reefs.[9]

Some interest has been taken[by whom?] in regard to conservation of these[which?] island ecosystems. J.W. McManus[who?] has explored the possibilities of designating portions of the Spratly Islands as a marine park. One region of the Spratly Archipelago, named Truong Sa, was proposed by Vietnam’s Ministry of Science, Technology, and the Environment (MOSTE) as a future protected area. The site, with an area of 160km2 (62sq mi), is currently managed by the Khanh Hoa Provincial People’s Committee of Vietnam.[9]

Military groups in the Spratlys have engaged in environmentally damaging activities such as shooting turtles and seabirds, raiding nests and fishing with explosives. The collection of rare medicinal plants, collecting of wood, and hunting for the wildlife trade are common threats to the biodiversity of the entire region, including these islands. Coral habitats are threatened by pollution, over-exploitation of fish and invertebrates, and the use of explosives and poisons as fishing techniques.[9]

Chinese texts of the 12th century record these islands being a part of Chinese territory and that they had earlier (206BC) been used as fishing grounds during the Han dynasty.[23][not in citation given] Further records show the islands as inhabited at various times in history by Chinese and Vietnamese fishermen, and during the second world war by troops from French Indochina and Japan.[24][25][26] However, there were no large settlements on these islands until 1956, when Filipino adventurer Toms Cloma, Sr., decided to “claim” a part of Spratly islands as his own, naming it the “Free Territory of Freedomland”.[27]

Evidence of man’s presence in the region extends back nearly 50,000 years at Tabon Caves on Palawan. Therefore, it is difficult to say when man first came upon this island group. Within historical times, several groups may have passed through or occupied the islands. Between 600BCE to 3BCE there was an East to West migration by members of the seafairing Sa Hunh culture. This may have led them through the Spratly Islands on their way to Vietnam. These migrants were the forebears of the Cham people that founded the Old Champa empire that ruled what was known for centuries as the Champa Sea.[28][29]

In the Song Dynasty work Zhu fan zhi by Zhao Rugua, the name “Thousand Li Stretch of Sands” (Qianli Changsha , ) and the “Ten-Thousand Li of Stone Pools/Beds” (Wanli Shitang , or Wanli Shichuang ) were given, interpreted by some to refer to Paracel and Spratly respectively.[30]Wanli Shitang is also recorded in the History of Yuan to have been explored by the Chinese during the Yuan dynasty and may have been considered by them to have been within their national boundaries.[31][32][33] They are also referenced, sometimes with different names, in the Ming dynasty.[34] When the Ming Dynasty collapsed, the Qing dynasty continued to include the territory in maps compiled in 1724,[35] 1755,[36] 1767,[37] 1810,[38] and 1817.[39]

A Vietnamese map from 1834 also combines the Spratly and Paracel Islands into one region known as “Vn L Trng Sa”[citation needed], a feature commonly incorporated into maps of the era () that is, a combination of half of the 2 aforementioned Chinese island names, “Wanli” and “Changsha”.[40] According to Hanoi, Vietnamese maps record Bi Ct Vng (Golden Sandbanks, referring to both the Spratly and Paracel Islands), which lay near the coast of the central Vietnam, as early as 1838.[41] In Ph Bin Tp Lc (The Frontier Chronicles) by scholar L Qu n, both Hong Sa and Trng Sa were defined as belonging to the Qung Ngi District. He described it as where sea products and shipwrecked cargoes were available to be collected. Vietnamese text written in the 17th century referenced government-sponsored economic activities during the L dynasty, 200years earlier. The Vietnamese government conducted several geographical surveys of the islands in the 18th century.[41]

Despite the fact that China and Vietnam both made a claim to these territories simultaneously, at the time, neither side was aware that its neighbour had already charted and made claims to the same stretch of islands.[41]

The islands were sporadically visited throughout the 19th and early 20th centuries by mariners from different European powers (including Richard Spratly, after whom the island group derives its most recognisable English name).[42] However, these nations showed little interest in the islands.

In the 1950s, a group of individuals claimed sovereignty over the islands in the name of Morton F. Meads, supposedly an American descendant of a British naval captain who gave his name to Meads Island (Itu Aba) in the 1870s. In an affidavit made in 1971, the group claimed to represent the Kingdom of Humanity/Republic of Morac-Songhrati-Meads,[43] which they asserted was in turn the successor entity for a supposed Kingdom of Humanity established between the two world wars on Meads Island, allegedly by the son of the British captain. This claim to this would-be micronation fell dormant after 1972, when several members of the group drowned in a typhoon.[44][45][46][47]

In 1883, German boats surveyed the Spratly and the Paracel Islands but eventually withdrew the survey, after receiving protests from the Guangdong government representing the Qing dynasty. Many European maps before the 20th century do not even mention this region.[48]

The following are political divisions for the Spratly Islands claimed by various area nations (in alphabetical order):

In the 19th century, Europeans found that Chinese fishermen from Hainan annually sojourned on the Spratly islands for part of the year, while in 1877 it was the British who launched the first modern legal claims to the Spratlys.[51][52]

When the Spratlys and Paracels were being surveyed by Germany in 1883, China issued protests against them. The 1887 Chinese-Vietnamese Boundary convention signed between France and China after the Sino-French War said that China was the owner of the Spratly and Paracel islands.[53][54] China sent naval forces on inspection tours in 1902 and 1907 and placed flags and markers on the islands. The Qing dynasty’s successor state, the Republic of China, claimed the Spratly and Paracel islands under the jurisdiction of Hainan.[54]

In 1933, France asserted its claims to the Spratly and Paracel Islands[55] on behalf of its then-colony Vietnam.[56] It occupied a number of the Spratly Islands, including Taiping Island, built weather stations on two of the islands, and administered them as part of French Indochina. This occupation was protested by the Republic of China (ROC) government because France admitted finding Chinese fishermen there when French warships visited nine of the islands.[57] In 1935, the ROC government also announced a sovereignty claim on the Spratly Islands. Japan occupied some of the islands in 1939 during World War II, and it used the islands as a submarine base for the occupation of Southeast Asia. During the Japanese occupation, these islands were called Shinnan Shoto (), literally the New Southern Islands, and together with the Paracel Islands (), they were put under the governance of the Japanese colonial authority in Taiwan.

Japan occupied the Paracels and the Spratlys from February 1939 to August 1945.[58] Japan administered the Spratlys via Taiwan’s jurisdiction and the Paracels via Hainan’s jurisdiction.[51] Parts of the Paracels and Spratlys were occupied by Republic of China after the 1945 surrender of Japan,[59] since the Allied powers assigned the Republic of China to receive Japanese surrenders in that area,[54] however no successor was named to the islands.[59]

In November 1946, the ROC sent naval ships to take control of the islands after the surrender of Japan.[58] It had chosen the largest and perhaps the only inhabitable island, Taiping Island, as its base, and it renamed the island under the name of the naval vessel as Taiping. Also following the defeat of Japan at the end of World War II, the ROC re-claimed the entirety of the Spratly Islands (including Taiping Island) after accepting the Japanese surrender of the islands based on the Cairo and Potsdam Declarations. The Republic of China then garrisoned Itu Aba (Taiping) island in 1946 and posted Chinese flags and markers on it along with Woody island in the Paracels. France tried, but failed, to make them leave Woody island.[51] The aim of the Republic of China was to block the French claims.[54][60] The Republic of China drew up the map showing the U-shaped claim on the entire South China Sea, showing the Spratly and Paracels in Chinese territory, in 1947.[54] Japan had renounced all claims to the islands in the 1951 San Francisco Peace Treaty together with the Paracels, Pratas and other islands captured from the Chinese, and upon these declarations, the government of the Republic of China reasserted its claim to the islands. The KMT force of the ROC government withdrew from most of the Spratly and Paracel Islands after they retreated to Taiwan from the opposing Communist Party of China due to their losses in the Chinese Civil War and the founding of the People’s Republic of China (PRC) in 1949.[56] The ROC quietly withdrew troops from Taiping Island in 1950, but then reinstated them in 1956 in response to Toms Cloma’s sudden claim to the island as part of Freedomland.[61] As of 2013[update], Taiping Island is administered by the ROC.[62]

After pulling out its garrison in 1950 when the Republic of China evacuated to Taiwan, when the Filipino Tomas Cloma uprooted an ROC flag on Itu Aba laid claim to the Spratlys and, the Republic of China (now Taiwan) again regarrisoned Itu Aba on 1956.[63] In 1946, the Americans reminded the Philippines at its independence that the Spratlys was not Philippine territory, both to not anger Chiang Kai-shek in China and because the Spratlys were not part of the Philippines per the 1898 treaty Spain signed with America.[51] The Philippines then claimed the Spratlys in 1971 under President Marcos, after Taiwanese troops attacked and shot at a Philippine fishing boat on Itu Aba.[64]

Taiwan’s garrison from 19461950 and 1956-now on Itu Aba represents an “effective occupation” of the Spratlys.[64][65] China established a coastal defence system against Japanese pirates or smugglers.[66]

North Vietnam recognised China’s claims on the Paracels and Spratlys during the Vietnam War as it was being supported by China. Only after winning the war and conquering South Vietnam did North Vietnam retract its recognition and admitted it recognised them as part of China to receive aid from China in fighting the Americans.[67]

In 1988, the Vietnamese and Chinese navies engaged in a skirmish in the area of Johnson South Reef (also called Yongshu reef in China and Mabini reef in Philippines).[68]

Under President Lee Teng-hui, Taiwan stated that “legally, historically, geographically, or in reality”, all of the South China Sea and Spratly islands were Taiwan’s territory and under Taiwanese sovereignty, and denounced actions undertaken there by Malaysia and the Philippines, in a statement on 13 July 1999 released by the foreign ministry of Taiwan.[69] Taiwan and China’s claims “mirror” each other; during international talks involving the Spratly islands, China and Taiwan have cooperated with each other since both have the same claims.[64][70]

It was unclear whether France continued its claim to the islands after WWII, since none of the islands, other than Taiping Island, was habitable. The South Vietnamese government took over the Trng Sa administration after the defeat of the French at the end of the First Indochina War. In 1958, the PRC issued a declaration defining its territorial waters that encompassed the Spratly Islands. North Vietnam’s prime minister, Phm Vn ng, sent a formal note to Zhou Enlai, stating that the Government of the Democratic Republic of Vietnam (DRV) respected the Chinese decision regarding the 12nmi (22km; 14mi) limit of territorial waters.[71] While accepting the 12-nmi principal with respect to territorial waters, the letter did not actually address the issue of defining actual territorial boundaries.

