Estate agents seeking action against illegal ones

Sunday July 22, 2007

Estate agents seeking action against illegal ones

By ROYCE CHEAH

royce@thestar.com.my

KUALA LUMPUR: The Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) is puzzled why no unlicensed real estate agent has been brought to court despite 20 police reports lodged so far.

MIEA president K. Soma Sundram claimed that there were more than 10,000 unlicensed agents and they were hurting the industry image.

Soma Sundram said there were about 1,500 active legitimate estate agents at present and 10,000 genuine real estate negotiators in the country.

“Unlicensed agents hurt the image and professionalism of the industry while posing a threat to the public because there will be no legal recourse if something goes wrong.”

Soma Sundram told a press conference yesterday that unlike registered estate agents, unlicensed agents would not maintain clients’ accounts or have professional indemnity.

“They may charge a lower service fee, but they will sell a property for more than the price agreed to by the seller and pocket the difference.

“Most of these agents are housewives. Even expatriate housewives are getting into the business,” he claimed.

Soma Sundram also alleged that retired or inactive registered estate agents were leasing out certificates to unlicensed agents.

“This is so the illegal agents will appear to be operating legitimately. We will take action as we know who these people are.”

MIEA has sent two letters to Prime Minister Datuk Seri Abdullah Ahmad Badawi detailing the problems of unlicensed agents and seeking the Government’s help.

On how the public could identify whether an estate agent was legitimate or not, Soma Sundram said there were a number of ways that include ensuring the agent has a physical office and advertisements carry office telephone numbers and the firm’s “E-number” to show that the firm was registered with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents.

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Getting real about agents

By KARINA FOO
karina@thestar.com.my

Protection: Siva (right) says doing business with unqualified agents exposes people to risk.

BEING a real estate agent isn’t as easy as it appears to be on the surface.

While it seems like a simple career that reels in big bucks by selling property with the skillful eloquence of describing how “appealing” it is, these professionals have a lot more to prove of themselves in the real world.

Unless they have credible and recognised qualifications in order to walk the talk, they could end up underserving their clients, says PPC International chief executive officer and Malaysian Institute of Estate Agents (MIEA) president Siva Shanker.

“It sounds unfair, but unqualified, so-called ‘agents’ are a menace to society because they are unscrupulous and dishonest. They collect more in fees than is legally due to them by marking up the prices of the property they are selling and often misrepresent themselves in many instances.

“Unfortunately, such audacious acts are discovered by the buyer when it is too late,” explains Siva.

He says there are more than 1,700 registered real estate agents in Malaysia while those not registered (yet), are called negotiators.

For the layman, a real estate agent, or estate agent, is a professional who sells or lets residential or commercial properties, or land for their clients.

The role generally involves valuing properties by comparing the condition of property with others in the area to get the best price for the client.

A negotiator is a property salesperson who works with or for an estate agent to market the agency to potential clients using skills in negotiation, marketing and sales. One of their primary roles is to convince clients that their agency is the right one to handle the sale or lease of their property.

Get a real real estate agent

As an individual who appears to be forthright and perhaps even brutally honest about his concerns for the industry, Siva is very passionate about his personal views after more than 25 years of experience in the business. He has worked in both large international property consultancies as well as small local outfits.

He hopes to address one of his major concerns with MIEA’s efforts to embark on a mass education and awareness exercise that will teach the general public to recognise and identify illegal agents.

Not easy: While being a real estate agent seems like an uncomplicated career,
these professionals have a lot to prove in the real world.

“If you do business with them and something goes wrong, you will not be protected by the law and it would be like handing your money to a thief.

“At the moment, strict enforcement against these people is lacking and the general public continues to put their trust in them,” says Siva.

Together with the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents in Malaysia, MIEA will disseminate the message via print and television.

Currently, the campaign is still being planned and Siva indicates that if things go as scheduled, it will be launched between September and October.

These are just one of the major projects that MIEA is in the midst of rolling out this year. The institute’s other endeavours include providing holistic education for those interested in making real estate their career.

“We have tied up with Open University Malaysia (OUM) to provide a professional diploma in estate agency for yearly intakes. This course will be taught by members of the Board of Valuers, Appraisers and Estate Agents.

The courses are available at subsidised rates as MIEA is a non-profit organisation and fees will be used to cover the institute’s basic costs and to continue running its secretariat.

The institute is also hoping to negotiate with OUM to make the course available in more states in Malaysia as well as to have multiple intakes each year. But there is yet to be a proper infrastructure to support these plans at least for the remaining part of this year.

MIEA also runs the Real Estate Professional seminars (Reps). Some of the material covered in the seminars includes opportunities and challenges in the condominium market, sale and purchase agreements, identifying property hot spots and how to sell properties via open houses.

Booming market: The property market in parts of Malaysia, such as Penang
(above), the Klang Valley and Johor, is booming, leading to opportunities for those
seeking to work as a real estate agent.

For negotiators, MIEA organises monthly negotiator training courses. “Those who want to be negotiators can sign up for a two-day course to learn the basics of estate agencies that are taught by professionals in the field.

“Among the subject range, some topics that are covered include ethics and laws, how to make use of social media, making a property posting and how to deal with clients.

“We want as many negotiators as possible to study because we always want to improve the skills set in the industry,” explains Siva.

Soft skills crucial for success

When it comes to the skills required in the industry, Siva says that soft skills are crucial for individuals to succeed in real estate.

The requirements for getting into real estate definitely lower than other professions like medicine, accounting and engineering.

“It’s true that there are fewer paper qualifications required for a real estate agent compared to other highly technical jobs, and that’s why many think they can become an agent.

“But they don’t realise that there is a high failure rate because of the immense pressure and hard work that is expected of them.

“Firstly, a person has to start as a negotiator and from experience, many people don’t make it past six months because they give up. This is because they set very unrealistic expectations and think it’s going to be smooth sailing, but when they are faced with the hard reality of the industry’s ruthless competitiveness, they find that they’re not cut out for it and give up easily.

“That’s why tenacity, perseverance and diligence are the most important attributes someone needs to have to make it as a negotiator and eventually a successful agent,” stresses Siva.

The starting salary for negotiators is RM900, which is the minimum wage, on top of commissions ranging from 10% to 40%.

Another initiative by MIEA that the public can look forward to is the Malaysian Annual Real Estate Convention (Marec) that is held in March every year.

“It is the biggest real estate convention organised by the professionals in the industry so visitors will get first-hand knowledge about the industry and current trends. The convention is attended by about 500 people each year,” says Siva.

The institute also held the Malaysian Secondary Property Exhibition 2013 (Maspex) from April 12 to 14 with a total of 22 exhibitors comprising real estate agents.

They were selling and representing secondary properties worth a total of RM1.8bil in the Klang Valley also Penang.

“Unlike property exhibitions that showcase properties by developers, Maspex is an exhibition featuring secondary properties and units that were purchased by the public and re-exhibited because they want to sell them.

“It was attended by 10,000 people and within the first two days, four properties were sold. Within three weeks of the exhibition another 108 properties were sold and it was an outstanding result,” says Siva.

The institute is currently working together with Maybank to run Maspex in Penang in October and in Johor in November. There will be another Maspex next year in Kuala Lumpur as well as a small secondary property exhibition in Singapore.

MIEA also hosts its annual dinner celebration for achievements and awards for real estate agents that’s held around October.

There are 22 categories of awards that are open nationwide and the institute wants to increase it to 25 categories to encourage more excellence and achievements in the industry.

For more information, visit miea.com.my.

10 best islands for a Malaysia holiday

10 best islands for a Malaysia holiday

Hardcore foodie? Scuba snob? These Malaysia getaways have everyone covered

By Simon Ostheimer 7 May, 2012

 From the cosmopolitan charm of Penang to the hippie getaway of the Perhentians, a diverse array of islands offer a huge variety of Malaysia holiday options.

Here, in no particular order, we present our top 10. Disagree? Share your favorite Malaysian island in the comments box below.

Perhentians: Hippie hideaway

Malaysia islandsWhile many backpacker haunts have become gentrified over time, the Perhentians have managed to retain their low-key vibe.

They might not be easy to get to, but the Perhentian islands off the northeast coast of Peninsular Malaysia have achieved iconic status on the backpacker trail.

And for good reason — the waters are so clean that you can snorkel right off the beach and still see a diverse array of aquatic life.

Fishermen turned tour guides will also take you out in their small boat for a day trip to swim with sharks and turtles.

