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28 Best Beaches to Visit in Southeast Asia in 2023

COOL BEACHES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA

Southeast Asia is huge. I’ve been traveling around for more than a year and I still didn’t see it all. There are over 25,000 islands and way too many beaches that you wouldn’t have the time to visit in a lifetime.

With the help of some other travel bloggers, I’ve made a list of some amazing beach destinations in Southeast Asia that you should consider visiting. The list is a mix between some of the most-known beaches and some less-known destinations.

Also read: Best Travel Guides and Books for Southeast Asia Destinations

A Few of the Best Beaches in Thailand

28Phra Nang Beach, Krabi

phra nang beach, krabi, thailand
Picture by Kerrie & Woody

We have traveled around the world and visited many beaches, and Phra Nang Beach is one of the best beaches in Thailand.

Phra Nang Beach is in the south of Railay Bay, located in Krabi – A popular tourist destination in Thailand known for its many activities and boat tours.

If we were to ask you the main things which would make up a perfect beach, Phra Nang Beach would tick all the boxes.

Pristine, glistening turquoise water which just entices you in. Warm golden sands, it has it all. We couldn’t wait to take a dip and float on top of the water the first time we witnessed it. We felt like we were in heaven.

To make things even better, the view we had was amazing. It is surrounded by gigantic limestone cliffs protruding out from the sea. It’s like a scene from a movie.

If that wasn’t enough to get you excited, maybe the penis shrine will. Yes, it has a penis shrine, also known as the penis cave, which the locals visit as a place of worship for fertility.

Even though it is a bit obscured, we would ask you to respect the shrine and the locals.

The only way to visit is by taking a local long-tail boat from Ao Nang Beach, which is only a 15 min journey. The best time to visit would be from November – February when the weather is hot with little chance of rain.

About the author: Kerrie & Woody from Just Go Travelling. A travel couple from the UK who writes blogs to inspire others to travel the world, giving helpful tips on things such as how to save money and the best places to see.

27Koh Nang Yuan Beach, Nang Yuan Island

koh nang yuan thailand
Picture by Campbell and Alya

The magnificent Koh Nang Yuan Beach connects three tiny teardrop islands, the Koh Nang Yuan islands near Koh Tao in Thailand, and is one of the most perfect beaches I have ever been to.

The postcard-perfect beach is a sandbar connecting the little islands and can be visited in several ways; we have been here more than once and preferred to charter a longtail boat from the beach in Koh Tao and arrange with the boatman what time to return.

Speedboat trips are available from Koh Tao and Koh Samui or you can visit Koh Nang Yuan as part of a half-day snorkel trip stopping at several beautiful snorkeling spots around Koh Tao.

There is an entrance fee of 100 TBH to visit the island. The beach can get crowded between 10:00 and 16:00, so if you want to enjoy this spectacular beach with few people it is recommended to charter a boat in the morning or afternoon.

With powder white sand and crystal clear, warm water it is a fantastic beach for swimming and sunbathing. The sandbar beach gets significantly smaller with the rising tide.

Koh Nang Yuan is a fantastic place for snorkeling with many tropical fish, you might even spot a turtle!

Several Koh Tao dive sites are located close to the beach and the area is a popular place to learn diving in Thailand.

The hike from the beach to the viewpoint on top of the island is a must-do with fantastic views of the island, beach, and ocean.

About the author: Campbell and Alya from stingynomads.com

26Railay Beach, Krabi

Railay Beach, Krabi, thailand
Picture by Trisha Agrawal

Railay Beach (or Railay Beach West) is located on a peninsula, between Krabi and Aonang in Thailand.

Earlier, this beach could only be reached via a 10-minute long-tail boat from Aonang Beach as it is cut off from the mainland by high limestone cliffs.

However, due to the noise caused by the boats at the beach, now boats land on the east side of the peninsula from where it’s a 10-minute walk to Railay Beach West.

The beach is an absolute delight with its incredibly white sand, shallow turquoise waters, and view of tall cliffs, jungles, cute cafes, and restaurants.

These cliffs add such drama to this beach! The sunset is gorgeous.

Because I traveled with friends who had varied interests, I especially loved that the beach could cater to all – the foodies and beer guzzlers who just like chilling, the laid-back book readers, the adventure enthusiasts, the nature lovers, everyone!

Though I enjoyed kayaking the most on my visit, there is much to do here. You can swim in the waters and laze around the beach or you can go kayaking around the cove.

Among other things to do here is to watch the gorgeous sunset with a drink in hand or to explore the shops and cafes on the walking street.

Go rock climbing! Railay is home to 700 climbing trails.

You can also walk to Railay East which is part of a mangrove swamp. It makes for a splendid walk along the shore and has plenty of bars and restaurants.

Another good walk is only 10 minutes away from Phranang Beach. See the infamous penis cave and enjoy this small beach that is perfect for swimming in the crystal clear shallow water lagoon!