In 1999, a Philippine navy ship (Number 57 – BRP Sierra Madre) was purposely run aground near Second Thomas Shoal to enable establishment of an outpost. As of 2014[update] it had not been removed, and Filipino troops have been stationed aboard since the grounding.[72][73]

Taiwan and China are largely strategically aligned on the Spratly islands issue, since they both claim exactly the same area, so Taiwan’s control of Itu Aba (Taiping) island is viewed as an extension of China’s claim.[53] Taiwan and China both claim the entire island chain, while all the other claimaints only claim portions of them. China has proposed co-operation with Taiwan against all the other countries claiming the islands. Taiwanese lawmakers have demanded that Taiwan fortify Itu Aba (Taiping) island with weapons to defend against the Vietnamese, and both China and Taiwanese NGOs have pressured Taiwan to expand Taiwan’s military capabilities on the island, which played a role in Taiwan expanding the island’s runway in 2012.[74] China has urged Taiwan to co-operate and offered Taiwan a share in oil and gas resources while shutting out all the other rival claimaints. Taiwanese lawmakers have complained about repeated Vietnamese aggression and trespassing on Taiwan’s Itu Aba (Taiping), and Taiwan has started viewing Vietnam as an enemy over the Spratly Islands, not China.[75] Taiwan’s state run oil company CPC Corp’s board director Chiu Yi has called Vietnam as the “greatest threat” to Taiwan.[74] Taiwan’s airstrip on Taiping has irritated Vietnam.[76] China views Taiwan’s expansion of its military and airstrip on Taiping as benefiting China’s position against the other rival claimaints from southeast Asian countries.[65] China’s claims to the Spratlys benefit from legal weight because of Taiwan’s presence on Itu Aba, while America on the other hand has regularly ignored Taiwan’s claims in the South China Sea and does not include Taiwan in any talks on dispute resolution for the area.[77]

Taiwan performed live fire military exercises on Taiping island in September 2012; reports said that Vietnam was explicitly named by the Taiwanese military as the “imaginary enemy” in the drill. Vietnam protested against the exercises as violation of its territory and “voiced anger”, demanding that Taiwan stop the drill. Among the inspectors of the live fire drill were Taiwanese national legislators, adding to the tensions.[78]

On 23 May 2011, the President of the Philippines, Benigno Aquino III, warned visiting Chinese Defence Minister Liang Guanglie of a possible arms race in the region if tensions worsened over disputes in the South China Sea. Aquino said he told Liang in their meeting that this could happen if there were more encounters in the disputed and potentially oil-rich Spratly Islands.[79]

In May 2011, Chinese patrol boats attacked 2 Vietnamese oil exploration ships near the Spratly Islands.[80] Also in May 2011, Chinese naval vessels opened fire on Vietnamese fishing vessels operating off East London Reef (Da Dong). The 3 Chinese military vessels were numbered 989, 27 and 28, and they showed up with a small group of Chinese fishing vessels. Another Vietnamese fishing vessel was fired on near Fiery Cross Reef (Chu Thap). The Chief Commander of Border Guards in Phu Yen Province, Vietnam reported that a total of 4 Vietnamese vessels were fired upon by Chinese naval vessels.[verification needed] These incidents involving Chinese forces sparked mass protests in Vietnam, especially in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City,[81] and in various Vietnamese communities in the West (namely in the US state of California and in Paris) over attacks on Vietnamese citizens and the intrusion into what Vietnam claimed was part of its territory.[82]

In June 2011, the Philippines began officially referring to the South China Sea as the “West Philippine Sea” and the Reed Bank as “Recto Bank”.[83][84]

In July 2012, the National Assembly of Vietnam passed a law demarcating Vietnamese sea borders to include the Spratly and Paracel Islands.[85][86]

In 2010, it was reported that the former Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad believed Malaysia could profit from China’s economic growth through co-operation with China,[87] and said that China “was not a threat to anyone and was not worried about aggression from China”, as well accusing the United States of provoking China and trying to turn China’s neighbours against China.[88] Malaysia displayed no concern over China conducting a military exercise at James Shoal in March 2013.[89] Malaysia also suggested that it might work with China with Malaysian Defence Minister Hishamuddin Hussein saying that Malaysia had no problem with China patrolling the South China Sea, and telling ASEAN, America, and Japan that “Just because you have enemies, doesn’t mean your enemies are my enemies”.[90] However, until present Malaysia still maintained a balance relations with the countries involved in this dispute.[91] But since China has start enroaching its territorial waters,[92] Malaysia has become active in condemning China.[93][94]

The editorial of the Taiwanese news website “Want China Times” accused America for being behind the May 2014 flareup in the South China Sea, saying that Vietnam rammed a Chinese vessel on 2 May over an oil rig drilling platform and the Philippines detained 11 Chinese fishermens occurred because of Obama’s visit to the region and that they were incited by America “behind the scenes”. “Want China Times” claimed America ordered Vietnam on 7 May to complain about the drilling platform, and noted that a joint military exercise was happening at this time between the Philippines and America, and also noted that the American “New York Times” newspaper supported Vietnam.[95]

In a series of news stories on 16 April 2015, it was revealed, through photos taken by Airbus Group, that China had been building an airstrip on Fiery Cross Reef, one of the southern islands. The 10,000-foot-long (3,048m) runway covers a significant portion of the island, and is viewed as a possible strategic threat to other countries with claims to the islands, such as Vietnam and the Philippines.

Various factions of the Muslim Moro people are waging a war for independence against the Philippines. The Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) of Nur Misuari declared its support for China against the Philippines in the South China Sea dispute, calling both China and the Moro people as victims of Philippine colonialism, and noting China’s history of friendly relations with the Sultanate of Sulu in the region.[96] The MNLF also denounced America’s assistance to the Philippines in their colonization of the Moro people in addition to denouncing the Philippines claims to the islands disputed with China, and denouncing America for siding with the Philippines in the dispute, noting that in 1988 China “punished” Vietnam for attempting to set up a military presence on the disputed islands, and noting that the Moros and China maintained peaceful relations, while on the other hand the Moros had to resist other colonial powers, having to fight the Spanish, fight the Americans, and fight the Japanese, in addition to fighting the Philippines.[97]

While the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) signed a peace deal with the Philippines, the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) did not and renewed armed resistance against Philippine rule in Zamboanga; on September 15, 2013, in response to the MNLF’s fighting against the Philippine Army, the New York Times published an article crediting every Philippine government for having struggled to bring peace to the Muslims of Mindanao since 1946 when it became independent and claimed that it is the belief of the Muslims that they are being subjected to oppression and exploitation by the Christians that is the problem which is causing the conflict and the newspaper also claimed that the conflict stretched back to 1899 when Moro insurrectionists were quelled by the American army.[98] On January 26, 2014 the New York Times published another article claiming that “every Philippine government” has “struggled to bring peace to Mindanao” and claimed that reports of exploitation and oppression by the Filipino Christians originated from what Muslims “say” and the newspaper also praised President Benigno S. Aquino III’s “landmark peace deal” with the Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF).[99] The New York Times labelled Moro fighters as “Muslim-led groups” and as “violent”.[100] The New York Times blamed “Islamic extremist groups” for carrying out attacks in the Philippines.[101] The New York Times editorial board endorsed Philippine President Benigno Aquino’s planned peace deal and the passage of “Bangsamoro Basic Law”, blaming the “Muslim insurgency” for causing trouble to the “largely Catholic country”.[102] The New York Times claimed that “Islamic militants” were fighting the Philippine military.[103]

The New York Times claimed the peace deal between the Philippines and Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) “seeks to bring prosperity to the restive south and weaken the appeal of the extremist groups”, and linked the winding down of an American military counterterrorism operation to increased American military cooperation with the Philippines against China.[104] The New York Times hailed Mr Aquino’s “peace agreement” as an “accomplishment” as it reported on Aquino raising the “alarm” on China in the South China Sea.[105] The New York Times editorial board published an article siding with the Philippines against China in the South China Sea dispute and supporting the Philippines actions against China.[106][107] The New York Times editorial board endorsed aggressive American military action against China in the South China Sea.[108][109]

American and Filipino forces launched a joint operation against the Moros in the Mamasapano clash, in which Moro Islamic Liberation Front (MILF) fighters manage to kill 44 Filipino police commandos and caused massive blow back for the botched raid, putting a decisive halt to American plans for its Asia military “pivot” in the Philippines.[110] Moros have reported that 4 caucasian-looking (American) soldiers were killed in the Mamasapano clash along with the 44 Filipinos.[111]

The Moro National Liberation Front published an open letter to the United States President Barack Hussein Obama and demanded to know why America is supporting Philippine colonialism against the Moro Muslim people and the Filipino “war of genocide” and atrocities against Moros, reminding Obama that the Moro people have resisted and fought against the atrocities of Filipino, Japanese, American, and Spanish invaders, and reminding Obama of past war crimes also committed by American troops against Moro women and children like the Moro Crater massacre at Bud Dajo.[112]

The Moro National Liberation Front accused the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain of conspiring against the Moros and recounted their invasions, imperialism, and atrocities against the Moros and demanded that they end the current colonization against the Moro people, the MNLF recounted that the Spanish were greedy colonizers, that the Americans committed massacres of Moro children and women at Mount Bagsak and Bud Dajo, and that the Japanese “exhibited tyranny, cruelty and inhumanity at its lowest level”, and “had to suffer their worst defeat and highest death mortality at the hands of the Bangsamoro freedom fighters”, demanding an apology from Japan for crimes committed against the Moros.[113]

The Moro National Liberation Front questioned the humanity and morality of the Philippines, Japan, America, and Spain, noting that they have done nothing to end the colonialism and war inflicted upon the Moros and reminded them that they have resisted and fought against Japanese, American, and Spanish atrocities and war crimes while the Filipinos bent over, capitulated and submitted to the invaders, the MNLF brought up the massacre committed by American troops at Bud Dajo against Moro women and children and boasted that compared to the Japanese casualty rate in the Visayas and Luzon, the amount of Japanese imperialists slaughtered by the Moro freedom fighters was greater by the thousands and that there was no capitulation like the “Fall of Bataan” to the Japanese by the Moros while the Luzon Filipinos submitted.[114] The MNLF said that the Japanese, American, and Spanish cruelty has been continued by Filipino rule.[115]

Japanese scholar Taoka Shunji criticized Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe for trying to falsely portray China as a threat to Japan and that it was invading its neighbors like the Philippines, and pointed out that the Spratly islands were not part of the Philippines when the US acquired the Philippines from Spain in the Treaty of Paris in 1898, and the Japanese ruled Taiwan itself had annexed the Spratly islands in 1938 and the US ruled Philippines did not challenge the move and never asserted that it was their territory, he also pointed out that other countries did not need to do full land reclamation since they already control islands and that the reason China engaged in extensive land reclamation is because they needed it to build airfields since China only has control over reefs.[116]

Champa historically had a large presence in the South China Sea. The Vietnamese broke Champa’s power in an invasion of Champa in 1471, and then finally conquered the last remnants of the Cham people in an invasion in 1832. A Cham named Katip Suma who received Islamic education in Kelantan declared a Jihad against the Vietnamese, and fighting continued until the Vietnamese crushed the remnants of the resistance in 1835. The Cham organisation Front de Libration du Champa was part of the United Front for the Liberation of Oppressed Races, which waged war against the Vietnamese for independence in the Vietnam War along with the Montagnard and Khmer Krom minorities. The last remaining FULRO insurgents surrendered to the United Nations in 1992. Vietnam has settled over a million ethnic Vietnamese on Montagnard lands in the Central Highlands. The Montagnard staged a massive protest against the Vietnamese in 2001, which led to the Vietnamese to forcefully crush the uprising and seal the entire area off to foreigners.

The Vietnamese government fears that evidence of Champa’s influence over the disputed area in the South China Sea would bring attention to human rights violations and killings of ethnic minorities in Vietnam such as in the 2001 and 2004 uprisings, and lead to the issue of Cham autonomy being brought into the dispute, since the Vietnamese conquered the Hindu and Muslim Cham people in a war in 1832, and the Vietnamese continue to destroy evidence of Cham culture and artefacts left behind, plundering or building on top of Cham temples, building farms over them, banning Cham religious practices, and omitting references to the destroyed Cham capital of Song Luy in the 1832 invasion in history books and tourist guides. The situation of Cham compared to ethnic Vietnamese is substandard, lacking water and electricity and living in houses made out of mud.[117]

The Cham in Vietnam are only recognised as a minority, and not as an indigenous people by the Vietnamese government despite being indigenous to the region. Both Hindu and Muslim Chams have experienced religious and ethnic persecution and restrictions on their faith under the current Vietnamese government, with the Vietnamese state confisticating Cham property and forbidding Cham from observing their religious beliefs. Hindu temples were turned into tourist sites against the wishes of the Cham Hindus. In 2010 and 2013 several incidents occurred in Thnh Tn and Phc Nhn villages where Cham were murdered by Vietnamese. In 2012, Vietnamese police in Chau Giang village stormed into a Cham Mosque, stole the electric generator, and also raped Cham girls.[118] Cham Muslims in the Mekong Delta have also been economically marginalised and pushed into poverty by Vietnamese policies, with ethnic Vietnamese Kinh settling on majority Cham land with state support, and religious practices of minorities have been targeted for elimination by the Vietnamese government.[119]

In 2005, a cellular phone base station was erected by the Philippines’ Smart Communications on Pag-asa Island.[122]

On 18 May 2011, China Mobile announced that its mobile phone coverage has expanded to the Spratly Islands. The extended coverage would allow soldiers stationed on the islands, fishermen, and merchant vessels within the area to use mobile services, and can also provide assistance during storms and sea rescues. The service network deployment over the islands took nearly one year.[123]

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Pacific Islands – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Jan 222016
 

The Pacific Islands comprise 20,000 to 30,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean.

