Southeast Asia is becoming a top travel destination, and it’s mostly thanks to its beaches. Whether you’re looking for a last-minute travel destination or planning your next summer getaway, here are some destinations you should consider:
Condé Nast ranks Siargao as the best island in Asia for 2019, adding a new Philippine destination outside of the well-known Boracay and Palawan beaches. Such recognition means it’s only a matter of time before Siargao gets jam-packed with people from all over. Surfers should definitely take note of this teardrop-shaped island, as Siargao is home to stunning breaks, particularly the wave haven that is Cloud 9. There are top-notch surf schools all across the island, too, for those who want to take advantage of learning a new skill amidst breathtaking views.
Bali may be overrun with tourists, but there’s still a few tricks that this island has up its sleeve. Pasut Beach, in particular, is a black sand beach surrounded by hundreds of palm trees. In fact, many locals and visitors alike like to climb the trees just to marvel at the colorful sunset. Pasut Beach is also one of the few beaches where people are allowed to ride their scooters on the coastline, so keep that in mind if you’re planning on relaxing with a book.
Any list on Southeast Asia must include Thailand, a popular beach destination for locals, tourists, and expats alike. Phuket and Koh Phangan are well known, but Railay Beach is starting to have its moment in the spotlight. The Railey peninsula is only accessible by boat (it takes 15 minutes from Ao Nang), which means that you’ll get an idyllic escape without the crowds. Railay also has great hiking trails and climbing cliffs for the thrill-seekers out there! Don’t forget to consult this Triptipedia guide before you travel, especially the bit about learning Thai phrases — it’ll make your interactions with the locals that much memorable.
Cambodia’s beaches remain relatively untouched, running in line with the natural scenery we’ve come to associate with the country’s many temples. Koh Rong Island, where Long Beach is located, is Cambodia’s largest island. It is also arguably the best of the island’s 28 beaches with powdery white sand and crystal waters everywhere you look. The sand stretches seven kilometers long, providing a much-needed avenue for those who want to spend a day just lounging around. There are resorts sprinkled around Long Beach, but the rest of it remains untouched and pristine.
Sipadan is a world-class diving site that’s been hailed by explorer Jacques Costeau for its great biodiversity and gorgeous scenery. The barracuda schools are the main attraction, and on a lucky day you may find yourself surrounded by a vortex of barracudas all around you! Even beginner divers can take part in Sipadan’s glory. Stingy Nomads assures that an open-water certification is enough for you to see all the sights that the island has hidden down below. The wealth of resorts on the island also means that you can take a break from diving and just enjoy the view.