In the evening, beach bars set up cushions on the sand as wandering fire artists do their thing.

Where to stay: For high-end Malaysia holiday lodgings, check out the Tuna Bay Island Resort. Budget hunters should look up Abdul Chalet.

Getting there: Regular buses leave from Hentian Putra bus station in Kuala Lumpur, taking nine hours. Alternatively, fly from Kuala Lumpur’s LCCT airport to Kota Bharu, and then catch a taxi to the port town of Kuala Besut.

More on CNN: Eating up Malaysia’s neglected east coast

Tioman: An island for flashpackers

Malaysia islandsThe island of Tioman and the waters surrounding it are protected nature reserves, which has helped it retain its wild vibe.

Although part of the Malaysian state of Pahang, Tioman is actually reached from the Johor town of Mersing. There’s also a direct ferry from Singapore.

This popular Malysia holiday island has two claims to fame that continue to be hyped by media and marketers. One, the dramatic topography of this teardrop-shaped isle in the South China Sea was (supposedly) used as a backdrop for the 1958 movie “South Pacific,” while Time magazine named it one of the world’s most beautiful islands in the 1970s.

Though it’s now a firm fixture on the tourist trail and has lost a little of its exotic mystique, it retains –- where many of its Southeast Asian contemporaries have lost theirs –- the natural environment and wildlife that first made it famous.

First among animals, on land at least, are the giant monitor lizards that roam among the kampungs (Malay for villages) in search of food. Don’t worry, they avoid humans. Most of the time.

Where to stay: They don’t come more recommended than Bagus Place Retreat, winner of a 2012 Travellers’ Choice award from TripAdvisor. For a boutique experience, check out JapaMala.

Getting there: There are bus services from all over Malaysia to Mersing,; from here it’s a two-hour boat ride to the first jetty on the island. Tioman also has a small airport, which Berjaya Airways flies to from Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

More on CNN: Gallery: Asia’s first legoland opens in Malaysia

Langkawi: Best for luxury

Malaysia islandsDon’t worry, Lankawai has the same stunning beaches as the rest of these islands. We just thought you might be tired of looking at white sand.

Located hard by the border with Thailand, Langkawi is part of the Malaysian state of Kedah, not Perlis which is in fact directly adjacent.

Famously, the Malaysia island was believed to have been cursed in 1819, when a woman named Mahsuri, was put to death for alleged adultery. Before she died, she uttered the words, “There shall be no peace and prosperity on this island for a period of seven generations.”

Two years later Langkawi fell to the invading Thais, with much of its population subsequently dying from starvation. The island was then indeed barren for a long time, before Prime Minister Mahatir Mohamed –- the colossus of Malaysian politics who also built Kuala Lumpur’s Petronas Towers and the Sepang F1 circuit -– decided to turn it into a resort island in 1986.

He declared it a duty-free island, and ever since then Langkawi’s growth has been nothing short of spectacular, with high-profile resorts dotting its sandy shores to make it a Malaysia holiday star.

The best way to take it all in is on the 2,200-meter-long cable car, which rises some 710 meters above sea level. Interestingly, Mahsuri’s husband and son moved to Phuket after the Thai invasion, and it was on that island that her seventh generation descendant was born –- in the year 1986. Coincidence?

Where to stay: They don’t come much more stylish –- or eclectic –- than Bon Ton, eight traditional Malay homes set in a former coconut plantation. Or there’s always the Four Seasons Resort Langkawi.

Getting there: Langkawi has by far the best flight connections of any Malaysian island, with dozens of daily flights to Kuala Lumpur, Singapore and Penang.

More on CNN: Insider guide: Best of Langkawi

Penang: Food and heritage

Malaysia islandsDusk falls over Kapitan Keling Mosque in Penang’s capital, Georgetown.

The Pearl of the Orient has a long and illustrious history. “Discovered” by Captain Francis Light in 1786, Prince of Wales island, as it once was known, was for a long time one of the jewels of the British empire.

Alongside Melaka and Singapore it was known as one of the Straits Settlements, a string of outposts that dominated the sea trade between India and the rest of Asia.

However, its importance gradually waned over the centuries, before it was rediscovered as a Malaysia holiday destination and reinvented as an IT hub.

Today, under the close eye of Malaysian opposition and Penang Chief Minister Lim Guan Eng, the island is proudly parading its past –- the UNESCO status granted to historic Georgetown in 2008 guarantees that.

But its greatest attraction is its street food -– from Penang laksa off Macalister Road to banana leaf in Little India to seafood on Gurney Drive –- you’ll find it all here.

Alongside a raft of improvements designed to attract even more visitors, including investment in public transport, a tree planting program, pedestrianization schemes and a schedule of new cultural festivals and fairs, this magnificent island –- only slightly smaller than Singapore –- is once again making its mark on the world stage.

Where to stay: Since 1948, the recently restored Lone Pine sits serenely on the north shore of the island, while for city digs look no further than the Hotel Penaga, heritage buildings in the heart of town. Attracting a lot of attention among luxury lovers is the Eastern & Oriental Hotel, a restored colonial property.

Getting there: Flights from around the world land at Penang International Airport. From there, inexpensive taxis can transport you to destinations around the island, or you can catch the airport bus into town.

More on CNN: Gallery: Baba Nyonya life and food in Penang

Labuan: An isle of bankers

Malaysia islandsClear waters, white sands and offshore banks. What everyone looks for in an island.

Located off the coast of East Malaysia, sandwiched between Sarawak and Sabah, Labuan is one of three Federal Territories (the others are Kuala Lumpur and Putrajaya).

Its special status as an international offshore financial centre and free trade zone has allowed it to attract outside investment from the financial sector (some 6,500 offshore companies are based here).

Long-term, the Malaysian government envisions the island as becoming one of the world’s major offshore business centres, akin to the Middle Eastern hubs of Dubai or Bahrain.

While it has some way to go to achieve similar status, the nation has a track record of dreaming big and making it happen — the Petronas Towers and annual F1 race attest to that.

If you’re not involved in the financial services, there are other reasons to visit such as wreck diving. Over the years, numerous ships were sunk in the shallow waters off Labuan, making it ideal for novice divers. These are simply known as the American, Australian, Blue Water and Cement Wreck.

There is also a well-tended War Cemetery, where an annual remembrance ceremony is held for some 3,900 Allied soldiers who died during in World War II.

Where to stay: For both service and quality, it’s a close toss-up between the Tiara Labuan and the Grand Dorsett.

Getting there: There are daily flights to Labuan Airport from Kuala Lumpur, Miri in Sarawak and Kota Kinabalu in Sabah. There is also an air-conditionied ferry to Brunei.

Layang-Layang: Isolation guaranteed

Malaysia islandsWould you call this an island? Layang-Layang’s isolation makes it one of Asia’s best diving experiences.

Little more than a coral reef with a runway, the tiny island of Layang-Layang is located some 300 kilometers northwest of the Sabah capital of Kota Kinabalu (KK), the state to which it belongs.

A creation of the Malaysian Navy, which reclaimed land from the sea in order to state the nation’s sovereignty over the Spratlys, that South China Sea island group also claimed whole or in part by China, Taiwan, Vietnam and the Philippines.

Surrounded by pristine waters that drop to 2,000 meters, Layang-Layang is often ranked as one of the top 10 dive sites in the world due to its remarkable array of marine life.

Due to the Navy’s presence, the coral reef has been spared the explosive damage caused by dynamite fishing and other destructive practices, leading to underwater visibility of more than 40 meters.

Particularly of note are the schools of scalloped hammerhead sharks, which can sometimes number in the hundreds, though you can also expect to see manta rays, dolphins, barracuda and turtles.

Where to stay: Easy one to answer. At the only game in town, the traditional-styled Layang Layang Island Resort run by the Avillion group.

Getting there: The only way in and out of this Malaysia island is on a charter flight from Kota Kinbalu, with the price included in the various packages offered by the only place to stay on the island.

More on CNN: Insider Guide: Best of Kuala Lumpur

Sipadan: For hard-core divers

In his 1989 film “Borneo: The Ghost of the Sea Turtle,” famed underwater explorer Jacques Cousteau said, “I have seen other places like Sipadan, 45 years ago, but now no more. Now we have found an untouched piece of art.”

At the end of 2002, following a long dispute with Indonesia, the International Court of Justice ruled that the island of Sipadan was Malaysian.

