EARLIER this week, the Bahamas saw more than their fair share of beauties as contestants for the Miss Universe 2009 pageant descended on the capital city of Nassau.
In town for the finals of the pageant, which will be held on 23 Aug, the contestants were treated like royalty wherever they went.
Among the bevy of beauties from 84 countries is Miss Singapore-Universe Rachel Kum, 24.
The former The New Paper New Face finalist, who was among the first wave of contestants to arrive, has been posting updates of her experiences in the Bahamas on her blog atwww.rachelkum.com.
On a post dated 4 Aug, she wrote: "It's now Day 2 in Bahamas and it has been wonderful! The Miss Universe team is so friendly and helpful and it's amazing how such a big team can work so well together.
"I have met almost all of the girls from the 84 countries and they are nice and friendly. Though security is extremely tight... for the... wellbeing of the girls. The company of these girls have made my stay so worthwhile. Truly an experience of a lifetime, I must say."
From now till the finals, the beauty queens will be taken island hopping to soak in the sights and sounds of the Bahamas, and making public appearances along the way.
On Thursday, the group spent their day on the island of New Providence, dropping by the National Art Gallery of the Bahamas, going for a courtesy call on Governor-General Arthur D Hanna, as well as having a dip with dolphins.
Miss Great Britain, Clair Cooper, said she wasn't initially keen on getting up at the crack of dawn each morning for the day's activities.
In a blog she is writing for The Sun newspaper, she said: "We were out for 15 hours on the trot and if a 6am start this morning didn't sound the most appealing at first, excitement soon kicked in when we realised we were off to meet the dolphins and sea lions."
Ms Cooper also wrote about how well the contestants were being taken cared off, with stretch limos picking them up on the airport to ferry them to the hotels under police escort.
She wrote: "I'm pretty used to hustle, bustle and sirens going off left right and centre, so it only dawned upon me a couple of minutes into the journey that the sirens were for us - we had a full-on police escort literally stopping traffic to usher us through."
She also blogged about her experiences with other contestants, like how she found out that Miss Israel Julia Dyment had to take one month's leave from her training in the army to take part in the pageant.
The whole experience was equally exhilarating for Miss Australia Rachael Finch.
In an interview with The Australian, she said: "I sat at lunch today with (entrants from) Norway, Germany, Zambia, Iceland and Vietnam... how often does someone get to do that?"