If your ideal vacation includes sand and sun, you are going to love Southeast Asia – home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches and islands. Trying to pick the best beach and island destinations in Southeast Asia can be hard, but we have managed to narrow it down to the best four. Who knows, one of these places might be the location for your next trip!
When traveling to any of these destinations remember to pack the essentials like your bathing suit, your best hat, sunscreen and most importantly a universal adapter because different countries in Southeast Asia use different types of plugs. So let’s get started on the best spots:
El Nido, the Philippines
The Philippines has some of the world’s most stunning beaches and the islands of El Nido are the proof. Beach lovers will know of El Nido and how wonderful the place is – there are so many things you can do here! The El Nido town faces Bacuit Bay and a collection of limestone islets, which are ideal for those who enjoy island-hopping and chilling on the beach.
Other things you can do when you are in El Nido include water sports and kayaking. You can even take a hike just outside the El Nido town in the karst outcrops. At the end of the day, once you are all tired out, you can just head out to one of the restaurants in the El Nido town to get some dinner.
Some eateries offer seating on the beach, so you can sink your toes into the sand. The best time to visit El Nido is from November to May because the weather in the Philippines is drier then. In terms of getting there, you have the option of taking a bus, van or plane from Puerto Princesa. You can also try riding a turboprop from Manila if that is easier for you.
Thailand is another popular Southeast Asian spot and Phuket is easily one of the region’s most popular spots. There are so many fun things to do in Phuket. If you are looking to spend time on the beach, you can try out the top-notch water sports activities that are offered or just relax in the sun.
However, that is not the only activity the island has to offer since Phuket has seen tons of development over the years. Now, tourists can also go play golf at one of the island’s golf courses or attend a Muay Thai or kickboxing match featuring the island’s best fighters. If you want to explore the town, you can just strap on a helmet and ride around in a rented motorbike.
The best time to visit is from November to February as that will guarantee you clear weather and waters. Avoid visiting from May to October because that is when monsoon season hits, which means rain and strong currents. You can directly travel to Phuket because the island is accessible through its airport, which just happens to be the second-largest in all of Thailand.
Another popular Southeast Asian spot is Bali. This island is the prime tourist spot for those who seek rich heritage and culture, and beautiful beaches. However, the beach is not the only interesting thing about the island as there is also the vibrant nightlife and mouth-watering cuisine.
The people of Bali take pride in their history and culture, which is why there are many opportunities for tourists to experience them. When you are here, you can never get away from the Balinese culture because even the architecture and buildings reflect the local’s deep love for their heritage.
The rainy season in Bali occurs from November to March, so if you are looking to visit when it’s sunny you should go between April and October. You should still check the weather once you are there, in case of sudden showers. The easiest way to get to Bali is by plane but depending on where you are flying from, you might need a few trips to get to the island.
Perhentian Islands, Malaysia
The Perhentian Islands of Malaysia might not be the most well known island destination out of the four listed but anyone who has been there will tell you that it’s one of the best. These islands are located on the east coast of Malaysia and are home to some of the region’s most pristine beaches.
There are two main Perhentian islands, both with different appeals for different folks. Perhentian Kecil is the place to visit if you are looking for a good value trip, while Perhentian Besar would be more appropriate for families and those looking to splurge a bit more on their island getaway.
Even though the islands have seen an influx of tourists in the past few years, the Perhentian Islands still manage to keep things simple and down-to-earth. If you visit, you will see that there are no motorized vehicles or tall buildings anywhere. Even the electricity on the island is provided by generators – so say goodbye to stable cellular signals and the Internet!
However, this simple living provides visitors with the chance to enjoy nature at its best, without distraction. Getting to the Perhentian Islands is not as easy as taking a flight because there is no hub, so the only choice is to go by boat. From Kuala Lumpur, you can take a car or bus to the town of Kuala Besut – where you will take a speedboat to your destination.