The country, and the state of Sabah which it is part of, have reason to be relieved. Sipadan is often rated as the world’s best dive site, with a location in the centre of the planet’s most bio-diverse marine habitat.

In order to protect the fragile ecosystem of this Malaysia holiday destination, in 2004 the government ordered all of the dive resorts off the island, banned night dives and set a limit of 120 divers per day.

The move worked, as the surrounding waters continue to teem with life. It’s home to 3,000 species of fish, hundreds of species of coral, an abundance of rays and sharks and large populations of green and hawksbill turtles –- so much so there is a famous turtle tomb, an underwater labyrinth that has drowned many of the unfortunate sea creatures.

Where to stay: As you are not allowed to stay on Sipadan itself, stay close by at the Sipadan Kapalai Dive Resort built on stilts over the water or Sipadan Pom Pom Resort.

Getting there: It’s a 55-minute flight from Kota Kinbalu to the town of Tawau, an hour’s drive to the even smaller township of Semporna, and then a 40-minute speedboat ride.

Redang: For a “Summer Holiday”

If you get tired of white beaches, Redang has plenty of wildlife, including monkeys, deer and monitor lizards.

The Redang archipelago actually consists of nine islands, namely Lima, Paku Besar, Paku Kecil, Kerengga Besar, Kerengga Kecil, Ekor Tebu, Ling, Pinang and Redang itself.

Together, they form a marine park situated 45 kilometers off the east Peninsular Malaysia state of Terengganu.

Unlike its close cousins, the backpacker-filled Perhentian islands to the north, Redang is very much an upmarket destination, with mostly resort accommodation on offer.

Accordingly, the island also has its own airport, served by Berjaya Air, which since 2004 has flown daily to Kuala Lumpur’s Subang Airport and Singapore’s Changi.

With excellently preserved coral, the main attractions of Redang are snorkeling, diving and the crystal clear waters.

You’ll need to stick close to the shoreline regardless, as the interior is mostly impassable, apart from a road that connects the airport with the coast.

In 2000, the Malaysian island was the setting for Hong Kong movie “Summer Holiday,” which featured Cantopop star Sammi Cheng and Taiwanese heartthrob Richie Ren. The success of the film led to a sudden influx of tourists.

Where to stay: The same company that owns the only airport and airline to fly in, also has the best place to stay, The Taaras, by Berjaya. However, film fans should head to the Laguna Redang Island Resort, where the colourful souvenir shop was a key setting in the movie “Summer Holiday.”

Getting there: If you don’t want to pay to fly in directly, the alternative is to fly to Kuala Terengganu, and then continue by car and take a ferry from the port of Merang.

More on CNN: Malaysia and Singapore: The Orlando of Southeast Asia? 

Rawa: For a weekend break

Malaysia islandsNot all of us have opportunities to stay in a sultan’s lair. Rawa is the next best thing.

There aren’t many chances to stay on a Sultan’s private island. Rawa is one. Owned by the family of the Sultanate of Johor, Rawa is a small island 16 kilometers off the east coast of Peninsula Malaysia.

Only two resorts hug its white-sand fringed west coast, which is accessible by boat from the mainland port of Mersing (also the departure point for more distant Tioman).

Because of this exclusivity, Rawa attracts tourists looking for a more secluded vacation. While the west coast is postcard perfect, the rest of the shoreline consists of inaccessible, dramatic rocky cliffs that plunge directly into the sea.

To check these out, take the easy way and rent a canoe or hike up steep steps to the summit of the island, from where you have vantages of the eastern shore, the coast of Johor and the other 12 small islands that make up the Johor Marine Park.

As your choice of accommodation is limited — it can often fill up quick with young Singaporeans looking for a weekend getaway — so book up early.

Where to stay: There are only two places to stay on the island: Rawa Island Resort or the smaller Alang’s Rawa.

Getting there: From Kuala Lumpur, catch a bus or drive to Mersing, from where regular ferries depart. Note that during low season (November to March), ferry frequency can drop sharply.

Pangkor: Loved by locals

Malaysia islandsTiny Pulau Pangkor lies off Perak on the west coast of peninsular Malaysia.

Despite measuring just eight square kilometres, Pulau Pangkor (pulau is the Malay word for island) is one of the most popular beach getaways in Malaysia — among locals, that is.

Pangkor is one of the country’s most accessible islands, yet it is overwhelmingly the preserve of Malaysians, who head there every long weekend for a little rest and relaxation.

There is little in terms of nightlife but instead you’ll find uncrowded sandy beaches, a huge variety of amazing local cuisine and friendly people.

Where to stay: For a Malaysia holiday splurge, book a sea villa at the exclusive Pangkor Laut resort. This stunning one-of-a-kind property, part of the YTL group of hotels, has a small island all to itself. Or, try the Pangkor Island Beach Resort.

Getting there: There are direct flights to the island from Subang’s Sultan Abdul Aziz Shah Airport via Kuala Lumpur, or it’s a 30 minute ferry ride from the town of Lumut.

World’s 100 best beaches, Malaysia [ 49 , 21, 13 ]

World’s 100 best beaches

By CNN Staff
June 6, 2013 — Updated 0822 GMT (1622 HKT)
25. Sun Island Beach, Maldives 25. Sun Island Beach, Maldives

100. Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece 100. Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece

100. Falassarna Beach, Crete, Greece

Best thing about the sand at Falassarna? There’s so much of it there’s little chance of playing beach-mat overlap with strangers. This slice of coast takes in five consecutive beaches, the middle ones being most popular, the ones on the ends better for solitary sun lovers.

Highlight: On the first Saturday of August, thousands descend for Crete’s biggest beach party.

99. Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland99. Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland

99. Portstewart Strand, Northern Ireland

A beach for walkers and beach athletes. The two miles of Portstewart Strand are exceptionally well maintained, perhaps a little too meticulously, with every activity (swimming, horseback riding, walking, surfing) ascribed a dedicated zone.

Highlights: Dunes, 6,000 years old and 100 feet high, dominate the area and support lots of wildlife.

98. Pigeon Point, Tobago, Trinidad and Tobago

Pigeon Point is a literal representation of the Caribbean beach ideal, right down to the charming old lady who sells sour-sop ice cream by the pound.

Highlight: The thatched-roofed jetty, possibly the most photographed jetty in the world.

97. Coffee Bay, Wild Coast, South Africa97. Coffee Bay, Wild Coast, South Africa

97. Coffee Bay, Wild Coast, South Africa

With cliffs that plummet and green hills that roll into the turbulent waters of the Indian Ocean, this is one moody beach. Hole In The Wall (five miles up the road from Coffee Bay) is a spectacular rock just out to sea at the mouth of the Mpako River.

Good to know: The best way to see this beautiful stretch of coastline is to walk it.

96. Ifaty Beach, Madagascar

This is no five-star resort beach. Shade is provided by drooping palm trees, not striped umbrellas, and fishermen’s houses, clumsily put together with natural materials, line the shore. But that’s why we love Ifaty, on the southwest coast of Madagascar. It’s flanked by a coral reef that you can snorkel around or explore from the surface in a colorful dugout canoe.

Good to know: Whales often visit in July and August.

95. Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil95. Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

95. Praia do Sancho, Fernando de Noronha, Brazil

Often voted Brazil’s best beach, Praia do Sancho is a bay on the island of Fernando de Noronha, facing the coast of Brazil rather than out into the Atlantic Ocean.

Highlight: Steep, rocky cliffs covered in vegetation form a backdrop to the clear waters that are accessible only via ladders attached to the cliff face or by boat.

94. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Volcanoes near this beach on the eastern edge of New Zealand’s North Island develop large underground reservoirs of extremely hot water. Over time, this water escapes to the surface, cooling along the way, though still emerging at temperatures as hot as 147 F (64 C).

Highlight: The hot springs are accessible only at low tide; those with shovels can create ad hoc spas in the warm sand.

93. Long Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Phu Quoc is fast becoming Vietnam’s most popular new island destination. Market traders in conical hats hawk baguettes, ducks, flying lizards and other items rarely seen on the Thai side of the Gulf, while motorcycles ply red dirt roads to pearl farms and old-style fishing ports.

Highlight: Dominated by local families who rent motorcycles for $5 a day and bungalows for $20 per night, Long Beach reminds some of Thailand in the late 1980s.