The “Pacific Islands” is a term broadly referring to the islands of the Pacific Ocean. Depending on the context, it may refer to countries and islands with common Austronesian origins, islands once or currently colonized, or Oceania.

In English, the umbrella term Pacific Islands may take on several meanings. Sometimes it refers to only those islands covered by the geopolitical concept of Oceania.[1][2] In some common uses, the term “Pacific Island” refers to the islands of the Pacific Ocean once colonized by the British, French, Dutch, United States, and Japanese, such as the Pitcairn Islands, Taiwan, and Borneo.[3] In other uses it may refer to islands with Austronesian heritage like Taiwan, Indonesia, Micronesia, Polynesia, Myanmar islands, which found their genesis in the Neolithic cultures of the island of Taiwan.[4] There are many other islands located within the boundaries of the Pacific Ocean that are not considered part of Oceania. These islands include the Galpagos Islands of Ecuador; the Aleutian Islands in Alaska, United States; Vancouver Island in Canada; the Russian islands of Sakhalin and Kuril Islands; the island nation of Taiwan and other islands of the Republic of China; the Philippines; islands in the South China Sea, which includes the disputed South China Sea Islands; most of the islands of Indonesia; and the island nation of Japan, which comprises the Japanese Archipelago.

This list includes all islands found in the geographic Pacific Ocean, with an area larger than 10,000 square kilometers.

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Islands Restaurant – 256 Photos – Burgers – Cupertino, CA …

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Jan 192016
 

Tl;dr: Decent burgers, love the sweet potato fries (not their regular fries so much), good quality ingredients

I used to come here quite often, but it’s been a while, so I decided to come here again yesterday for dinner. Our group ordered a variety of things from their menu.

First, we ordered the Hula burger, which comes with sauted mushrooms, lettuce, tomato, and swiss. I personally LOVE mushrooms on burgers, and the mushrooms on this burger had a springy but juicy texture which was wonderful. Yummm…. My main complaint is that we ordered the burger medium, but the patty was on the dry side. I’ve had much juicier and more flavorful burger patties elsewhere. However, I think the menu here focuses on taking a creative “tropical” approach to the burger, and the variety and quality of toppings makes up for their painfully average patty.

We ordered our burger with sweet potato fries. The past times I’ve come here, I opted for the generic french fries, but they can be quite hit or miss here. They cut their fries too large, and they lack a good crisp. The sweet potato fries are really really good though!

We also ordered the Kaanapali Kobb salad, with the dressing, bacon, and bleu cheese on the side. This was a pretty simple dish, but what struck me was the quality of the ingredients. Everything was super fresh: the lettuce was nice and crisp, the chicken was juicy and tender, and the avocados were at the perfect ripeness. If I’m every in a salad mood, I would definitely order this again!

Finally, we ordered the tortilla soup. Once again, I was impressed by their execution. I’m not the hugest fan of tortilla soup, but this soup had great flavor/texture and was loaded with a generous portion of chicken.

I’m a fan of this place! Will come again for sure!

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Cook Islands Maori Dictionary | Free Online Dictionary of …

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Jan 132016
 

Post navigation Tavake the red tailed tropicbird (Phaeton rubricauda). Photo by G. McCormack.

tavake, n

1. Red-tailed Tropic bird (Phaethon rubricauda).

Kua akamneaia tna pare ki te iku tavake. His hat was decorated with tropic-birds tail-feathers.

Tavake iku-tea, White-tailed Tropic bird.

2. Large variety of breadfruit with long-fingered leaves and fruit that resembles the kuru patea.

E tavake tn kuru. That breadfruit is a tavake.

[Pn. *taweke.]

spiritual entities

See New Zealand Law Commission, Mori Custom and Values, 2001: 30 for New Zealand Maori equivalent.

war cries. Savage, S., A Dictionary of the Mori Language of Rarotonga, 1962: 19

Another meaning is sayings. Numerous totou (sayings) [New Zealand Mori whakatauk], identifying the connectedness of particular mountains, rivers or lakes, tribes and people, are constantly invoked to reaffirm anau tangata or unga tangata between people and their lands.

The ceremony and feast at the end of a battle was called akamoe-i-takau. Savage, S., A Dictionary of the Mori Language of Rarotonga, 1962: 16.

The word itoro which is sometimes used instead of ai tupuna is a coined word which shades it with a post LMS descriptive bias.

akateitei also means arrogant

vangeria, n. Gospel.

Kua ttia te vangeria ki te tene, the gospel was preached to the heathen;

kara ki te

ei1,

1. (-a, -ia). (Wear) a necklace, garland, wreath, chaplet, scarf.

T ei nei au i tku ei poe prau, Im wearing my pearl necklace;

Eia tou ei, put on your lei (necklace of flowers);

Nku te ei tiare mori, nou te ei ara moa, mine is the gardenia necklace, yours is the pandanus one;

Ei Ktorika, rosary;

Ei ttauro, cross (crucifix) worn round the neck;

T tui ei ra a Runa m, Runa and the others are making wreaths;

Nai tia pare ei? whose chaplet is this?;

E ei i t tei uruuru ki runga i t kak, wrap your woollen scarf around your neck.

2. v.i. Encircled, ensnared, trapped, caught (in net, web, noose, snare, trap).

Kua ei te ika ki roto i te kupenga, the fish were caught in the net;

Kua ei te moa taetaevao ki roto i te pereere, the wild fowl was trapped in a snare;

Kua ptakaiti te rango i te eianga ki roto i te pngverevere, the fly struggled, caught in the cobweb. (see ei, tei(ei)). [Pn. *sei.]

ei, ai, locative particle. (The form ai is used when the preceding word ends in a, when, in traditional orthography it was often written as i and suffixed to the preceding word. E.g. tuatua ai is written tuatuai in Bibilia Tapu). A particle which relates the verb preceding it to an adverbial (time, place, reason, cause, purpose, means) or nominal antecedent. The antecedent to which ei refers may have been placed ahead of the verbal particle of the ei-clause for emphasis; Or it may occur in (or comprise) a preceding clause to which the ei-clause is linked.

1. Ei occurs in a main clause where the antecedent is

(a) an adverbial phrase fronted for emphasis (interrogatives are often topicalised in this way).

te Varaire te pa e akaruke ei, its Friday that the ship leaves / Friday is when the ship leaves (cf. the unmarked word order

ka akaruke te pa te Varaire, the ship leaves on Friday);

N te matangi i kino ei te rkau, its the wind thats spoiled the tree;

N tna vareae i rutu ei aia iku it was out of jealousy that he hit me;

I naea krua i tuatua ai i tn manako?, when did you two discuss that idea?;

Ei ea tua kaikai ei?, where shall we have our meal?;

E aa te mea i tuaru ei koe iia?, what did you drive him away for?

(b) an adverbial clause:

iku e t ra, kite atu ei au i te pa, as I was standing there, I caught sight of the ship;

(c) an adverbial conjunction:

u te r k opu ei, before the sun sets;

Mri ake koe i akatikaia mai ei au, thanks to you I was given permission.

2. Ei occurs in a subordinate (relative) clause.

Ko tia nei te puka tau i apai ei?, is this the book you were carrying?;

Ko ai te tangata tau i p ei?, who was the person you struck?;

E painapa tku i kai ei, it was pineapple(s) that I ate;

Ko tea toa tau i aere ei?, which shop was it you went to?;

E tpito tna maki i noo ei aia ki te kinga, it was stomach-trouble that he stayed home with;

Te ngi i rave mai ei koe, the place you got it from;

Te mataara e tae ei ki runga i tr maunga, the path leading up that mountain;

T pat ra rtou i te taua i akaruke atu ei au, they were cementing the floor when I left;

Ko te tumu t reira i aere mai ei au, thats the reason why I came;

I akapeaia e koe te tamaiti i au ei, what did you do to the child to make him cry?

3. Indicating the sequence of action in the second of two clauses, the verbal particle often being omitted from the second clause, (and) then.

Kia tae mai au, ka rote ei tua i tau ngi, let me get there, then well start ploughing your place;

K noo ttou kia p, ka aere ei, lets stay till its dark and then go;

Aere mai ki runga i te moenga, takoto ei, come on to the mat and lie down;

E taritari mai i te pt kpara ki te pae tai, tuku ei, carry the sacks of copra down to the beach and put them down there;

T aere nei au e tangata k angaanga ai, Im going to go and work for someone else.

4. In the construction

n (ttai tangata) ei, (somebody) said.

Kvea mai taku uri, n P ei, bring me my spear, said P;

Nna ai k inu aia i te kava nani, he said hed have some orange liquor;

e vaine mnea tika ai koe, n P mai ei kiku. Aere ki k atu, nku atu ei, auraka koe e tparu mai iku. E tika ai nku, nna mai ei, You really are a good-looking woman, says P to me. Get away with you, says I, dont you go flattering me. I really mean it, he says. [Pn. *ai.]

enguengu, v.i., fq. engu, groan, q.v.

Kua kite au e moemoe nna i tna enguenguanga, I could tell that she was having a dream from her groaning;

Kia tae atu au, t enguengu u ra aia n te mamae, when I got there, he was groaning with the pain. [engu RR.]

engu,

1. v.i., n. Groan, moan, grunt, (make a deep throaty noise.

E aa koe i engu ua ai i roto i tau moe inap?, why were you groaning in your sleep last night?;

Kua rongo au i tna enguanga i te anga aia ki runga i te patu, I heard him grunt when he banged into the wall;

Kua rongo au i te engu i vao, kre r au i aere ana i te kara, I heard moaning outside, but I didnt go to look.

2. v.t. Hum.

T engu u ra aia i te mene, hes just humming the song. [Np. *fe

eeu, (-a, -ia, ua, euia). Draw back or remove (covering, screen or lid).

Kua purara mai te verovero o te r ki roto i te are i tku eeuanga i te rai mramarama, the suns rays burst into the house when I drew the curtains;

Kua eeu aia i te riki kaingkai, she removed the tablecloth;

Eeua ake te moenga kia purmuia te repo, lift up the mat to sweep the dirt out;

eeke, v.i., intens. of eke1. Flow copiously, descend.

Kua eeke ua te toto i te putaanga tna katu i te rkau, the blood gushed when the pole struck him on the head;

Kua eeke ua te vai n roto i tna kinga, the water poured through his garden;

I n konei rtou i te eekeanga, they scrambled down this way. [eke1 rR.]

eeke, v.i., fq. eeke. Flow, q.v.

, n. Boil, carbuncle.

Kre e meitaki kia viia tou , n te mea kre i para, it wont do any good getting your boil lanced, it hasnt come to a head yet;

Paraia ki te vairkau , put a boil poultice on it;

eaea, v.i., fq. of ea. Rise to the surface.

Kua pou rtou ki roto i te vai kua eaea ki ttai tua i te kauvai, they dived into the water and came up on the other side of the river;

Kua pupui te aronga ruku i t rtou ao i t rtou eaeaanga, the divers let their breath out with a rush as they surfaced. [ea RR.]

eaa, what? A spelling of e + aa, q.v.

e, interj. Yes? What is it? What do you want? (reply to a call, polite, cf. eaa? which is discourteous).

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Florida Islands – List of Islands in Florida

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Jan 062016
 

Florida islands may not be the states biggest tourist draw, as when many people think of the Sunshine State, they often think of Orlando and Miami. However, beyond these popular destinations, there are also Florida Islands that are worth a visit, particularly if you want to see some of the states best beaches. From the serene Florida Keys to islands on the Gulf Coast like Sanibel Island or Marco Island, there are many ways to enjoy the island life without the hassle of flying to the Caribbean. There is no passport or line at immigration to enjoy these islands, and they deliver every ounce of sun, sand, and surf that you will be looking for in island vacation spots.

A list of islands in Florida is lengthier than some people may think. The Florida Keys alone take up a significant portion of this list, as there are many small islands beyond the well-known Key West, Key Largo, and Islamorada. To explore these Florida Islands many travelers start out in Miami. The drive from Miami to the end of the Florida Keys, in Key West, takes just over three hours and is filled with spectacular views. If youre interested in boating, fishing, and a relaxed atmosphere, the Keys will be perfect for you. On the other hand, the best Florida Island beach isnt located in the Keys. Many of the beaches are small and rocky, and this section of Florida lacks the wide, sandy beaches that many travelers crave.

