In here we show you top 10 most stunning beaches in south east Asia. Are you in search of unique travel destinations that will inspire you? Do you find yourself daydreaming about serene beaches adorned with coconut trees, soft white sand, and a mesmerizing turquoise ocean stretching ahead?
Leave behind the popular Maya Beach, as we unveil a collection of Southeast Asia’s most breathtaking coastal havens that absolutely deserve a spot on your travel bucket list.
Table of Contents
- 10. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
- 09. Ko Hong Island, Thailand
- 08. Bingin Beach, Bali
- 07. Rawa Island Beach, Malaysia
- 06. Nihiwatu, Sumba
- 05. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
- 04. Bai Sao Beach, Vietnam
- 03. El Nido Beach, Philippines
- 02. Nikoi Island, Indonesia
- 01. Selong Belanak Beach, Lombok
10. Unawatuna, Sri Lanka
Unawatuna, located in the southern region of Sri Lanka, is a stunning beach destination that offers a wide range of attractions and activities, making it a fantastic place to visit. Whether you are a beach lover, a surfer, or someone who enjoys snorkeling and exploring marine life, Unawatuna has something for everyone.
Situated just an hour’s drive south of Colombo, reaching Unawatuna is relatively convenient. You have the option of either taking a car or hopping on a train from Colombo. If you happen to be in Galle, a picturesque city with a rich colonial history, you can easily reach Unawatuna in just 15-20 minutes by car, using services like PickMe (a local ride-sharing platform) or a Tuk Tuk.
Unawatuna’s main attraction is undoubtedly its beautiful beaches. The coastline boasts pristine stretches of golden sand, framed by swaying palm trees and crystal-clear turquoise waters. Relaxing on the beach, sunbathing, and taking refreshing dips in the ocean are popular pastimes for visitors. The idyllic atmosphere and breathtaking scenery make it a perfect spot for unwinding and soaking up the tropical vibes.
For those seeking more adventure, Unawatuna offers excellent opportunities for surfing. The area is known for its consistent waves, making it a haven for surfers of all skill levels. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced surfer, you can find surf schools and rental shops that cater to your needs. Riding the waves amidst the stunning backdrop of Unawatuna is an exhilarating experience not to be missed.
Another highlight of Unawatuna is its vibrant underwater world. The clear waters surrounding the beach are ideal for snorkeling, allowing you to discover an array of colorful coral reefs and diverse marine life. Grab a snorkel, mask, and fins, and dive into the underwater realm to witness the beauty of tropical fish, sea turtles, and other fascinating creatures.
Besides the beach and water activities, Unawatuna offers various other attractions worth exploring. You can visit the Japanese Peace Pagoda, a serene Buddhist temple perched on a hilltop, which provides panoramic views of the surrounding area. Additionally, the Yatagala Raja Maha Viharaya, an ancient Buddhist temple with intricate carvings and serene surroundings, offers a glimpse into Sri Lanka’s rich cultural heritage.
When it comes to dining, Unawatuna does not disappoint. The beachfront is lined with numerous restaurants and cafes where you can savor a variety of local and international cuisines. From fresh seafood dishes to traditional Sri Lankan delicacies, you can indulge in a culinary adventure while enjoying breathtaking sunset views.
09. Ko Hong Island, Thailand
Koh Hong Island, also known as Hong Island, is a stunning beach destination located in the province of Krabi, in the southern region of Thailand. Renowned for its breathtaking limestone formations, Koh Hong is undeniably one of the most beautiful places to visit in Thailand.
The island’s name, “Hong,” translates to “room” or “chamber” in Thai, which perfectly captures the essence of this picturesque location. Koh Hong is known for its dramatic cliffs and hidden lagoons, creating a sense of tranquility and awe-inspiring beauty.
To reach Koh Hong Island, you can hire a speedboat from Nopparathara Beach in Krabi. The journey to the island takes approximately 15 minutes, allowing you to quickly immerse yourself in the island’s natural wonders. Alternatively, you can opt for a leisurely ride on a traditional long-tail boat, which takes about 40 minutes, giving you more time to appreciate the scenic views along the way.