92. Meads Bay, Anguilla92. Meads Bay, Anguilla

92. Meads Bay, Anguilla

Anguilla beaches don’t do average. This speck in the Caribbean was front of the queue when the beach gods were passing out idyllic places to lounge. If you tire of the sugary sands and bathtub-warm water of Meads Bay, one of the island’s longest beaches, there are several good restaurants and hotels nearby.

Highlight: Blanchards Beach Shack serves fantastic lobster rolls and a great mango colada.

91. Bottom Bay, Barbados91. Bottom Bay, Barbados

91. Bottom Bay, Barbados

One of the few beautiful beaches in Barbados to have escaped development overkill, Bottom Bay is enclosed by high coral cliffs, making it an almost undiscovered pocket of paradise.

Highlight: Turtles and whales can sometimes be spotted from the tops of the cliffs overlooking the ocean.

90. Paradise Beach, Rab, Croatia90. Paradise Beach, Rab, Croatia

90. Paradise Beach, Rab, Croatia

The Croatian island of Rab claims to be the birthplace of modern skinny-dipping.

In 1936, King Edward VIII and Wallis Simpson obtained permission from city authorities to bathe naked in the inlet of Kandalora, and people have been doing the same on the island’s beaches ever since.

Highlight: The sea remains shallow even half a kilometer out, making it an ideal place for novice swimmers.

89. Lover’s Beach, Baja California Sur, Mexico

A semi-hidden cove best accessed by boat, Lover’s Beach was once popular with pirates, now with photographers.

Be aware: The beach is small and the sea can get rough, so this isn’t a place to stay for long. You should pre-arrange return transport to town, as come 4 p.m., boats are scarce.

88. Byron Bay, Australia88. Byron Bay, Australia

88. Byron Bay, Australia

Pubs, cafes and bookshops host buskers, musicians, artists and drift-ins who walk the streets barefoot and bleary eyed. There’s a lingering scent of the Flower Power generation, while surfers wait for perfect waves.

Highlight: Every year, the Byron Bay Bluesfest attracts some of the biggest names in world music, and with it, thousands of Sydneysiders.

87. Arashi Beach, Aruba

The California Lighthouse keeps ships away from this northwestern tip of Aruba, but it also acts as a beacon for beach bums looking for natural shores. Head for it, and you’ll hit Arashi Beach’s unspoiled sands (there are only a few palapas).

Highlight: Snorkeling. A 400-foot German freighter wreck lies just offshore.

86. An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam

Gentle waves, soft white sand. Recently An Bang Beach has picked up among expat tourists, which explains the Western-managed bars and restaurants.

Highlight: Many restaurants in the town specialize in the Viet imperial cuisine Hoi An is known for around the country.

85. Bandon, Oregon, United States85. Bandon, Oregon, United States

85. Bandon, Oregon, United States

It’s got beauty — the sun sets over the striking rock formations — it’s got good food — a long growing season and influx of ambitious chefs. It also has a safari game park to the south and spectacular, seaside Bandon Dunes Golf Resort to the north.

Trivia: According to Native American folklore, the unusual formation of Face Rock represents the face of a princess who was drowned by an evil sea spirit.

84. Puka Beach, Boracay, Philippines84. Puka Beach, Boracay, Philippines

84. Puka Beach, Boracay, Philippines

Making a respectable claim to its “tropical paradise” reputation, Boracay has powdery beaches, water sports and spas. Puka Beach is named for its Puka shells, meaning the sand here is coarse.

Highlight: Puka is the second-longest beach on Boracay and relatively empty most times, with no resorts and a limited number of restaurants.

83. Ffryes Beach, Antigua

Most of the time this place is empty, so those who come often have it to themselves. The beach livens up with locals on the weekends or when a cruise ship is in town.

Highlight: There’s not much to do except enjoy the view (superb sunsets) and a drink at one of a handful of shack bars.

82. La Concha, Spain82. La Concha, Spain

82. La Concha, Spain

For a city beach, La Concha is lovely. It comes with a promenade, easy access, great restaurants and other city perks. It also has swimmable water.

Highlight: Tapas. Cafes and restaurants behind the sand offer some of the best small eats on this northern coast.

81. Las Salinas, Ibiza, Spain

Las Salinas, an iconic crescent of sand, is the most happening beach on the island. Music blasts from bars morning till night, attracting A-list celebs.

Highlight: The beach is also a magnet for nude sunbathers.

80. Cape Maclear, Malawi80. Cape Maclear, Malawi

80. Cape Maclear, Malawi

Cape Maclear sits on the edge of Lake Malawi, a lake so large it feels like an ocean. It is part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site. The beach, something of a hippie hangout, is linked to the town via a single dirt road lined with a handful of hostels and dive shops.

Highlight: Diving, snorkeling, kayaking — the water is free from brine, and there are no sharks or jellyfish.

79. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka 79. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

79. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka

It can’t be easy being a standout beach in a country of awesome beaches, but Unawatuna does it. 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.

Highlight: The laid-back, young-traveler atmosphere.

78. Jeffreys Bay, South Africa

Jeffreys Bay’s legendary breaks attract top surfers to the annual Billabong Pro ASP World Tour surfing event. Nearby lagoons make ideal venues for boardsailing and canoeing. The Seekoei River Nature Reserve, a haven for rare birds, is nearby.

Highlight: Migrating whales pass by the bay to give birth every season.

77. Vilanculos Beach, Mozambique77. Vilanculos Beach, Mozambique

77. Vilanculos Beach, Mozambique

Lazy. Friendly. Scenic. Great swimming. Vilanculos is also one of the best diving destinations in the West Indian Ocean.

Highlight: The small coastal town of Vilanculos has thatched huts lining the streets, a friendly population and a plethora of laid-back bars and restaurants.

76. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico76. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico

76. Flamenco Beach, Puerto Rico

Many of Puerto Rico’s beaches suffer from garbage-disposal problems. Not this one (though a rusting tank does make for one eye-catching piece of litter). Flamenco is a natural crescent of unblemished sand, with a camping site behind.

Highlight: A quarter-mile offshore a reef offers great diving and snorkeling sights.

75. Oludeniz, Turkey75. Oludeniz, Turkey

75. Oludeniz Beach, Turkey

The name translates to “Dead Sea,” but it’s not the one you’re thinking of. This beach’s sheltered location amid mountain scenery keeps the water calm even during storms; cafes, shops and restaurants provide sustenance.

Highlight: Paragliding tours over wooded areas and mountains.

74. Capo Sant'Andrea, Elba, Italy74. Capo Sant’Andrea, Elba, Italy

74. Capo Sant’Andrea, Elba, Italy

It’s hard to imagine why Napoleon ever wanted to leave. At this inlet, the water is clear enough to see the seabed even in the deepest sections. Chestnut trees sweep right down to the coastline.

Highlight: The inlet’s golden beaches are framed by softly sloping granite blocks — natural sun beds that are taken over by sunbathers during summer.

73. Venice Beach, California, United States

This beachfront district is a SoCal institution and a freak show free-for-all. Qi gong masseurs, hair braiders, fortune-tellers and artists jostle along the 2½-mile Venice Boardwalk.

Highlight: Beachfront outdoor basketball courts — competition can be fierce on weekends and early evenings.

72. Plage de Piémanson, France72. Plage de Piémanson, France

72. Plage de Piémanson, France

For sheer scale, gloriously unspoiled wilderness and nude bathing, Plage de Piémanson ranks among the finest. Part of Parc Naturel Régional de Camargue, the obscure beach has tawny sand that stretches forever.

Highlight: To get here, you drive through colonies of pink flamingos and might spot Camargue horses, an ancient breed of white horse that roams wild in the reserve.

71. Laughing Bird Caye, Belize

Reaching barely a meter above sea level, this protected isle is less than a hectare in size, but offers one of the best day trips off the Belize coast. A huge amount of coral, bird and marine life call this place home, which is why so many visitors call it perfect.

Highlight: The laughing gulls after which the isle is named have moved on, but herons, blackbirds and pelicans can often be seen.

70. Punalu'u, Hawaii, United States70. Punalu’u, Hawaii, United States

70. Punalu’u, Hawaii, United States

No sugary sands and idyllic swimming conditions, but you will find a dramatic black basalt shore and might spot green and hawksbill turtles, as well as dolphins and whale sharks, if you snorkel off this Big Island beach.

Highlight: Getting here involves a 20-minute trek through a wooded dirt trail, underlining the remote and undeveloped beach.

