The islands of South-east Asia harbour some of the best beaches in Asia, and in fact, most of these beaches have been placed among the top 50 best beaches in the world. The beaches of Asia are not only phenomenal for their sublime landscapes but are also the remarkable spots of international movies. There are many reasons to prepare yourself for nature’s dive and visit some of the best beaches in Asia in summer.
Whether you are looking for a beachside vacation with family and kids, a graduation trip with your clique, a tropical honeymoon beach or feeling landlocked and longing for a break from your busy life, South-east Asian beaches are an ideal destination.
What are you waiting for? Pack your bathing suits, sunglasses, sand tools, and sunscreens to hit the beach. Dive, swim, snorkel and bask in the atmosphere of coastal regions in the summer heat. Get ready to enjoy those walks along the shoreline and catch some rays at the best beaches of Asia.
Below is a list of some of the best beaches in Asia for you to get away from your exciting life for a while and surrender to this tropical bliss.
List of best beaches in Asia
1. Radhanagar beach, Andaman and Nicobar islands
One of the most beautiful beaches of the world, situated on the western coast of Havelock Island, is an eminent part of Andaman and Nicobar chain of islands. The beach is border lined with lush green date palm trees, complementing the white sand and turquoise water scenery.
The tourists here enjoy a majestic elephant ride, often spotted by the beach as there is a separate beach known as Elephant beach at a distance. The captivating sunrise and sunset make for a picturesque view. It is one of the best beaches in Asia for family picnics and other fun activities like swimming, sunbathing, beach walk and basking in the sun surrounded by a green belt.
The dense tropical cover on the beach has an uncanny resemblance to the islands of the movie “Life of Pi”. There are several beaches across the Havelock island, that are vrey charming. These beaches are Kalapathar beach, Vijayanagar beach and Elephant beach.
- How to reach: seaplane, catamaran and government boats from Port Blair can be taken.
- Best time to visit: October to February
- Duration: 2-3 hours
2. Pok Tunggal beach, Indonesia
Remotely located in Gunungkidul, Yogyakarta, Pok Tunggal beach is a tough one to reach but worth the effort. A tropical paradise ideal for families, couples and individuals seeking tranquil setting. It is surrounded by the high coral cliffs challenging the visitors to climb and rejoice the exquisite view. Apart from its white sand and pristine water, it was known for a silhouette of Duras tree on its shore which was destroyed by a storm, a few years back.
Umbrellas in daytime and tents at night can be booked to enjoy singing, dancing and bonfire. Let loose your inner adventure bug at this beach and make invigorating memories.
- How to reach: By public buses from Yogyakarta city and by car it takes 15 minutes from Indrayanti beach.
- Best time to visit: May-June
- Duration: 3-4 hours
- Entry ticket: IDR 10 (1 Indian rupee = 204.93 Indonesian Rupiah)
Also See: 18 Best Beaches in Bali: Beach vacation
3. Lily beach, Maldives
One of the best beaches in south-east Asia for newly wed honeymoon couples, Lily beach, Huvahendhoo, hosts a number of activities and events like candlelight dinner, weddings and celebrations. It offers the best accommodations at premium resorts for families and couples alike.
Clear sky with evenly spread sunshine and crystal clear waters are a delightful sight. The calm waters of the Indian Ocean make the beach experience more pleasant.
The nightlife is full of drinks and fine wine, DJ and music with group games and activities, therefore, take all your documents with you, in case you decide to settle here.
Natural detox drinks, spa and other health activities are common here yet a compelling idea. Don’t forget your yoga mats, fitness-lovers!
- How to reach: a 25-minute journey from TMA terminal to Lily beach via seaplane
- Best time to visit: February and April
- Activities: Night parties, healthy meals at the beachside, snorkeling, diving, fishing, private dining, games and recreational activities.
4. El Nido beach, Philippines
El Nido beach in Palawan serves as a gateway for Bacuit Archipelago. The islands boast a number of caves, lagoons, coral species and some of the best beaches in Asia. El Nido serves as a gateway to Bacuit Archipelago. The beach is a paradise for travellers who are akin to Hawaiian beachside bars and parties. The spellbinding sunset is enjoyed with margaritas and some music.
Explore the hidden coves of El Nido for a while, entrenched by the verdant cover. The time spent here is a perfect natural dose to soothe your body and calm your spirits.
- How to reach: By ferry from Manila
- Best time to visit: April and November or December during Christmas.
- Activities: Snorkeling in lagoons, explore caves, kayaking.
5. Maya Bay, Thailand
Enclosed by high limestone cliffs, it is one of the most famous and best beaches in south-east Asia. What makes it so special is its perfect landscape and appearance in many Hollywood movies like The Beach. It is protected by cliffs on three sides which are hundreds of metres in height.
This bay nestled in Phi Phi island of Thailand, has several beaches, each offering a beautiful view of the horizon. Drinks, snacks and toilets are some of the facilities arranged in the back.
- How to reach: Longtail and speed boats from Phi Phi Don.