We didn’t do this, you can opt to stay in Railay too! You’ll be able to enjoy the beach without any crowd in the morning and evenings, before the arrival and after the departure of day tourists.

About the writer: Trisha from Try Wandering More

25Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe Island

Sunrise Beach, Koh Lipe Island, Thailand
Photo by Cecily

After a long journey, I was ecstatic to reach Koh Lipe Island, known as the Maldives of Thailand. I received a recommendation from my Thai friend I met back in Canada.

It’s a hidden gem frequented by Thai vacationers and is known for its white-sand beaches and excellent diving.

Getting to Koh Lipe is no easy feat, but it’s worth it. You need to take a domestic flight to the Hat Yai Airport, a 2-hour taxi to Pak Bara Pier and lastly a 1.5-hour speedboat to Koh Lipe.

My favorite beach on Koh Lipe is called Sunrise Beach. Located on the eastern side of the island, its white sand, turquoise waters, and traditional long-tailed boats make for a picture-postcard-perfect setting.

What makes it so special is that the beach is relaxed and not filled with tourists. I kayaked to small islets around the area and snorkeled right off the beach.

One of my favorite things to do in Koh Lipe is hanging out at Sea La Vie, a beach bar on Sunrise Beach with eccentric bohemian decor.

Don’t miss their chilled-out full moon party where you can have a drink on beanbag chairs and listen to progressive deep house. Just make sure you go early to get a seat.

About the writer: By Cecily from groovymashedpotatoes.coma travel blog featuring unique travel experiences, fun itineraries, and offbeat places to help you plan your dream trip.

24Ao Nang Beach, Krabi

ao nang beach krabi thailand
Picture by Tegan and Alex

No trip to Thailand is complete without a visit to the gorgeous Ao Nang Beach, the most popular beach in the Krabi area, and a must-see while you’re there.

It has beautiful, crystalline water to swim or snorkel, soft white sand, and lots of fun bars and beachfront places for a cocktail or a quick bite to eat.

We really enjoyed sipping ice-cold Singha beers and getting some nice rays of the sun during the day and exploring all the fun nightlife around the area in the evenings.

Definitely be sure to stake out the best place to set up your towel, as the beach definitely fills up as the day passes, and be sure to have some cash on hand for water, beers, or cocktails from the vendors walking by.

One thing that makes the whole mainland Krabi beach area unique is its stupendous views of the huge rocks rising from the water, as well as its easy accessibility from other parts of Thailand.

We flew in from Bangkok to the airport in Krabi, and it was a super easy hour-long flight, perfect for a weekend trip if you’re backpacking in Thailand.

You can also easily connect to other parts of the country, like Chiang Mai, using one of the budget airlines. There are also a lot of day trip options for all sorts of travelers from Ao Nang, from island-hopping and partying to scuba diving, fishing, or cruising.

About the writer: Tegan and Alex are walking, biking, and hiking enthusiasts currently based in Boston, USA. They co-founded their travel site, Why Not Walk, in 2020.

23Ko Poda Beach, Poda Island

ko poda beach, poda island, thailand
Picture by Alice

Easily one of the best places to visit in Thailand, it’s only accessible by boat and commonly visited as part of a Krabi island hopping tour, Poda is where you’ve likely seen the traditional Thailand photos of long-tailed boats, bright white sand, and rocky islands jutting out of the ocean.

Although it’s a popular tourist destination, the island is fairly large, so the beach isn’t too crowded.

There’s a small toilet facility, a small shop selling refreshing drinks, as well as a restaurant and a tiny hotel, so you could technically spend the night on the island.

There’s plenty to spy beneath the surface with ample snorkeling and swimming opportunities, as well as lots of beautiful photography spots in the more secluded areas of the beach.

See our Southeast Asia checklist before planning a trip!

If you walk around the beach, you can take some beautiful pictures with some of the surrounding islands like Koh Kai or Koh Tub (often referred to as Chicken Island and Tub Island) in the background.

One small catch is that you will have to pay a small fee to enter the island as it is part of the Had Noppharatthara – Mu Koh Phi Phi National Park. The fee is 400 Baht for non-locals, which isn’t that bad at all for somewhere so beautiful.’

About the writer: Alice is the owner and editor of www.adventuresofalice.com

A Few of the Best Beaches in Vietnam

22Mui Ne Beach, Mui Ne

Red Sand Dunes, Mui Ne, Vietnam
Picture by Julie

Located in Southern Vietnam, not far from Ho Chi Minh, Mui Ne is a popular beach destination among locals but is often overlooked by international travelers.

It used to be a small fisherman village and you still might witness Cham’s traditional way of life. The beach there is gorgeous and is the perfect place to unwind for a few days, lounging on the beach, gorging on local delicacies, or snorkeling over colorful reefs.