Beyond the Florida Keys, a list of islands in Florida also includes options along the Gulf Coast. These destinations are popular for their convenience, the availability of affordable flights, all inclusive packages, and even vacation rentals. From Sanibel Island to Marco Island, islands along the Gulf Coast provide a sunny escape from a cold northern winter without having to travel too far. There is a range of accommodation to choose from on these islands. Whether you are looking for a big resort with every imaginable amenity or a small vacation rental on a quiet beach, youll find it along the Gulf Coast.

Some travelers will be surprised to learn that the best Florida Island beach is located near Miami, which sometimes has more a reputation for its parties and great restaurants. While the Florida Keys are mostly rocky, Key Biscayne and Miami Beach both offer wide, sandy beaches. Many visitors to Florida have never heard of Key Biscayne, and this beach has remained largely a local secret. You will need a rental car to reach Key Biscayne, although there are also island hotels and resorts that are beautiful and worth a stay. While Miami Beach offers a wide, crowded stretch of beach with no cover from the sun, Key Biscayne is dotted with palm trees where you can spend a lazy afternoon reading a novel or having a family picnic.

Other popular Florida Islands include Captiva Island, Hutchinson Island, and Santa Rosa Island. The best Florida island beach might just be the one where you encounter the best deal. Throughout the winter and beyond, resorts in Florida offer last minute deals, all inclusive packages, and more to entice people to the sunshine state. The value might be so fantastic that you find yourself throwing away your list of islands in Florida and following the best deal. This will also help you to discover new places in Florida that you may wind up visiting year after year!

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Mexico Travel – Sights – Lonely Planet

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Dec 252015
 

Jungles, deserts; teeming cities, one-street pueblos; fiesta fireworks, Fridas angst: Mexico conjures up so many vivid images. And the reality lives up to the expectation.

Mexico is packed with culture and history. Its pre-Hispanic civilizations built some of the worlds great archaeological monuments, from Teotihuacns towering pyramids to the exquisitely decorated Maya temples. The Spanish colonial era left beautiful towns full of tree-shaded plazas and richly sculpted stone churches and mansions. Modern Mexico has seen a surge of great art from the likes of Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. Top-class museums and galleries around the country document Mexicos fascinating history and its endless creative verve. Popular culture is just as vibrant, from the underground dance clubs of Mexico City to the wonderful handicrafts of the indigenous population.

By John Noble, Writer

I first felt Mexico’s pull when reading, as a teenager, the barely credible story of Corts and the Aztecs. My first visit was three months backpacking from the US border to the Guatemalan border, and I found a kind of spiritual home in the green highlands of Chiapas. Since then I’ve wandered over most parts of Mexico on 12 extended trips, and come to love its deserts, coasts, jungles and volcanoes too – and its endless variety of tasty foods, the spectacular evidence of its ancient civilizations, its inspired art and handicrafts, and, most of all, its charming, hospitable people.

At the heart of your Mexican experience will be the Mexican people. A super-diverse crew from city hipsters to shy indigenous villagers, theyre justly renowned for their love of color and frequent fiestas but are also philosophical folk, to whom timetables are less important than simpata (empathy). You will rarely find Mexicans less than courteous; theyre often positively charming, and they know how to please their guests. They might despair of ever being well governed, but they are fiercely proud of Mexico, their one-of-a-kind homeland with all its variety, tight-knit family networks, beautiful-ugly cities, deep-rooted traditions, unique agave-based liquors and sensationally tasty, chili-laden food. It doesnt take long to understand why.

Travel in Mexico is what you make it and the country caters to all types of visitor. Stay in pampering resorts, budget beach huts or colonial mansions. Eat cutting-edge fusion food in chic gourmet restaurants or grandmothers’ recipes at a busy market comedor (food stall). Getting from A to B is easy thanks to comfortable buses that run almost anywhere and an extensive domestic flight network. Or try renting a car: Mexico has some excellent roads, and outside the cities traffic is mostly light.

From the southern jungles to the smoking, snowcapped volcanoes and the cactus-dotted northern deserts, all surrounded by 10,000km of coast strung with sandy beaches and wildlife-rich lagoons, Mexico is an endless adventure for the senses. A climate that ranges from temperate to hot almost everywhere makes for a life spent largely in the open air. Take it easy lying on a beach, dining alfresco or strolling pretty streets, or get out and snorkel warm Caribbean reefs, hike mountain cloud forests or take a boat in search of dolphins or whales.

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List of islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Oct 202015
 

This list of islands of California is organized into sections, generally arranged from north to south. The islands within each section are listed in alphabetical order.

All three islands in Humboldt Bay are located in the narrow midsection of the bay. This portion of the bay is located within the City of Eureka, California entirely within Humboldt County.

The Farallon Islands are a group of rugged small islands over 20 miles (32km) offshore from the mainland of the City and County of San Francisco, which they are also formally within. They consist of over twenty small islets divided into north, south and middle sections, as well as a major bank, Fanny Shoal. The surrounding waters were once used as a disposal site for radioactive waste.[8]

The Sacramento-San Joaquin River Delta is an inverted delta at the juncture of the Sacramento and San Joaquin rivers. There are about 57 named islands in the Delta.

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List of islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Channel Islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Oct 202015
 

The Channel Islands of California are a chain of eight islands located in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Southern California along the Santa Barbara Channel in the United States of America. Five of the islands are part of Channel Islands National Park, and the waters surrounding these islands make up Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary. The islands were first colonized by the Chumash and Tongva Native Americans 13,000 years ago, who were then displaced by European settlers who used the islands for fishing and agriculture. The U.S. military uses the islands as training grounds, weapons test sites, and as a strategic defensive location. The Channel Islands and the surrounding waters house a diverse ecosystem with many endemic species and subspecies.

The eight islands are split among the jurisdictions of three separate California counties: Santa Barbara County (four), Ventura County (two), and Los Angeles County (two). The islands are divided into two groupsthe Northern Channel Islands and the Southern Channel Islands. The four Northern Islands used to be a single landmass known as Santa Rosae.

The archipelago extends for 160 miles (257km) between San Miguel Island in the north and San Clemente Island in the south. Together, the islands land area totals 221,331 acres (89,569ha), or about 346 square miles (900km2).

Five of the islands (San Miguel, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, Anacapa, and Santa Barbara) were made into the Channel Islands National Park in 1980. The Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary encompasses the waters six nautical miles (11 kilometers) off Anacapa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, Santa Rosa, and Santa Barbara islands.

Santa Catalina Island is the only one of the eight islands with a significant permanent civilian settlementthe resort city of Avalon, California, and the unincorporated town of Two Harbors.

Natural seepage of oil occurs at several places in the Santa Barbara Channel.[1] Tar balls or pieces of tar in small numbers are found in the kelp and on the beaches. Native Americans used naturally occurring tar, bitumen, for a variety of purposes which include roofing, waterproofing, paving and some ceremonial purposes.[2]

The Channel Islands at low elevations are virtually frost-free and constitute one of the few such areas in the 48 contiguous US states. It snows only rarely, on higher mountain peaks.

The eight Channel Islands of California, off the west coast of North America

Separated from the California mainland throughout recent geological history, the Channel Islands provide the earliest evidence for human seafaring in the Americas. It is also the site of the discovery of the earliest paleontological evidence of humans in North America.[3] The Northern Channel Islands are now known to have been settled by maritime Paleo Indian peoples at least 13,000 years ago. Archaeological sites on the island provide a unique and invaluable record of human interaction with Channel Island marine and terrestrial ecosystems from the late Pleistocene to historic times. Historically, the northern islands were occupied by the island Chumash, while the southern islands were occupied by the Tongva. Scott O’Dell has had a book written about the indigenous peoples living on the island, Island of the Blue Dolphins. Aleuts hunters visited the islands to hunt otters in the early 1800s. The Aleuts purportedly clashed with the native Chumash, killing many over trading disputes. Aleut interactions with the natives were also detailed in O’Dell’s book.[4]

The Chumash and Tongva were removed from the islands in the early 19th century, taken to Spanish missions and pueblos on the adjacent mainland. For a century, the Channel Islands were used primarily for ranching and fishing activities, which had significant impacts on island ecosystems, including the local extinction of sea otters, bald eagles, and other species. With most of the Channel Islands now managed by federal agencies or conservation groups, the restoration of the island ecosystems has made significant progress.Several of the islands were used by whalers in the 1930s to hunt for sperm whales.[5]

In 1972, the Brown Berets seized and claimed the islands for Mexico, citing the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, a treaty between Mexico and the USA by which Mexico lost more than half of its territory, and arguing that the treaty does not specifically mention the Channel Islands nor the Farallon Islands. Though the United States had occupied them since 1852, the group speculated that Mexico could claim the islands and seek their return through litigation before the International Court of Justice. However, a detailed analysis of its situation puts in doubt the likelihood of Mexico winning the case at the International Court of Justice.[6]The Channel Islands National Park’s mainland visitor center received 342,000 visitors in 2014. The Channel Islands itself attracts around 70,000 tourists a year, most during the summer.[7] Visitors can travel to the islands via public boat or airplane transportation. Camping grounds are available on Anacapa, Santa Rosa, Santa Cruz, San Miguel, and Santa Barbara Islands in the Channel Islands National Park. Attractions include whale watching, hikes, snorkeling, kayaking and camping.[8]

The United States Navy controls San Nicolas Island and San Clemente Island, and has installations elsewhere in the chain. During World War II all of Southern Californias Channel Islands were put under military control, including the civilian-populated Santa Catalina where tourism was halted and established residents needed permits to travel to and from the mainland.[9] San Miguel Island was used as a bombing range[10] and Santa Barbara Island as an early warning outpost under the presumed threat of a Japanese attack on California.[11] San Clemente Island was used to train the Navy’s first amphibious force to prepare for Pacific combat against the Japanese in World War II.[12] San Nicolas Island has been used since 1957 as a launch pad for research rockets. San Nicolas was considered out of eight possible locations as the site of the Trinity nuclear test.[13] Santa Rosa Island was used in 1952 as a base for the USAF 669th AC&W Squadron and they operated two Distant Early Warning FPS-10 radars from the hilltops there. In 1955 another FPS-3 search radar was added, and in 1956, a GPS-3 search radar was installed. A new MPS-14 long-range height-finder radar was installed in 1958. The base was shut down in March 1963, when the 669th was moved to Vandenberg AFB In Lompoc, California. The islands still house US Navy SEALs training facilities and continues to use the Naval Auxiliary Landing Field located on San Clemente Island.[12]

The Channel Islands are part of one of the richest marine ecosystems of the world. Many unique species of plants and animals are endemic to the Channel Islands, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, and flora including a unique subspecies of Torrey pine.