69. Los Roques, Venezuela69. Los Roques, Venezuela

69. Los Roques, Venezuela

OK, this isn’t one beach, more like several hundred, but it’s impossible to pick from the more than 350 islands in the Los Roques archipelago. Whichever island you’re on, from the large Cayo Grande to the diminutive Gran Roque, you’ll have blinding white sand and shallow, tropical waters just a few powdery footsteps away.

Highlight: The entire area is basically an enormous water sports arena — divers, snorkelers, fishermen and shallow-water splashers will all find it hard to leave.

68. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson, New Zealand68. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson, New Zealand

68. Kaiteriteri Beach, Nelson, New Zealand

With golden sand and the most sunshine hours in New Zealand, Kaiteriteri Beach is at the top of New Zealand’s South Island and the gateway to Abel Tasman National Park.

Highlights: Penguins, seals and dolphins are common.

67. Belle Mare, Mauritius

The sunrise from the quiet beach of Belle Mare, on the east coast of Mauritius, is worth the wake-up call. Although known for its fine white sand, you’re likely to find a secluded space along this barely developed stretch of beach.

Good to know: To turn the excitement levels up, Waterpark Leisure Village near Belle Mare offers giant chutes and slides.

66. Skagen Beach, Denmark66. Skagen Beach, Denmark

66. Skagen Beach, Denmark

The shore at Skagen, an artists’ colony in the 19th century, is a 40-mile-long sand ribbon within a landscape of milky white dunes, fairytale forests and wind-blown beaches.

Highlight: If Skagen’s waters are too cold for swimming there are other attractions — an annual midsummer’s eve bonfire on Skagen Sonderstrand, the Bolcheriet candy factory and Råbjerg Mile, the largest sand dune in northern Europe.

65. Isshiki Beach, Hayama, Japan

During the peak of summer, the beach’s two crescents of sand buzz with windsurfers, kayakers and swimmers. Vendors erect wooden shacks housing bars, restaurants and shower units. The Blue Moon is a well known beach shack — it hosts concerts on weekend evenings.

Highlight: Hayama’s Imperial Villa, which faces Isshiki Beach, has been used by Japanese emperors since 1894 as a winter holiday house.

64. Radhanagar Beach, Andaman Islands, India

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.

Highlight: At the western edge of the beach you’ll find find a lagoon, often devoid of people.

63. Pulau Derawan, Indonesia63. Pulau Derawan, Indonesia

63. Pulau Derawan, Indonesia

Tourist accommodations are no-frills here, and that’s what makes the place special. Most visitors will be able to spot turtles wading about on the island’s spotless silvery beaches.

Highlight: The waters surrounding Derawan are known to be a home to manta rays and green turtles.

62. Haad Rin, Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand

Haad Rin’s infamous full moon parties are a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Mostly because once is enough. But outside the drunken, chemical-fueled parties the place has cheap alcohol, great food and a fun-loving crowd.

61. Essaouira, Morocco

The sprawling beach of Essaouira is like a spacious chill-out lounge for this laid-back Moroccan town. It attracts wind- and kite-surfers in summer, and surfers in winter. Around the bay away from the harbor is a castle that’s said to have been the inspiration for Jimi Hendrix’s “Castles Made of Sand.”

Good to know: Essaouira is beautiful at dusk. The harbor offers great snapshots looking back toward the old town.

60. Beidaihe, China60. Beidaihe, China

60. Beidaihe, China

Beidaihe has been pleasing China’s upper crust for decades. A few hours from Beijing, Mao Zedong and Deng Xiaoping hashed out national policies in private villas here. The area remains popular among Russian tourists — a reminder of erstwhile Sino-Soviet ties.

Highlight: Beidaihe’s restaurants offer simple pleasures, mostly good seafood and cold beer.

59. Na’ama Bay, Sharm el Sheikh, Egypt

In the middle of Egypt’s Red Sea coast, Na’ama Bay has diverse marine life, colorful corals visible from the surface of the water and great snorkeling from the beach in front of the Jolie Ville Hotel.

Highlight: With temperatures in the high 70s F (23-27 C) during November and December, and 10 hours of sunshine a day, this is the ideal place to take advantage of one of the many winter travel deals to Egypt on offer.

58. Akajima, Okinawa, Japan58. Akajima, Okinawa, Japan

58. Akajima, Okinawa, Japan

The islet of Akajima is popular among Japanese day-trippers during summer, but foreign travelers are a rare sight. It retains a sequestered charm even during peak season. The beaches are spotless, usually dotted with just a handful of surfers.

Highlight: Further inland, a quaint Ryukyuan heritage house is open to visitors.

57. Abaka Bay, Haiti

The island of Ile a Vache in Haiti punches above its weight in the beach class division — the eight-by-two-mile island is home to Akaba Bay, boasting some of the best photo ops in the Caribbean. Quality and good value accommodation line the sands.

Highlight: Abaka Bay Resort provides great views of the ocean, is one step from the beach and serves a mean conch dinner.

56. Diani Beach, Kenya

Twelve-plus miles of palm-fringed beach is kept pristine and clear of seaweed by the coral reef just offshore. It has become one of Kenya’s most popular beaches. Supermarkets, hotels and monkeys have all become part of the experience.

Good to know: Want to learn to kite surf? Lessons are available here.

55. Phra Nang Beach, Railay, Thailand55. Phra Nang Beach, Railay, Thailand

55. Phra Nang Beach, Railay, Thailand

With Dali-esque limestone structures, hundreds of cliff-climbing routes and Tiffany-blue waters, Railay is the seasoned rock climber’s dream. Stalactite-rimmed cliffs that tourists can jump from flank Phra Nang, the area’s main beach.

Worth knowing: Although Railay is accessible only by longtail boat from Krabi and Ao Nang, it can get crowded during tourist seasons.

54. Cavendish Beach, Prince Edward Island, Canada

If perfection unnerves you, avoid Prince Edward Island. The island’s most idyllic feature, Cavendish Beach has creamy sands flanked by sandstone cliffs and dunes, and has captured the imagination of writers and tourists alike.

Trivia: The area is famous for inspiring scenes in “Anne of Green Gables.”

53. Little Corn beaches, Nicaragua53. Little Corn beaches, Nicaragua

53. Little Corn beaches, Nicaragua

Low key, undeveloped and languid, Little Corn Island was, sometimes still is, a stop for pirates. These days it’s more frequently used as a vacation spot for those looking for a few days of rustic, five-star-free living.

Worth knowing: A great spot for diving and snorkeling.

52. Southwestern Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia

Koh Rong is one of the Gulf of Thailand’s most gorgeous islands, and on its southwestern side there’s a stretch of nearly three miles of untouched white sand that invariably seduces any who venture this way.

Highlight: The southernmost end of this beach features perfect snorkeling rocks with colorful rabbitfish, sergeant fish and parrot fish.

51. Panama City Beach, Florida, United States51. Panama City Beach, Florida, United States

51. Panama City Beach, Florida, United States

It’s not the spring break capital of the world for no reason. Each year, more than 6 million college kids and sun seekers pour into Panama City Beach, lured by emerald waters, blinding white sand, colorful reefs, fishing and hard-core people-watching. And, OK, maybe a drink or two.

Highlights: Historic wrecks off Panama City Beach’s shores make this a superb dive site. Goofy Golf, a mini-golf institution since 1959, has a kitschy, retro charm.

50. Porto da Barra, Salvador, Brazil

In many ways, Porto da Barra is to Salvador what Bondi is to Sydney and Venice Beach is to Los Angeles. Tiny fishing boats bring in the day’s catch, there’s beach volleyball and plenty to see at the Fisherman Colony Manguinhos, a traditional fish market in Buizos.

Highlight: It’s one of the few beaches in Salvador that faces west, so you can catch great sunsets.

49. Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia49. Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia

49. Tanjung Rhu, Langkawi, Malaysia

Most tourists on Langkawi flock to Pantai Cenang beach, but the quieter Tanjung Rhu has an earthy beauty and serene atmosphere. The long beach area is surrounded by ancient limestone caves, rippling waterways and dense mangroves.

Highlight: The Four Seasons Resort offers boat tours around the mangrove forests.

Also on CNN: 10 best islands for a Malaysia holiday

48. Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands48. Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

48. Trunk Bay, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

You have to pay a fee to get into this stunning beach, but boy is it worth it. Imagine a postcard of pure beach beauty, then Photoshop the blues to be even bluer and the yellow-white sand to be even softer and you have Trunk Bay.

Highlight: Snorkelers get a little treat with plaques embedded into the sea floor with information about what they’re looking at.