During the dry season, from November to May, the wind conditions are perfect to practice kitesurfing, windsurfing, or going sailing.

The part I loved most about Mui Ne was the red sand dunes. I didn’t expect to find a mini Sahara in Vietnam but there it is, endless dunes right by the beach, overlooking the sea.

One of the top activities to do while there is sand sledding and I had a lot of fun going down these huge dunes (you’ll find several places to rent a sled near the parking area).

Protect your skin during your travel to Vietnam. Bring a sun hat or buy it on the go.

I could have stayed there for hours, just looking at the scenery, it’s a unique place you won’t see anywhere else.

The best time to visit the sand dunes is at sunset when you can take beautiful shots of the sun setting over the sea, as the sky turns different shades of orange and pink.

In Mui Ne, I would also recommend visiting the Po Shanu Cham Towers from the 9th century, the Mu Nie Market and Harbor, and the Fairy Stream where you can make your way up to a waterfall.

About the writer: Julie Julien shares her best travel experiences on her blog Julie Around the Globe and aims to inspire others to travel more and to places less known.

21Nha Trang Beach, Nha Trang

nha trang beach, vietnam
Picture by Aleksandr Zykov

Nha Trang Beaches are actually a series of different beaches spread out around the resort city of Nha Trang, Vietnam. The nice thing about the different beaches is that they are all different, allowing you to choose the beach that is right for you.

They range from bustling, full of vendors and tourists, to more remote, catering to those trying to get away from it all.  There is plenty of day and night light surrounding the beaches with restaurants and bars catering to tourists day and night.

Some highlights for those looking for a unique nightlife experience would be The Sailing Club, Zima, and Skylight Skydeck & Rooftop Beach Club.

The beaches themselves are great to spend the day enjoying the sun and water while offering many activities for those looking to explore. Beaches offer surfing, snorkeling, bicycle tours, spa treatments, meditation, yoga, and more.

Many of these activities take place on or near the beach with vendors nearby ready to negotiate prices.

It is important to note that some of the more remote beaches may require transportation, either by taxi or rented bicycle to reach.

While these beaches may be off the beaten path, for those seeking a little more privacy, the extra time and effort are well worth it. 

20Long Beach, Phu Quoc

Long Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Picture by Gavin White

Long Beach consists of a twenty-kilometer-long coastal region of Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. The beach is divided into two parts, with the northern end being dominated by luxury resorts, restaurants, and tourist facilities.

Phu Quoc could be easily one of the best places to visit in Vietnam.

For those trying to get off the beaten path, the southern end of the beach has several places that offer public access. These areas can be a little tough to reach, traveling on hard-pack roads, but it helps keep the area from being overcrowded.

All along the beach, there are ample bars that offer American and Vietnamese beers and cuisine. Long Beach is also home to the famous Palm Tree Swing which will look great on any social media post.

Nearby is the Duong Dong Market, which is open both during the day and night, offering numerous foods and trinkets to explore and enjoy. Just be careful as locals drive their motorbikes right through the market during their shopping trips.

To wrap up your visit to Long Beach make sure you visit the SkyBar, which offers a wrap-around porch with views of the entire island. Be prepared to pay a little more for your drinks, but know that it is plenty worth the extra cost to enjoy the view. 

A Few of the Best Beaches in Myanmar

19Ngapali Beach, Ngapali

ngapali beach, myanmar
Picture by Shishira

We were very surprised to hear that one of Asia’s top three beaches was located in Myanmar. But when we visited Ngapali Beach in person, we were absolutely awestruck!

Located on the west coast of Myanmar, Ngapali is a sleepy fishing town with a seven-kilometer long, white sand, turquoise water beach.

The best part of the beach is the crystal clear water and small reefs scattered here and there in the shallow waters.

There are a few islands nearby too, and we hired a small boat for half a day exploring them and snorkeling at our will.  All for under USD 12 and our guide brought along clean snorkeling masks for us both!

We even got a relaxing Ngapali-style massage right on the beach, on a hot afternoon. We spent every evening sitting on the beach enjoying the hues of the sunset over the Bay of Bengal.

And if that wasn’t enough, the beach road was dotted with some really good cafes and restaurants serving spicy Burmese food.

Getting around was so much fun because we picked up bicycles from our guesthouse and explored the villages nearby.

Ngapali Beach is easy to get to, from both Bagan and Yangon. There’s an airport at the town’s north end.

We flew in from Bagan and traveled out to Yangon by overnight bus. It was hassle-free, stunning to see, and well worth deviating from the usual tourist route in Myanmar!

About the writer: Shishira and Navneeth from backpacksters.com

18Ngwe Saung Beach, Ngwesaung

Ngwe Saung Beach, myanmar
Picture by Jacques Beaulieu

Ngwesaung is a small fishing village in Myanmar with hotels dotting the beautiful seafront. The beach is spread across fifteen miles of silvery sand that beckons to any visitor.

