Top 8 Beautiful Beaches in Southeast Asia

Top 8 Beautiful Beaches in Southeast Asia

By CindyUpdated Oct. 22, 2021

Southeast Asia is the home to some of the world’s best beaches, and their soft sand and crystal clear waters never fail to attract visitors from every corner of the globe. With thousands of different beaches scattered all across this exotic part of the world, choosing the right beach for your next vacation can be a bit tricky. So, to help make things easier for you, we’ll be sharing our top picks for the 8 most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia.

1. Long Beach, Perhentian Island, Malaysia

Located just off the northeastern coast of the Malaysian Peninsula, Perhentian Island has achieved iconic status in the minds of travelers, despite being somewhat hard to reach.

And for good reason, too — the waters surrounding the island are super clear and teeming with marine life, which can be easily seen by snorkeling directly off Long Beach. Alternatively, you can opt to join a snorkeling day trip for a chance to swim with sharks and turtles.

Getting there: Fly from Kuala Lumpur to Kota Bharu, then take a taxi to Kuala Besut and a 40-minute speedboat ride to the island. Highlights: kayaking, snorkeling, and beach walking.

Best time to visit: May–September

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2. Ventura Beach, Bentota, Sri Lanka

Just 60 km (37 mi) from Sri Lanka’s capital, Bentota is a coastal town and the gateway to the country’s southern provinces. A longtime favorite among locals.looking to escape the hustle and bustle that is Colombo, Bentota offers something for everyone.

The best beach in Bentota is without a doubt Ventura Beach, a pristine, natural, and tranquil slice of paradise backed by swaying coconut palms and picturesque landscapes. It’s soft sand and dazzling blue waters make for the ideal setting for travelers to indulge in a lazy day’s sunbathing or an action-packed day of watersports, the latter of which includes options such as surfing, diving, waterskiing, and canoeing.

There’s plenty to see and do in Bentota. Whether you’re into long walks on the beach, cycling tours, gorging on fresh seafood, or partying, you’ll be spoilt for choice.

Getting there: Take the train or a bus from Colombo.

Highlights: surfing, snorkeling, and sightseeing

Best time to visit: November to April

3. Jimbaran Beach, Bali, Indonesia

The resort island of Bali needs no introduction, and Jimbaran Beach is widely regarded as the island’s most intimate beach — renowned for its romantic sunsets and fishing culture.  

To this day, Jimbaran is home to an active fishing community and every morning fishermen can be seen setting out on traditional Indonesian jukung boats .At night, Jimbaran transforms into a seafood lover’s dream, with rows upon rows of barbecues preparing and grilling up the day’s catch over glowing coconut husks.   

After a day’s lounging on the beach, followed by a sunset cocktail and fresh-grilled seafood in one of the many intimate candlelit restaurants, it’s easy to understand so many have fallen in love with Jimbaran.  

Getting there: Fly to Ngurah Rai International Airport, then take a taxi to Jimbaran Beach.

Highlights: sailing, windsurfing, sunsets, and incredible seafood

Best time to visit: April to September

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4. Karon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Located on Thailand’s most popular island, Karon beach is one of Phuket’s largest and most beautiful beaches. Stretched across 5 km (3 mi) of spectacular Andaman coastline, Karon’s sapphire blue waters attract millions every year – but that doesn’t mean it’s overcrowded!

The further you walk along Karon’s pure white sand, the less likely you are to bump into fellow beachgoers and its northern end is definitely worth the hike for those looking for a bit of peace and quiet. Nevertheless, it’s never too hard to find a bit of privacy on Karon, regardless of which part of the beach you’re on.

In addition to being home to one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia, Karon’s beach town is fairly developed and offers an abundance of dining options and accommodation to suit any budget, as well as enough entertainment options to keep anyone satisfied.

Getting there: Fly to Phuket International Airport, then take a taxi to Karon.  

