Maybe some of you know, but for many people we did something really crazy in August 2017. We quit our corporate jobs and decided to pursue our dreams, which is to see the world. Me and my fiancé moved out from our flat, packed our things into (many) boxes 😀 and bought one-way tickets to Bali. From there, we traveled through Southeast Asia for 6 months. We have seen many beaches and islands but we picked the absolute best beaches in Southeast Asia. We can’t wait to share them with you.
Our world is so beautiful and everyone should see its beauty.
THE BEST BEACHES IN SOUTHEAST ASIA
KARIMUNJAWA ISLANDS, INDONESIA
Karimunujawa is still considered a hidden gem of Indonesia and I definitely recommend to visit it. It has perfect white sand beaches with turquoise waters. I really liked the beach on Gleyang Island. The beach is absolutely breathtaking and for sure one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. We took a snorkeling trip to get to this island and I highly recommend for you lovelies to do the same. You will love it. Make sure to swing around in those heavenly blue waters.
As you will be staying on the main land you have to go to Ujung Gelam Beach. This is the prettiest beach with azure water and incredible surroundings. Make sure to visit in the morning to avoid the crowds.
GILI ISLANDS, INDONESIA
If you are looking for a relaxed retreat, then the Gili islands are perfect for you. The Gili Islands or simply the “Gilis” are a very popular destination when visiting Indonesia. It is also a very popular place to visit when you are staying in Bali as it is quite close. And there are many reasons for that. Relatively easy to reach, surrounded by pure white sand beaches and clear water. It is indeed a tropical paradise.
I highly recommend to go to the beach during high tide. Then the water will have the most beautiful shades of blue plus it is easier to swim. I really enjoyed the beach which is more on the right side of the harbor when approaching from the inside of Gili Air. We walked for 3o minutes and there was barely anyone.
PADAR ISLAND, INDONESIA
I remember when I saw the pictures from Padar Island for the first time. I just couldn’t believe that such a place exists. It is a very extraordinary island where you can see 3 beaches from above. So obviously I had to go and see it for myself. And this is not everything. Every beach has a different colour of sand. On the right side there is a white sand beach, this is where you will arrive with the boat and on the left side pink and black sand beaches. It was one of the most breathtaking views I have ever seen.
KOH RONG, CAMBODIA
One of my last islands I visited this year was a small island in Cambodia. It is 25 kilometers away from Sihanoukville and lies in the Gulf of Thailand. Koh Rong is is the second largest island of Cambodia.
But it is still very peaceful with a laid-back atmosphere. It has such an amazing powdery white sand that you think you are walking on sugar. What is really cool about this place is that at night you can see luminescence of plankton. I felt like a little fairy when we went for swim. Really amazing experience. This beach is called Coconut Beach. We didn’t expect to find one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia in little Cambodia.
READ MORE: A FULL TRAVEL GUIDE TO KOH RONG ISLAND
BIDADARI AND KELOR ISLANDS, INDONESIA
These two small islands were part of our boat tour while we were visiting Flores in Indonesia. They are deserted islands and have some of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. Both islands have perfect white sands and are surrounded by turquoise waters.
If you visit Kelor Island, make sure you climb up to the hill for this view. It is not very easy to climb up as there is only a very steep and dusty path. But that shouldn’t stop you from going up there. The view was so amazing, I could not believe how beautiful it was.
Bidadari Island was our last stop during our boat trip. It has a lovely pink sand beach and barely any tourists. It was definitely the cherry on top during our boat tour to Rinca Island where you can see unique animals called komodo dragons. When you go snorkeling you can see so many tropical fish, just 2 meters away from the shore. Snorkeling and diving is truly amazing in Flores.