47. Placenia Beach, Belize47. Placenia Beach, Belize

47. Placencia Beach, Belize

Placencia has great beaches, but it’s the adventures to be had that make this a top 100 beach destination. Jungle rivers, Mayan ruins and fantastic wildlife make this one a beach trip with various purposes.

Highlight: Monkeys, iguanas and the chance to kayak in a lagoon with manatees.

46. Natadola Beach, Fiji 46. Natadola Beach, Fiji

46. Natadola Beach, Fiji

Probably Fiji’s finest beach, Natadola Beach is one of the few places in the country that’s good for swimming 24 hours a day. A luxury resort backs onto the beach and attracts vendors selling coconuts and beach fashion accessories, so you’ll need to put distance between you and the resort if you like solitude.

Highlight: Horseback rides at sunset.

45. Patnem Beach, Goa, India

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.

Highlight: It’s the perfect place to enjoy the sunset while congratulating yourself on ducking the Goan tourist radar.

44. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia44. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

44. Bondi Beach, Sydney, Australia

For an iconic all-round great city beach you can’t miss with Bondi. The wide curving crescent of white sand can get incredibly busy, but that’s only because the surfing is gnarly, the sands are clean and the nearby eateries are fantastic.

Highlight: After a day in the sun you can chase down the day with a meal at Bondi Trattoria, one of the best Italian restaurants in the city.

43. Nungwi, Zanzibar, Tanzania

Previously: a simple fishing village and dhow-building center. Now: one of Africa’s most picturesque lines of coast, where palms amble onto a beach that dissolves gradually from spearmint blue into shades of deep turquoise.

Highlight: At sunset, white-sailed dhows leave from the boatyard, making for a great photo op.

42. D-Day beaches, Normandy, France42. D-Day beaches, Normandy, France

42. D-Day beaches, Normandy, France

On the morning of June 6, 1944, the largest amphibious operation in history took place on the beaches code-named Utah, Omaha, Gold, Juno and Sword. The Normandy landings and subsequent Battle of Normandy eventually helped free Europe from Nazi occupation.

Highlight: In Caen, a nearby city that was heavily bombed during the D-Day invasion, a large museum commemorates peace.

41. Negril Beach, Jamaica

It’s not as pristine as it was before the resort developers rolled in, but Negril’s yawning expanse of shoreline, featured in “The Man With The Golden Gun,” is a lively magnet for party-happy spring breakers as well as convenience-seeking families.

Highlight: Luxury resorts and beach sports.

40. Dominical Beach, Costa Rica40. Dominical Beach, Costa Rica

40. Dominical Beach, Costa Rica

Monster waves and lush forests, warm waters ideal for long, lazy swims — people often stay longer at Domincal than they intended.

Highlight: Tortilla Flats offers great food and company. It’s a surfer hotel, seaside restaurant and happening night spot rolled into one.

39. Canggu Beach, Bali, Indonesia39. Canggu Beach, Bali, Indonesia

39. Canggu Beach, Bali, Indonesia

This surf-perfect coastline has everything from easy waves to serious breaks. The scene is unpretentious and the mood laid-back. The crowd is heavy with adventurous people who know Asia well.

Worth knowing: There’s little nightlife here; instead, travelers kick back with themselves and locals.

38. Karekare, West Auckland, New Zealand

Karekare was immortalized in the 1993 film “The Piano.” A grandiose sweep of black sand stretches before bush-clad hills. Karekare tends to be less touristy than nearby Piha. If you prefer a quieter beach, this is the one.

Highlight: Karekare is popular for its annual beach race day, in which local ponies and horses race to raise money for charity. Beach race day is usually held in early April.

37. West Bay Beach, Roatan, Honduras

The largest of the Honduran Bay Islands sits close to the world’s second largest reef system — the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef. That means diverse marine life for snorkelers and divers, and diverse party life for after.

Highlight: The reef offers the chance to spot various species of turtles, fish, crocodiles and the world’s largest population of manatees — estimated at 1,000-1,500.

36. Bahia Solano, Colombia

Immobile boats rust where the river meets the ocean. Fishermen languidly cast nets over a huge bay. Fashion shops, vegetable markets, cafes and bars line a vibrant main street.

Highlight: Cheap hotels near the beach are a boon for budget travelers.

35. Balos Beach, Greece35. Balos Beach, Greece

35. Balos Beach, Greece

Cameras compulsory. Near Kissamos on Crete, Balos Beach is a lagoon of swirling colors — pastel pinks, blues and turquoise. It can get crowded and microorganisms in the muddy shallows can cause unpleasant smells, but for postcard pictures it’s one of Greece’s best.

Highlight: For “dark tourists” there’s a cave here that was the scene of a massacre in the 19th century.

34. Cayo Paraiso, Dominican Republic

If an Evian factory had been used to fill the ocean around this tiny island, the water wouldn’t be any clearer.

Highlight: The sand bank is encircled and protected by a coral reef providing great snorkeling; the island has a few basic thatch huts for shade.

33. Margaret River, Australia

This western Australian town is blessed with a mild climate, baby powder beaches and gorgeous scenery. It also produces some of the country’s finest wines.

The surf at Margaret River attracts serious boarders.

Highlight: Wine-tasting at Margaret River’s 60-plus wineries is a favorite tourist activity.

32. Navagio Beach, Greece32. Navagio Beach, Greece

32. Navagio Beach, Greece

Navagio Beach, or Zakynthos Cove, or Smuggler’s Bay, or Shipwreck Cove — many names exist for this small inlet on the island of Zakynthos. All you need to know is it’s gorgeous and the remains of an old ship, reportedly used to smuggle cigarettes before it met its briny demise in 1983, emerge zombie-like from the sand.

Worth knowing: To get here you need to get a taxi-boat from Porto Vromi, leaving every hour.

31. Playa Paraiso, Cayo Largo, Cuba

Cuba’s finest beach island goes overkill on clear. Water like crystal, sand like sugar, most days there’s barely a cloud to disrupt the electric smoothness of the sky.

Worth knowing: This “paradise beach” isn’t as exposed as other beaches on the island. The weather is usually calm and the sea shallow.

30. Grand Anse, Grenada30. Grand Anse, Grenada

30. Grand Anse, Grenada

Possibly Grenada’s finest family beach — foot-soothing sands, skin-comforting waters and soul-calming breezes — Grand Anse is big enough to never get crowded and intimate enough to feel like your own.

Highlight: It’s less than a 15-minute drive from the airport — the perfect post-flight remedy.

29. Warwick Long Bay, Bermuda

You can spend hours here just watching the waves froth under the horizon over the coral-pink sand. If that gets irritatingly blissful there are great walking routes from here to Bermuda’s southern beaches, offering secluded coves.

Worth knowing: It gets crowded in high season, so if your ideal beach experience is solitary and tranquil, it’s best visited outside of May-September.

28. Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe, Thailand

Despite a buildup of accommodations in recent years, this is still arguably one of the most stunning beaches in Thailand. The range of rooms (from luxury to backpacker) and meal options add to the comfort factor.

Highlight: The whole island is small enough to circumnavigate on foot.

27. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, United States27. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, United States

27. Hanalei Bay, Hawaii, United States

Mountains in the background, ocean in front and three miles of sand underfoot, Hanalei Bay on Kauai is a surfer’s and paddle boarder’s dream, with a reef to the right-hand side of the bay looking out to sea.

Worth knowing: Storms and poor weather can turn the strip into a formidable beast, with choppy ocean conditions and beach runoff that’s best avoided.

26.Long Bay, Saint-Martin

Long Bay is a gentle giant, one of the longest beaches on the island. Though luxury villas and one luxury hotel sit close to the sand, they’re unobtrusive.

Highlight: Near the La Samana hotel there’s a great snorkeling spot, in a cove with a reef.

25. Sun Island Beach, Maldives

This diamond in the Indian Ocean is a favorite with celebrities and rich honeymooners drawn by the idea of sleeping over the water — nearby resorts offer luxury bungalows on stilts.

Highlight: Nearby coral reefs attract thousands of tropical fish, snorkelers and divers.

25. Egremni Beach, Greece25. Egremni Beach, Greece

24. Egremni Beach, Greece

Dramatic sunsets, electric-blue water, enough room for everyone: This long stretch of sand on the island of Lefkada has become one of Greece’s most popular beach retreats since a road was built in the 1990s.

Worth knowing: Nudists often use the central stretch of beach.