Flora on the Channel Islands include a unique subspecies of pine, oak, and the island tree mallow. Santa Rosa Island holds two groves of the Torrey pine subspecies Pinus torreyana var. insularis, which is endemic to the island. Torrey pines are the United States’ rarest pine species.[14] The islands also house many rare and endangered species of plants, including the island barberry, the island rushrose, and the Santa Cruz Island lace pod. giant kelp forests surround the islands and act as a source of nutrition and protection for other animals.[15]

Invasive species, such as the Australian blue gum tree, olive tree, sweet fennel and Harding grass threaten native species through competition for light, nutrients, and water. The Australian blue gum, for example, releases toxins in its leaf litter which prevents other species of plants from growing in the soil surrounding it. The blue gum, as well as other species including the Harding grass, are much more flammable and better adapted to wildfires than native species.[16]

The Channel Islands and the waters surrounding hold many endemic species of animals, including fauna such as the Channel Islands spotted skunk, island scrub jay, ashy storm-petrel, Santa Cruz sheep, San Clemente loggerhead shrike, San Clemente sage sparrow. Many species of large marine mammals, including pacific gray whales, blue whales, and California sea lions breed or feed close to the Channel Islands. Seabirds, including the western gulls, bald eagles, pigeon guillemonts, and Scripps’s murrelets use the islands as well for shelter and breeding grounds. The endemic island fox is California’s smallest natural canine and has rebounded from its near extinction in the late 1990s. Several endemic reptile species including the island fence lizard, island night lizard, and Channel Islands slender salamander live on the islands.[17]

Conservation efforts are being made to maintain the islands’ endemic species. Feral livestock, including pigs, goats, and sheep, pose a threat to many of the species, including the San Clemente loggerhead shrike and Channel Islands spotted skunk. The National Park Service eradicated the feral pigs on Santa Rosa and Santa Cruz islands during the 1990s and on Santa Catalina Island in 2007.[18][4] Introduced pathogens have devastated island species due to isolation from the mainland. In 1998, an outbreak of canine distemper swept through Santa Catalina Island severely reducing the island skunk and fox populations. Rabies and distemper vaccination programs were initiated to protect the island’s wildlife. Canine distemper is thought to have been brought to the islands on a stowaway raccoon or a domestic dog.[19]

In the 1950s, bald eagles and peregrine falcons on the Channel Islands became locally extinct after widespread use of pesticides such as DDT.[20] The birds ingest contaminated fish and seabirds which poisons the adults and weakens their eggs. Golden eagles, which are natural competitors of other birds of prey, do not primarily feed on these animals and were able to colonize the islands in the early 1990s. In the early 2000s, golden eagles were live trapped and relocated.[21] In 2002 and 2006 breeding pairs of bald eagles were reintroduced to the northern islands.[22] Later in 2006, the introduced adult eagles hatched chicks on the islands for the first time since their extinction. The Channel Islands National Park established a bald eagle webcam on their website in 2007.[4]

Coordinates: 340058N 1194814W / 34.01611N 119.80389W / 34.01611; -119.80389

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Channel Islands of California – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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Islands Restaurant – Rancho Park – Los Angeles, CA – Yelp

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Oct 202015
 

This was one of the first places I went with my roommates during my third year of college. We wanted something that wasn’t necessarily Asian (here’s looking at you, Sawtelle), so we decided on the safest option ever: BURGERS! I mean, you just can’t go wrong. My friend and local LA native suggested Islands because it would be uncontroversial and good, so we all went with it.

We hopped into his jalopy (sorry, I just wanted to use that word. It’s really just a Saturn) and took the short drive to Islands. We parked in a nearby neighborhood and walked over, and I took a picture of the sign, which you can see handily included below. The atmosphere of the place is pretty cool: lots of surfing stuff and other island-related paraphernalia. A bar sits in the middle and is a good place to watch sporting events such as UCLA improbably making March Madness and angering sports fans across the nation as it somehow wins its way to the Sweet 16. I didn’t have them advancing in my bracket either, and I’m from UCLA…Well then…

Anyways, our server was quite attentive and helpful. I eventually decided upon the Kilauea, which is this insanely pepper-crusted burger with pepper jack cheese, chipotle aioli, lettuce, tomato, and island reds. I’m famous for not liking tomato, so I took mine out–not that you needed to know that or anything, but I pride myself on accurate reviews…Or boring ones.

The burger was actually really good, but if I had to nitpick, it was way too peppery. After a few bites, the pepper completely overwhelmed the burger to a point where it was overshadowing the entire meal. It was still dang good, but I had to un-crust some of the pepper to finish it. In any case, I would simply order a different burger next time since the amount of pepper (and I really, really love pepper) was a bit much.

Aside from that, the bottomless fries were pretty awesome and–yes–uncontroversial. Overall, a really safe place to eat without any major gripes, and that’s exactly what you should expect.

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Islands Restaurant – Rancho Park – Los Angeles, CA – Yelp

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Island | Define Island at Dictionary.com

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Oct 182015
 

Contemporary Examples

Let Jourdan Dunn be the first of manynot an island, or badge of self-congratulation.

Now the island is coming back, bigger and more luxurious than ever.

Coddington was born in Anglesey, an island off the coast of Wales, and grew up during the tail end of World War II.

He has recently returned from a USO Tour in Iraq, and Thrive Records (island Def Jam) will release his Total Club Hits Vol.

Dozens have been approved for release off the island but are still held there.

Historical Examples

“But she’s the best-looking girl on the island now, Pete,” said Nancy Joe.

That morning a rumor had reached the village of a famine in the island of Crete.

Was he the fellow the boss wanted we should shoo off that island?

I wonder how it would seem to live on such an island as this?

This is the island of the blest, and the object of the disembodied soul is to reach it.

British Dictionary definitions for island Expand

a mass of land that is surrounded by water and is smaller than a continent

(anatomy) a part, structure, or group of cells distinct in constitution from its immediate surroundings related adjective insular

to cause to become an island

to intersperse with islands

to place on an island; insulate; isolate

Word Origin

Old English gland, from g island + land; s inserted through influence of isle

Word Origin and History for island Expand

1590s, earlier yland (c.1300), from Old English igland “island,” from ieg “island” (from Proto-Germanic *aujo “thing on the water,” from PIE *akwa- “water;” see aqua-) + land “land.” Spelling modified 15c. by association with similar but unrelated isle. An Old English cognate was ealand “river-land, watered place, meadow by a river.” In place names, Old English ieg is often used of “slightly raised dry ground offering settlement sites in areas surrounded by marsh or subject to flooding” [Cambridge Dictionary of English Place-Names]. Related: Islander.

island in Medicine Expand

island island (‘lnd) n. An isolated tissue or group of cells that is separated from the surrounding tissues by a groove or is marked by a difference in structure or function.

island in Science Expand

island in the Bible Expand

(Heb. ‘i, “dry land,” as opposed to water) occurs in its usual signification (Isa. 42:4, 10, 12, 15, comp. Jer. 47:4), but more frequently simply denotes a maritime region or sea-coast (Isa. 20:6, R.V.,” coastland;” 23:2, 6; Jer. 2:10; Ezek. 27:6, 7). (See CHITTIM.) The shores of the Mediterranean are called the “islands of the sea” (Isa. 11:11), or the “isles of the Gentiles” (Gen. 10:5), and sometimes simply “isles” (Ps. 72:10); Ezek. 26:15, 18; 27:3, 35; Dan. 11:18).

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Island | Define Island at Dictionary.com

The best islands in Southeast Asia

 Islands  Comments Off on The best islands in Southeast Asia
Oct 182015
 

Coral and Raya Islands Off Phuket’s southern coast lie a number of small islands whose pristine shores lure scuba divers and beach bums away from the mainland. Most of these isolated islands are undeveloped, but the notable exceptions are Coral Island and Ko Raya (also known as Ko Racha) which have accommodation options and restaurants. Both islands have safe swimming, reefs teeming with aquatic life, and a sense of getting away from it all that’s harder and harder to come by in Phuket proper. Coral Island is read more about Coral and Raya Islands

Ko Adang Far out in the Andaman Sea, the formidable mountains of Ko Adang rise over Ko Lipe like a protective uncle. The two islands are so close together that if arriving to Lipe at Pattaya Beach, you may very well assume that Adang’s lushly forested southern eminence is part of Lipe’s interior. In fact, the two neighbours could hardly be more different. While both islands are technically part of Tarutao National Park, development and mass tourism have taken a firm hold on Lipe. In contrast, Adang read more about Ko Adang

Ko Bulon Lae Kicking a football in the sea breeze, school kids laugh on their beachside field. Local sea gypsies smile at backpackers and families who lounge outside their simple bungalows. Flowers and butterflies abound. Away from the over-development and other problems found on more popular Thai islands, Ko Bulon Lae quietly preserves its rural tranquility. If that sounds wonderful, well, it truly is. But it takes a special sort of person to appreciate this one-of-a-kind island in the Andaman Sea. read more about Ko Bulon Lae

Ko Chang Sometimes called the Beast of the East thanks to its sheer mass and location in the eastern Gulf of Thailand near Cambodia, Ko Chang might just be the quintessential Thai island destination. From breathtaking mountains to idyllic beaches, hippy hangouts to salubrious resorts, and traditional fishing villages to neon nightlife, Elephant Island truly has something for everyone. Some say that Ko Chang’s name derives from its shape on a map that somewhat resembles the head of an elephant. read more about Ko Chang

Ko Chang Noi Not to be confused with the far bigger and better known Ko Chang of Trat province in the Gulf of Thailand, little Ko Chang or, as we have always known it, Ko Chang Noi is a formidable destination in its own right. One of Thailand’s quietest, most relaxed, and undeveloped islands, Ko Chang Noi makes up for its lack of sparkle with an artsy, laid back atmosphere you’ll find nowhere else. Don’t expect luxury resorts and bus loads of short-term holiday makers but rather rustic read more about Ko Chang Noi

Ko Jum The little-known Andaman island of Ko Jum (aka Ko Pu) strikes an ideal balance of great beaches, thin crowds and ultra-relaxing atmosphere. With mass tourism having been left to neighbouring Ko Phi Phi and Ko Lanta, Jum’s Muslim residents have happily preserved their traditional lifestyle. So enchanting is Ko Jum that we’ll go out on a limb to call it one of our favourite Thai islands. Colourful fishing hamlets dot the east coast, where longtail boats bob amid the seaside villages and read more about Ko Jum

Ko Kham An idealic little blink-and-you’ll-miss-it island barely a kilometre from Ko Maak, Ko Kham was once the perfect spot to really get away from it all. Crystal-clear waters and a number of coral reefs made the island popular with the snorkelling crowd and many boat outings from Ko Chang stopped here for an hour or two to have a look into the not-so-deep. A series of black volcanic rocks jut out of the snow-white sand on the island’s eastern beach, and for those on the island they made for read more about Ko Kham

Ko Kho Khao Just a ten minute boat ride from the Takua Pa area of Phang Nga province, Ko Kho Khao (pronounced kaw koe cow) doesnt look very different from the mainland. However, for those seeking a family beach destination thats not as remote as nearby Ko Phra Thong but not as busy as Khao Lak or Phuket, Kho Khao is worth a visit. The islands long golden beaches are the main draw, and aesthetically these are similar to the beaches of the Khao Lak area further south. The waters are slightly murky read more about Ko Kho Khao

Ko Kradan A thin slip of an island off the coast of Trang province, Ko Kradan boasts a gorgeous white-sand beach stretching between fluffy green hills and the cerulean blue Andaman Sea. Also home to some good snorkelling and low-tide sandbars that make for the beach walk of a lifetime, Kradan is among Thailand’s more visually spectacular islands. With some advanced planning, anyone from solo gap-year backpackers to groups of old friends to honeymooning couples and flashpacking families can enjoy a read more about Ko Kradan

Ko Kut We’re going to go out on a limb and declare Ko Kut (also spelt Ko Kood) to be the most beautiful island we’ve seen in Thailand over two decades of travel to the kingdom. There. We said it. It really is just drop dead gorgeous. And we strongly recommend you add it to your itinerary the next time you holiday in Thailand. Set to the south of better known Ko Chang and Ko Maak, Ko Kut is a large, mountainous island whose interior remains largely jungle covered and whose western and southern read more about Ko Kut

Ko Lanta Lanta. The word alone conjures daydreams of lazing in a hammock, soothed by tepid waves and refreshed by the juice of coconuts that collect on the sand. The exact meaning is unknown, but the island’s old Malay name of Pulao Satak translates as Long Beach Island. Four splendid stretches of powder-white sand span several kilometres each on Ko Lanta, with many more secluded beaches just waiting to be lounged upon. First discovered by Scandinavian backpackers in the 1980s, this long and slender read more about Ko Lanta

Ko Lao Liang If you thought that all of Thailands finest islands had been ruined by mismanaged development, Ko Lao Liang will prove you wrong. A little-known remedy for travellers seeking breathtaking Andaman Sea scenery without the crowds, the isolated pair of islands dont even register among Trang provinces more popular destinations. And we hope it stays that way. Part of Mu Ko Phetra National Park, Ko Lao Liangs two islands stand side-by-side some 40 kilometres west of the mainland. All read more about Ko Lao Liang

Ko Libong The largest but certainly not busiest island in Trang province, Ko Libong lulls travellers into a simpler state of mind with its unusual landscapes, deep starry nights and Muslim fishing villages uninfluenced by mass tourism. Lucky visitors might catch a glimpse of an endangered dugong, but all will depart with a sense of experiencing something completely different. Close cousins of the manatee and more distantly related to elephants, around 130 chubby and amiable dugongs, also known as read more about Ko Libong

