By Miles with Smiles, Kolkata
Southeast Asia is a paradise for tourists and the beach destinations there are especially popular with tourists from India. In this Snapshot Touriosity has listed the top 25 beaches across various countries in the Southeast Asia.
1. Maya Bay, Phi Phi islands, Thailand
This stunningly beautiful bay, enclosed on three sides by 100 metre high cliffs, has been one of the main tourist attractions in Phi Phi since the release of the blockbuster Hollywood movie The Beach, starring Leonardo Di Caprio in 2000. The main beach is about 200 metres long with silky soft white sands, colourful coral, exotic fish and exceptionally clear waters. The best time to visit Maya Bay is when the seas are calm and access to the bay is easy between November and April. May to October gets rough seas but access is rarely a problem. However, due to it being a popular tourist attraction, the place tends to get crowded as you will see lots of boats ferrying visitors in and out of the bay and lots of speedboats and long tail boats and ferry boats carrying snorkelers and visitors. One must visit early in the morning or at evening to avoid the crowds.
2. Padang Padang Beach, Bukit, Bali, Indonesia
Locally known as Pantai Labuan Sait, Padang Padang beach is located in the north-western coast of the Bukit Peninsula and just a kilometer south-west of the Antara Bali Uluwatu. This beach features a stunningly exotic one hundred meter long stretch of sand that is accessible down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance. It is a popular surfing spot as well, attracting surfers from all over the world. It is a regular spot for International surfing events among which the Rip Curl Padang Padang is the most frequent. This region has developed in the recent years and is now lined with shops, surf lodges and western style cafes targeting the surfing crowd. This beach was even featured as a romantic setting in the 2010 big screen adaptation of ‘Eat, Pray, Love’.
3. Lazy Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia
The lazy beach is a quiet small but one of the most beautiful golden sandy beaches with clear blue water and is located in Koh Rong Island, Cambodia. The beach is kept scrupulously clean with limited accommodation and access. Here, the sands are silky smooth and the blue water glistens in the sun with a tropical forest surrounding the beautiful bay. The tranquil atmosphere that lazy beach creates is quiet, laid-back and relaxing. The calm sea offers safe swimming and fantastic snorkeling opportunities. In the lazy beach the sunsets and the evenings are absolutely stunning and you can enjoy your personal time as this beach is far from the crowds. The lazy beach is among the few truly private beaches left in the world.
4. Tub Kaek Beach, Krabi, Thailand
Tub Kaek Beach is located at the Krabi province in Thailand. It is one of the quietest and prettiest beaches in Krabi. Tub Kaek Beach is also known as Krabi’s low key gem. The beach is surrounded by a dense forest and rocky islands. It is a natural green paradise beyond the shore with a stunning skyline and a beautiful sunset. Tub Kaek Beach has its own unique beauty and charm which gives you the feeling of being in a private beach. As, the coast is rocky, it’s not really ideal for swimming. The beach has a few world class resorts where you can enjoy the views of the jungle. It offers you an ethereally beautiful place with powdery white sand and shallow water. In short, it is a cocktail of privacy, tranquility and picturesque beauty.
5. Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Kuta Beach is located at Bali in Indonesia. It is among the most famous places visited by the tourists in Bali. It is also located very near to the international airport making access very easy. Kuta beach offers you Indonesia’s signature white sands, crashing waves, romantic walks and a relaxing spot. The beach is regarded as the number one sunset site in Bali. A large number of people gather at the Kuta beach at late afternoon to watch the spectacular sunset. Some of the most popular resorts in the Bali and beach side cafes are located here which offer fresh sea foods to visitors. The white sands of the Kuta beach continue to attracts visitors every year with its unique charm making the beach a destination which is in the bucket list of every traveller globally.
6. Palawan Beach, Sentosa Island, Singapore
If you’re looking a happy family-friendly getaway, Palawan Beach in Sentosa island, Singapore is the perfect place for you. A suspension bridge links travellers to the southernmost point of Continental Asia and offers many interesting shops and eateries which appeal to travelers of all ages. The Palawan Pirate Ship waterground is an absolute favourite for children or if you’re looking for a nice adventure you can cross the rope bridge that connects to the islet that forms the southernmost part of continental Asia. One must not forget to visit the Bora Bora Beach Bar if one is looking to spend a good time enjoying a drink over jazz music. There is also the Palawan amphitheatre hosting an awesome show of displays by monkeys, reptiles and parrots.
