I grew up in the south-west of Malaysia, where weather is scorching hot and sultry all year round. Tanning is impossible, let alone common. Unlike the scenario in England, where the tiniest ray could drive a whole family out sun-bathing in the garden, people in my town (or the whole of Asia actually) would use umbrella on a sunny day, wear thick coat of sunscreen or do anything one can possibly imagine to help them escape from the sun.
I really wasn’t joking.
The idea of becoming bronze-y or tawny is horrifying to many; on the contrary, fair skin is associated with wealth and beauty. Many argued that this is plain institutional racism, a result of “white oppression”. Maybe it’s partially true. But growing up in the very tropical South East Asia, having pale skin, historically, simply meant that one could afford staying in and not work under the sun to support the family, a cultural belief which I find rather meaningful and representative of my roots and origin.
Nonetheless, I have to admit that I wasn’t all unmoved by gorgeous pictures of Brazilian models looking golden and sun-kissed. I am one of those peeps that is naturally blessed with fair skin (not a blessing really if you factor in those allergies and annoying sensitivity that come with) , getting tanned is not easy so I’ve never really seen myself tanned. So, this time in Dubrovnik, J and I were determined to come back with sublime bronze, glowing skin.
By chance, we found these two amazing places that I would love to share with you today!
After exiting Ploče Gate of the Old Town, we decided to keep walking for a few minutes. And guess what?
…we were soon greeted by this very alluring beauty.
The first word for EastWest is Chic. Très chic. Fashionable, stylish, private, luxurious, hip and upbeat. That kinda place that immediately conjures up an image of young good-looking crowd, bikinis, cocktails and Pitbull in full blast. Energtic. International. Party.
EW is segmented into 3 parts – a beach, a restaurant and a nightclub. Unlike most Mediterranean shores which are rocky and pebbly, EW has a sandy beach, decked with rows of chaise lounge chair and a few baldachines. You can have cocktails, massage or even schedule a grand arrival at their private pier by boat.
J and I were there for two days, two wicked days. We would pack huge bottles of water, sunscreen, towels, some dried figs, fresh cherries, and lounge by the beach watching Time pass us by in the form of topless (wo)men and gambolling teens.
When the sun set around 6, the crowd started to clear out, giving EW a short break before it opened its arms to the glamorous, eager clubbers which, by the way, often include popular celebrities and models.
EastWest as seen on LuxeNomad
Address: Frana Supila 10/B, 20000 Dubrovnik, Croatia.
2. Buza Bar
I gave my bucket list a big tick when we stumbled across Buza Bar – a bar hanging on the cliffs right above the sea.
Without any prior research, we spotted Buza by chance during our walk on the city walls. Seeing it from atop, we were immediately stunned by its raw beauty. We knew we had to find our way there no matter what. The second tanning spot was set and the search began.
Buza means “hole” in old Dubrovnik dialect, some called the bar “hole in the wall”, which is quite apt if not essentially what it is. Located in a side street, behind few restaurants, we had to go through a hole to get to Buza. The entry looked dubious, but the small, narrow stairs down quickly and directly sent us into rapture.
The bar isn’t anything fancy – a tatty stall set up to house imported and local beers, most drinks were served in plastic cups, rickety tables and umbrellas positioned in varied levels of concrete. But with a front facing the Adriatic sea, the stark Dalmatian hills and lush Lokrum island, none of the worn out furnishing seemed to matter.
Like a prepubescent teen stuck in a lift with Justin Bieber, I was bursting with excitement, quickly settled on a flat surface and went down to the cold, choppy water in flying leaps.
Phenomenal experience like this is what I’ll always be searching for – to be awed by the wonder of nature; to see and know how big and astonishingly beautiful the world is, and how small and superficial our desires are. It wasn’t just a thrill, it was very motivating, it was a lifetime memory.
…as with the tanning? Ha. Let’s just say it’s always been a vain attempt for me.
With love x