As you approach Koh Hong, you’ll be greeted by the sight of towering limestone karsts rising from the turquoise waters. These majestic formations, covered in lush vegetation, create a surreal and captivating environment that will leave you in awe. The clear, calm waters surrounding the island are perfect for swimming, snorkeling, and exploring the vibrant marine life beneath the surface.
One of the main highlights of Koh Hong Island is its hidden lagoon, aptly named “The Room.” Encircled by towering limestone cliffs, the lagoon provides a secluded and tranquil space to relax and marvel at the natural beauty that surrounds you. To access the lagoon, you can either kayak through a narrow entrance during high tide or swim during low tide. Once inside, you’ll find yourself in a serene oasis, away from the outside world.
Apart from the lagoon, Koh Hong offers pristine beaches with soft white sand where you can unwind and soak up the tropical sun. Take a leisurely stroll along the shoreline, enjoy a picnic, or simply bask in the serenity of this secluded paradise. The island’s unspoiled beauty and tranquil atmosphere make it an ideal destination for those seeking an escape from the bustling city life.
While visiting Koh Hong Island, make sure to bring your snorkeling gear or rent it on-site. The crystal-clear waters teem with vibrant coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life. Snorkeling around the island allows you to witness the colorful underwater world, spotting tropical fish and other fascinating creatures that call this area home.
08. Bingin Beach, Bali
Bingin Beach, located in the Uluwatu area of Bali, is a stunning beach renowned for its exceptional surf conditions. With its unrivaled views over the Indian Ocean and fantastic waves, Bingin Beach is a highly sought-after destination for surfers not just in Bali, but around the world.
The natural beauty of Bingin Beach is truly captivating. The shoreline is adorned with golden sands, while the surrounding cliffs provide a picturesque backdrop that adds to the beach’s charm. From the beach, you can enjoy panoramic views of the turquoise waters stretching out into the horizon, creating a serene and peaceful atmosphere.
Surfers flock to Bingin Beach for its legendary waves. The reef break here offers consistent and powerful swells, making it a paradise for experienced surfers seeking an adrenaline rush. The barrel waves that form off Bingin Beach are highly regarded among the surfing community and provide a thrilling and challenging experience for those who dare to ride them.
If you’re staying in the Uluwatu region, the best way to reach Bingin Beach is by renting a scooter and making a short drive to the beach. The journey is relatively quick and convenient, allowing you to fully enjoy the beach and its waves. For those coming from popular tourist areas like Kuta, Seminyak, or Canggu, the travel time to Bingin Beach is approximately 1 to 1.5 hours, depending on the traffic conditions.
Aside from surfing, Bingin Beach offers plenty of opportunities for relaxation and enjoyment. You can sunbathe on the soft sands, take refreshing dips in the crystal-clear waters, or simply lounge under the shade of a palm tree, taking in the stunning ocean views. The beach has a laid-back and bohemian vibe, making it a favorite spot for travelers seeking a tranquil and picturesque escape.
To complete your day at Bingin Beach, indulge in the delicious local cuisine offered by the beachside cafes and warungs (small eateries). Feast on fresh seafood dishes, enjoy tropical fruit juices, or savor the popular Indonesian delicacies, all while enjoying the beachfront ambiance. You can also witness breathtaking sunsets from the beach, as the sky paints a vivid palette of colors over the ocean.
07. Rawa Island Beach, Malaysia
Rawa Island, also known as Pulau Rawa, is a breathtaking beach destination located in the Mersing District of Johor, Malaysia. Situated amidst crystal-clear waters, Rawa Island is a coral island that boasts pristine sandy beaches and a rich marine ecosystem. The name “Rawa” derives from the local term for white doves, which are abundant on the island, adding to its natural charm.
To reach Rawa Island, travelers can make their way to the southeastern coastal town of Mersing. Mersing is conveniently located, with a travel time of approximately 3 to 4 hours from Singapore, depending on the traffic conditions. From Mersing, visitors can embark on a delightful 30-minute boat ride that takes them directly to the island.