Ngwe Saung is not known for its party atmosphere but is instead much more focused on relaxation. To the south of Ngwe Saung is a small island that during low tide you can reach on foot.

This area is popular for snorkeling due to the large variety of fish and unique corals that can be explored. If you’re so inclined you can even hire a boat to take you out from the beach and explore the crystal clear waters. 

Another great way to explore the village is to rent a motorbike to ride up and down the tarmac road that runs parallel to the beach. You could even consider heading a little further south, away from the main resorts, where you will find an even quieter stretch of beach.

After a long day, there are several popular restaurants where you can relax and enjoy yourself. Table 5 and Homefood & Drink are great to enjoy the local cuisine and fresh seafood.

If you’re looking for something a little fancier, Garden Breeze Restaurant and Bar offers lobster and crab. Finally, if you are looking for European food there is the Casablanca Restaurant.

A Few of the Best Beaches in Cambodia

17Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem

lazy beach, koh rong samloem, cambodia
Picture by Kirk Siang

Lazy Beach, located on the island of Koh Rong Sanloem in Cambodia, is one of the last truly private beaches in the area. The beach boasts beautiful golden shores, clear blue water, and rustic bungalows that sleep up to four people.

Getting to this hidden gem requires taking a boat from the nearby Ochheuteal Beach that leaves at 1 pm each day and costs $10 USD per person.

While the boat ride takes about an hour and forty-five minutes, you can’t get much more off the beaten path, while still being comfortable.

Like its name, it’s a great place to while away a few days soaking up the sun, snorkeling, or just relaxing. Lazy Beach has one onsite restaurant where you can get your daily meals and snacks at very reasonable prices.

The restaurant also offers a selection of drinks, alcoholic and nonalcoholic. The entire menu is set up in a la carte style, allowing you to only pay for what you plan to eat or drink.

Right now, Lazy Beach is offering severe discounts on their beach bungalows due to the ongoing pandemic, only $35 USD a night for a bungalow that sleeps four.

It is important to note that Lazy Beach is Western Owned and operated. Booking can be done in person, over the phone, or by email.

Visit this island between November and May, as is the best time to visit Cambodia.

16Otres Beach, Sihanoukville

Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Picture by Rachel

Otres Beach, located in Sihanoukville, Cambodia is a popular stop-off before visiting the islands – of Koh Rong and Koh Rong Sanloem.

I took a bus from Sihanoukville to reach the beach and stayed at Boho Hostel, which is colorfully retro, and I enjoyed the chilled-out vibes. It is the spot to relax on your travels.

I was pleasantly surprised by how much there is to do in Otres Beach, besides relaxing, of course. The beach is full of bars and eateries, and you can switch off no matter what your budget is.

The sunset on Otres Beach is one of the best I saw in Cambodia, and you need to stay for this.

During the day, you can go sea kayaking, take a boat trip or walk to Otres 2 (the quieter sister). But why I loved this beach so much was because of what happened at night.

Not only is there the fun Otres Night Market, where you can enjoy the food and drink stalls, but when night hits and it gets dark, you can either take a boat trip or swim out and see the magical bioluminescent plankton.

The swim was such a rare, fun opportunity to see the water light up around you as you’re swimming. I would recommend visiting to experience that!

About the writer: Rachel from Average Lives, a blog that focuses on affordable travel, the outdoors, road trips, and storytelling. 

A Few of the Best Beaches in the Philippines

15Sabang Beach, Baler, Philippines

Sabang Beach, Baler, Philippines
Picture by James

Despite the Philippines having a number of world-famous beaches, most of them are on islands in the central Philippines and very few have waves that are good enough to surf.

Baler is one of the better-known surf beaches on the northern island of Luzon and within reach of the capital Manila. You will find better quality surf and less crowded waves than its west coast counterpart La Union.

This may be in part due to the longer travel times making it harder for weekend travelers to access the area. You can only reach Baler by bus, van, or car and it will take you anywhere from 6-10 hours depending on traffic.

You will get about two hours of the comfortable freeway after leaving the capital before reaching a bumpy dirt road that will make it impossible to sleep, read, or watch anything for the remaining four to eight hours of the journey.

Once you arrive the trip feels instantly worthwhile. Despite the recent development of some modern waterfront hotels the area maintains that sleepy surf town vibe that is laid back and slow-paced.

Most of the older hotels and restaurants have waterfront positions which give you the flexibility of super cheap accommodation and eating options.

I have stayed at the Aliya Surf Camp Resort multiple times which I found has the best balance of cost and convenience. But I have also stayed in one of the cheaper hotels with a larger group of locals which was incredibly cheap (it also didn’t have sealed windows).

I recall a funny conversation at the restaurant in Aliya when trying to order some seafood off the menu. They just said, “no, we didn’t catch any today”.