This is one of the most beautiful islands I visited in Thailand. You can reach Ko Lipe quiet easily from Langkawi in Malaysia. It is a very small island surrounded by white sands and turquoise waters. An absolutely breathtaking place. Ko Lipe has three main beaches: Sunset Beach, Sunrise Beach (my favorite one on Ko Lipe) and Pattaya Beach. I guess I don’t have to explain why you should go there. Just look at this picture 🙂
PERHENTIAN ISLAND, MALAYSIA
One of the prettiest islands in Malaysia with some of the best beaches in the world. This island is so peaceful, beautiful and with outstanding diving locations. I felt so overwhelmed during my snorkeling trip as I have never seen so many types of tropical fish before, even a couple of humongous bump head parrot fish swam around me. This beach is called Turtle Beach and if you are lucky you can see turtles in the waters near by 🙂 you can get here only by boat taxi. That also means less tourists. As you can see, I am the only one on the picture. The Perhentians are also the perfect place to get a scuba certification.
AN THOI ISLANDS, VIETNAM
An Thoi Islands, an archipelago of 15 islands and islets just off the southern coast of Phu Quoc, were one of my highlights while visiting Vietnam. You can reach them by boat from Phu Quoc. We hired a speed boat for a whole day, bringing us to 3 islets Hon Xuong, Hon Gam Ghi and Hon Vong.
SELINGAAN ISLAND, MALAYSIA
Would you like to see baby turtles running into the water? If you know me well, you know that I love turtles. Turtles are the most adorable creatures ever. So coming to this island was a ‘must do’ for me.
If you are visiting Malaysian Borneo you have to visit the island Selingaan. On this beach you can observe a mother turtle laying eggs and also baby turtles being released into the sea. Selingaan Island is located on the eastern part of Borneo and we combined our turtle island trip with Kinabatangan River jungle trekking and few days of diving on Mabul Island. A perfect week of exploring the eastern part of Borneo.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT TURTLE ISLAND HERE.
KOH KOOD, THAILAND
If you are traveling to the eastern part of Thailand, you need to visit Koh Chang islands. They are easy to reach from Bangkok and if you would like to visit peaceful islands, then here they are. There are three islands which belong to the Koh Chang Islands: Koh Kood, Koh Mak and Koh Chang.
Koh Kood and Koh Mak were one of the favorite islands. And right on Koh Kood Island we found one of the most beautiful beaches in Southeast Asia.
Ao noi beach is an ultimate paradise and we spent here a lot of time. Who wouldn’t, right?
READ MORE: KOH KOOD ISLAND TRAVEL GUIDE WITH BEST BEACHES AND THINGS TO DO
One of my favorite beaches in Bali is Karma Beach. Yes, karma is a bitch, but in this situation Karma is an awesome and beautiful beach 😀 It reminded me of the Caribbean because of its beautiful turquoise waters. You will find an enchanting beach with an excellent view of the Indian ocean. Surrounded by terrific rocks with barely people around makes this place very quiet and relaxing. The water is azure, clear and the beach stretches a long distance. Definitely one of the top beaches in Bali for me. Don’t believe the people who say there are no nice beaches on Bali. It is not true!
Most of those beaches are not as easy accessible as Kuta for instance, and you will need to walk down long staircases. But as you can see, it is definitely worth it.
READ THE FULL ARTICLE ABOUT THE BEST BEACHES IN BALI HERE.
MABUL ISLAND, MALAYSIA
Mabul island is a very small island just on the south east coat of Sabah, 15 km away from Semporna. It is a very famous place for diving. Together with nearby Sipadan is one of the best diving spots in the world. Seeing humongous turtles or rare tropical species is absolutely guaranteed when diving and even snorkeling around Mabul and Sipadan islands. On top of everything we experienced one of the most beautiful sunsets.
CON DAO ISLAND, VIETNAM
Côn Đảo is a group of 16 islands off the southeast coast of Vietnam. Dam Trau beach is one of my favorite beaches on the island Con Son. Rent a scooter and explore this peaceful island. To get to these islands can be either expensive or will take forever. We found a way to get there other guides don’t mention (currently).
Have you already visited some of the places I mentioned? Have you visited beautiful beaches in Southeast Asua you would add? Let us know in the comments and make sure to check CNN’s list for more inspiration.