There are so many beaches in Southeast Asia, it would take a lifetime to see all of them. Fortunately, we’ve compiled a list of the top 10 most beautiful beaches all around Southeast Asia so you won’t need to spend a lifetime finding all of them.
1. MAYA BAY, KOH PHI PHI LE, THAILAND
Made famous by the 1999 movie The Beach, Maya Bay is a hugely popular destination for tourists, but its beauty is undeniable. High cliffs create a natural sanctuary on three sides of the bay. To get to Maya Bay, you have to get on a boat from Phi Phi Don. Activities at Maya Bay include kayaking, snorkeling, and diving. Optimal months for visiting are between November and April when the seas are calm.
2. Lazy Beach, Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia
Lazy Beach is a private beach on the island of Koh Rong Samloem. You can stay at one of their beachside bungalows, enjoy delicious Cambodian food at the restaurant, or relax with a drink at the bar while watching the warm glow of a sunset. The beach is cleaned daily, so it is usually immaculate.
3. RAILAY WEST BEACH, KRABI TOWN, THAILAND
Accessible only by a quick, 15-minute longtail boat ride, Railay Beach is a true sight to behold. Limestone cliffs, popular with rock climbers, surround this beautiful, secluded beach. Rent a boat to take you around the caves or just lay out, relax, and let the hours fly by.
4. EL NIDO, PALAWAN, PHILLIPINES
What sets El Nido apart from many other beaches is the steep limestone cliffs that jut out of the water. The water is also teeming with coral reefs, schools of fish, and other marine life. Rent a kayak and explore the islets, coves, and caves that dot the area. Best of all, the beaches are much less crowded than the popular White Beach in Boracay.
5. WHITE BEACH, BORACAY, PHILIPPINES
On the other hand, if you’re looking for a great party spot or to meet other tourists, White Beach should definitely top your list. White Beach in Boracay has been featured in numerous travel shows and magazines. The pristine white sand on the beach is sheltered in some areas by large palm trees. The best time to visit is between October and June.
6. PEUCANG ISLAND, BANTEN, INDONESIA
The first Indonesian national park, Peucang Island is an amazing sight to behold. The beautiful blue waters hold boundless coral reefs Inland, many animals can be seen, including the famous barking deer. In fact, “Peucang” in Indonesian means barking deer, which is what the island is named after.
7. SIPADAN BEACH ISLAND, MALAYSIA
World-renowned for being one of the best dive spots in the world, the clear, blue waters of Sipadan Island teem with marine life. In a bid to preserve the local ecosystem of the island, tourists can no longer stay on the island. However, nearby Mabul island has hotels and hostels that are available for booking. The best time to dive in these waters is between June and August when it is not the rainy season.
8. LONG BEACH, PERHENTIAN ISLANDS, MALAYSIA
A popular destination for backpackers on a budget, Long Beach on the Perhentian Islands in Malaysia offers an unspoiled paradise. White sands are surrounded by crystal clear water and lush jungle. Snorkeling is easy and there’s a ton of marine wildlife to see. Don’t visit during the monsoon season, between the months of November and March.
9. JUARA BEACH, TIOMAN ISLAND, MALAYSIA
If you’re looking for something much less touristy than many of the other beaches, look no further. Juara Beach has areas for swimming as well as a hatchery for turtles on the southern side of the beach.
10. SAI NUAN BEACH, KOH TAO, THAILAND
The walk to Sai Nuan Beach is almost as beautiful as the beach itself. Clear, blue waters gently roll onto the sands as palm trees reach out toward the ocean. Large, smooth boulders break up sections of the beach and boats calmly row by. This beach is truly paradise. Come between February and April before it gets extremely hot or between June and October before the monsoon season hits.
That’s our list of the 10 most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia. Sound off in the comments with your thoughts and opinions!