Ko Lipe In the early 1990s, whispers of an unspoilt island far out in Thailand’s Andaman Sea began surfacing among backpackers. With dazzling white-sand beaches touched by crystal-clear water that sheltered vibrant marine life, Ko Lipe was everything it was cracked up to be. Though it remains tremendously beautiful today, mass tourism is pushing Lipe in a worrisome direction. Those who appreciate their luxuries and want to avoid the bigger resort islands will probably find everything they desire on read more about Ko Lipe

Ko Maak Just a few kilometres south of Ko Chang but a world away from its heavy development lies Ko Maak, undoubtedly an overlooked gem in Thailand’s crown. Ideal for those who prefer the quiet life, this decidedly rural island has so far escaped the grasp of major developers. Though a sprinkle of tasteful new resorts have appeared in recent years, it appears that Maak will remain a sleepy, family-friendly destination for the foreseeable future. Ko Maak is blessed with long stretches of read more about Ko Maak

Ko Muk A quintessential island paradise Ko Muk is not, but its decent beaches, affordable accommodation and terrific day-trips draw a handful of travellers each high season. Also commonly spelt Ko Mook, the mid-size island sits off the coast of Trang province in the Andaman Sea and supports a modest Muslim-Thai lifestyle focused on fishing. The only part of Ko Muk ever seen by many travellers is the spectacular Tham Morakot, or Emerald Cave. After swimming through a dark sea cave, you read more about Ko Muk

Ko Mun Nork The blip of an island of Ko Mun Nork rarely finds itself on the itinerary of roving backpackers and travellers — partly due to the cost of the resort, but also because it can only be visited as a part of an organised trip. Ask many Bangkok residents though and you’ll quickly hear some of the rave reviews Ko Mun Nork receives — both as a romantic weekend getaway, but also for the occasional parties thrown on the island — parties which are very much invite only. Private label raves and read more about Ko Mun Nork

Ko Ngai If you’re after a romantic beach holiday on a beautiful island and don’t mind paying a premium for it, Ko Ngai is worth considering. Sitting quietly amid a scenic patch of the Andaman Sea with plentiful coral, Ngai hosts a long sliver of blondish-white sand with views to distant limestone karsts and the mainland. The tiny island doesn’t have much character, but it offers plenty of comfort. Officially part of Ko Lanta National Park, Ko Ngai (also spelt Hai) is easily reached during high read more about Ko Ngai

Ko Pha Ngan Although best known for the monthly full moon parties, which attract thousands of travellers from all over the globe, there is a lot more to stunning Ko Pha Ngan than getting trashed and passing out in the powder-soft white sand. The mid-sized and quite mountainous island (it stretches over 168 sq km and 70% of its topography is mountainous jungle with the remainder beaches and coconut groves) is situated roughly a third of the way from Ko Samui to Ko Tao. The island’s original inhabitants read more about Ko Pha Ngan

Ko Phayam Ko Phayam boasts long uncrowded beaches, plenty of walking trails, some jungle, lots of birdlife, roads without cars and one small village. Sounds good? Read on. Until a few years ago, few tourists had heard of this quiet laidback island on the Andaman coast near the Burmese border. It’s still pretty unspoiled compared to many Thai islands but the number of tourists has increased significantly over the past few years. Tourists of all ages and backgrounds visit but they are nearly all read more about Ko Phayam

Ko Phi Phi Ko Phi Phi, or Phi Phi Island, is one of the most talked about places in Southeast Asia, with its natural beauty and reputation for good times putting it firmly on the tourist trail. The beauty of the island is unparalleled, even in a region of the world renowned for its stunning destinations. Limestone cliffs, turquoise waters, white sand beaches and miles of trackless forest make Phi Phi a perfect tropical island. Developments over the past 20 years however have made it the subject of read more about Ko Phi Phi

Ko Phra Thong In Thai, phra thong means golden Buddha, and a legend tells of how a valuable solid gold Buddha image was buried somewhere on the island hundreds of years ago. Any treasure hunters seem to have given up their searches long ago, which isn’t surprising given Ko Phra Thong’s unforgivingly hot and expansive savannah landscape. Totally unique not only in Thailand but all of Southeast Asia, visitors to Ko Phra Thong often remark that the landscape looks strikingly similar to the savannahs of read more about Ko Phra Thong

Ko Ra Despite its relatively close proximity to the town of Khuraburi along Thailand’s west coast, the long, thin and rugged island of Ko Ra is one of the country’s more remote islands with accommodation, and is a good choice for those seeking an offbeat, eco-minded destination. With most of the island protected as a wildlife sanctuary, this is a chance to experience a lush, untamed landscape. Ko Ra Ecolodge, which offered a wide range of activities, has recently closed and though we haven’t read more about Ko Ra

Ko Rawi Unspoilt Ko Rawi arguably boasts the best beaches of any island in the Adang archipelago — and that’s saying a lot. A smidgen smaller than neighbouring Ko Adang, Rawi has a similarly rugged interior to go with far more rudimentary national park services. Most visitors only stop here for lunch during a boat tour from Ko Lipe, but it’s possible to pitch a tent for a longer stay. Separated only by a one-km-wide channel, Rawi and Adang look like a healthy pair of twins when viewed on a map. read more about Ko Rawi

Ko Rok Brilliant white-sand beaches, crystal-clear water, expansive coral reefs and metre-long monitor lizards: welcome to Ko Rok. Protected as part of Mu Ko Lanta National Park, these gorgeous twin islands boast some of the finest snorkelling in Thailand’s Andaman Sea. Most come as a day trip, but it’s possible to hang around for extended stays during high season. Aesthetically similar to Ko Surin further north, Ko Rok refers to Ko Rok Nai (called the inner island since it’s closer to the read more about Ko Rok

Ko Samet As the closest major island to Bangkok, Ko Samet is one of the most popular places in Thailand to watch teal water caress feathery white sand shores. Its not the kingdoms most picturesque, enchanting or cleanest island, but Samet consistently draws droves of travellers seeking a quick, easy getaway from the Thai capital. One of the very first Thai islands to surface on the foreign traveller radar back in the 1970s, Samets old days of crashing in hammocks next to beach campfires are read more about Ko Samet

Ko Samui Back in the days when backpackers to Southeast Asia were first discovering Ko Samui in the 1970s, a basic thatched hut with running water and electricity was considered luxury. Now Ko Samui is home to some of Thailand’s best luxury resorts and in the popularity stakes is surpassed only by Phuket. With an international airport, a mass of ferry connections and close to 500 hotels and guesthouses, this is not somewhere to come to glimpse a corner of the Thai kingdom untouched by tourism read more about Ko Samui

Ko Si Boya The rural island of Ko Si Boya sits windswept and largely forgotten off the southern coast of Krabi province. The few travellers who make it here are far outnumbered by villagers, who themselves are outnumbered by cows and monitor lizards. While this is not the place to find idyllic beaches and luxury resorts, Si Boya doesn’t disappoint those seeking peace and quiet. Reachable via a 15-minute local ferry hop from the mainland villages of Laem Hin and Laem Kruat, this mid-size island mainly read more about Ko Si Boya

Ko Si Chang Ko Si Chang not to be mistaken with Ko Chang is an island two to three hours from Bangkok, in Chonburi province, 12 kilometres from the western shore of Siracha district and surrounded by eight smaller islands. Ko Si Chang is geographically the closest island to Bangkok, and often overlooked by tourists for more well known destinations. The small island is popular among Thais living in or near Bangkok and is a great place for a day trip with friends or a pleasant weekend with read more about Ko Si Chang

Ko Sukorn On calm and pastoral Ko Sukorn, water buffaloes outnumber the locals, and locals far outnumber the travellers. The not-so-easy-to-reach island is home to a slow-paced Muslim community that subsists mainly off agriculture and fishing, with tourism a distant third. Many of the few travellers who make it here settle in for extended stays, soothed to the bone by the time they leave. The dark-blue water off Sukorns shores doesnt strike the idyllic sapphire and turquoise shades that read more about Ko Sukorn

Ko Surin If Thailand’s tropical islands are the country’s crowned jewels, Ko Surin could be the brightest of them all. Protected as the Mu Ko Surin National Park, Ko Surin actually consists of two relatively small islands Ko Surin Nuea (north) and Ko Surin Tai (south) as well as a handful of islets and some magnificent underwater seascapes. Though many choose to visit on a daytrip, Ko Surin really warrants spending a night or two in order to adequately absorb the unspoilt natural beauty both read more about Ko Surin

Ko Tao Once jokingly referred to as a drinking island with a diving problem, Ko Tao has evolved far beyond backpackers diving and beach boozing. Today the island draws families, flashpackers and sports junkies alike. Visitors will find hiking trails of various levels of difficulty that end with the promise of picturesque views, extreme rock-climbing, live jam sessions where locals and tourists showcase their talents, beach barbecues accompanied by fire shows and even trapeze-flying classes. For such a read more about Ko Tao

Ko Tarutao The Malay word tarutao means old, mysterious, primitive. At 150 square km and with mountains reaching over 500 metres high, this rugged island does indeed stir up a primeval sense of awe. It’s no wonder that Thailand once banished convicted criminals here, and that the TV show, Survivor, chose this as one of its shooting locations. First occupied by only a handful of sea gypsies, Thailand sent more than 3,000 prisoners to work camps on Tarutao in the 1930s and ’40s. Common criminals were read more about Ko Tarutao

Ko Wai Azure water laps onto powdery beaches framed by distinctive rock formations. Vibrant tropical marine life dazzles the snorkellers. Draped in jungle and overgrown rubber groves, pristine hills dare visitors to discover hidden beaches and viewpoints. No roads or motorbikes; no blaring all-night parties; limited electricity, just primitive huts in paradise. Welcome to Ko Wai. This tiny island sits six kilometres south of Ko Chang’s southerly point, reachable via an easy cruise during high read more about Ko Wai

Ko Yao Noi Ko Yao Noi, or Small Long Island, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Found just a 30-minute speedboat trip away from Phuket, Yao Noi’s tight-knit local Muslim community has led the island along a more low-impact, peaceful development path than its rowdy island neighbour. Yao Noi boasts a diverse and photogenic landscape with mangrove forests lining its west coast, a lush, pastoral interior and sandy east-coast beaches with superb views to the towering read more about Ko Yao Noi

Ko Yao Yai Ko Yao Yai, or Big Long Island, running about 30 kilometres in length from top to bottom, sits halfway between Phuket and Krabi in the middle of Phang Nga Bay. Though only a 25-minute speedboat trip from Phukets east coast, this long, narrow island ringed with thick mangroves and white-sand beaches has somehow avoided becoming another hectic island resort. Its more than twice the size of neighbouring Ko Yao Noi, but tourism development here lags behind its sister island. Yao Yais read more about Ko Yao Yai

Phuket Thailand’s largest island is its best example of the benefits and problems of tourism. Huge promotions of Phuket by the TAT and travel agents since Thailand first start attracting international travellers on a large scale in the 1980s have brought in millions of tourists and billions of baht — the province is visited by over a third of all international visitors to Thailand in any given year. But along with them has come unregulated development, severe environmental degradation, organised read more about Phuket

Similan Islands Some 50 km from the Thai western coast among open water in the Andaman Sea, the Similan islands are known far and wide to boast some of the most spectacular scenery and best snorkelling and diving of anywhere in Southeast Asia. With Malay roots, the word similan means nine in local Moken (sea gypsy) language after the nine tiny islands of the Similan archipelago. Along with magnificent underwater seascapes, the Similans boast some of the finest white sand, turquoise water beaches in Thailand, read more about Similan Islands

Koh Rong Koh Rong is quite possibly that cliched island paradise you’ve been looking for, boasting pristine white beaches, turquoise water and limited development on most of the island. For years the island was almost completely undeveloped save for a diving outfit and a few bungalows, though that’s changing, in particular on the southern patch Koh Touch. Serviced by the fast boat from Sihanoukville as the fourth stop, Koh Touch is a sandy guesthouse-packed stretch that has earned Koh Rong a read more about Koh Rong