Highlights: snorkeling, diving, and night markets

Best time to visit: November to April

5. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

The long and narrow island of Boracay is one of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines and is situated in the country’s Aklan province. Regarded by many as one of the best beaches in the world, White Beach is arguably Boracay’s most popular beach. The island itself is as pretty as its name — and White Beach definitely doesn’t disappoint.

It’s easy to spend the entire day simply listening to the entrancing sound of the waves crashing against the beach’s white, sandy shore before indulging in the many leisure, food, massage, and shopping options offered by this one-stop island paradise. The more active of you may even choose to participate in one of Boracay’s countless activities, such as water sports, golf, and island-hopping day trips.

At night, White Beach comes to life and features plenty of romantic candlelit restaurants and beachside bars that can keep you entertained until the break of dawn. Boracay truly is a magical island paradise.

Getting there: Fly from Manila to Kalibo/Caticlan airport, then take a ferry to the island.

Highlights: beach walking, swimming, snorkeling, and water sports

Best time to visit: November to April

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6. Binh Lap, Cam Ranh, Vietnam

Binh Lap is possibly one of Vietnam’s best-kept secrets. Located on a peninsula roughly 80 km (50 mi) from the busy city of Nha Trang, the two couldn’t be more different. Binh Lap is often referred to as Vietnam’s “little Maldives” — but without the luxury services and expensive chain resorts.

With its jade blue sea, untouched white sand, and abundant coral reefs, Binh Lap is a far cry from other, more popular Vietnamese beaches which, despite being beautiful in their own rights, simply don’t hold a candle to this natural masterpiece.

To top it all off, the relatively undeveloped Binh Lap is home to a vibrant community of local fishermen, meaning that restaurants are stocked daily with the freshest of the ocean’s bounty and the seafood here is to die for!  

Getting there: Fly to Cam Ranh International Airport, then take a bus or taxi to Binh Lap.

Highlights: unspoiled beauty, delicious seafood, snorkeling, and diving

Best time to visit: July to September

7. Thong Takian, Koh Samui, Thailand

Also known as “Silver Beach” among English-speaking ex-pats, Thong Takian is located on the eastern coast of Thailand’s third-largest island.

In contrast to the island’s busier beaches, Thong Takian is one of Koh Samui’s lesser-known beaches, yet by far its best. The beach offers a perfect balance of fine white sand, impressive granite boulders, and gorgeous coconut palms and is truly a sight to behold.

Take a dip in its warm, emerald green waters, treat yourself to a beachside massage, experience some of Koh Samui’s best snorkeling, or simply sit back and enjoy the beauty of it all, the choice is yours!

What’s more, Thong Takian’s prime location, nestled among the hills between Chaweng and Lamai, makes it a great place to spend your vacation or to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach before heading back and immersing yourself in Koh Samui’s vibrant nightlife.           

Getting there: Fly to Koh Samui International Airport, then take a taxi to Thong Takian.

Highlights: family-friendly, beach massages, and snorkeling

Best time to visit: February to April (May to August is also mostly sunny)

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8. Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Originally nothing more than a small, seaside village, Sanur has grown into one of Bali’s most popular beaches, and it’s easy to see why!

Located just 7 km (4 mi) east of Bali’s capital Denpasar, Sanur is a quiet beach town that caters primarily to families and travelers looking for a relaxing time by the beach.

But don’t let that fool you — Sanur is one of Bali’s main watersports centers and offers enough bars, restaurants, and entertainment options along its long, 5 km (3 mi) pristine coastline to satisfy even the most adventurous of travelers.   

Whether you’re looking for somewhere to spend a couple of days or weeks destressing, enjoy some quality family fun under the sun, or satisfy your inner adrenaline junkie, Sanur is the place to be.  

Getting there: Fly to Ngurah Rai International Airport, then take a taxi to Sanur.

Highlights: Surfing, snorkeling, jet skiing

Best time to visit: April to September

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