Upon setting foot on Rawa Island, visitors are greeted by a picturesque paradise. The island’s pristine white sandy beaches, fringed by swaying palm trees, create a postcard-perfect setting. The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island offer ideal conditions for snorkeling, swimming, and other water activities. The vibrant coral reefs that thrive in these waters are home to a myriad of marine life, providing an unforgettable underwater experience for snorkelers and divers.
Rawa Island offers a range of accommodations, from rustic beachfront chalets to luxurious resorts, catering to different preferences and budgets. Staying on the island allows visitors to fully immerse themselves in its natural beauty and tranquility, as well as enjoy the privacy and seclusion it offers.
Aside from enjoying the pristine beaches and underwater wonders, Rawa Island provides opportunities for relaxation and rejuvenation. Whether you choose to unwind in a hammock, enjoy a beachside massage, or simply bask in the sun, the island offers a serene escape from the hustle and bustle of daily life.
For those seeking a bit of adventure, Rawa Island offers activities such as kayaking, paddleboarding, and beach volleyball. Exploring the island’s lush tropical vegetation through jungle treks is also a popular option, allowing visitors to discover the island’s flora and fauna while enjoying panoramic views of the surrounding sea.
Culinary delights await on Rawa Island, with beachfront restaurants and cafes serving up fresh seafood and local Malaysian delicacies. From grilled fish to mouthwatering curries, visitors can savor the flavors of the region while enjoying the soothing ocean breeze and stunning views.
06. Nihiwatu, Sumba
Nihiwatu Beach, located on the island of Sumba, is a stunning and relatively untouched beach destination in Indonesia. Sumba is an island known for its unique culture, traditional villages, and natural beauty. In the past, Sumba experienced conflicts between villages, but since 1998, the island has become safe for tourists to visit and explore.
Despite its growing popularity, Sumba still receives a relatively low number of tourists, with approximately 15,000 visitors per year, mainly from Indonesia. Tourism is seen as a significant factor in the island’s future development, as it brings economic opportunities and promotes cultural exchange.
To reach Sumba, the island is connected by air through two airports: Tambolaka Airport in Southwest Sumba Regency and Umbu Mehang Kunda Airport in Waingapu Town, East Sumba Regency. Most flights to Sumba depart from Bali, so if you are in another city in Indonesia, it is necessary to travel to Bali first or arrange a connecting flight.
Nihiwatu Beach, in particular, is a hidden gem and a paradise for beach lovers. Its pristine beauty and unspoiled landscapes attract travelers seeking a tranquil and secluded getaway. The beach features soft white sands, turquoise waters, and breathtaking views of the Indian Ocean. It is a perfect spot for sunbathing, swimming, and enjoying the natural surroundings.
Beyond the beach, Sumba offers a rich cultural experience. The island is known for its traditional villages, where ancient customs and rituals are still practiced. Visitors can immerse themselves in the unique Sumbanese culture, witness traditional ceremonies, and explore the traditional architecture and intricate handwoven textiles that are famous on the island.
For nature enthusiasts, Sumba presents opportunities for exploration and adventure. The island’s rugged terrain is adorned with lush forests, rolling hills, and cascading waterfalls. Trekking and hiking trails allow visitors to discover the diverse flora and fauna that call Sumba home.
In terms of accommodation, Nihi Sumba is a renowned luxury resort located on Nihiwatu Beach. It has gained international acclaim for its commitment to sustainable tourism and its stunning facilities. The resort offers a range of activities and amenities, including surfing, horseback riding, spa treatments, and cultural experiences.
When it comes to dining, Sumba boasts a unique culinary scene. Local delicacies include dishes made with locally sourced ingredients, such as fresh seafood, organic vegetables, and aromatic spices. Indulging in traditional Sumbanese cuisine is a must to fully appreciate the island’s culinary heritage.
05. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Koh Rong Island, located in Cambodia, is a stunning beach destination that offers breathtaking natural beauty and a serene atmosphere. Despite a few drawbacks, Koh Rong is definitely worth a visit, especially for its renowned Long Beach, considered one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. While the island attracts tourists, it is not overrun by them, allowing visitors to enjoy its pristine beauty.