Koh Rong Samloem Koh Rong Samloem is just 45 minutes by speedboat and yet a world away from Sihanoukville. The island of many spellings — it’s also known as Koh Rung Samloem, Koh Rong Saloem, Koh Rong Samlon and a few other variations — is owned by the Cambodian navy, which has a base there. As of late 2014 a development company awaits the approval of their plans for the island, with large signboards along the beach near M’Pay Bei village sticking out between the trees, reminding you of the future that read more about Koh Rong Samloem

Koh Sdach This small fishing village island sits at the half-way mark between Koh Kong and Sihanoukville within the Koh Sdach archipelago. Located a 15-minute boat-ride off the Cambodian coast, Koh Sdach is dominated by a sizeable fishing village that stretches along the side of the island that faces the mainland. While fishing is the mainstay of the local economy, the village also has a large ice-making plant, where you can watch the production and see the ice ferried off by boat to the surrounding read more about Koh Sdach

Koh Ta Kiev Only an hour away from the mainland, Koh Ta Kiev is one of the closest islands to Sihanoukville and is on the itinerary of many of the day trips and island tours that leave from the beach town. Few people stay overnight on the island though, which is a shame because it’s beautiful and has a few easily accessible beaches. Like most of the islands in Cambodia, Koh Ta Kiev has been leased to a foreign company — the same French outfit that owns, or has taken 99-year leases, on half of Koh read more about Koh Ta Kiev

Koh Thmei Koh Thmei is part of Ream National Park but this hasn’t stopped the government from selling a substantial amount of the island to the highest bidder. Right now the island is mostly empty; although a few families live on the island, there’s not so much as a village and the only current accommodation is the eight wooden bungalows that comprise Koh Thmei Resort. Their owners believe that they were allowed to open because of their eco-friendly policies; they power it by day using solar panels read more about Koh Thmei

Koh Tonsay Better known as Rabbit Island, Ko Tonsay is a lovely little island about 25 minutes away from Kep by hired boat, making it one of the most easily accessible of all the islands. It is also one of the least-developed, with no motor vehicles, no mains electricity and few residents, making it an ideal getaway from the grind. Boats leave the ferry port in Kep regularly throughout the day a return ticket will cost around $7 or pay $25 for a boat with enough seating for six to eight read more about Koh Tonsay

Koh Totang A small drop in the ocean at only 1.3 kilometres by 500 metres wide, Koh Totang is one of the 12 tropical islands that make up the Koh SDach Archipelago in the Gulf of Thailand. Midway between the Thai border and Sihanoukville approximately 60 kilometres in either direction Koh Totang is somewhat out of the way of the main island hotspots, with the likes of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Samloem significantly further south. Until 2014 it was also tricky to get to, requiring an uncomfortable read more about Koh Totang

Don Dhet Referred to by some as Khao San Road on the river, Don Dhet is a classic backpacker hub with just a fraction of the shenanigans that take place on Khao San Road. Now well-established on the backpacker trail through Laos, the number and quality of rooms on Don Dhet continues to climb steadily. The scenery is indeed beautiful and the ambience very relaxed, but Laos this is not. Anyone who tells you differently has eaten too many banana pancakes. If you’re on the way here expecting to read more about Don Dhet

Don Khon Far larger than Don Dhet, Don Khon is skipped by many budget travellers because most of the accommodation is midrange. However although there aren’t 40-odd places to choose from as on Don Dhet, there are budget options here and staying on Don Khon is far more of a Lao experience than Don Dhet. There is a better range of eateries than on Don Dhet and the options for cycling and walking are considerably more extensive. The main disadvantage or advantage depending on your point of view is that read more about Don Khon

Don Khong The largest island in the Si Phan Don area, Don Khong is nowhere near as popular as the more southern islands of Don Dhet, with its chilled-out atmosphere, and Don Khon which has more activities on tap. The interior of Don Khong is almost entirely given over to rice cultivation and a forested mountainous area, while just about all the accommodation is crammed into and around the sleepy town of Muang Khong, which is situated on the east coast of the island. The major pastime on Don Khong is read more about Don Khong

Cat Ba Island Nestled on the periphery of Vietnam’s fabulous Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba Island is big — more than 350 square kilometres — but most tourists see but a sliver of it. Put ashore as part of a three-day tour of Ha Long Bay, time is spent on organised treks or bike rides in the national park and tours of Monkey Island, or eating at one of the many seafood places around the harbour. But independent travellers shouldn’t rule out a stay. Three beaches are located near the harbour town — hardly world read more about Cat Ba Island

Con Dao Islands The Con Dao Islands (also known as Poulo Condore) are an archipelago of 15 islands situated in the South China Sea, around 250 kilometres, or a 45-minute flight, from Ho Chi Minh City. The island is famed for its grizzly past: due its remoteness, the French used the main island of Con Son (the largest island in the group) to keep anti-colonial protestors prisoner. The South Vietnamese continued the tradition, sending political dissenters and activists to the 11 prisons which were also used read more about Con Dao Islands

Phu Quoc Island Sitting back in a hammock, looking out over the quiet surf, you may wonder why more people don’t know about Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island. It gets almost none of the press of those islands over in Thailand — and yet with its rugged jungle, squeaking white sands and sparkling cobalt waters, it more than matches them. Sadly, with a brand spanking new international airport and progressive visa-exemption scheme, this is slated to change in the coming years. Drive around the island and you can read more about Phu Quoc Island

Pangkor Island Pangkor Island is about a fifth of the size of Penang off Peninsular Malaysia’s west coast, midway between Kuala Lumpur and Penang. The word Pangkor is said to be a derivative of the Thai pang koh, which means beautiful island and yes, this gives a hint of what the island is like, with sandy shores and surrounding emerald waters. Pangkor is well regarded as a family-oriented and culturally diverse destination, so guesthouses and hotels are generally family friendly rather than party read more about Pangkor Island

Penang Malaysia’s second largest island, Penang is also its most developed, with the eastern coast dotted with high-rises and crammed with holiday resorts. Travellers who have experienced beaches elsewhere in Asia will probably be unimpressed with the most popular beach spots, but the island’s real attraction lies in its culture, history and cuisine. The main city of Georgetown boasts a meld of interesting architecture stretching from the British colonial era to the colourful multicultural read more about Penang

Perhentian Islands The Perhentian Islands are two main islands, along with a scattering of uninhabited islets, off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia. They’ve long been renowned for their coral reefs and clear waters, snorkelling, diving, attractive beaches and remote, semi-untouched feel and appearance. The two inhabited islands, Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian) and Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian) sit across a narrow body of water from one another and each boasts a collection of attractive read more about Perhentian Islands

Semporna and Sipadan Island Its name may mean perfect in the Malay language, but the seaside town of Semporna makes a poor first impression with its fishy smell and littered water. Thankfully for most travellers Semporna is not the destination but the gateway to some of the best scuba diving in the world at Sipadan and Mabul Islands. Sipadan Island has been something of a mecca for scuba divers ever since Jacques Cousteau described it as an untouched piece of art. More than 3,000 species of sea creatures have been read more about Semporna and Sipadan Island

Gili Air Gili Air is the closest to Lombok of the three Gili islands. In size, it lies between Meno and Trawangan, and has the largest normal community. Unlike Gili Meno and Gili Trawangan, Gili Air actually does have its own water source and you’ll notice immediately how much greener and overgrown it is compared to the other two far more arid islands. Much of the interior is given over to coconut cultivation, though tourists are proving themselves a more lucrative crop and slowly the palm read more about Gili Air

Gili Gede Gili Gede is arguably the best known of the Secret Gilis — a sprinkling of islands off the coast of southwest Lombok far lesser known than the Gilis of the northwest. Gili Gede lies among a group also comprising Gili Layan, Gili Ringgit and Gili Asahan — about halfway back to Lembar is a second cluster including Gili Nanggu and Gili Sudak. Of all these, Gili Gede has the broadest selection of accommodation. At time of writing (mid-December 2014) there was a single midrange resort on Gili read more about Gili Gede

Gili Meno Situated midway between Gili Trawangan and Gili Air, Gili Meno is the smallest and least developed of the three Gili islands. Peanut-shaped, with a brackish seawater lake towards its western coast, this arid island is ringed by a good selection of places to stay and is the most affordable of the three islands. As with the others, Gili Meno is encircled by a rather pretty white sand beach, and, as with Gili Air, there is some pretty good snorkelling to be had. While it is the least read more about Gili Meno

Gili Trawangan Gili Trawangan, or Gili T to its friends, is the largest of three islands scattered off Lombok’s northwest coast. While all three of these Gilis (Gili means island in the Sasak language of Lombok) are especially photogenic, each has a character of its own and attracts a certain crowd — in the case of Gili T, it’s the party set. It is a very pretty island. You’ll have near endless opportunity to take photos to make the office back home suitably jealous. The beaches here really are white sand read more about Gili Trawangan

Kanawa Island A beautiful island about one and a half hours by boat more or less due west of Labuan Bajo, Kanawa Island is a bit of a go-to location for backpackers and flashpackers looking for some downtime. The island is surrounded by a reef, some of which is in extremely good condition with an impressive range of sealife, from soft coral through to sting rays, sharks and turtles — and it’s easy swimming distance from the beach. The beach itself is also very attractive, with ample shade, and you’re read more about Kanawa Island

Karimunjawa Islands Think of your ideal tropical paradise. Once you have that in mind, if it includes white-sand beaches fringed by palm trees, turquoise water so bright it stings your eyes, warm weather all year round, hardly any tourists and just enough decent accommodation to ensure you dont have to pitch a tent then the islands of Karimunjawa are your paradise. Located about 90km off the north coast of Central Java, the idyllic group of 27 tropical islands that form the Karimunjawa Islands is one of read more about Karimunjawa Islands

Nusa Ceningan The sliver of land that makes up Nusa Ceningan lies directly to the south of Nusa Lembongan in the main channel between Lembongan and far larger Nusa Penida. The northern channel (Ceningan Strait) runs almost dry at low tide while the southern channel (Toyo Pakeh Strait) is a roaring flow with swirling eddies and very fast currents. The Ceningan Strait runs almost dry at low tide and is given over to seaweed cultivation at the western end. It’s also this channel that has the yellow read more about Nusa Ceningan

Nusa Lembongan Nusa Lembongan occupies a comfortable middle ground between well-trafficked Bali and relatively untouched Nusa Penida. It’s not as pretty as either of the other two islands, but it has a banquet of good places to stay, a friendly bunch of locals and makes for a comfortable time-out. Lembongan is known for two things: seaweed and surf. Seaweed cultivation and harvesting is what keeps the bulk of the local population busy. It is farmed off many of the beaches (likewise on neighbouring Nusa read more about Nusa Lembongan

Nusa Penida Nusa Penida dwarfs nearby Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan, yet is almost devoid of tourists. For all intents and purposes there are only three (yes, three) places even worth considering staying at, despite miles upon miles upon miles of beautiful beaches, an attractive hinterland and a generally unspoilt vibe about the place. Before you pack your bags, a couple of disclaimers: The vast majority of beaches, with the notable exception of Crystal Bay, are given over to seaweed farming. read more about Nusa Penida

Togean Islands The Togean — or Togian — Islands are an archipelago in the southeast region of the Tomini Sea in northern Sulawesi. Famous for both their difficulty to reach and diving, the archipelago is formed by seven primary islands situated near the centre of a global hotspot of biodiversity known as the coral triangle. Home to a great number of rare marine and terrestrial species, most tourists who come here are divers or snorkellers hoping to see some of the world’s best marine life in unspoiled read more about Togean Islands

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Princes’ Islands – Lonely Planet

 Islands  Comments Off on Princes’ Islands – Lonely Planet
Oct 182015
 

Most stanbullus refer to the Princes’ Islands as ‘The Islands’ (Adalar), as they are the only islands around the city. They lie about 20km southeast of the city in the Sea of Marmara, and make a great destination for a day escape from the city.

You’ll realise after landing that there are no cars on the islands, something that comes as a welcome relief after the traffic mayhem of the city. Except for the necessary police, fire and sanitation vehicles, transportation is by bicycle, horse-drawn carriage and foot, as in centuries past.

