It’s a diverse list, with golden sand, snorkelling hotspots and secret coves. Here’s where we’ll be spending most of our time…
The Best Beaches in AsiaHow do these rankings work?
El Nido is a cluster of 45 islands just off the tip of Palawan, which is famous for its Secret Lagoon. Swim through a hole in the limestone rocks to enter a hidden bay with crystal clear water and soft sand.
It feels untouched, with white sandy beaches and tropical jungle. It’s no wonder it’s one of the best beaches in Asia.
2. Seminyak Beach – Bali, Indonesia
Seminyak Beach has a splendid coast of gold to dark sand and gorgeous sunsets, with a lively vibe and lots of beach bars.
The impressive 5km stretch of sand is full of sunset cocktail spots, luxury resorts and colourful bean bags, just steps away from the waves. Sitting here with a drink in hand is a real highlight of Bali.
3. Ao Tanot Bay – Koh Tao, Thailand
This peaceful island in the Gulf of Thailand has plenty of sheltered bays, but Tanot is the most beautiful. It’s uncrowded with warm, blue water and soft sand.
Snorkelling is excellent here, with a great variety of coral and some fairly large fish that can you’ll see as soon as you dip your toes into the water. Pure paradise.
4. Amanohashidate -Kyoto, Japan
While beaches aren’t the first thing that spring to mind when you think of Japan, this beautiful pine-covered sandbar is a little jewel in northern Kyoto. Its name roughly translates to “bridge in heaven”. Lounge on the soft white sand or drive along the coast for amazing views.
5. Tangalle Beach – Sri Lanka
One of the lesser known places in Sri Lanka, Tangalle was once a sleepy fishing village and is now becoming a popular destination. If you want complete solitude, go to Silent Beach – a long, white coastline that’s pure paradise.
6. Ngapali Beach – Ngapali, Myanmar
Myanmar has some incredible beaches that are unspoilt, but Ngapali (‘Napoly’) on the Bay of Bengal coast is a real highlight. Palm trees line the long, white stretch of sand that’s surrounded by fishing villages. It’s easily one of the best beaches in Asia if you want some peace and quiet.
It’s hard to pick just one beach in the Maldives, as all the luxury resorts have incredible sandy shores. This resort is on three private islands—two deserted neighbouring islands and Kanuhura itself— with pristine beaches.
Whether you try water activities or just lounge on the sand is up to you.