12 World’s most charming coastal towns
Though not known to many, Ilulissat is certainly one of the most charming coastal towns in the world.
About Greenland and its indigenous people- Inuits
The modern Inuits were the descendants of the Thule people who migrated out of Asia, across the Bering Strait. Bering Strait is a narrow sea passage between the eastern most point of Asia and western most point of America. There is an interesting article about Bering Strait here. The Inuits developed in Alaska, expanded to Canada and finally settled in Greenland thousand years ago. (Maybe that explains why the Inuits look like Chinese? Haha.) It was around the same time when the Inuits arrived Greenland as when the Spanish arrived the New World (America).
The Inuits’ original dwellings were simple. They constructed and stayed in turf huts, tents and sometimes in igloos as the seasons changed. It was until the arrival of Hans Egede when then began the new colonial style of wooden houses. One interesting fact of Illulissat is that the their houses adopt a special coding based on the various functions the buildings serve. For example, hospitals are painted in yellow, commercial buildings in red, police stations in black, fish factories in blue and telephone companies in green.
Came across this blog which I find amusing. The writer wrote about his experience in Greenland. He also shared about his interactions and stay with Inuits.
Port Fairy, West Coast Victoria, Australia
Port Fairy did not get its name from a fairy or any sorts. Port Fairy was actually named after a ship Fairy when Captain Wishart sought shelter from a storm at the mouth of River Moyne. This area had been used by whalers and seal hunters in 19th century. A whaling station was also established on Griffiths Island in 1835 by Griffiths.
The delightful town is situated at the end of the Great Ocean Road. And, it seems to have frozen in time. It is lined up with charming 19th century cottages and old stone churches. In 2012, Port Fairy was voted as the world’s most liveable small town in the UN-recognised LivCom award.
Travel back in time and experience a stay in one of the classic cottages facing the sea or the garden. (Join Airbnb with this link to save $25 on your first booking of local stay.) Walk into the history of the village at the various historic trails offered. Or, have a touch with mother nature by going into the sea for some whale, seal or dolphin watching during the winter season (June to August). You can also say hello to wallabies, kangaroos and friends on the Griffiths Island. There are many other activities to do such as surfing, stand-up paddling etc.
Kaikoura, South New Zealand
Kaikoura is situated at the eastern coast of South New Zealand. It is a humble town famous for its wildlife, particularly, sealife. Definitely one of the top places in the world for snorkelling (find out world’s best spots for snorkelling here) and whale-watching due to its nutrient-rich waters. This place offers many exciting eco-tourism activities for the sea lovers. Do you know that you can swim with wild dusky dolphins (read our swim with dolphins experience here) at Kaikoura? You can also do whale-watching by plane and boat. Don’t forget also to try their famous crayfish (read where to eat in Kaikoura here), which Kaikoura is named after!
Below is the video that we took of the lovely dusky dolphins (read here to find out the best underwater camera for you). There were about 100 of them surrounding us in the sea. Pardon the noise. Apparently, to amuse them, you can make some noise or do some funny actions so that they would come close to look at you. Totally unforgettable. You can read more here.
Busan, South Korea
안녕하세요 (hello)! Welcome to the land of Kimchi and Korean beauties. Busan may be the second largest city in South Korea. But, in contrast to Seoul, Busan is an appealing, tranquil and laid-back seaside village.
Crowd lovers would love the lively Haeundae Beach at Busan. Haeundae Beach is constantly buzzing with beach-goers revelling in the waters, playing volleyball or just lay down for a san-tan during the summer season (July to August). Join the million of Koreans and foreigners to partake beach activities on the famous Haeundae Beach. If you are still bursting with energy, you can continue to party throughout the night.
For tourists who prefer more quiet, you can enjoy the beautiful night view surrounding the Gwangandaegyo Bridge on a cruise. Or, simply just sip some green tea, saveur their famous Bingsu (shaved ice) in one of the myriad choices of café in the area to enjoy the serene atmosphere. Being close to the sea, Busan is famous for its live seafood. In their fish markets, you can select the seafood you want and have them cooked on the spot. Freshness guaranteed. Read my post here (in progress) to find out more about what you can do at Busan.
