Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia

Whether you're craving a quiet sunset, digging your toes in the hot sand, or an active holiday parasailing or kayaking on turquoise waters, there's probably a beach holiday destination with your name on it somewhere in Asia.
March 28, 2022 | 07:42

Pink Beach, Komodo National Park, Indonesia

Pantai Merah (better known as simply Pink Beach) is one of only seven beaches in the world with pink sand. The striking hue is the result of the presence of foraminifera, single-cell organisms that live in the local coral reefs and have a reddish pigment on their shells. Turquoise seas lap at the beach here, where sunbathers mix in with kayakers and hikers exploring the nearby mangrove forests, as reported by Planet Ware.

Located just a short flight and speedboat ride away from Bali, Pink Beach sits within the borders of the Komodo National Park–from where the world's largest lizard gets its name. In fact, this quiet island is home to more lizards than people–a population of about 2,500 Komodo dragons against just 2,000 or so humans.

The real attraction here, however, is the underwater life–from the colorful corals packed with tropical fish to the seagrass beds and manta rays. The park is one of the best places in the world for snorkeling.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Bai Sao Beach, Vietnam

Gently hugged by two different mountain ranges, Bai Sao beach on Phu Quoc island offers the best of pristine white sand and turquoise waters–all in a space of quiet solitude with a background of thick, lush jungle.

While most beaches on Phu Quoc have stronger currents and foamy waves, Bai Sao enjoys a much calmer water surface, perfect for leisurely walks along the seaside. Although the area is becoming more popular, and day tours are starting to make their way to the island, there's still very little commercial development here, and shops often consist of little shacks with roofs made of coconut leaves. You'll find kayak and scuba diving rental facilities nearby if you're up for some adventure–otherwise, it's just you and the endless golden sand.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Long Beach, Vietnam

According to The Crazy Tourists, Phu Quoc is by far the largest island in Vietnam, a country famous for its 2000-mile-long shoreline and one of the best cuisines in the world. The island has a long list of beaches scattered around, however, Long Beach is the most famous of all for its long stretch of sandy beaches enclosed in a palm-fringed coastline.

While sunbathers and swimmers find the waters of Long Beach extremely favourable to venture in, the beaches are also a hit among photographers and sunset lovers. Squid fishing, hiking, snorkelling, kayaking, jet skiing, stand-up paddle-boarding and biking around the beach town are some of the other usual activities enjoyed at Long Beach.

Located only 4 miles from Phu Quoc International Airport, the beach is easily accessible.

Long Beach being one of the most prevalent towns in the country, has plenty of hotels, beach resorts, bars and restaurants, travel agencies, and other tourist facilities.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Phu Quoc For You

Koh Yao Yai, Thailand

In Thailand, Koh Yao is a group of two islands that sit in Phang Nga Bay, just a quick boat ride away from Phuket. If the busy, long stretches of sand you find in Phuket are too much for you, Koh Yao, with its windswept white sands and open views across the bay, will offer a welcome getaway.

The Koh Yao islands are home to several small beaches, all fairly quiet, most of them reached only after a walk on dirt roads with no signs of civilization around. Laem Had Beach is perhaps the best known of all, a rarely crowded stretch of white sand that offers great swimming and some of the best snorkeling in the country.

Tha Khao Bay beach, on the other hand, is the place to visit for quiet solitude–no sports activities here and few, if any, sunbathers; just the rocking of longtail boats as the waves crash over the sand.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Railay Beach, Thailand

Railay Beach might not be an actual island, but the towering limestone cliffs surrounding it cut off access to the mainland–meaning the only way to get to Railay is by boat. As a result, Railay is serene, a place where monkeys frolic around sunbathers and the many rock climbers that come here. The unique setting makes it one of the best beaches in Thailand.

Parts of Railay Beach are covered in thick mangroves that make the water unsuitable for swimming. Still, these areas offer plenty of chances for hiking and trekking up deep caves or to the top of overhanging cliffs with incredible open views over turquoise waters.