To reach Koh Rong Island, the town of Sihanoukville serves as the gateway. The island is easily accessible via ferries operated by five major companies: Speed Boat Cambodia, Island Speed Boat, Buva Sea, Angkor Speed Ferry, and GTVC. These ferry services offer convenient transportation options, and the average round-trip fare is around INR 1800.
Long Beach, on Koh Rong Island, is a true gem that captivates visitors with its picturesque setting. The beach boasts powdery white sands and crystal-clear turquoise waters, creating an idyllic backdrop for relaxation and recreation. With its long stretch of pristine shoreline, Long Beach provides ample space for visitors to unwind, soak up the sun, and take leisurely walks along the coast.
While Long Beach may attract tourists, Koh Rong Island still maintains its natural charm. The island remains relatively unspoiled, offering a sense of tranquility and escape from the bustling city life. Visitors can enjoy a peaceful environment and connect with nature as they explore the island’s hidden coves, lush forests, and vibrant marine life.
Beyond the beaches, Koh Rong Island offers various activities and attractions. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore the colorful coral reefs and encounter an array of marine species. Boat trips to nearby islands, such as Koh Rong Samloem, provide additional opportunities for island hopping and discovering secluded beaches.
Accommodation options on Koh Rong Island range from rustic beach bungalows to upscale resorts, catering to different budgets and preferences. These accommodations often blend harmoniously with the natural surroundings, providing guests with a unique and immersive experience.
While Koh Rong Island has seen development in recent years, it still maintains a relatively laid-back atmosphere compared to some other tourist destinations. However, it is essential to note that the island’s infrastructure may not be as developed as in more popular beach destinations. Power outages and limited facilities can occur, but they are part of the island’s rustic charm.
In terms of dining, Koh Rong Island offers a variety of eateries serving both local Khmer cuisine and international dishes. Fresh seafood is a highlight, with an abundance of options to satisfy seafood lovers.
04. Bai Sao Beach, Vietnam
Bai Sao Beach, located in Phu Quoc, Vietnam, is a stunning tropical paradise renowned for its natural beauty and pristine sandy shores. The beach is a popular destination for tourists, offering a range of activities such as swimming, sunbathing, and enjoying the breathtaking scenery.
Bai Sao Beach captivates visitors with its idyllic setting. The beach boasts powdery white sands that stretch as far as the eye can see, creating a picturesque contrast against the clear turquoise waters. The gentle waves and calm currents make it an ideal spot for swimming and enjoying water activities.
The natural scenery surrounding Bai Sao Beach is truly mesmerizing. Towering palm trees provide shade and add to the tropical ambiance, while the backdrop of lush green hills and vibrant foliage completes the picture-perfect landscape. Whether you’re seeking relaxation or adventure, Bai Sao Beach offers a tranquil haven where you can connect with nature and rejuvenate your senses.
Getting to Bai Sao Beach is relatively straightforward. Visitors can reach Phu Quoc either by plane or car, depending on their location. Once in Phu Quoc, renting a motorbike is a popular option for getting around the island and reaching Bai Sao Beach. It allows you to explore the island at your own pace while enjoying the scenic coastal roads. Alternatively, you can rent a boat or canoe and embark on a picturesque journey by sea, taking in the beauty of Phu Quoc’s coastline before arriving at Bai Sao Beach.
In addition to swimming and sunbathing, Bai Sao Beach offers a range of activities for visitors to enjoy. Snorkeling enthusiasts can explore the vibrant underwater world, discovering colorful coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life. Kayaking and paddleboarding are also popular options for those seeking a bit of adventure and a different perspective of the beach.
To complete your experience at Bai Sao Beach, indulge in the local cuisine offered by beachfront restaurants and food stalls. Fresh seafood, including grilled fish and succulent prawns, is a highlight of the island’s culinary offerings. Pair your meal with a refreshing coconut drink or a tropical fruit smoothie to truly savor the flavors of Phu Quoc.
While Bai Sao Beach attracts tourists, it still retains a relatively serene and peaceful atmosphere, especially compared to more crowded beach destinations. The beach offers a perfect balance between natural beauty and a comfortable visitor experience.