How to go:
1) KTX Express (for more info or book, click here) From Seoul to Busan Duration: 2- 3 hours
Pros: Scenic ride. Comfortable with enough leg space. Just outside of Busan railway station is the famous fish cake stall. The travel duration is reasonable.
Cons: The express KTX is quite expensive.
2) Express bus Duration: 5 hours Refer to this link to find out more.
3) Domestic flight Duration: 1 hour (need to check-in airport 50 minutes prior flight departure.) You can use the flight comparison website below to get the best price.
Jeju, South Korea
Known for its beautiful natural wonders, Jeju is a sub- urban island off the southern coast of South Korea. Visitors can enjoy scenic coastal drive or take a walk along the olle walking paths around the island. Hike up Seongsan Ilchulbong Peak to enjoy nature’s spectacular sunrise show with your loved ones. Be rewarded with fresh air, the view of the beautiful crater lake and the magnificent bird eye’s view of the entire island on the tallest mountain in Korea- Mountain Hallasan. A perfect holiday is never complete without delicious sumptuous meals that replenish your energy after your adventures. Just to name a few. BBQ black pork, seafood ramen, Abalone Jajangmyeong (black sauce ramen) are for sure going to satisfy your gastronomical needs. Not to forget there are many other things to see on this island- the Jeongbang Falls, ,Manjanggul Cave, O’sulloc Museum, Teddy Bear Museum, Loveland Museum etc.
How to go:
(a) Fly direct internationally. You can use the search engine above to search
(b) Fly Domestic from Seoul or Busan to Jeju. There are various domestic flights available such as Korean Air. For budget-conscious or prudent travellers, here are some of the budget domestic flight options: Jeju Air, Busan Air, Jin Air, Eastar Jet and Asiana Air. These Korean domestic airlines website are only compatible with Internet Explorer.
I booked with Jeju Air, 3 months in advance my travel period. I got the tickets from Seoul to Jeju and from Jeju to Busan at about 100 USD in total.
To enjoy better price, do sign up an account for membership prior to booking.
There are occasionally some promotions available either for tickets or some entrance tickets for theme parks etc.
You can keep a lookout on their website. Book at least 3 months in advance to secure better price.
Manarola, Cinque Terre, Italy
Manarola is the oldest among the 5 villages of Cinque Terre. It is a simple, traditional village that is at the same time, very romantic, picturesque and charming. Its primary industries are in fishing and wine-making. The village produces high quality wine. The local wine called Sciacchetra is particularly well-known.
Be allured by the bright colourful houses and walk along the “Love’s Trails”, hike the hills and visit the vineyards above the town.
Sausalito, California, United States
Sausalito is a San Francisco Bay Area in Marin Country, California. It is 30 minute away from downtown San Francisco, and at the northern end of Golden Gate Bridge. Before the bridge was constructed, the area was a terminus for rail, car and ferry traffic. It has since changed its image and now is a stunning artistic place associated with the wealthy.
Experience unique stay and have a feel of how it feels like living on the waters in one of the amazing “Floating Homes”. (Join Airbnb with this link to save $25 on your first booking of houseboat stay.) For more information on visiting the “Floating Homes”, you may refer to this website.
Key West Florida, Monre Country, United States
Key West is the southern most city of United States. It is situated at the end of Florida Keys, which is an island chain linked by 42 bridges. The warm climate and coral reefs makes Key West an ideal place for diving, snorkelling and fishing.
Key West town is lively, warm, non- judgemental and a happening place! It has an unique character like nowhere else. Take a ride on the Conch Tour Train to give you an exciting conch’s eye view of all the awesome Key West attractions., the interesting conch houses and unique history of Key West.
At the north of Algarrobo, it is home to San Alfonso Mel resort which claims the Guinness Book of World Records title for largest outdoor swimming pool in the world.
Oia Santorini, Greece
Whitewashed architecture, blue-domed churches, deep blue sea. A dreamy and absolutely romantic place.