This made me laugh for two reasons; 1. You can’t really argue or be annoyed with the answer, and 2. It just summarised the simplicity of the thought process of the locals.

Outside of the beach, the only place that is worth your time is the Ditumabo Mother Falls.

You can organize transport out there by just talking to the locals. Paying them a few pesos for the afternoon can keep them surfing for the week so many will be happy to help you out.

About the writer: by James from teamajtravels.com

14Nacpan Beach, El Nido

Nacpan Beach, El Nido, Philippines
Picture by Cazzy

When talking about beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia, I have to say that Nacpan Beach stole my heart. It’s one of the most popular beaches in the Philippines for a reason.

You can get to the beach from El Nido town by shuttle (around 600 pesos return), although I rented a moped for this trip.

It costs 250 pesos for a half-day rent, including 2 helmets, and took 45 minutes to reach. Renting a moped is great because it allowed us to stop by some waterfalls along the way!

Nacpan Beach is the epitome of tropical heaven: warm weather, pristine sand, and crystal clear waters. I especially love how all 4 km of the coastlines are studded with towering palm trees.

It’s an extremely romantic spot too, especially during the sunset when the blue skies are slowly taken over by orange hues.

I found it surprisingly easy to find an empty stretch of beach just for ourselves. Doubtless, stopping by Nacpan Beach was one of the best things I did in El Nido, Philippines.

So when should you come to El Nido? Anytime between November and May is great. The weather was incredible when I visited in May. Moreover, try to visit a couple of hours before sunset, as the view is too stunning to miss.

In terms of things to do, getting a shot of yourself at the “Nacpan Beach Sign” is a must. There are several restaurants and bars where you can get affordable dinners and drinks.

I personally spent a long time in the water – it was so clean and clear, I had to drag myself out!

Nacpan Beach is also the perfect place to try “glamping”. Unfortunately, it was completely sold out during my visit here, but definitely something you should consider.

About the writer: Cazzy from www.dreambigtravelfarblog.com

13Bon Bon Beach, Romblon

Bon Bon Beach, Romblon, Philippines
Picture by Luke

Bon Bon Beach is one of the coolest beaches we have ever visited. It is found on the remote Romblon Island in the Philippines and it took an internal flight to Caticlan, several local ferries, and a couple of jeepneys just to get here.

This made it extra special though as not only is it beautiful, but there was nobody else on the first day that we visited. There aren’t many places left that are this good that doesn’t have crowds of people.

Bonbon Beach is one of the best beaches in the Philippines as it has a long, narrow sandbar that you can walk along that is surrounded by the most incredible clear blue water.

As you would imagine the water is perfect for swimming and cooling down on a hot day and you’ll feel like you are in your own private paradise out here.

The beach is located a short drive from Romblon town center and the easiest way to get out there is to rent a scooter and drive yourself. This will also allow you to go and explore the rest of the island.

You can also get dropped off here on a tricycle if you would prefer not to drive a scooter or you can hire one of the locals to take you here on a boat trip as well as explore some of the other nearby islands.

There are few places we have been that are as amazing as Bonbon Beach and even though it is a lot of effort to get here, the reward of having a beach like this to yourself is worth every second of the journey.

About the writer: Luke, one of the faces behind Wild About BC, is all about finding off-the-beaten-path adventures. He is passionate about photography and documenting all of the beautiful places he has been able to visit. You’ll currently find him exploring the backcountry around Western Canada.

12White Beach, Boracay

White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Picture by Ashley Jansen

One of my favorite beaches in Southeast Asia is White Beach in Boracay, Philippines. Boracay is one of the top tourist spots in the Philippines, known for its scenery and of course, White Beach.

I read numerous times that White Beach was overcrowded and more of a tourist trap to visit. But I also heard that it was one of the most beautiful places in the Philippines, so I decided I needed to see it for myself.

White Beach is the main attraction of the island and is about 4 km (25 miles) long. It’s lined with hotels, shops, and stalls, but not in an overpowering way that some tourist beaches can be.

The ‘beach road’ is for foot traffic only and the sand goes right up to the entrances of boutique hotels.

Boracay is also known for being a little more pricey of an island but I ended up finding a little hostel about a 30-second walk to the beach.

Walking up to the beach for the first time was jaw-dropping. Not only is the water beautiful and the sand white, but there are also mountainous hills that frame the beach.

There are catamaran boats, people offering beach massages, kids playing soccer–you name it.

If I got hungry, I walked to a little stall down the sand. If I got bored, I jumped in a game on the beach.

It has a lot going on but it’s a great place to relax without getting bored. But all these things come second to the view because the landscape was everything!

About the writer: Ashley Jansen is a travel blogger and photographer currently living in South Florida. You can find travel tips, guides, and all things Florida on her blog, jetsetjansen.com

11Anawangin Cove, Zambales

Anawangin Cove, Zambales, Philippines
Picture by Dea Mariano

Anawangin Cove is a crescent-shaped beach located in Zambales, Philippines. It is one of our most favorite beach destinations near Manila.

