Southeast of Willemstad, much of the coast has been transformed into somebody's version of paradise. Artificial beaches Mambo Beach and Jan Thiel Beach are lined with resorts, shopping malls and private beach clubs. Artificial islands are surrounded by big ocean tanks, keeping captive the creatures of the sea. And beautiful people lounge on beach chairs and sip cocktails and stare out to sea.
It's not all bad of course. The beaches are lovely, with calm, refreshing water that is an eerily perfect shade of blue. The clubs are fun, offering some of the island's best places to dine, drink, dance and shop. And there's certainly nothing wrong with beautiful people lounging on beach chairs, sipping cocktails and staring out to sea. But it does feel a bit surreal.