7. Changi Beach, Singapore
Changi Beach is one the oldest coastal parks in Singapore, located at the northern tip of Changi in eastern Singapore. It still retains the ‘kampong’ or village atmosphere from the 1960s and 70s. You will not find many tourists here as it is more popular among the locals who come here for family picnics or for fishing. It has pristine white beaches filled with coconut trees and is a great place for swimming and barbecues. The SAF Changi Ferry Terminal on the eastern end of the park gives you a marvelous view of sunrise and sunsets that can be viewed from Changi Point. If you’re looking for some delicious seafood, you may visit the Bistro@Changi or go to the Changi Village for other options.
8. Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Very few places in the world are as wondrous as Pink Beach, which gets its unique colour from microscopic organisms called Foraminifera which form the red pigment of the coral reefs. When pieces of coral combine with the white sand it creates a pink hue which is clearly visible. The coral reef itself is one of the many attractions of this place offering a variety of colourful species, making this beach an ideal spot for snorkeling and diving. The Komodo National Park itself is home to 2500 Komodo dragons. The best time to visit would be between April and June right after the rainy season. September to November also works due to the moderate weather and the whale and manta season.
9. Sunrise Beach, Thailand
Sunrise beach, or Hat Chao Ley as it is known to the locals is a beautiful spot for watching the most amazing sunrise in Thailand. The beautiful white sandy beach, clear blue water and a variety of exotic marine life makes this the perfect getaway. You can try snorkeling right off the beach and see the beautiful aquatic life which will surely leave you in awe. It is a niche spot for travelers and the best time to visit would be between November and April if you’re looking to find more fellow travelers and between May and October if you’re looking for a quiet time away from the crowd. Bungalows and accommodations are spread out over the area although you will find plenty of resorts and hotels that have sprung up in the recent years.
10. Phra Nang Beach, Rai Leh, Thailand
Phra Nang Beach is located in the southern part of Railey peninsula in Thailand. The beach is 450 meters long and it is reachable in a mere 20 minutes by a long-tail boat directly from Ao Nang. Phra Nang Beach is so serene that you can just lie there and soak in the sun. The beach is hemmed by high cliffs. Be blown away by the sheer beauty of the landscape. Right by the beach you can find a limestone cave which features an extremely unusual shrine. This cave is dedicated to an ancient fertility goddess. Inside the cave there is a collection of strange phallic symbols, offering and objects. Local fishermen still leave offerings here although it is now becoming more of a tourist attraction. Apart from this there are caves here and if you are adventurous enough it is possible to hike to the top of the headland and get a spectacular view of the entire area. Swimming and snorkeling can be also enjoyed in this white sand beach.
11. Otres Beach, Sihanoukville, Cambodia
Otres Beach is located at Sihanoukville in Cambodia. This beach is famous for its long stretch of clean white sand making it a great spot for sun bathing and exploring. Otres beach actually split into two different areas - Otres 1 and Otres 2. Beach shacks and guesthouses are mainly there in Otres 1 area and in Otres 2 there is a long, tranquil beach, pleasantly free from crowds. It is said that Otres beach is the quietest beach in Sihanoukville, so this beach is the best place if you want to relax and get away from the hustle and bustle of the city. Otres beach has its own charm, which is different from the other beaches in Sihanoukville. This crescent white sand beach is a must visit in Sihanoukville, Cambodia.
12. Hon Chong Beach, Nha Trang, Vietnam
Hon Chong Beach is located in the sand hill of Nha Trang in Vietnam. If you are looking to get away from the hassle and noise, this beach is a very peaceful and tranquil place to visit. The strange thing here is the attractive large boulders stacked together for decades and till date these cannot be moved either by waves or by rain and winds. These boulders have combined to form such an imbalanced position that they shock anyone who glances at them for the first time. The large cliffs in Hon Chong Beach offer exotic views of the mountain coastline. Scenic Hon Chong is considered to be one of the most beautiful bays with smooth sand and gentle blue water. This beach has also grabbed the attention of the tourists for many rumours and interesting folktales. It is said that a giant fish had embedded his palm in the rock with five fingers on the large rock located on the top edge of Hon Chong. Hence, this mysterious beach is a must visit destination.
13. Long Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Long Beach is located at the Phu Quoc Island in Thailand. It is 20 km long coastal area with resorts, beachfront restaurants, cafes and bars. Long beach is relatively pristine with plenty of palm trees, soft sands and a breath-taking sunset view. Here, the cool breeze rolls in off the ocean and welcomes the swimmers and sunbathers. Long beach is divided into the Northern and Southern ends. North Long Beach is the older and the most dense area of Phu Quoc and it is where one will find affordable resorts, hotels etc. The South Long Beach is the newer one. It is where most of the island’s premium beach resorts and villas are located. There is also a backpacker’s area within the long beach known as Long Beach Village. In this part of the beach you will find many bars, shops, motor bike rentals etc. No other part of the Phu Quoc Island can rival the Long Beach for its classic beach beauty.
14. Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam
Vietnam is a country with hidden treasures. Mui Ne is located at the south eastern side of Vietnam. Mui Ne is Phan Thiet’s most prominent coastal resort area, spanning 15 kilometers of sandy beaches that are lined with an array of dining and shopping venues as well as luxurious beachfront resorts. The supermarket is nearby, so one can buy great fresh seafood. For those who want to experience the daily life of the local people, the northern end of Mui Ne Bay should be visited. There one finds a traditional fishing village which also offers a marvelous view of the coastline lined with swaying palm trees and colourful fishing boats moored on the water. Here, visitors can enjoy the last few moments of the day and witness the beauty of the spectacular sunset. The sunset view is truly mesmerising and worth all the effort in reaching there in time as the sun disappears very quickly.
15. Juara Beach, Tioman Island, Malaysia
Juara Beach is located in Pulau Tioman or the Tioman Island in Malaysia. Juara is a small beach, a hidden gem on the east side of the island. This beach is regarded as the best beach of Tioman Island. With beautiful golden sand, Juara Beach has some small hills and a lagoon on the southern part of it. The warm sea here is teeming with coral reefs and is thus a paradise for adventure tourists who want to go for scuba diving and snorkelling. There is also a hatchery for sea turtles that land in this beach. Juara beach is the perfect place to relax, soak up the sun rays with spectacular views. It is little difficult to get into this beach and is the reason the beach is not as popular or busy like the other beaches on this island. This is the place where you can relax in blissful peace and quiet.
16. Pantai Cenang Beach, Langkawi, Malaysia
Pantai Cenang Beach is located at Langkawi Island in Malaysia. This magnificent sandy beach is 2 km long and the most popular public beach both for tourists and locals. Pantai Cenang Beach, with its gentle curve, is by far the most pristine beach in the whole of Malaysia. It offers a spectacular view of the ocean as well as of islands close by. One of the reasons why this beach is so famous is because of its soft sands. It is lined with coconut trees and the calm water is suitable for swimming. One can find all kinds of water sport activities in this beach. Pantai Cenang Beach is said to be the busiest beach in Langkawi Island. It has a series of cafes and restaurants as well as souvenir shops. A wide range of hotels and resorts are also available here in this beach. The beach is a famous spot for sunbathers and it is also well known for its fantastic sunset view. So, this beach is a great place to go with one’s family.
17. Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand
Haad Rin Beach is popularly known as the ‘full moon beach’. The beach is located at the east coast of the Koh Phangan Island. It offers probably the whitest and finest sands that you have ever seen. The water here is also clean and can make you want to go for a swim. Haad Rin is an excellent spot for tourists to relax and swim. Further, Haad Rin can be divided into two sections - Haad Rin Nok, which is the lively party beach and Haad Rin Nai, which has a quieter environment. This beach is one of the biggest beaches on the Koh Phangan Island. It is filled with sunbathers during day time and party mongers at night. Once a month, Haad Rin becomes the busiest place on the entire island because of its monthly full moon parties which draws the attention of many visitors. The rest of the month one can visit the beach with thinner crowds and can also enjoy different water sports activities, one can stroll along the sea, walk or may also swim in the dark blue water.
18. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
White Beach is by far the most popular beach located at Boracay in Philippines. This beach has often been called the ‘finest beach in the world’. The beautiful white beach represents the rich natural scenery of Boracay as well as of Philippines. This beach has a panoramic ocean view with exotic and picturesque spots. It is good for swimmers as well, since the water is usually flat and has no current. The beach is close to all famous places, making it accessible easily. It is a pretty long beach and more like an infinite pool with soft sands under your feet. Nothing could be as relaxing as swimming freely in the crystal clear water of this beach. The white beach also offers you a picturesque view of sunset.
19. Nacpan And Calitang Beach, El Nido, Philippines
Nacpan and Calitang Beach popularly known as the El Nido’s Twin Beaches is located at the Palawan province in Philippines. El Nido’s Twin Beaches are a beach lover’s perfect haven. The two beaches are tangent to each other. The twin beaches are one of the best beaches in the island because of their extraordinary natural splendor and ecosystem. Walking barefoot one can feel how fine the white sand is. The beaches are long and sandy with bright blue water and also with relatively few visitors. In these two beaches the water is very refreshing and clear. Here, one can climb to the hills from where one can see an admirable view of the twin beaches. The scenery that you will find in the twin beaches is definitely like a photographer’s dream coming true. A few bars and restaurants as well as some accommodation options are also available in this place. The twin beaches offer a splendid place for a relaxing day.
