Everything about Southeast Asia ticks all the boxes for the sun-loving, from the tropical weather all year round to the ravishing ocean hems. And you’ll love these hideaways for the best of sun, sand and sea.
Lombok is all about easy Indonesian living – even in the city centre, cows and chickens graze, and the water’s edge is never far away. Think Bali, without the swell of tourists. And sometimes with a twist too – like the Pink Beach near Komodo National Park.
NEXT: Mabul Island, Malaysia →
Mabul Island isn’t the most touristy of cities at all – many of its tiny beaches aren’t even named. But they’re beautiful in that raw, unadorned sort of way. White sand beaches are dotted by the boats of local fishermen, thatched huts upon clear waters, and spectacular sea critters beneath.
NEXT: Phu Quoc, Vietnam →
While Phu Quoc is rapidly being developed as a sun-seeker’s destination, it’s yet to be excessively tourist-trodden. Here, most resorts hold their own with pristine private beaches; beyond, there’s plenty of exploration to do. The daytime is good for discovering naturesque spots like the Suoi Tranh Waterfall, while the sleepy streets come alive at night when the Dinh Cau Night Market gets going.
NEXT: Boracay, Philippines →
Even if you haven’t been, surely you’ve seen or heard about the azure waters of Boracay. Still, nothing beats actually dipping your feet into the waters for yourself. This popular tourist destination – as such for good reason – not only boasts dreamy beaches, but also energizing nightlife, watersports, and more.
NEXT: Koh Samui, Thailand →
Although slightly harder to reach than, say, Phuket or Krabi, this Thai gem is certainly not hard to love. It’s practically made for tourists – nicely manicured beaches are lined with primed coconut trees, beach bars, family-run seafood restaurants and dive shops. Want the luxe life? They’ve got luxurious spas, international cuisines, and more.
NEXT: Pacitan, Indonesia →
Locals love Pacitan’s beaches for their glorious waves, making this a surfer’s paradise. Here to lounge? Marvel at the unspoilt beauty and unadulterated idyll from the comfort of the powder-soft sand back on shore.
NEXT: Phuket, Thailand →
It’s true: Phuket is super touristy. But it’s not necessarily a bad thing, especially if you like the luxury of convenience. When you’ve had your dose of sand and sea, many Thai eateries have English menus and dishes tailored for an international palate, tourist streets are lined with massage parlours, or have friendly tuk-tuk drivers share their city with you as they take you back to your resort.
NEXT: Rabbit Island, Cambodia →
First, let’s get this out of the way: It’s not an island filled with rabbits – Koh Tonsay is so nicknamed simply for its rabbit-shaped outline. But hold the disappointment – you’ll love this paradisaical island’s wavy coastline, which grants you excellent vantage points to view the horizon from every angle while you lounge by the vast beaches.
NEXT: Langkawi, Malaysia →
Hop across this archipelago of 99 islands to find lush greenery in clusters amongst jewel blue waters. Why it’s special: The island’s outstanding geological landscapes, from ancient rainforests to magnificently tiered waterfalls, even made it a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
NEXT: Koh Rong, Cambodia →
Over 43 metres of coastline frame this beach paradise that is Koh Rong, which means you’ll discover secret pocket-sized beaches with a little bit of brave exploration. Perfect for the seclusion-seeking who’s happy to spend lazy afternoons serenaded by gentle ocean waves.
NEXT: Lombok, Indonesia →
By Pinky Chng / Updated by Melodi Ghui, July 2019
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