03. El Nido Beach, Philippines
El Nido Beach, located in the municipality of El Nido on Palawan Island in the Philippines, is a stunning beach destination renowned for its natural beauty and the gateway it provides to the Bacuit Archipelago. With its white-sand beaches, vibrant coral reefs, and towering karst cliffs, El Nido offers a paradise-like setting for travelers.
El Nido is famous for its picturesque islands and lagoons. Miniloc Island, in particular, is celebrated for its Small and Big Lagoons, where visitors can enjoy the crystal-clear waters and stunning limestone formations. Exploring these lagoons by kayak or boat is a popular activity, allowing you to immerse yourself in the breathtaking scenery and observe the vibrant marine life that inhabits the area.
Shimizu Island, another notable destination in the Bacuit Archipelago, boasts fish-filled waters that are perfect for snorkeling and diving. The diverse marine ecosystem surrounding the island offers an opportunity to encounter colorful coral reefs and a variety of tropical fish.
El Nido is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and adventure seekers. The area offers numerous dive sites, including the long tunnel of Dilumacad Island, which provides an exhilarating underwater exploration experience. Snorkeling, island hopping, and beach hopping are also popular activities, allowing visitors to discover the hidden gems scattered throughout the archipelago.
To reach El Nido, the most common route is to fly from Manila to Puerto Princesa, the capital of Palawan. From there, a van or bus can be taken to El Nido, which takes approximately four to five hours. While it may be a long journey, it is a cost-effective option for travelers. Alternatively, direct flights from Manila to El Nido are available for a more convenient and time-saving option.
Accommodation options in El Nido cater to a range of preferences and budgets. From luxury resorts to budget-friendly guesthouses, visitors can find suitable accommodations that provide comfort and easy access to the beach and surrounding attractions.
The culinary scene in El Nido showcases a variety of cuisines, with an emphasis on fresh seafood. Local restaurants offer delicious seafood dishes, such as grilled fish and shrimp, as well as Filipino favorites and international cuisine. Don’t miss the chance to indulge in a beachside dining experience while enjoying the sunset over the pristine waters.
02. Nikoi Island, Indonesia
Nikoi Island, located in Indonesia, is a stunning beach destination that offers a secluded and barefoot escape just 50 miles away from Singapore. The island has been designed and developed to provide a sustainable and remote private island experience, allowing guests to connect with themselves, the natural environment, and the local community.
To reach Nikoi Island, the journey begins at Singapore’s Tanah Merah ferry terminal. From there, guests embark on a 1-hour ferry ride to Bintan, an Indonesian island located nearby. Upon reaching Bintan, a 1-hour car journey across the island follows. This scenic drive allows visitors to admire the beautiful landscapes of Bintan. Finally, a 20-minute speedboat ride takes guests from Bintan to Nikoi Island, where they can begin their enchanting beach getaway.
Nikoi Island offers a unique and secluded experience, surrounded by pristine beaches, turquoise waters, and lush tropical vegetation. The island is known for its commitment to sustainability and eco-conscious practices, ensuring that guests can enjoy the natural beauty while minimizing the impact on the environment.
The accommodations on Nikoi Island are designed to blend harmoniously with the surroundings. Private beachfront villas and pavilions provide a comfortable and luxurious retreat for guests. The villas are constructed using local materials and feature open-air designs, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the sights and sounds of the island.
The island offers a range of activities for guests to enjoy. Snorkeling and diving enthusiasts can explore the vibrant underwater world surrounding Nikoi Island, discovering colorful coral reefs and a diverse array of marine life. Kayaking, paddleboarding, and sailing are popular options for those seeking adventure and exploration.
Nikoi Island also provides opportunities to connect with the local community and experience the rich cultural heritage of the region. Guests can interact with the friendly locals, visit nearby villages, and learn about traditional Indonesian crafts and customs.
Dining on Nikoi Island is a delightful experience. The island’s restaurant serves a variety of delicious dishes, featuring fresh seafood, locally sourced ingredients, and international flavors. Guests can savor their meals while enjoying breathtaking views of the ocean or under the shade of swaying palm trees.