- Best time to visit: November and April
- Timing: Morning or after 5 pm (to avoid the crowd)
- Activities: Speedboat, ferry boat and longtail boat riding, scuba diving to experience colourful marine life, snorkeling and camping.
- Entry ticket: Rs.885 for a self visit, Rs.4420 Longtail boat and Rs.13255 for speed boats.
Also See: 8 Best Beaches in Thailand
6. Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam is a house the national park listed as a UNESCO site. It makes up for a fantasy escapade fringed with dazzling white beaches and splashing waves.
One of the best beaches in Asia for families and people seeking a serene setting ingrained between the islets. A natural retreat around the beaches of Phu Quoc Island can heal your soul and impart positive vibe. While you take a walk of self-realization and feel embraced by Mother Nature, you’ll want to capture this scenic view in your eyes as well as your camera.
Hire a guide to help you with the tricky trails of the forests, recommend the best platter options and acquaint yourself with the culture and tradition of the place. Various restaurants, resorts and all differently cooked seafood options could be found on this island to make your visit notable.
- How to reach: Taxi or a domestic flight from Duong Dong (9 km from Long Beach), Superdong ferry from Bai Vong Pier, Rach Gia and Ha Tien or motorbikes (International licence required) and tourist bus services are also available.
- Ticket: Rs.150/person (flight), Rs.60/person (taxi), Rs.89/person (bus), Rs.680/adult and Rs.475/kid (Superboat ferry)
- Best time to visit: December to April
- Things to do: Try all sorts of seafood and local meals, snorkeling, forest adventures, jet-skiing, kayaking and other water sports.
The best beaches of Phu Quoc islands are
- Bai Dai beach: Luxurious resorts, a golf-course and casinos attract tourists to this beach.
- Long beach: 20 km long beach lined with resorts and restaurants, is a spot of tangerine sunset view.
- Sao beach: A busy family beach, resembling an oasis, with breathtaking scenery.
7. Padang Padang beach, Bali, Indonesia
Abode of best beaches in South Asia, fit for honeymoon and get-together vacations, Bali is never out of the game. Padang Padang beach of Bali has enjoyed it’s a fair share of popularity in the Hollywood hit movie, Eat Pray Love. Yes, that’s right, the location where Julia Roberts was seen on her revival journey in India in the movie was this prestigious beach. The coastline with white sands spreading to 110 kilometres, is known among the locals and regular visitors as Labuan Sait beach.
Flanked by white cliffs and facing the Indian ocean, the beach is the best spot for surfers. The high altitude waves definitely make your adrenaline rush, bringing out the surfer in you. A perfect spot to let the surfer loose.
The beautiful sunset with sounds of ocean waves splashing on the coastline is another scintillating view and a reason to extend your visit to the beach.
- How to reach: 21 km from Bali International airport (45 mins drive)
- Best time to visit: April to October
- Parking and visiting ticket: IDR 2,000/bike and IDR 5,000/car while beach entrance ticket is IDR 5 for Indonesians and IDR 10 for foreign visitors. (1 Indian rupee = 204.93 Indonesian Rupiah)
- Activities: Water sports, enjoy local food and fresh coconut water, surfing, wedding photography, build sandcastles, shopping local accessories.
Also See: Scuba Diving in Bali – complete Guide
8. Boracay Island, Philippines
Small Eden on Earth, the width of 1 km and 7km long, Boracay island of West Visayas region, Philippines has everything tropical climate lovers could ask for. Although a tiny island, the island is a home 17 beautiful beaches. In fact, it won’t be wrong to call it the most desirable holiday destination and one of the best beaches in Asia.
Rooftop parties, opulent stay and open to sky lounges are some of the details, youngsters can’t resist on their visit to Boracay. Boracay is a potpourri of best eco-adventure sports, massages and spa, island hopping, mermaid swimming and what not. An assortment of adventures and sport activities for different beaches is why visitors prefer island hopping. There are a wide variety of sports to provide a panoramic view of most of the Philippines archipelago.
Besides its beaches, Ariel’s point, Mount Luho, Motag Living music, Willy’s rock and Catholic Church on White beach are places to visit and get the maximum out of Boracay island.
- How to reach: Rent trikes at Rs.135 from Cagban Jetty Port or scooters and bikes at Rs.1340 per day from the D’mall main road. (Paraw and Banca 30-minute ride costs Rs.1340 for two persons)
- Best time to visit: December and May
- Tickets: Rs 670-2760/person for island tour packages (3-4 hours) and Rs 670-750/person (spa massage)
- Activities: Mermaid swimming, windsurfing, snorkeling, kite surfing, zip-lining, scuba diving, cliff diving, Pawar sailing, candlelight dinners, DJ parties and dance
9. Karma kandara private beach, Bali, Indonesia
Protected by a high fortress of cliffs, Karma Kandara beach in Ungasan, Bali is a hidden gem. Instead of staying far away from this beach, booking at Karma Kandara resort close to the shoreline facing the ocean is a wise option. The resort owners take care of the cleanliness of the beach. Secluded from other tourist spots of Ungasan region, the beach is sure to impress the tourists with the accommodation facilities and serene scenery with calm waters.