23. Crane Beach, Barbados

Pinkish sands, no rocks or other feet-slicing things in the shallows — this stretch of sunny Barbadian serenity can be accessed by a staircase or beachfront elevator from The Crane resort, making it as novel as it is beautiful.

Highlight: Gentle waves, perfect for boogie boarding.

22. Boulders Beach, Cape Town22. Boulders Beach, Cape Town

22. Boulders Beach, Cape Town

Boulders Beach is home to 3,000 jackass penguins, which are often spotted waddling in and out of the sea. The best place to see the penguins is from a viewing boardwalk constructed on nearby Foxy Beach.

21. Juara Beach, Tioman Island, Malaysia

Less developed and less polished than Thailand, Tioman Island’s Juara Beach brings an all-natural, quiet vibe to the beach experience. This isn’t the place for parties or nightlife, unless you like your parties hushed and your nightlife nonhuman.

Worth knowing: Various travelers report sand flies on the beach.

20. Rarotonga, Cook Islands20. Rarotonga, Cook Islands

20. Rarotonga, Cook Islands

Rarotonga is the youngest of the 15 islands in the Cook Islands chain, and hasn’t eroded as much as its siblings. Its lush green center is encircled by a 20-mile shoreline of perfect white sand.

Highlight: The laid-back, musical culture of the islanders. What the place lacks in traffic lights (it has none) it makes up for in dancing and singing.

19. Maya Bay, Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Yes, “The Beach” was filmed here and it gets packed with tourists. But Maya Bay is too perfect to pass up. A white sand beach hugs steep limestone cliffs and coral reefs make it an excellent spot for snorkeling.

Worth knowing: To avoid the crowds, visit early in the morning or after 5 p.m.

18. Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Ecuador18. Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Ecuador

18. Gardner Bay, Espanola Island, Ecuador

You’ll have to share this shoreline in the Galapagos Islands with nonhumans. Manta rays in the water, sea lions on the sand, albatross and blue-footed boobies all make the 10-12 hour boat trip here worthwhile.

Highlight: As fans of Darwin know, many species in the Galapagos are unique to the islands, such as the lava lizard, a red marine iguana found here on Espanola.

17. Nihiwatu Beach, Sumba, Indonesia

In some ways, the perfect beach. It’s remote (an hour’s flight from Bali then a 90-minute drive) with fine, clean sand, clear water, almost no people and amazing sunsets. It is home to the impressive Nihiwatu resort and is best outside wet season.

Highlight: For surfers, the incredible left-hand break. For everyone else, as dusk approaches, a chance to join local villagers as they scour a section of a nearby reef at low tide for octopus, crabs and seaweed.

16. Luskentyre Beach, Scotland16. Luskentyre Beach, Scotland

16. Luskentyre Beach, Scotland

You won’t get much of a tan on the Isle of Harris in the Outer Hebrides, but you’ll get a memorable beach walk and lungs full of fresh air. The sand stretches long and wide, and the place is popular with hikers and nature lovers.

Highlights: Ponies may join you for a shoreline amble, while otters, seals, dolphins and eagles can be spotted in the area.

15. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands 15. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

15. The Baths, Virgin Gorda, British Virgin Islands

Huge boulders, some as long as 40 feet, give away the island’s volcanic origins. There’s a small fee to enter the beach — it’s part of the BVI’s National Park — but it’s worth it once you’re soaking up the sun on these naturally heated sun loungers.

Highlight: A rope and step trail leads through the boulders at The Baths to Devil’s Bay.

14. El Nido, Palawan, Philippines

El Nido is the gateway to adventure, “the last frontier” of the Philippines, as it has been dubbed. Powder-fine beaches and gin-clear waters complement the stunning views of karst limestone formations, empty lagoons, marble cliffs, prehistoric caves and waterfalls.

Highlight: Surrounding waters contain more than 50 species of coral and attract whales, whale sharks, sea cows, manta rays, dolphins and endangered turtles.

13. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia13. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

13. Pulau Perhentian Kecil, Malaysia

Malaysia’s Perhentian Islands are to beach bums what Kobe beef is to carnivores; once you’ve experienced it, nothing else quite matches up.

The two main islands are the backpacker-happy Pulau Perhentian Kecil (Small Perhentian Island), and Pulau Perhentian Besar (Big Perhentian Island), which has slightly more expensive accommodations.

Highlight: The blue waters off Pulau Perhentian Kecil invariably contain turtles and small sharks.

12. Tulum, Mexico12. Tulum, Mexico

12. Tulum, Mexico

At Tulum, you can swim in the shadow of ancient Mayan ruins. The area is home to a Mayan archeological ruin that teeters on the edge of a cliff. Beneath it, sand and jade green waters glisten.

Highlight: The Yucatan’s turquoise cenotes and excellent diving are tourist draws. Everything from mega-resorts to thatched cabanas offering boutique accommodations are available.

11. Whitehaven Beach, Queensland, Australia

Whitehaven Beach is part of the Whitsunday Islands National Park and has more than 2½ miles of sand that’s 98% pure silica — so clean it squeaks. Visitors have to register with a tour guide for access, and can stay only for a few hours.

Worth knowing: In 2010, the beach won CNN’s Most Eco Friendly Beach award.

Watch out for jellyfish in summer.

10. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley, Philippines10. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley, Philippines

10. Palaui Island, Cagayan Valley, Philippines

Glorious white sands meet volcanic rocks and blue-green waters topside, while coral gardens and a rich marine reserve meet divers under the surface. Palaui is all about raw beauty. Treks to get there require battling thorny grass, muddy ground and a mangrove forest.

Good to know: With no resorts or hotels, Palaui has only two real options: camping under the stars or home stays.


9. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu9. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu

9. Champagne Beach, Vanuatu

The South Pacific island nation of Vanuatu broke into the headlines a few years ago when the Happy Planet Index ranked it the happiest nation on Earth. With beaches like this, how could locals not be euphoric?

Highlight: The beach gets its name from a phenomenon witnessed by the first travelers to the region — the shallow waters appear to fizz at low tide, as if the beach is swimming in bubbly. The effect is caused by gas escaping from volcanic rocks on the seafloor.

8. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti8. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti

8. Matira Beach, Bora Bora, Tahiti

Bora Bora is like the Gwyneth Paltrow of beaches: a little too perfect to be believable. But the spell that this small island in French Polynesia has cast on probably every traveler ever to dip a toe into its soft sands or calm waters has yet to be broken. Bora Bora is a heavy tourist destination — luxury resorts and budget bungalows dapple the white sand perimeter. But its best spot, Matira Beach, reminds you why places like this become popular in the first place.

Highlight: Visitors can feed sharks, hunt for black pearls, look through World War II memorabilia or just laze on the sand.

7. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania7. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

7. Wineglass Bay, Tasmania

White sands, pink granite rock formations and green peaks make for one of Tasmania’s most stunning coastal scenes. It’s part of Freycinet National Park, northeast of Hobart.

Highlights: Hiking, snorkeling, kayaking and boating are popular pastimes, but so is lying on the beach admiring the scenery.

6. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas6. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

6. Cabbage Beach, Paradise Island, Bahamas

An inappropriate name does nothing to spoil the flawless aesthetics of this lengthy strip of sand. The chair, umbrella, bracelet and Jet Ski touts might be a challenge to your good mood, but if you walk eastward away from the busy section you’ll be able to take in one of the world’s best beaches uninterrupted.

Worth knowing: There are strong undercurrents in the waters offshore.

5. Anse de Grande Saline, St. Barths5. Anse de Grande Saline, St. Barths

5. Anse de Grande Saline, St. Barths

Though nudity is technically banned on St. Barths, this is one of two beaches on the French Leeward Island that attracts naturists (perhaps due to its distance from developed areas). It can get windy and there’s little shade, but the photo ops are magnificent.

Highlight: A marsh area behind the beach is a habitat for tropical birds.

4. Anse Source d'Argent, La Digue, Seychelles4. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

4. Anse Source d’Argent, La Digue, Seychelles

This ribbon of sand on the Seychelles’ third-largest island, La Dique, mixes salt-white and flamingo-pink sands to create one of the most photographed beaches in the world. A reef keeps the water calm for good snorkeling.

Highlight: Nearby restaurant Lanbousir offers local Creole dishes, including a tempting fruit-bat curry. DIY eaters can fix their own picnic with food from a supermarket just five minutes from the beach.

3. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands3. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

3. Grace Bay, Providenciales, Turks and Caicos Islands

You need only hear the name of this beach to feel a little calmer. The pride of Provo Island is tourist heavy, but that’s because it’s one of the best (third best, we say) beaches in the world. Just offshore, a coral reef protects the beach and harbors marine life normally seen in Jacques Cousteau documentaries.

Highlight: This perfect, tranquil beach destination has few touts to disturb your lazing and abundant restaurants and resorts.

2. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy2. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

2. Rabbit Beach, Lampedusa, Italy

With blinding white cliffs, fluorescent blue waters, warm temperatures and dry-desert land, it’s little wonder this place frequently tops favorite beach lists. Protected turtles lay eggs here and dolphins can be seen in the water.

Highlight: The nearby volcanic isle of Linosa, featuring a spectacular black and red Mars-like beach.

 

1. Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles1. Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles

1. Grande Anse Beach, La Digue Island, Seychelles

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.

inflationary pressure

What is Inflationary Pressure?

Inflationary pressure is a term used to describe a situation in which the price of goods and services increases at a higher rate than wages therefore causing financial strain. This in the end affects the public’s way of spending on essential goods and services.

potential inflationary pressure of China is high

By Lu Na July 15, 2013
Although China’s Consumer Price Index (CPI) increased by only 2.6 percent in 2012, it can still face inflationary pressure in the coming years, according to the China Economic Growth Report 2013 released by China Center for National Accounting and Economic Growth of Peking University, on Sunday.Under the complex worldwide economic conditions, China’s CPI will change from a structural price increase to a gross inflation.Based on three aspects, the increase of the CPI in 2013 may be a rebound compared to2012, according to the report. Several countries adopted a quantitative easing monetary policy in 2013, which will most likely lead to higher prices for imported products. China will face a stronger pressure due to inflation.The rising labor costs and capital costs will result in a cost-push inflation. The price of mill will also strongly increase, following an increase in the price of raw materials.The vice president of Peking University Liu Wei said that China is facing a strong inflationary pressure because of a large money supply and a slow currency circulation.

“A large amount of money has been put into the virtual economy rather than the real economy, which led to lots of derivative products,” said Liu.”We can’t blame a slow economic growth for less money. The solution is to improve the speed of the currency circulation instead of increasing monetary aggregates.”

Liu said that the central government proposed to slow down the economic growth with macroeconomic regulations because China is currently facing inflation and a decreasing GDP. But the local governments hoped to ensure economic growth. It is not only an economic problem, but also a beneficial game for all parties.

Liu said that the reform should focus on three aspects; starting with the marketization of production factors, especially land. The property rights of rural and urban lands should be clear. Besides, negotiation mechanisms in the labor market have to be perfected. The reform of state-owned monopolies, changes in the administration and equal competition among private enterprises have to be ensured. Another goal is the perfection of the price order.

The China Center for National Accounting and Economic Growth was co-established by the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) and the School of Economics of Peking University. It has been releasing the annual China Economic Growth Report since 2004. Unlike other economic growth reports, it focuses on long-term economic problems.

How to extend your lease for leasehold properties

How to extend your lease for leasehold properties

Posted on July 18, 2013 – Featured, Investment.
by Christopher Chan

The extension of leases for leasehold properties is governed under section 197 of the National Land Code (Act 56 of 1965) pertaining to the applications for approval of surrender of the whole of the land, as well as the land rules of the various states.

For the state of Selangor, the extension of lease is governed by the Selangor Land Rules 2003 and Selangor Quarry Rules 2003.

The Selangor government has come out with two options relating to this matter as follows:

1) Option no.1

To pay a mere RM1,000 for the extension of lease. This is provided the owner of the property does not re-sell it to profiteer. However you are allowed to transfer the property to family members. The State Authorities will lodge in a Registrar Caveat on the property to prevent the owner from disposing the property under this option; OR

2) Option no.2

To pay the full rate of premium for the lease extension. With this option, the owner can then dispose the property immediately after obtaining the new title. Currently the Selangor State Government is giving 30% rebate on the rate of premium under this option.

Bear in mind that under Option 1, after the new title has come out, the owner would not be able to receive the rebate anymore should he or she later decide to sell the property on the open market, and would then have to pay the the full rate of premium.

Some lawyers are charging a fee of RM1,000 to do the application for their clients regardless of option 1 or 2.

How to calculate the premium in Selangor

If you wish to renew your lease for a residential property within the state of Selangor, the formula for the calculation of the rate of premium is as stated below. The formula is derived from Section 7 entitled ‘Premium’ of the Selangor Land Rules 2003 & Selangor Quarry Rules 2003.

Premium = ¼ x 1/100 x Market Value of land (in sq ft) x number of years to renew x land area (in sq ft)

Example: For a 3,000 sq ft residential property in PJ with 10 years remaining on the lease (assuming it was valued @ RM120 per sq ft by the Authorities), the lease renewal fee calculation is= 0.25 X 0.01 X 120 X 89 X 3,000 = RM 80,100.

Leases are usually renewed so that there are 99 years of lease on the title. Therefore, if you have 10 years remaining on your lease, you need only pay for an extension of 89 years (99 years-10 years).

After deducting the 30% rebate, the fee payable would be RM 56,070.

The calculation of the rate of premium as mentioned above is on the land itself and does not include the building erected on the land.

Under Option no. 1 and no. 2, there is a further RM500 to be paid as contribution to the state’s cemetery trust fund, Tabung Amanah Perkuburan. The fund will enable the State Government to buy land for cemeteries.

Process of lease extension

The process of lease extension involves the government department called ‘Pentadbir Tanah Daerah Petaling’.

Among other things, the applicant (who is also the owner of the property) has to do the following:

To complete Borang 12A ‘Permohonan Untuk Menyerahkan Balik Tanah (Mengenai kesemua tanah itu)’ (application to surrender and re-alienate land to extend lease duration);

To complete ‘Borang Perihal Tanah dan Peribadi Pemohon’;

To complete ‘Jadual 1 (Peraturan 2) Kanun Tanah Negara Perintah Tanah Kerajaan’;

To complete the Form ‘Butir-Butir Permohonan Tanah Oleh Individu’;

To give the original title of the property;

To give copies of your quit rent (cukai tanah) and assessments (cukai taksiran) receipts for the current year;

To give a copy of his/ her National Registration Identity Card (NRIC)

The whole process may take approximately 2 years from the time of submission of the application right up to the obtaining the new title.

Christopher Chan MBA is a registered real estate agent and an associate director of Hartamas Real Estate (Malaysia) Sdn Bhd. He has been in the real estate industry for over 15 years and was an adjunct lecturer at UCSI University in Management Studies for both the Diploma and Bachelor degree programmes in the years 2008 to 2009.

http://www.starproperty.my/index.php/artic…old-properties/

ONE Alam Jaya Residences

Your Business & Investment Partner : CL Wong   6017-684 6282

Invitation Code is   CL WONG 

Online booking call  CL Wong : 6017-684 6282

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3 Storey Bungalows
Gated & Guarded
Land Area 50×80
Built up Type A 4232sf & Type B 4399sf
Price from RM1,568,000

bandar puncak alam CL wong


bandar puncak alam CL wong 1

bandar puncak alam CL wong 2

Why buy NOW?

•Discount + Rebates, up to 12% on purchase price*
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•Booking Fees RM10k only

Why invest in ONE Alam Jaya 3 sty Bungalows?
•A self-contained township, potential prime location – Capital appreciation
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•Access Smart card entry at guardhouse
•Modern design under Strata Title
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For an immediate site viewing an d presentation, please call or PM : CL Wong  017-6846282

New Project   :  ONE ALAM JAYA BUSINESS PARK, BANDAR PUNCAK ALAM
Property          :  2-Storey Shoplots
Size                    :  30 x 75″ Intermediate and 48 x 75″ Corner
Balance Units : 10 units Non-Bumi and 37 units Bumi
Price                  :  RM990,000 – Intermediate (RM891,000 Bumi)
RM1,880,000 – Corner (RM1,692,000 Bumi)

Tenure:   Leasehold 99 years
Estimated Completion Date: July 2015
Adjacent Amenities : Tesco hypermarket (already under construction), banks & coming soon Shopping Mall.
* FREE SPA Legal fees
* SPECIAL DISCOUNT 3% for Non-Bumi – Limited Period

For an immediate site viewing an d presentation, please call or PM : CL Wong  017-6846282

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