20. Paradise Beach, Bantayan Island, Philippines
Paradise Beach is located at the southern part of the Bantayan Island in Philippines. This secluded beach lives up to its name. It is a hidden beach with crystal clear water and white powdery sand. You can either get here by renting a local boat or by driving a scooter. The Paradise Beach offers a few nipa roofs with wooden benches and a pristine coastline. Apart from this, towering palm trees and grassy areas complete the picturesque scene of this beach. The beach is less crowded in comparison to the other beaches in Philippines. There are no food stalls in the beach, so one will have to bring their own food. It is a great place to relax and swim as the beach has perfect sands and a gentle slope into the water. Visitors can enjoy a scenic sunset view with beautiful red sky as the sun lowers. Hence, this hidden gem of Bantayan Island is one of the best places to visit if one is looking for a quiet and peaceful spot to enjoy it all in serenity.
21. Seminyak Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Seminyak Beach is located at Bali in Indonesia. This beach is one of Bali’s top destinations for an exclusive beach holiday as Seminyak is the most upscale and stylish beach in Bali. The white sands stretch 3km making this white sandy beach more fascinating for the tourists. The calm water and fine sand with the lifeguards on duty make Seminyak Beach perfect for swimming for both young and the old. As the beach is very famous, it is quite crowded. There are lots of bars and restaurants on the beach as well as some of the best resorts you’ll see. Seminyak Beach offers great surfing opportunities for the surfers as the beach is favoured by great waves. For this, many surfers visit here to enjoy themselves. Seminyak is a must go if you want to experience a lovely picturesque sunset.
22. Sugar Beach, Negros Island, Philippines
Sugar Beach is a lesser known beach located at Negros Island in Philippines. To get to the beach you will have to take a boat journey from Sipalay. Sugar Beach is a stretch of pristine white sand perfectly framed by the green palm trees. The sand stretches smoothly like a soft carpet into the water. The beach is lined with limestone formations making it all the more unique. The beach is the perfect place to relax and get rid of stress and to enjoy the sunlight and the sea. Visitors can swim and snorkel in the warm and calm waters of this beach. In the evening one can enjoy a spectacular light show as the sun sinks into the sea turning the sky and the sea into purple and gold. In short, the Sugar Beach is the other name of beauty, tranquility and relaxation. It is often dubbed as the best beach in the Philippines.
23. Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
Ngapali Beach is located on the Bay of Bengal coast in Myanmar. The beach is stunningly beautiful with a wide white band of sand that covers the bay up to 5 km. The bay is interrupted by stones but that makes this beach more romantic. The palm trees fringed with white sands, the clear water of the Bay of Bengal along with the number of resorts and hotels make this beach a popular beach destination in Myanmar. Nearby, there are some fisherman villages also. Ngapali Beach is about relaxing and enjoying the sun as the beach offers plenty of space for everyone. Ngapali Beach is a magical paradise to say the least. Snorkeling and scuba diving are some of the most popular activities in this beach. The sun rise view is perfect and picturesque. It is a place for enjoying the culture and local life.
24. Bai Dai Beach, Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam
Bai Dai Beach is the most iconic beach destination located at the Phu Quoc Island in Vietnam. This is a remote paradise with lots of sunshine, warm water and peaceful atmosphere. The soft yellow sand and greenish blue sea makes Bai Dai Beach one of the best beaches in Vietnam. There is a perennial forest also growing close to the sea. There are plenty of activities that you can do in this beach like snorkeling, scuba diving, squid fishing, jet skiing, wind sailing and so on. One can also soak up in the sun and indulge themselves in the Vietnamese culture. Bai Dai Beach is ideal for swimming, watching corals and other aquatic animals. Ample number of hotels can be found here along with a few resorts. Bai Dai Beach was also nominated as one ofthe 13 most beautiful beaches in the world.
25. Berakas Beach, Brunei
The beach is located inside the Berakas Forest Recreational Park. Berakas Beach or Pantai Berakas is one of those lovely beaches that strays away from the hustle and bustle of the city life. The beach is beautiful, clean and also well managed. It is a popular hangout place for family and friends as there are defined places for picnics and barbeque. The sand is slightly golden and the waves are strong. Hence, it is not ideal for swimming. For security reasons the beach is closed down at 6pm. But overall Berakas Beach is a great place to hangout, to explore the nature and it is also a perfect beach for relaxation.