One of the highlights of Nikoi Island is the opportunity for relaxation and rejuvenation. Guests can unwind on the pristine beaches, indulge in spa treatments, or simply enjoy the serenity of the surroundings. The island’s tranquil atmosphere allows visitors to disconnect from the outside world and reconnect with nature and themselves.
01. Selong Belanak Beach, Lombok
Selong Belanak Beach, situated on the island of Lombok, is a stunning beach that stretches approximately 1 kilometer in length. Located just 30 minutes west of Kuta Lombok, Selong Belanak is a true tropical paradise nestled in a serene bay surrounded by hills. Its picturesque setting and pristine waters make it a must-visit destination for beach lovers.
Selong Belanak Beach offers a tranquil and idyllic escape, characterized by its natural beauty and untouched surroundings. The beach is relatively undiscovered, attracting fewer crowds compared to other popular beaches in the region. As a result, visitors can enjoy a sense of seclusion and tranquility, immersing themselves in the serene ambiance of the bay.
The sandy shores of Selong Belanak Beach are a sight to behold, with powdery white sand that stretches as far as the eye can see. The gentle waves and crystal-clear waters make it an ideal spot for swimming and other water activities. Whether you’re a seasoned surfer or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, the beach offers excellent conditions for surfing and boogie boarding.
Beyond its natural beauty, Selong Belanak Beach is also known for its breathtaking sunsets. As the sun begins to set over the horizon, the sky transforms into a palette of vibrant colors, creating a magical atmosphere that is best experienced from the beach.
To reach Selong Belanak Beach, you can travel approximately 49 kilometers from Mataram City, the capital of Lombok. The journey takes around 1.5 hours by car or motorcycle. Along the way, you can enjoy the scenic views of Lombok’s landscapes, including lush green hills and picturesque villages.
Upon arrival, you’ll find facilities and amenities available at the beach, including beach chairs, umbrellas, and local food stalls serving delicious Indonesian cuisine. Whether you prefer a leisurely day of sunbathing, swimming, or exploring the coastline, Selong Belanak Beach provides an ideal setting to unwind and connect with nature.
If you’re seeking a more active experience, you can embark on a trek to the nearby hills surrounding the beach. From these vantage points, you’ll be rewarded with panoramic views of the bay and the surrounding landscape, offering a unique perspective of Selong Belanak Beach and its stunning natural surroundings.
In conclusion, the world is blessed with an abundance of stunning beaches, each offering its own unique beauty and charm. From the pristine shores of Unawatuna in Sri Lanka to the impressive limestone formations of Koh Hong Island in Thailand, and from the sought-after surf spot of Bingin Beach in Bali to the remote paradise of Rawa Island Beach in Malaysia, these beach destinations captivate travelers with their natural wonders and breathtaking scenery.
Whether it’s the crystal-clear waters, white sand shores, vibrant marine life, or the opportunity to engage in thrilling water activities, these stunning beaches provide an escape from the everyday hustle and bustle, allowing visitors to unwind, relax, and connect with nature. They offer a respite from the ordinary, inviting travelers to immerse themselves in the beauty of their surroundings and create cherished memories.
Getting to these stunning beaches is part of the adventure. Whether it involves a scenic drive, a ferry ride, or a short flight, the journey itself adds to the excitement and anticipation of reaching these tropical paradises.
Moreover, these beach destinations are not just about sun and sand; they often offer opportunities to engage with the local community, learn about the cultural heritage of the region, and contribute to sustainable tourism practices. By embracing eco-conscious initiatives, these destinations ensure the preservation of their natural environments for future generations to enjoy.
Whether you’re a sunseeker, an adventure enthusiast, a nature lover, or simply seeking relaxation, these stunning beaches cater to a variety of interests and preferences. They serve as a reminder of the immense beauty and diversity found in our world’s coastal regions.
So, whether you find yourself exploring the tropical beaches of Southeast Asia, the picturesque islands of the Philippines, or the hidden gems scattered across the globe, take the time to appreciate the stunning beaches that grace our planet and create unforgettable experiences.