Asia is home to a host of picture-postcard beaches, but if you’re looking for the best of the best, these stunning stretches of sand are surely calling your name.
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White Beach, Boracay, Philippines
Boracay is a 10-square-mile island that sits in the Western Philippines and some call it one of the true last undiscovered Asian beach getaways. White Beach is its biggest draw, a two-and-a-half-mile stretch of postcard-perfect sands framed by shallow azure waters that are ideal for swimming or snorkeling. It’s lined with bars, restaurants, hotels and dive shops, and colorful parasails often fill the air. Watching the sun dip below the horizon here is sure to be one of the most magical moments you’ll ever have.
Sairee Beach, Koh Tao, Thailand
The palm-fringed island of Koh Tao takes its name from the many sea turtles that reside on its shores. Its striking white sand beaches are sheltered by steep hills, and invite visitors to enjoy soaking up the sun with a good book as well as taking a dip in the cerulean waters. Sairee Beach is especially popular, spanning over a mile on the island’s west coast, with numerous bars and eateries along the way. Here, the sand is especially soft, while the shallow water makes it wonderful for swimming and snorkeling.
Patong Beach, Thailand
Thailand’s largest province has attracted tourists for centuries, as one of the major trading routes between India and China, and today, it’s arguably best known as an unforgettable beach destination. Patong is the country’s most popular beach, and its largest, with a wide coastline, powdery soft sands, crystal clear warm waters and numerous amenities just a short stroll away. With so much room, it’s easy to find your own perfect spot to enjoy the breathtaking sunsets that are considered some of the most jaw-dropping in all of Southeast Asia, lingering long over the horizon. After dark, it boasts a very happening nightlife for those who want to experience some of the country’s infamous party scene.
Turtle Beach, Borneo
The island of Borneo, shared between Malaysia, Brunei and Indonesia, is home to many magnificent beaches, including Turtle Beach which serves as turtle nesting grounds and sits at the edge of emerald green waters that are ideal for swimming. This secluded beach is known as one of the most unspoiled in all of Malaysia, located in Similajau National Park, renowned for its abundance of waterfalls, streams and exotic wildlife set among dense, lush forest. It’s ideal for bird watching with 185 species that have been recorded here, and you’ll also have a chance to spot gibbons, long-tailed macaques, civet cats and banded langurs.
Padang Padang Beach, Bali, Indonesia
This small beach in Bali is famous for its waves, drawing surfers from across the globe. The 328-foot stretch of sand is accessed down a flight of stairs through a unique hollow rock entrance. It also happens to be where the movie “Eat, Pray, Love” was filmed, featured when Julia Roberts falls head over heels for her Brazilian love interest. As soon as you see it, you’ll understand why this stunning spot was chosen, because chances are, you’ll fall in love with the entire exotic setting, including the especially tranquil waters that are framed by dramatic rock formations.
Honeymoon Beach, Rock Islands, Palau
The dazzling western Pacific island of Palau is home to the Rock Islands, which are found in its Southern Lagoon, between Koror and Peleliu. The islands are filled with surprises, like the Milky Way which is a bay filled with white limestone known for rejuvenating the skin. You’ll also discover some of the world’s most dazzling beaches, like Honeymoon Beach, a popular spot for snorkeling among colorful tropical fish, ranked by Islands magazine as one of the world’s top undiscovered beaches, noting visitors can enjoy their “own private Eden – complete with a perfect patch of palm trees.”
Shell Beach, Muscat, Oman
Oman is a tiny nation that juts out into the the Arabian Gulf, Arabian Sea and the Sea of Oman. It’s renowned for its over 1,000 miles of coastline that stretches from the Musandam Peninsula in the north to the Yemeni border in the south, boasting some of the finest coral reefs outside of Australia. Shell Beach is, not surprisingly, one of the best for shell collectors, teeming with exotic shells that lay scattered along the shoreline. To access the water’s edge requires a four-wheel drive, but the reward is well-worth the effort.
Kalapathar Beach, Havelock Island, Andamans, India
The Havelock Islands are considered one of India’s most prized beach vacation destinations. Here you’ll find Kalapathar Beach, a silky white stretch which offers an especially tranquil experience thanks to its distance from the main town. Here you may have the chance to enjoy a stroll or a picnic all to yourself. Kalapathar means black rocks in Hindi, and the beach takes its name from both the nearby village and black rocks that line its shoreline.
Arambol Beach, Goa, India
Goa is India’s top beach destination, offering an idyllic spot for relaxation, with some of the very best beaches in the country. Discover endless stretches of unspoiled white sands, coconut groves and the glistening blue expanse of the Arabian Sea. Arambol Beach is a magnificent stretch of coastline that’s managed to avoid the rampant commercialism further down the coast. Walking the shores, for miles and miles, you may not see another soul. And, nearby is a bay where you can jump in and swim with dolphins.
Kuta Beach, Seminyak, Bali
In a place filled with jaw-dropping beaches, Seminyak boasts some of the very best in all of Bali. Visitors can enjoy the especially smooth stretches of pale sands that stretch for five miles from Tuban to Canggu, as well as a number of upscale facilities, including high-end eateries, trendy bars, sophisticated shops and world-class spas. This is also a top spot for glorious sunsets, at their peak in April, though incredible all year round.