Top 5 Islands In Asia For Your Next Beach Holiday

Asia boasts some of the most stunning islands in the world, offering pristine beaches, crystal-clear waters, and a wealth of natural beauty and cultural charm
Aerial view of Patong Beach and Phuket skyline
Aerial view of Patong Beach and Phuket skylineJitti Narksompong/Shutterstock

From striking turquoise waters and beaches to vibrant marine life, islands in Asia provide a perfect getaway for a relaxing vacation in the sun. Whether exploring hidden coves, indulging in water sports, or simply basking in the sun-kissed surroundings, they are a true haven for beach lovers and nature enthusiasts alike. Take a look at the top islands to explore in Asia.

Phuket, Thailand

Famous for its beautiful beaches, nightlife, and wide range of activities, Phuket is a well-known island in Thailand. While some areas on the west coast, such as Patong Beach, can be crowded and bustling, the island's quieter corners offer a more relaxed experience. Cape Panwa, located on the southeastern tip of Phuket, is one such area that provides a break from touristy noise. It's known for its picturesque coastline, stunning views, and luxury accommodations.

Things To Do

Enjoy your stay at beaches like Patong, Kata, and Nai Harn for sunbathing, swimming, and water sports. Explore the vibrant nightlife in Patong, or relax at luxurious spas and wellness retreats. Boating at the Phi Phi Islands is another favourite tourist activity. Swimmers can go snorkelling or diving in the crystal-clear waters. Visit cultural landmarks such as the Big Buddha and Wat Chalong temple. Indulge in delicious Thai cuisine at local markets or upscale restaurants.

Langkawi, Malaysia

Magnificent scenery of the Kilim Geoforest Park in Langkawi, Malaysia
Magnificent scenery of the Kilim Geoforest Park in Langkawi, MalaysiaH-AB Photography/Shutterstock

Situated along the northwestern coast of Malaysia, the Langkawi archipelago is renowned for its beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and verdant mountains. Sky Bridge is another prominent attraction in the area. Comprising 99 islands, Langkawi is also a paradise for food enthusiasts. From delectable spicy peanut satay skewers to refreshing macheted coconuts, these culinary delights are sold at various establishments, ranging from upscale hotels to humble sidewalk stands.

Things To Do

Discover marine life by taking a boat tour or visiting the famous Pulau Payar Marine Park. Take a cable car ride to the Langkawi Sky Bridge for Polaroid views. Explore the lush mangrove forests by boat cruising through the Kilim Geoforest Park. Visit iconic landmarks such as Eagle Square and the Mahsuri Tomb. Enjoy shopping at local markets and enjoy regional cuisines.

Koh Samui, Thailand

The white sands of  Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, Thailand
The white sands of Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui, ThailandRachenArt/Shutterstock

Koh Samui is Thailand's second-largest island after Phuket and is known for its palm-fringed beaches, vibrant nightlife, and upscale hotels. Its most visited beach is the beautiful five-mile Chaweng Beach, adorned with coconut trees and surrounded by a natural reef. The beach is a perfect spot for sunbathing and enjoying the view of crystal-clear waters. Besides, the beach is also known for its lively party scene, making it a hit among tourists seeking to experience the buzzing nightlife of the island.

Things To Do

Start by exploring beaches like Chaweng, Lamai, and Bophut, where you can sunbathe, swim in turquoise waters and engage in thrilling water sports. Visit the iconic Big Buddha, a majestic golden statue that overlooks the island, or explore the enchanting Na Muang Waterfalls with cascading streams and lush surroundings.

Take a boat trip to Ang Thong Marine Park, a breathtaking archipelago of 42 islands known for emerald lagoons and limestone cliffs. Delve into the local culture at the Fisherman's Village in Bophut, where you can stroll through quaint streets filled with shops, restaurants, and lively markets. One can also get spa treatments or engage in yoga retreats on the island. And if you are a party enthusiast, there are plenty of bars, clubs and beach parties to enjoy here.

Bali, Indonesia

This popular tourist destination offers an exceptional blend of surfing and spirituality. Its world-class surfing breaks and spiritual practices like yoga and meditation make it a desirable destination for tourists. Though the island has been burdened with over-tourism lately, there are still many unexplored gems for those willing to travel the island beyond its popular spots. While it's true that iconic ancient Hindu temples and tropical views often attract a large number of tourists to Bali, it shouldn't discourage you from discovering the island's cultural treasures. Sites like the cliffside Uluwatu Temple and the sacred pools of Tirta Empul retain their enchanting allure and are one of the emerging destinations offering off-the-beaten-path experiences.

Things To Do

Begin by exploring the temples, such as Uluwatu Temple and Tanah Lot, perched on stunning coastal cliffs. Visit the Sacred Monkey Forest Sanctuary, explore traditional art markets, and watch captivating Balinese dance performances. Enjoy world-class surfing breaks in areas like Uluwatu and Canggu, or relax on the pristine beaches of Nusa Dua or Seminyak. Try water activities like snorkelling or diving. Do binge on the local cuisine like Nasi Ayam, fish head soup.

Boracay, Philippines

The white sand beaches of Boracay island in Philippines
The white sand beaches of Boracay island in PhilippinesAleksandar Todorovic/Shutterstock

Boracay, a small island in the Philippines spanning less than four square miles, has transformed remarkably from a hidden gem to a heavily visited destination over a few tumultuous decades. In 2018, the island was temporarily closed for essential redevelopment and rehabilitation. However, due to its stunning sugary sand beaches, enchanting sunsets, and turquoise waters, it's evident that Boracay's popularity is unlikely to diminish anytime soon. Despite its challenges with over-tourism, the island's natural beauty continues to captivate travellers and allure them to its shores.

Things To Do

White Beach, known for its powdery white sand, is a favourite hotspot. Head to Mount Luho, the tallest peak in Boracay. Find seashells at Puka Shell Beach. Take a boat tour to explore nearby islands like Crystal Cove Island and Crocodile Island, where you can snorkel among colourful coral reefs. Visit the stunning Ariel's Point, a cliff-diving spot perfect for adventure enthusiasts. Try the island's seafood and Filipino cuisine at the local restaurants.

Outlook Traveller