Railay beach is just 15 minutes away by long-tail boat from Ao Nang, one of Krabi's most popular beaches–and a world apart from the quiet solitude you'll find at Railay Beach.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Nha Trang Beach, Vietnam

Situated on the south-central coast of Vietnam, Nha Trang is a beach city known for its spectacular turquoise-coloured waters and a high-energy vibe that attracts visitors, especially backpackers from all over the world, according to The Crazy Tourist.

Considered as one of the most beautiful bays in the world, Nha Trang Beach, also known as City Beach, has developed into a popular scuba diving site over the years. Visitors also enjoy kite-boarding and sailing in the clear waters of City Beach which remain warm throughout the year.

There are several high-end hotels and luxurious beach resorts in and around Nha Trang Beach, the most notable of which is Vinpearl Resort and Spa on the Bamboo Island which has its own Cable Car connecting the resort to the mainland.

If you wish to take a break from the party scene, indulge in a traditional Vietnamese spa treatment along with a visit to a mud bath.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: My Tour

Nyang Nyang Beach, Bali

Bali's least visited beach is also one of its most stunning ones. Hidden behind lush green cliffs and only accessible after a 20-minute trek down a steep rocky hill, Nyang Nyang is well worth the effort it takes to find it. You'll be rewarded with open views of the foamy coastline below as soon as you start the descent–including shipwrecks nesting on the golden sand and the dramatic colors of the reef.

While not great for swimming because of the strong currents, Nyang Nyang is perfect for experienced surfers or those who just want a dreamy stretch of grassy sand to lie back and relax.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Miyako Island, Japan

Because of their remote location and unique ecosystem, with no inland rivers eroding the ground and damaging the coral reef, the beaches on Miyako Island are some of the most unspoiled ones on the planet.

Miyako beaches are also tranquil and offbeat, a sweet break from the chaos you usually find in tropical beaches. Still a secret to many visitors to Japan, the Miyako islands offer a way to escape the crowds and still bury your toes in the sand.

With turquoise-blue waters and soft sand dunes, Maehama is the island's largest stretch of beach and one of the most breathtaking. Maehama is popular with swimmers but also locals wanting to catch the sunset over the waves. Another nice beach on the island is Yoshino Kaigan, a popular snorkeling destination because of its massive coral reef and colorful aquatic life.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

El Nido, Philippines

El Nido, the northernmost tip of mainland Palawan, is a protected natural area and the largest marine sanctuary in the Philippines. Surrounded by jagged limestone cliffs, prehistoric caves, and thick mangrove forests, El Nido's nickname as "Philippines' Last Frontier" is somewhat well earned.

El Nido's powdery, white beaches and coastline open over Bacuit Bay, where many islets and small islands can be seen dotting the sea far into the horizon. Most of these islands are inhabited and rich in wildlife–and because they're only accessible by boat, they receive few visitors aside from divers. If you can get a ride to one of them, chances are you'll have the entire beach to yourself.

Cadlao Island, just across from El Nido, has one of the largest beaches in the area and a saltwater hidden inlet called Makaamo Lagoon. No beaches in the world, however, can beat the one found on Matinloc Island, which can only be accessed by swimming underwater through a gap on a steep rock wall–there's no other boat or land access to this stretch of sugary white sand.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware

Similan Islands, Thailand

Sitting right in the Andaman Sea and reachable by speedboat from Phuket, the Similan Islands are part of the Mu Ko Similan national park. Sugar-white sandy beaches; towering boulders that dig deep into the turquoise waters; and spectacular coral reefs with colorful fish, manta rays, and plenty of turtles–the Similan Islands have it all.

Considered one of the best beach destinations in Asia for decades, the islands were completely closed off to tourists in October 2016 and only reopened in 2018–a massive effort to help the ecosystem recover from the heavy burden of tourism. Since their opening, there's a cap on how many visitors and divers are allowed into the area per day. Single-use plastic items have been completely banned, and it's no longer possible to spend the night on the island.

While these changes mean you'll have to plan your trip well in advance to obtain a park pass before arrival, it also ensures that you will arrive at a cleaner island with healthy coral, softer sand, and a much quieter piece of beach all to yourself.

Top 10 Most Stunning Beaches in Asia
Photo: Planet Ware
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