Everyone has their own idea of what a beach holiday should entail. Some want loud parties and fun in the sun; others are searching for quiet isolation. Whatever you’re looking for, you can find it in Asia. Get ready to pack your bags as we’ve put together a list of our favourite Asian beaches to help you pick your destination.
The seaside resort of Kuta is the busiest place on the island of Bali, and here you can sunbathe on the golden beaches by day and dance your cares away at night. The key here is having a good time – and for young people who like to party, the only place to be is Kuta. Accommodation here caters for all tastes, from cheap hostels to designer hotels.
Patong is Phuket’s main tourist spot, and the beach is lined with resorts and hotels catering to the many visitors who come to swim, snorkel and sunbathe. When the sun sets, there is a bustling night market and vibrant nightlife centred around Bangla Road.
Chaweng Beach is one of Koh Samui’s most popular resort areas. The 5km stretch boasts white sandy beaches, a vibrant nightlife and plenty of opportunities for swimming, snorkelling or simply relaxing on the beach. Located on the north-eastern tip of the island, it stretches south to the scenic Coral Cove.
The famous Phi Phi Islands are just a 40-minute boat ride from Phuket Island and here you can see Maya Bay, where The Beach starring Leonardo DiCaprio was filmed. From there, head on to the Viking Cave, with its dramatic limestone structures and cave used for harvesting the lucrative sea swallow nests, used to make bird’s nest soup in Chinese delicacies.
Mirissa Beach is a small and beautiful beach located at the most southern tip of Sri Lanka. In this relaxing hideaway, you can laze around all day drinking beer and eating freshly-caught red snapper. From November to April, whale watching is the top attraction here.
El Nido has everything holidaymakers might want from a beach, and then some. On top of the sandy shores and crystal-clear blue waters, visitors to Palawan in the western Philippines can also explore waterfalls, prehistoric caves and admire some 50 species of coral. The lagoons and limestone formations create a breathtaking backdrop to a relaxing break.
The city state of Singapore may not be renowned for being a pristine tropical paradise, but Sentosa Island is keeping up with the competition when it comes to lively, fun beaches. Siloso Beach is a family-friendly day out, with attractions such as the historical Fort Siloso, and is also home to Singapore’s biggest annual rave party ZoukOut.
Palolem Beach in south Goa is a picture-perfect, semicircle beach flanked by coconut palms on one side and the glistening blue sea on the other. Located in the region of Canacona, the beach provided the setting for the opening scenes of the 2004 film The Bourne Supremacy.
Nha Trang may be one of Vietnam’s main seaside attractions, but these perfect white sandy beaches are still relatively unknown and extremely underrated by overseas visitors. Located along the coast of central Vietnam, Nha Trang has a range of five-star resorts and is a popular choice with fans of scuba diving, theme parks and those in search of an exciting nightlife scene.
Redang Island, off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, is an unspoilt and quiet island, which is a favourite for diving, snorkelling and wildlife-watching. The Teluk Siang Bay is one of the most picturesque on the island, where you can expect to enjoy a great deal of privacy in the sun and are more likely to run into a turtle than an islander.