Just imagine the view of the vast ocean, mountains, pine forest, river, and a sandy beach all in just one frame — you will instantly know why it deserves all the love.

When we think of a beach scene, we normally imagine beaches lined with coconut palm trees. But here in Anawangin Cove, pine trees are present, making it so unique!

There’s a campsite shaded by an army of Agoho pine trees at the beach. No commercialized resorts present, just pure nature.

Aside from swimming and beach-bumming, another best thing to do here is taking a short hike to the hilltop. The view from up there is really stunning!

My tip is to hike during mid-morning (around 9-10 am) when the sun’s angle is high enough so that the beach wouldn’t be covered by the shadow of the mountains and forest.

Mid-day if you can endure the sun’s scorching heat. If you will hike in the afternoon, just make sure to climb down before it gets dark.

Getting here involves a 3-hour land journey from Manila, and a 20-minute boat ride to the beach. If you don’t want to make this journey in one single trip, you can always stay overnight at one of the beach resorts near Manila.

It’s not an island, but it’s surrounded by mountains making it inaccessible directly by land travel. Some mountaineers take a 5-hour hike on the mountains to get to the beach.

About the writer: Dea Mariano is a traveler, foodie, and electronics engineer based in the Philippines. She writes for her blog Jea Wanders.

A Few of the Best Beaches in Malaysia

10Juara Beach, Tioman Island

juara beach, tioman island, malaysia
Photo by Sharon

Located on the east coast of Tioman Island, Juara Beach is one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia, especially if you like surfing.

Mountainous Tioman itself is located off the east coast of the southern part of peninsular Malaysia.

It’s a 1.5-2 hour ferry ride here from Mersing to Tekek and then a short car ride up and over mountains on a spectacular jungle road to get to Juara Beach. It certainly felt like I had got away from it all here.

Juara Beach itself is surrounded by jungle and mountains. There are some shops, and a few nice resorts, also eating options as well as a small village lining the beach, but these are low-key and didn’t take away from the feeling that I was surrounded by nature.

During the monsoon season (late October to March), this beach is great for surfing. It’s also popular with rock climbers.

At one end of the beach, there is a turtle hatchery staffed by volunteers who protect sea turtle eggs from poachers and predators. They also work on keeping the beach clean. It’s also possible to volunteer here in return for accommodation and food.

The downside of Juara Beach compared to other parts of Tioman Island is that the diving and snorkeling isn’t as good here so it’s worth traveling to other parts of the island for that.

Mostly though, Juara Beach deserves its place on this list because it is just plain beautiful and I loved hanging out here.

About the writer: Sharon is an Australian who has fallen in love with Malaysia! She loves sharing the best of Malaysia on diveintomalaysia.com

9Monkey Beach, Penang Island

Monkey Beach, Penang, Malaysia
Photo by Nate Hake

Teluk Duyung, popularly known as Monkey Beach, is a secluded beach located inside Penang National Park, Malaysia.

And since it’s a little challenging to get to, I got to peacefully enjoy my stay there, relaxing while drinking at one of Monkey Beach’s shack bars, without the hustle and bustle of your typical beach crowd.

It’s definitely what sets it apart from the many other popular attractions in Penang.

The downside to Monkey Beach? Well, it’s a little hard to reach (but, hey, that’s why it’s so peaceful!). You can’t drive to get there, but there are two alternative options to choose from.

Tip: Protect your feet by bringing water shoes for rocky beaches.

Either you take a boat from the entrance to the national park (costs around RM 50 per boat) if you’d like to save time and have enough energy once you get to the beach, or brave the 1.5-2 hour hike through the jungle (if you’re up for the challenge) to reach the beach.

I’ll be honest: I was in a rush to relax and a little lazy during my visit, so I opted for the boat option!

To make the most out of your visit to Monkey Beach, be sure to walk the full length of the beach to explore its beautiful white sands, and check out the adjoining jungle to see the different wildlife that is native to this area—squirrels, turtles, unique birds, and crab-eating monkeys (which is probably why the beach is named after these creatures).

Fair warning though: don’t feed the monkeys. There are even very basic huts that you can rent if you decide to stay overnight. Whatever you do, add Monkey Beach to your Penang itinerary as it will make a great nature break from the hustle and bustle of the city!

About the writer: Nate Hake writes at TravelLemming.com, a travel site focused on highlighting emerging destinations around the world as alternatives to the famous overtouristed sites.

8Qimi Bay, Kapas

Qimi Bay, Kapas Island, Malaysia
Picture by Amelie Gagne

Located just 20 minutes by boat from Marang on the east side of peninsular Malaysia, I fell in love with the tiny roadless Kapas island, and more particularly with Qimi Bay.

