It’s incredibly hard to mess up a beautiful beach, but sometimes it seems like the locals love to try and rise to the challenge. Some are unclean, play host to drunken shenanigans, or are just in bad locations.
Next time you’re planning your ultimate beach vacation, here are a few places around the world you should probably pass up on.
Patong Beach, Thailand
Thailand is famous for it’s breathtakingly beautiful and plentiful coastlines, but there is one beach that doesn’t quite live up to the standards of the rest. In Patong, a small beach community nestled in the outskirts of Phuket, the sands might be clean but what’s happening just beyond them on the shore is less than so. The area has gained a reputation for seedy activities usually emanating from the “massage” parlors and lines of strip clubs. It’s definitely not a family-friendly place.
Xinghai Beach, China
Truth be told, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to find a beach in China that isn’t suffering from overcrowding thanks to it’s enormous population. Xinghai Beach is no exception, and it might just be the worst of the lot. The location makes it ideal not just for Chinese beachgoers, but also tourists from the surrounding countries of Russia, Korea and Japan as a weekend getaway. Get away they do, and it can really put a damper on your spirits if you’re caught among the throng.
Maho Beach, St. Maarten, Dutch Antilles
St. Maarten might be a popular honeymoon destination, but those in the throngs of wedded bliss might be surprised to find their beach getaway a little less peaceful than they had planned upon arrival. The planes on this beach fly so low over the sands you’re likely to wet yourself with something other than ocean water when you see one coming in for a landing. The noise they create when flying overhead tends to put a damper on any plans for relaxation.
Malibu Pier, Los Angeles California
LA is a lot of things, but dazzlingly clean probably isn’t one of them. Unfortunately, the beach might be about as clean as a barefoot stroll along Hollywood Blvd. If you’ve ever been, you know how ill-advised that would be. A report issued by the National Resource Defense Council in 2014 found that the area around on of the country’s most popular piers was unsuitable for swimming thanks, in part, to what they refer to as “urban slobber.” Essentially, they’re swimming in garbage and poo.
Any Beach, Acapulco, Mexico
Acapulco is a stunning, beautiful resort city with some of the brightest and cleanest beaches in the world, so it’s sad to know that when traveling here you could be putting your life on the line just to get a tan. As of 2013, the city had a murder rate of 142 deaths per 100,000 residents, making it the second most destination country in the world. You probably thought the sharks were bad, but they’ve got nothing on the people.
Kamilo Beach, Hawaii
What? How can a beach on one of the most picturesque group of islands in the world find it’s way onto a list of the worlds’ worst beaches, you ask? Easily—it’s completely covered in plastic. Kamilo Beach is famous for it’s shoreline almost completely covered in marine plastic from the Great Pacific Garbage Patch. Before cleanup efforts began, the garbage piled up to 10 feet high in certain stretches of sand. Thanks to restoration efforts, the size is of the pollution is decreasing slowly, but steadily.