Hikkaduwa, Sri Lanka
Situated in a coastal town in the south of Sri Lanka, this beach is famed for its snorkelling and diving potential thanks to a nearby coral sanctuary as well as four different shipwrecks to explore further out at sea. The waves here are also suitable for surfing – just make sure to come during the dry season between November and March for the best conditions.
Hyeopjae Beach, Jeju Island, South Korea
Just off the coast of South Korea, Jeju Island is known as Korea’s Hawaii thanks to its scenic national parks, trails, and gardens in the shadow of the Hallasan Volcano and surrounding mountains—all just a short plane ride from Seoul. Offering watersports as well as barbecues on the sand, Hyeopjae Beach is located near the cultural delights of Jeju Contemporary Art Museum as well as the enticing street food stalls near Hyeopjae.
Datai Bay, Langkawi, Malaysia
Rated by National Geographic as one of the top 10 beaches worldwide, this 1.5km-long beach sits at the northwestern tip of Langkawi Island, facing the azure waters of the Andaman Sea. Beachgoers here can choose between lounging on the beach’s warm, white sands or engaging in a wide variety of watersports on offer, from snorkelling to sailing catamarans.
An easy day trip by boat from nearby Palompon is this thin paradisiacal sandbar jutting out into the sea. Bring a picnic and camping gear for the full experience, or stay in these wooden teepee huts overnight for more dignified beachside accommodation.
Dawan Beach, Taiwan
For a period of time, this beach was closed off to the public and could only be used by guests at the nearby Chateau Hotel. Today, the beach is now open to all, making it a very popular place for a quiet day on the sand. Despite there being a five-star resort neighbouring the beach, it rarely sees large crowds and remains in pristine condition.
Yonehara Beach, Ishigaki, Japan
Just a short direct flight from Hong Kong, Ishigaki is a prime beach lover’s destination thanks to multiple beaches that offer blindingly emerald blue waters to enjoy water sports in. The best beach there is Yonehara Beach, enticing snorkelers and scuba-divers who come to see its white coral reef during the peak season of April to November.
Kelingking Beach, Nusa Penida, Indonesia
Located on the island of Nusa Penida off the southeastern coast of Bali, Kelingking Beach has become known as one of the most stunning beaches in the region. Descending into this beach is a breathtaking experience as you progress from 400 metres above the rugged limestone cliff formations – which have been said to resemble a dinosaur – to the relatively secluded waters of the cove below. Kick back with a fresh coconut once there to take it all in.
Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman & Nicobar Islands
Crystal clear waters and spotless sand justly won this beach the title of Time‘s ‘Best Beach in Asia’ in 2004. The thriving coral formations buck the trend of die-offs elsewhere to the boon of snorkellers, while the relative difficulty in reaching Havelock Island ensures that visitor numbers are kept low for those who make the effort to reap the rewards.
Bai Dai Beach, Phú Quốc Island, Vietnam
Just off Vietnam’s southern coast is Phú Quốc Island, which has been hailed as the next Phuket and is already seeing the entry of major players such as the JW Marriott Phu Quoc Emerald Bay. All the more reason to partake in the slice of paradise that is Bai Dai Beach located in the northwest of the island and far away, where you only have a few fishing boats on the horizon to keep you company.
Phi Phi Islands, Phuket, Thailand
While the world-famous Maya Bay has been closed for two years to restore its natural beauty, Thailand’s Phi Phi Islands offer plenty of other pristine beaches for sun seekers. Moo Dee Bay and Nui Beach are two unbeatable alternatives, both far away enough from the crowds for a sense of seclusion yet close enough to be reached by a quick speedboat ride.
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