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Islands on the Edge: Visit These Gems Now or Never

Posted: 08/02/11 06:07 AM ET

English poet and all round clever chap John Donne famously coined the phrase 'no man is an island' to encapsulate his belief that we are all part of mankind, cogs in a living breathing machine. The metaphor is far from perfect.

Islands are not self-contained entities floating in the ocean. To the contrary, island life is generally more holistically connected to the world at large than life in valleys or the middle of plains. The myriad ways that islands are affected by the world and their inability to rely on size to absorb change, put them at risk. Whether the threat is mass tourism or climate change, many islands perch on the edge. Today, they embody continuity and natural beauty. Tomorrow, who knows.

Here are some beautiful islands on the edge. Get going.

Phú Qu'c, Vietnam
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Nestled quietly in the Gulf of Thailand is beautiful Phú Qu'c Island. For many years, the Vietnamese have flocked to its white shores, enjoying the crystal clear waters, seaside sunsets and quiet stillness. Slowly the secret of this beautiful little jewel seeped from Vietnamese borders and as the backpackers came, so too did the low-rise resorts that dot the coastline. Now the property developers have their eyes on it and tarmac is going down at a rate of knots. A dual carriage-way awaits and so too do charter flights.
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