A quiet, unspoiled gorgeous strip of coastline comprising four or five beaches that can be easily walked in under half an hour, Kapas is a place where time stands still, and trust me when I say you’ll want to stay for a while.

There’s hardly any phone reception on the island which I saw as a huge bonus. Just bring a good book, sit back, and relax.

Despite the abundance of local day-trippers, the beaches on Kapas are relatively empty and perfect for lounging. The water is clear and refreshing, and the snorkeling on Kapas is amazing – especially around the northern end of Qimi Bay.

Another feature of Kapas Island is the abundance of coconuts that oddly enough aren’t being picked.

If you’re loco like me and travel with a big ass knife, you’ll be well served on Kapas Island as you can pick and cut open an endless amount of free coconuts, young and old.

And speaking of fruits, there isn’t any shop selling them on the island, so I recommend stocking up at the Marang fresh market that is conveniently located right by the jetty before you leave.

About the writer: Amélie is a Canadian blogger based in Berlin, Germany. Her blog – https://mostlyamelie.com/ – revolves around the themes of wellness, travel, eco-lifestyle, veganism, and yoga, as well as life as an expat in Berlin.

A Few of the Best Beaches in Singapore

7Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island

Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore
Picture by Kenny Chow

Palawan Beach is located on Sentosa, a tropical island off the southern coast of Singapore. The island is a popular vacation destination and it’s not only a favorite to tourists but also the locals.

Palawan Beach is separated from Singapore’s mainland and it can be reached by taking a taxi, a cable car, a monorail, or on foot via a pedestrian boardwalk to Sentosa, and then take a pleasant walk to the south coast.

Among the three main beaches on Sentosa, Palawan Beach is the most well-known and also the most active and alive. It is the largest beach on the island with lots of bars and diners in the cluster.

Explore the suspension bridge to an island outlet that claims to be Asia’s closest point to the equator. This is also a great photo-taking spot to create photos for your Instagram.

If you still looking for something fun, there is no lack of activities that active travelers can do – the iFly indoor Skydiving, surfing schools, and ziplines are all nearby Palawan Beach.

There is an exciting range of outdoor activities and nature in Singapore and Palawan Beach is a good place to start.

You should visit the island between December and May, as is the best time to visit.

About the writer: Kenny Chow, founder of knycxjourneying.com

6Tanjong Beach, Sentosa Island

tanjong beach, senosa island, singapore

Tanjong Beach is a man-made beach on the island of Sentosa in Singapore. It’s important to note Sentosa Island Charges a fee of up to $4 USD to enter, except for walking, which is free.

The island offers trams that allow you to get around very easily. Tanjong beach has a very relaxed atmosphere, with very few organized activities.

This is the perfect beach for families, where kids can build sandcastles, snorkel, and more. Tanjong beach takes a romantic turn in the evening, with the lights from the passing ships setting the mood.

See also: Best Beaches in Singapore

There is only one bar on the Tanjong beach that offers an outdoor jacuzzi and an all-day menu. The beach does not have a lot of shade available, so you want to plan ahead, bringing your own umbrella.

You will also want to make sure you pack your own water, as the only place that sells water nearby is the beach bar, which like all bars charges a premium for non-alcoholic drinks.

If you are looking for nightlife, Tanjong Beach is the place for you. Tanjong Beach and the nearby resorts offer some of the most unique and exciting parties.

Of note is the world-famous Tanjong Beach Club, which offers free entry, except for special events, with reasonable drinks and great music to cut loose.

A Few of the Best Beaches in Indonesia

5Turtle Beach, Gili Trawangan

turtle beach, gili trawangan, indonesia
Picture by Victoria Heinz

Gili Trawangan, part of the Gili Islands, is known for its incredible nightlife, laidback lifestyle, and of course its beautiful beaches.

The island is very small so one beach tends to blend into another but an absolute favorite among visitors is the iconic Turtle Beach in the north-east of the island.

With beautiful white sand and crystal clear waters this beach is perfect for a relaxed afternoon of swimming and snorkeling. As the name suggests this is one of the best places in Gili Trawangan to see green sea turtles which swim in the shallow waters.

You can sometimes even spot turtles right from the beach as they graze in the fields of seagrass that are hidden underwater. Simply rent snorkeling equipment somewhere on the beach and try your luck at finding turtles.

Most of the time it will only take a few minutes to spot one if you know where to look. Only a short swim from the beach the water will get deeper and you’ll reach the drop-off.

This is where the sandy ground suddenly disappears into nothingness and you should turn back. Although the neighboring island of Gili Meno looks very close it’s not advisable to attempt to swim there since the currents are strong. Stick to the beach and you’ll be fine.

About the writer: Victoria’s blog guideyourtravel.com focuses on budget-friendly travel with all the best insider tips.

4Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida Island

Atuh Beach, Nusa Penida Island, Indonesia
Picture by Carla Vianna

Atuh Beach is easily one of the most beautiful beaches I visited during my itinerary in Bali. It may not be the easiest beach to get to, but the journey will be worth it.

When I saw the turquoise water crashing against striking rock formations in front of me, I knew I had found a special place in Bali. Atuh Beach is actually located on Nusa Penida, an island off the coast of Bali proper, so you’ll need to take a boat to get there.

Planning a trip to Nusa Penida? Check Bali Packing List

Once you’re on Nusa Penida, you’ll need to rent a motorbike and conquer a pretty bumpy road to get to the beach. But the views and calm seas found in this bay are worth the ride.

Another great thing about Atuh Beach is that it’s easier to reach than other Nusa Penida beaches. Unlike Kelingking beach or Diamond beach nearby, the hike down to the beach is short and well maintained.

You can get down to the beach from stairs on both the left or right sides of the bay. Once you’re there, you’ll find a few vendors on the beach selling coconuts, beer, and other snacks.

My best advice is to take a fast boat from Bali and spend a couple of days exploring all that Nusa Penida has to offer.

Pro tip: Make sure to check the tides before riding out to the beach. The beach isn’t as scenic during low tide!

About the writer: Carla Vianna, founder of travelbycarlavianna.com

3Nongsa Beach, Batam

Nongsa Beach, Batam, Indonesia
Picture by Jesal Desai

Nongsa Beach, with its pristine white sand and aqua waters, is a famous tourist spot in Batam, Indonesia. It is part of the Riau islands and only a 45 min boat ride from Singapore.

During my 7-day trip to Singapore with my family, we were looking for a quick getaway. That’s when we came across Batam and decided to spend an overnight.

Surrounded by lush greenery, the beach is an ideal spot to spend some quiet time. You can cycle around the Marina and enjoy a joyful ride or walk along the promenade and admire the beauty of the place.

You can also enjoy some sports activities like parasailing and canoeing, or, if you are a golf enthusiast, check the surrounding popular golf fields.

If you love nature don’t hesitate to explore or hike through the jungles.

Pro tip: If you plan to swim be careful as there are no lifeguards available at Nongsa Beach.

About the writer: Jesal Desai, founder of www.touristtotravellers.com 

2Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida Island

Kelingking Beach Nusa Penida
Picture by Krisztina Harsanyi

If you’ve seen at least a few pictures of Bali (and let’s be honest – who haven’t?), chances are high that you already come across the T-Rex shaped beach on Instagram.

This unique beach is called Kelingking Beach and it’s located on Nusa Penida, a 45-minute boat ride away from the main island of Bali.

Although it’s possible to visit Kelingking Beach as an organized day trip from Bali, we decided to stay on the island a bit longer and hired a private driver to show us around.

It was the best decision ever! Since the beach is the main attraction on the tours, it gets crazily crowded during the day but with a private driver, we were able to visit early in the morning before the crowds arrived.

Getting down to the beach is quite a bit of a workout as you need to descend on a very steep stairway in order to reach the white sandy secluded beach.

When we visited at the end of 2018, there were no real stairs, only some hand-made bamboo railings so it was pretty challenging to get down.

Since then, a concrete stairway has been built so it’s a bit easier to get down now, but don’t forget to wear some sturdy shoes anyways!

After you made it down to the beach, you will be rewarded with some beautiful, soft white sand and turquoise water all around you.

Usually, the waves are pretty strong so be careful with swimming but even if you just decide to lay down on the beach, it will be an unforgettable experience!

About the writer: Krisztina Harsanyi from shewandersabroad.com

1Pink Beach, Komodo Island

Pink Beach, Komodo Island, Indonesia
Photo by Jiayi

There’s a famous travel quote that goes, “dreams are made of sand and sunsets”. Well, I’d like to modify that slightly by saying dreams are made of pink sand and sunsets because when I first stepped onto the Pink Beach in Komodo, Indonesia, that’s exactly how I felt.

Pink Beach is one of the most unique and breathtaking places on Komodo Island. The reason the sand there is pink is due to the red pigment produced by microscopic animals in the sand.

While the sand itself is super picturesque, you can also go snorkeling in the water to see some charming fishes swimming around. This beach is also a great place for beginner divers as the waters are quite shallow.

My top tip for visiting Pink Beach is: to bring a drone! You can get some super cool shots of the pink sand and the waters from above.

You can also hike up the hills next to the beach to get a breathtaking view of the shores from the lookout points. I especially recommend doing this during sunset to get the best views.

The easiest way to get to Pink Beach is by boat. From Labuan Bajo, you can join an overnight boat tour of Komodo (which is the easiest way to explore the island).

Most of the boat tours will take you to Pink Beach as it’s one of the most famous sights on the island. Be sure to book a tour at the local tour offices in Labuan Bajo (rather than online) to get the best deals.

About the writer: Jiayi from thediaryofanomad.com


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