One of the compelling features of the beach is visitors can enjoy the sunset and an outdoor movie on the screen with friends. Rental umbrellas are available for sunbathing afternoons. All these facilities are provided by Karma Kandara beach club. The club charges beach ticket inclusive of food and beverages voucher and an elevator facility to get down the cliff and reach the beach.
- How to reach: Hire a taxi, or rent a bike or car from Ubud tourism area. Bike rentals cost Rs 480-500 per day
(Visit Garuda Wisnu Kencana cultural park on the way)
- Best time to visit: October to April
- Entry Fee: Rs 3170 per person, charged by the club.
- Activities: snorkeling, outdoor movies, kids play area.
10. Railay beach, Thailand
Small peninsula in Krabi, Thailand and among the most-sought tourist attraction, Railey beach accounts for one of the best beaches of Asia. The only way to approach the peninsula of 7 beaches is by boat. Railey beaches are known for its quaint geography as it houses white sandy beaches, caves, and lagoons flanked by limestone cliffs.
Separated by limestone Motus and jungle valleys from other parts of Krabi, Railey has no roads, buses, cars etc although it is connected to the mainland. Kayaking and trekking and rock climbing with classes provided for beginners, offers a panoramic and extraordinary view of the peninsula. Volleyball and soccer are the beach sports can be enjoyed at Railay, East beach, Railay West beach, Ton sai and a muddy pool surrounded by cliffs at Phra Nang beach is a fun spot to visit and get captured with friends.
- How to reach: Ferry from Chao Fah Pier, long tail boats from Ao Nang beach, Nam Mao and Noppart Thara
(8:00 am to 6:00pm ticket services open)
- Best time to visit: November to March
- Ticket: Rs.220/person for long tail boats (one way) and Rs.350/person for ferry
11. Ao Nang beach, Thailand
Ao Nang is a small beautiful town in Krabi, Thailand, and its beaches are nothing short of an escapade for a tropical beach vacation. Paradigm of coastal influence, Ao Nang is the best destination in Krabi for a luxurious and affordable beach holiday. Ranking among 50 best beaches in Asia, Ao Nang has an array of luxury and services ranging from local or international cuisines to party and nightlife. You can enjoy the here alone, with family or gang at any time of the day.
Ao Nang is a plethora of beaches that can be reached within 30 minutes by taking a stroll along the coastline. Some of the significant beaches of Ao Nang group are Koh Hong, Kon Poda and Koh Top, featuring affordable accommodation and stays with a touch of beachside luxury. When enjoying your time at Ao Nang island, don’t forget to visit the Tree Top Adventure Park in proximity.
- How to reach: a 20-minute drive from Krabi town and 30-minute water-ride from Railay beach
- Best time to visit: October
12. Fulhadoo beach, Maldives
Located in the northwest region of Male, Maldives, in proximity to a small village of 250 inhabitants, lies the tranquil Fulhadhoo beach with calm waters. It is something different from a typical coastal setting with splashing tides and bustling crowds. It is rather calm and peaceful holiday spot among the best beaches in Asia. For tourists and local people looking for weekend getaways; this beach is recreational therapy.
As the remotely situated island is long and less in width, the breeze makes their way into the coconut palms trees, as they rise from the turquoise lagoons; thereby, leaving a cooling effect.
- How to reach: Two-hour boat or ferry trip from the Velana International Airport.
- Best time to visit: July to October
- Activities: Sunbathing, beach volleyball, water sports, fishing, snorkeling, free diving to explore the marine life beneath.
13. Butterfly beach, Goa, India
The hidden gem resting in the tiny state of beaches is the Butterfly beach. As the name suggests, the semi-circular landscape with crystal clear tidal pools is a blissful sight with striking views. This beach in Goa is a paradise for butterfly admirers and marine life lovers. Colourful clusters of butterflies rising from the blossoms of the green cover seem as if sprinkled across the white sandy beach.
Apart from butterflies, dolphins in a playful mood, sea urchins, crabs and goldfishes lying at the seashore definitely make one feel like a dream holiday at the beach.
Ideal for romantic dates and couple holidays.
- How to reach: Boat ride from the famous and easily accessible Palolem and Agonda beach
- Best time to visit: November-March
- Activities: Canoe riding, beach walks, sunbathing, rock climbing, trekking in the thick forest trails and boat riding.
These are some of the most compelling and best beaches in Asia you should definitely mark in your itinerary when traveling to South-east Asia. In fact, why wait? Skedaddle with your beach kit and the gang right now because you’ll never find it on a schedule to experience the enthralling beauty of nature.
No matter how far you travel, where your heart feels peaceful and calm, you are always home. And what’s better than walking through beaches, a candle-light dinner with your better half or having the time of your life with friends on an isolated island and feeling the drizzle of splashing waves on your skin. Pack your bags, book that flight and make your way to the quintessential beaches of Asia.