All of the islands are busy in summer, particularly on weekends. For that reason, avoid a Sunday visit. If you wish to stay overnight during the summer months, book ahead. Many hotels are closed during winter.

There are nine islands in the Princes’ Islands group and the ferry stops at four of these. Year-round there are 15,000 permanent residents scattered across the six islands that are populated, but numbers swell to 100,000 or so during summer when stanbullus – many of whom have holiday homes on the islands – escape the city heat. The small islands of Knalada and Burgazada are the ferry’s first stops; frankly, neither offers much reward for the trouble of getting off the ferry.

In contrast, the charming island of Heybeliada (Heybeli for short) has much to offer the visitor. It’s home to the Deniz Lisesi (Turkish Navel Academy), which was founded in 1773, and which you’ll see to the left of the ferry dock as you arrive, and it has a number of restaurants and a thriving shopping strip with bakeries and delicatessens selling picnic provisions to day-trippers, who come here on weekends to walk in the pine groves and swim from the tiny (but crowded) beaches. The island’s major landmark is the hilltop Hagia Triada Monastery (%351 8563). Perched above a picturesque line of poplar trees in a spot that has been occupied by a Greek monastery since Byzantine times, this building dates from 1894. It functioned as a Greek Orthodox theological school until 1971, when it was closed on the government’s orders, and has an internationally renowned library. There are signs that it may re-open soon. You may be able to visit if you call ahead.

The largest island in the group, Bykada (Great Island) shows is impressive from the ferry, with gingerbread villas climbing up the slopes of the hill and the bulbous twin cupolas of the Splendid Otel providing an unmistakable landmark. It’s a truly lovely spot to spend an afternoon.

The ferry terminal is an attractive building in the Ottoman kiosk style; it dates from 1899. Inside there’s a pleasant tile-decorated caf with an outdoor terrace, as well as a Tourist Information Office. Eateries serve fresh fish to the left of the ferry terminal, next to an ATM.

The island’s main drawcard is the Greek Monastery of St George, in the ‘saddle’ between Bykada’s two highest hills. To get there, walk from the ferry straight ahead to the clock tower in skele Square (Dock Square). The shopping district is left along Recep Ko Sokak. Bear right onto 23 Nisan Caddesi, then head along ankaya Caddesi up the hill to the monastery; when you come to a fork in the road veer right. The walk (at least one hour) takes you past a long progression of impressive wooden villas set in gardens. About a quarter of the way up on the left is the Bykada Kltr Evi, a charming spot where you can enjoy a tea or coffee in a garden setting. The house itself dates from 1878 and was restored in 1998. After 40 minutes or so you will reach a reserve called ‘Luna Park’ by the locals. The monastery is a 25-minute walk up an extremely steep hill from here. Some visitors hire a donkey to take them up the hill and back for around YTL10. As you ascend, you’ll see countless pieces of cloth tied to the branches of trees along the path – each represents a prayer, most made by female supplicants visiting the monastery to pray for a child.

Bicycles are available for rent in several of the town’s shops, and shops on the market street can provide picnic supplies, though food is cheaper on the mainland. Just off the clock tower square and opposite the Splendid Otel there are fayton stands. Hire one for a long tour of the town, hills and shore (one hour around YTL45) or a shorter tour of the town (around YTL35). It costs around YTL16 to be taken to Luna Park. A shop just near the fayton stand hires out bicycles (per hour around YTL3-3).

Fourteen ferries run to the islands each day from 06:50 to midnight, departing from Kabata’ ‘Adalar skelesi’ dock. The most useful departure times for day-trippers are 09:30, 10:00 and 11:30. On summer weekends, board the vessel and grab a seat at least half an hour before departure time unless you want to stand the whole way. The trip costs around YTL3 the islands and the same for each leg between the islands and the return trip. The cheapest and easiest way to pay is to use your Akbil. To be safe, check the timetable at http://www.ido.com.tr, as the schedule can change.The ferry steams away from Kabata and on its journey treats passengers to fine views of Topkap Palace, Aya Sofya and the Blue Mosque on the right, and skdar and Haydarpaa on the left. After 20 minutes the ferry makes a quick stop at Kadky on the Asian side before making its way to the first island, Knalada. This leg takes 30 minutes. After this, it’s another 15 minutes to Burgazada; another 15 minutes again to Heybeliada, the second-largest island; and another 10 minutes to Bykada, the largest island in the group.Ferries return to stanbul every 1.5 hours or so. The last ferry of the day leaves Bykada at 22:00 and Heybeliada at 22:15.

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ISLANDS – Islands Fact Monster

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Oct 182015
 

An island is an area of land smaller than a continent and entirely surrounded by water. Islands range from single rocks to huge landmasses, such as the island of Greenland. There are two main types of islandcontinental islands and oceanic islands. Islands are also found in rivers and lakes.

Continental islands are found in shallow seas off large landmasses. They were formed when rising seas (for example, at the end of an ice age) cut off part of the land from a continent. Great Britain is an example of a continental island.

Volcanic islands are formed by volcanic activity on the seabed, often near the boundaries of the tectonic plates that form Earths crust. Where two plates pull apart, lava erupts to form an undersea ridge. Layers of lava build up until a ridge breaks the seas surface to form an island. Sometimes a whole chain of volcanic islands, called an island arc, is formed in this way. Some island arcs contain thousands of islands.

In November 1963, sailors saw a plume of smoke and ash rising from the sea off Iceland during an undersea volcanic eruption. A day later, as the eruption continued, lava broke the surface to form land. The new island was named Surtsey, after the Norse god of fire.

Greenland, in the Arctic Ocean, is the worlds largest island, at 0.85 million sq miles (2.2 million sq km). As huge as it is, few people live there because it is almost permanently covered in snow and ice.

A coral reef is formed from the hard, shelly remains of coral polyps. These tiny creatures live in large colonies on rocks in shallow, sunlit water, such as the top of a seamount. When they die, their chalky, tube-shaped skeletons remain, and new, young coral grows on top. The coral skeletons build up over many years until they reach the seas surface, forming a reef.

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Best Places to Live in Piscataway Township, New Jersey

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Oct 182015
 

New York is the largest metro area in the United States. It includes the island of Manhattan, an eight-county area immediately north, western Long Island, and Staten Island. It is the fourth largest in the world behind Tokyo, Mexico City, and Sao Paulo, Brazil. Regardless of how the area is defined, New York is among the richest and most complex places to live in America.

Boroughs, districts, and neighborhoods define the city. The borough of Manhattan, a 10-mile-long, 2-mile-wide island, is the financial, commercial, and entertainment core. Much of Lower Manhattan consists of narrow, haphazard streets, dating back to the citys earliest days as a Dutch colony. With the exception of older areas, such as Greenwich Village, the rest of the city follows an orderly grid pattern of avenues and streets laid out in 1811. (Broadway, another exception, moves at a gentle diagonal across the city.)

Filling out the island are distinct districts. Lower Manhattan contains the Financial District. Midtown is the commercial center, with corporate headquarters, various media businesses, and world-class shopping along Fifth Avenue. Large skyscrapers dominate Lower Manhattan, then retreat as does hard bedrock to build on in those areas, then reemerges in Midtown. The in-between area is dominated by older ethnic enclaves like Chinatown and Koreatown and the more famous artsy areas of Greenwich and Soho.

Hip residential areas lie east and west, mainly popular with young single professionals. North and west is Hells Kitchen, in the 40s (most Manhattan area locations are so approximated by their east-west numbered streets) is an old ethnic area and warehouse district enjoying a residential renaissance, to soon be aided by an elevated bikeway and commercial corridor along an old rail line. Times Square and the Theater District just west of Midtown contain the world-famous theaters and numerous restaurants. Surrounding Central Park, the Upper West and Upper East sides are predominantly residential, although both contain ample dining and shopping. The Upper East Side also contains posh enclaves unaffordable for most, outstanding museums, and the designer boutiques of Madison Avenue. The Upper West Side is dotted with large apartment buildings and is a favorite for working professionals and families. Farther north above Central Park, neighborhoods start to decline, although Harlem is undergoing a rebirth.

The boroughs of Brooklyn, Queens, and the Bronx are a patchwork of residential and commercial areas and parks. They have large industrial areas with a predominant blue-collar feel containing manufacturing and freight distribution centers for the area. All are close to the city and offer relatively more living space, and all are experiencing verying degrees of economic and residential revival. Ethnic diversity is strong in all boroughs, while Queens is reputedly the most ethnically diverse area in the country.

Brooklyn is large and diverse enough to function as a standalone city, with large and some upscale residential areas with a modern downtown and substantial commercial and retail offerings areas. Brooklyn is known for its large Olmstead designed (of Central Park fame) Prospect Park. Brooklyn shares the western end of Long Island with Queens, with excellent transportation service into the city by rail and subway and numerous beaches, parks and residential neighborhoods south and east towards the large JFK airport. Brooklyn is socioeconomically very diverse, with a mix of upscale, middle class and poorer areas, while Queens is more clearly identifiable as middle class.

The Bronx area, on the mainland to the north of Manhattan, is the grittiest of the three areas, although its strategic location between the city and to better areas north is starting to bring some interest. Staten Island, a mainly-residential borough to the south, is connected to Manhattan by ferries and the Verrazano Narrows bridge.

Finally, the New York metro area includes northern suburbs stretching up into Westchester County between the east bank of the Hudson River and the Connecticut border. Westchester is generally upscale and expensive, with spread-out towns and a country setting. White Plains is the largest city and a modern corporate center with large facilities for IBM and a number of companies relocating north from Manhattan. Smaller but very upscale areas lie east along the Long Island Sound (Rye being an example) and north along the Hudson as the smaller towns of Tarrytown, Ossining and Croton-on-Hudson.

Rockland County is more middle class with some working-class areas. West Nyack is a large family-oriented middle class area. Other suburbs give workers access to New York by freeway or by rail lines across the Hudson or to northern New Jersey.

The New York area offers a rich assortment of amenities, with world-class dining, shopping, and performing arts including theater, symphony, opera, and live music. Museums and architectural attractions, large and small, draw global audiences. Numerous major-league teams play in the area, including the MLB Yankees and Mets, NBA Knicks, NFL Giants and Jets, and NHL Islanders and Rangers. An extensive public transit system with subways and buses serves the urban core and links the boroughs.

A suburban rail and ferry network services surrounding communities in Connecticut, Long Island, and New Jersey. Rail lines on the Northeast Corridor make such cities as Boston and Washington, D.C. easily accessible. Many residents dont own cars and choose to depend on public transit or an occasional car rental. Three major airportsLa Guardia, Kennedy, and nearby Newarkprovide air service domestically and abroad. Surrounding the city are numerous recreation areas: Long Island beaches, the Poconos, the Hudson Valley, and the Jersey Shore, to name only a few.

The downsides are significant. The city is crowded and stressful, and some neighborhoods are run down. Violent crime rates are high, although not as bad as the stereotype. Cost of living is high in all categories and is rising. Median home prices of half a million or more dont buy much, especially in Manhattan. Home prices there can be five to six times higher for comparable properties in surrounding boroughs. Income differentials between wealthy workers and others are high, and overall the Buying Power Index is usually the worst in the country, suggesting that incomes dont keep up with costs. New York is a great place if you like the lifestyle and can make ends meet.

The New York City area exceeds 300 square miles and is located mostly on islands. Elevations range from less than 50 feet over most of Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Queens to several hundred feet in northern Manhattan, the Bronx, and Staten Island. The area is close to storm tracks, and most weather approaches from the west- producing higher summer and lower winter temperatures than would otherwise be expected in a coastal area. Summers are hot and humid with occasional long periods of discomfort. Sea breezes occasionally moderate summer heat and winter cold in Lower Manhattan. Manhattan and the inner boroughs are more likely to receive rain in winter while outlying areas get snow. Precipitation is distributed fairly evenly throughout the year. Summer rainfall is mainly from thunderstorms, usually of brief duration. Late summer and fall rains associated with tropical storms may occur. Coastal noreaster storms can produce significant snow. First freeze is mid-November, last is early April.

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Best Places to Live in Piscataway Township, New Jersey




Pierre Teilhard De Chardin | Designer Children | Prometheism | Euvolution