Are you planning an Asian Holiday in 2016?
If you are, chances are you’re thinking of places like Bali, Koh Samui, Phuket or Pattaya as potential destinations. There’s nothing wrong with that, they are all great spots. The problem is that nearly everyone else thinking of an Asian beach holiday will be thinking of going to those same places.
If you want to find the best beaches in asia without the crowds this article is for you. We’ll reveal some lesser known “gems” where you won’t have to compete for a spot on the sand, or share the streets, shops and bars with thousands of other tourists on your asian beach holiday.
We’ll take a look at some of the hidden beaches in several countries, so first let’s look at a map of the Asian region so you can get your bearings.
Bali is definitely a destination to avoid if you are looking for a beach holiday away from the hustle and bustle of crowds. Instead, if you are heading to Indonesia try Lombok and the Gili Islands. Lombok is about a half hour flight from Denpasar, the airport closest to Bali. Its beaches are better and quieter than those you’ll find in Bali. Lombok’s neighbouring Gili Islands is also a beautiful location, which attracts plenty of travellers but is still quieter than neighbouring Bali.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to Denpasar (Bali) through a variety of low budget to first class airlines.
Gili Transfers will help you plan your journey via boat from Bali to Lombok or the Gili Islands.
Pangkor Island off the Malaysian coast has many beautiful and quiet beaches. You can also easily explore this idyllic location by cycling around it. To get there, it is a combined 4 hour road and ferry trip from Kuala Lumpur, the capital city of Malaysia.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to the Malaysian capital, Kuala Lumpur. From there it is a combined 4 hour road and ferry trip from Kuala Lumpur
Malaysian Airlines, Air Asia X, Emirates and Malindo Air have departing flights from various Australian cities.
The Philippine islands are known for their beaches and some of the more remote ones are perfect spots for a quiet getaway. The best islands include Bugsuk, Saluag, Olanivan, Omapoy and Onuk. The Philippines are made up of over 7000 Islands so experiencing even one of these beautiful destinations can be logistically difficult.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to the capital, Manilla and then a domestic flight to Cebu. This trip will likely require a combination of flight, bus and ferry trips, but that is all part of a remote island adventure!
Qantas and Philippine Airlines fly Direct from Sydney to Manilla.
With more than 3000 kilometres of coastline, Vietnam offers plenty of beach options. Two of its best quieter destinations are Cat Ba Island and Ninh Chu Beach. After a 160 kilometre road trip west from Hanoi (the capital city of Vietnam) to Hai Phong, you can reach Cat Ba Island via a short ferry ride. Ninh Chu Beach is located much further away in south Vietnam. The quickest way to get there is via a 2 hour plane trip from Hanoi to Nha Trang.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to Hanoi, the capital of Vietnam. From there a 3 hour bus ride will take you to Halong Bay and the beautiful coast.
Direct Flights from Australia will take you to Ho Chi Minh City and from there you can continue to Hanoi.
Most of the tourist beaches in Cambodia are located in Sihanoukville in the south of the country. Otres Beach is probably the quietest and least commercialised in the region. A short boat from there Koh Rong Samloem and you’ll find kilometres of untouched white sand, palm trees and crystal clear waters.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. Then travel south to Sihanoukville on a 35 minute plane trip from or you can spend several hours on a bus to get there instead. A 2-3 hour ferry will then take you from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.
Fly from Australia to Phnom Penh with one stopover using many well known airlines.
For the same reasons as Bali in Indonesia, its best to steer clear of popular Thai destinations like Koh Samui, Phuket and Pattaya. The island of Ko Phayam is an alternative, where you can enjoy pristine beaches without the crowds, and go on peaceful jungle walks to explore nature. There are only a handful of high-end resorts on the island, with beach bungalow style accommodation far more common. You can get to the island by ferry after catching an overnight bus from Bangkok. Other similar island options to consider in Thailand are Ko Surin (ideal for snorkelling and scuba diving enthusiasts), Ko Adang, Koh Lipe, Bamboo, Ko Lanta and Ko Tarutao.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to Bangkok, the capital of Thailand. From there you can fly domestically or take the overnight bus to the city of Ranong. Next step is to take a fast or slow ferry from Ranong to Ko Phayam which will vary from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne and Sydney all have direct flights to Bangkok.
Thai Airways, Qantas and Emirates are all options for travellers.
Laos does not have any beach locations due to its geographical location. Instead it has the Mekong River and with it plenty of sites and exotic adventures. Si Phan Don is a region located in southern Laos. Translated to English, the name means “four thousand islands”. These islands are surrounded by the Mekong River rather than an ocean, but in the dry season (October to April) you will still be able to feel sand between your toes at places like Don Kone, Don Khong, Don Daeng, and Muang Ngoi.
How to Get There: Fly from Australia to Vientiane, the capital city of Laos. A short Internal flight will then take you to Luang Prabang in the north of the country.
The waterfalls are 23 kms from the city centre but we have included a guide here on how to get to the waterfall.
Ngwe Saung, translated in English as “Silver Beach”, is an unspoiled paradise in the Bay of Bengal in south west Myanmar. It takes approximately 5 hours to get there from Yangon, Myanmar’s largest city. At Ngwe Saung you’ll find pristine beaches and swaying palm trees as far as your eyes can see, and be able to swim in its beautiful turquoise waters.
Due to the sheer size of China’s population, you’re unlikely to find too many secluded and quiet beach spots in the country. However, a potentially less crowded option includes the beaches in Beihai in southern China. You can get to Beihai via a 1 hour flight from Guangzhou and it s great choice for those exploring China and wanting to get away from the hustle and bustle of the large mega cities.
There are daily flights with Qantas and China Southern from Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane to Guangzhou.
Turtle Cove Beach and South Bay Beach are your best secluded options in Hong Kong. Both can only be accessed by foot. Turtle Cove Beach is located about an hour’s walk along the south side of Lamma Island, south west of Hong Kong. It is closed between June and October each year to allow its namesake to nest. And as its name suggests, South Bay Beach is located in south Hong Kong, and is about an hour’s walk from Repulse Bay.
Visit our guide on stopovers in Hong Kong.
Australians can take direct flights from Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Darwin. Qantas and Cathay Pacific offer the best services.
Baisha Bay on the north coast of Taiwan is a long clean beach, popular with campers. Baisha translated to English means “white sand”. Other secluded options include the beaches of Green Island off the east coast, where you can dive or snorkel around the coral reefs, as well as the beaches at the Penghu Islands in the Taiwan Strait.
So there you have it, our Optimise Travel tips for the best beaches in asia without the crowds. There a plenty of great options to consider. It will be a tough choice for you, but whatever destination you choose will be well worth it!
If you have any tips for travellers who may be looking to visit some of the best beaches in asia without the crowds then please share them in the comments section below so others can benefit from your experiences.