Southeast Asia has been popular with travelers, well, forever, and it’s not hard to see why. It’s home to some of the most beautiful locales on the entire planet.
Here are our picks for the area’s best beaches.
Sunset Beach – Koh Lipe, Thailand
An island paradise about 80 km off the coast, Koh Lipe is home to quite a few gorgeous beaches, but Sunset Beach is the best of the best. Sitting on the island’s west coast (the beach on the east side is called Sunrise Beach), Sunset Beach has stunning views of Koh Adang island, and is cut off from the rest of Koh Lipe by a mountain covered in forest.
Pink Beach – Great Santa Cruz Island, Philippines
Named because the sand is a stunning shade of pale pink, this strip of sand is like something from a fantasy. Surrounded by vivid green mangroves and located at the edge of bright blue water, Pink Beach can only be accessed by prior arrangement with the local tourism board, so it’s guaranteed to be quiet. Fun fact: the pink color is caused by tiny fragments of red coral that have eroded over time.
Kamala Beach – Phuket, Thailand
Close to the noise and bustle of busy Patong, Kamala Beach is a relaxed, enclosed bay surrounded by forest and hills. Popular with long-term visitors and retirees, Kamala has several smaller hotels, apartments, and villas, but none of the larger, high-rise hotels of some of its neighbors. This is the perfect Phuket pick for anyone wanting a quieter holiday.
Sunset Beach – Nusa Lembongan, Bali
While many of Bali’s beaches are packed with people 24/7, Secret Beach is just that – a secret. Unsurprisingly, it’s a little off the beaten path and somewhat tricky to find. You’ll need to walk down an unmarked path from the nearby Mushroom Beach. When you get there, you won’t find a single bar, hotel, café, or shop, so you’ll need to make sure you have plenty of food, drinks, and sunscreen to last the day! Then, you can just kick back and enjoy the stunning white sand and crystal-clear turquoise water.
Long Beach – Redang Island, Malaysia
Off Malaysia’s east coast, Redang Island is home to several of the world’s most beautiful beaches. Long Beach or Pasir Panjang, on the eastern side of the island, is a quiet expanse of sand that still has plenty of places to stay, eat, and drink. It’s an incredible place to snorkel as the water is completely clear!
It’s worth noting that Redang is pretty remote. You’ll need to either fly from Kuala Lumpur or Singapore or take an overnight bus (also from Kuala Lumpur). You can then hop on a boat to the island.
Saracen Bay – Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia
The perfect spot for anyone looking for quiet time, Koh Rong Samloem off the southwest coast of Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s most unspoiled beaches. There are plenty of places to stay and delicious food and drink, but you won’t find any big hotels or busy beach bars here. Instead, you can kayak, paddle board, or just lounge around and soak up the blissful atmosphere.