March 26, 2013

The best beaches in Asia

I can’t think of anywhere else in the world that has as many amazing beaches as Asia. Think tiny islands surrounded by white sand, secluded nooks away from the crowds or fun family beaches with loads of activities.

Here is my round up of the best beaches in Asia 

Thailand

Phuket

Freedom Beach Phuket

Freedom Beach courtesy of ThavornBeachVillage.com

Patong, Karon and Kata are the most popular (read: crowded) beaches. You’ll find sun loungers for rent and vendors will come with drinks throughout the day. These beaches are great for families who want water sports and sunbathing, or groups of friends who want to be amongst the vibe.

But for a quieter and more secluded beach, try Freedom Beach, 6km from Patong (you can get there by longboat) where water sports are prohibited and sun chairs are placed under trees each day for your lounging pleasure.

 

Koh Samui

Bophut Beach Thailand

Divine Bophut Beach. Pic from www.samuizazen.com

Chaweng and Lamai beaches are the most popular with shopping and nightlife right there.

But for something more secluded try Bophut Beach’s 2 kms of white sand fringed by coconut trees. This is an old and well preserved fishing village full of wooden houses and now boutique shops and restaurants, as well as dive centres and boat tours to hidden bays.

 

Malaysia

Tanjung Rhu Beach

Tanjung Rhu Beach. Pic from Tanjung Rhu Resort

Langkawi

The whole of Langkawi is a UNESCO site and any beach on the Andaman Sea is going to be fabulous. But for something really special, secluded and peaceful, head to Tanjung Rhu. It’s breathtaking. The water is clear as crystal, the sand is powder-fine and getting here you travel though dense jungle.

Penang

From the main hub of Georgetown there are several tropical islands which you can take a boat to for a day trip like Pulau Aman, Pulau Jerejak (a former prison island which now boasts a day spa) or Monkey Beach where you get the chance to see the local wildlife. Probably the most well known is Batu Feringghi where you can get amongst the water sports and lots of dining options as well as a great night market.

Kota Kinabalu

Tanjung Aru Malaysia

Tanjung Aru beach sunset. Pic from www.sabahtourism.com

Watching the sun set at Tanjung Aru Beach (about 6kms from KK city) is one of the best things you can do as the sky turns brilliant red. Pick up a coconut water or beef satay from one of the food shacks or dine at a restaurant. Just make sure you have plenty of memory on your camera card!

Indonesia

Lombok

Kuta Lombok is not the same at Kuta Beach in Bali. This one is famous for its surf and the hotels cater for board-carrying people on a surfers budget, although you will find a few luxury villas dotted here and there.

Senggigi Bay, Lombok is not as crowded at Kuta. It’s more relaxed but you’ll find great restaurants and a few bars here to keep you entertained – if you want to be.

 

Bali

Balangan beach surf

Surf’s up at Balangan Beach! Pic www.indonesia.travel

Off the beaten track, head to Balangan Beach to surf – or watch the surfers. Swim at high tide, drink a cold Bintang from the beach hut cafes and build sandcastles. This sand is said to be excellent for sand castle masterpieces! Geger Beach is close to the Nusa Dua Golf Course with gentle waves and velvet sand. It’s also edged with cafes and is a popular brunch spot for expats. Rent a deck chair for about $2.50 for the day and settle in.

Bintan Island

Take the ferry from Singapore to Bintan Island and head for Trikora Beach. This covers all the north-eastern beaches, but some genius has numbered them. The best is Trikora Beach Four which butts up against all the resorts that are dotted around the coast. You can easily do this as a day trip from Singapore, or plan to spend your whole holiday here at one of the many gorgeous hotels and resorts.

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About Megan Singleton

Megan

Megan Singleton is a travel writer, blogger and radio correspondent. She's been gallivanting around the world telling stories for the last 16 years and has her suitcase always half packed (or half un-packed!) Follow along on Facebook or Twitter and sign up for monthly newsletters if you want to keep up with the journey!

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