Planning a beach vacation and not sure where you should go? Most people immediately turn to “safer” options such the Caribbeans, Hawaii or the Bahamas. While undoubtedly these have some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, we would argue that South East Asia has more!
Home to tens of thousands of tropical islands, South East Asia boasts some of the greatest beaches in the world, and vacations here are much cheaper and usually more flexible. The countries in this region offer diverse culture, an exotic food scene, and an extreme wealth of beach activities and water sports, and you can easily hop between islands, packing your itinerary with as much relaxation or extreme adventure as you like.
Consider some of the following destinations for your next beach trip.
Countries for a Beach Vacation in Asia
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When people think of a beach vacation in Asia, Thailand usually comes to mind; more than 1.5 million tourists visit the island each year to enjoy the kind of tropical coastline and beaches you find featured in ads.
Fine white sand beaches and crystal clear waters come together with nodding coconut trees to one side and the beautiful Gulf of Thailand to the other, and those wanting to dance barefoot under the soft light of the full moon can join one of the country’s wild nightly beach parties.
Thailand is by far the most tourist-friendly country in the region, and is great for those looking for an all-inclusive beach experience. High end 5 star resorts can be found pretty much anywhere, at a relatively cheap price. These resorts also take care of island hopping tours and packages, which is perfect for first-timers who wish to get a taste of what a trip to Asia is like, without being too worried about the logistics.
The Philippines has more than 7,000 islands, with a vast collection of idyllic beaches, hidden islands and secret lagoons. Though the fact that it still remains unnoticed by most tourists allows you to enjoy a truly exotic paradise at a significantly lower cost.
A world class beach destination, this is one of the few places left where you can experience the beauty of unspoiled nature, while still enjoying luxury all inclusive resorts. Popular activities include surfing, swimming with whale sharks, and helmet diving; check this best list of best beaches in the Philippines to get an idea of what awaits you.
The Philippines version of the Thai islands is Boracay – a party island whose White Beach is considered to be among the best beaches in the world. And it’s very easy to organize a tour package to Boracay if you’re not keen on doing the planning yourself.
If we had written this list 10 years ago, this Indonesian island would surely be at the top. Back then, it was a secret paradise visited by only a few, however as it has gained acknowledgement as one of the world’s top beach spots, over-commercialization has taken its toll.
That said, there are still many parts of Bali where you can find harmony and be one with the surrounding nature, while escaping the crowds. The views are spectacular, and you can find dive sites unrivaled by anywhere else in the world.
Check out the famous yoga centers, and world class dive sites. For a more relaxed vacation, away from the mass of resorts, bars and nightclubs, consider moving to one of the nearby smaller islands instead (like Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan). These are just as beautiful as the main island, and remain much more secluded and unharmed by tourists and local businesses.
Consisting of 1190 tiny islands, this country is a true paradise for beach lovers. The Maldives are home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, and a great place for relaxation in a really luxurious atmosphere.
Most islands are inhabited, so taking a boat ride to one of them would mean you get to enjoy a unique secluded beach experience. Inhabited islands, on the other hand, are home to some of the best resorts you can find anywhere on the globe.
Private island resorts with a small amount of rooms means you will get your own private beach right at your doorstep. These resorts offer the best amenities imaginable, so they are perfect for those seeking an all-inclusive vacation of the highest standards. Luxury does come with a cost however, so don’t expect to do any budget travelling here.
Related: Things to do in The Maldives
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