A beach in the Philippines has been listed by the global TV news network CNN as among the world’s top 10 beaches while two more in the country are also in the overall list of 100.
The Philippine government said the listing of Palaui Island, off the northeastern part of the country’s biggest island of Luzon, has coincided with the announcement on the increase of tourist arrivals at 10 percent during the first four months of the year, the Department of Tourism (DoT) said.
The Atlanta-based US TV network CNN also listed Puka Beach, on Boracay Island in the central Philippine province of Aklan, and El Nido, in Palawan province, also in central Philippines, as among the world’s best beach destinations.
On the list at No 79 is Unawatuna in Sri Lanka, which CNN described as, “Hanging off the southern tip of Sri Lanka, it stretches for more than a mile, and is marked by palm trees, thatch huts and a languid pace.
Unfortunately, the area was hit hard by the 2004 tsunami, and the place hasn't yet returned to its pre-tsunami beauty.”
India has two in the top 100. At No 64 is Radhanagar Beach, Andaman Islands.
CNN says, “This popular but spacious beach largely escaped the effects of the 2004 tsunami that ruined many other beaches in the Indian Ocean. A tropical forest leans into crunchy sand, which slopes seamlessly into warm, calm water.”
And at No 45 is Patnem Beach in Goa, which is described thus, “If the cacophony of flea markets and tourist raves at Anjuna beach aren't your thing, smaller neighbor Patnem is less claustrophobic, with cheaper beach huts.”
For beaches in the region, at No 59 is Na'ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt and at No 75 Oludeniz Beach, Turkey.
And the best beach in the world according to CNN?
Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles. CNN says: “Secluded and easy to skip because it takes some effort to get here, Grand Anse on La Digue is the archetypal beach, the benchmark against which others must be judged. It's a must, especially if you're a surfer.”
At No 14 of the CNN list was El Nido, which had served as the inspiration for British author Alex Garland in writing his cult novel ‘The Beach’.
It was five notches above Maya Bay, in Ko Phi Phi, Thailand, where the movie adaptation of ‘The Beach’ was filmed.
Describing El Nido as “the gateway to adventure”, CNN said: “Powder-fine beaches and gin-clear waters complement the stunning views of karst limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves and waterfalls.”
It also noted the surrounding waters of El Nido as containing over 50 species of coral and being an attraction to whales, whale sharks, sea cows, mantra rays, dolphins and endangered turtles.
Puka Beach, a haven for honeymooners on Boracay, which is now described by visitors as a bit noisy and too commercialised, landed at No 84 in the CNN list.
“Making a respectable claim to its ‘tropical paradise’ reputation, Boracay has powdery beaches, water sports and spas,” CNN said. “Puka Beach is named for its Puka shells, meaning the sand here is coarse.”
It noted the fact that Puka is the second-longest beach on Boracay after the Long Beach, and is relatively empty most times. Puka Beach has only one resort and a few restaurants, thus it is ideal for honeymooners, writers and those who want a quiet surrounding.
Earlier, the Philippines was named as among the hottest tourism destinations for 2013 by such international publications as ‘Travel+Leisure’ magazine and ‘The New York Times’.