Travelling can be tiring, so why not take a break at one of the many excellent beach resorts Asia has to offer. No matter where you are, you probably won’t be far from one on Asia tours.
Yes, Asia covers a very large area but it is blessed with a number of countries which not only have perfect weather for a beach stay, but also a large coastline dotted with resorts to suit all tastes and budgets. So let’s explore a selection of them listed alphabetically by country. I have omitted the type of destinations which are deemed primarily beach destinations for the most part, such as Bali and the Maldives.
After viewing and spending time in exciting places such as Angkor Wat, on trips to Cambodia, you will be ready for a beach break. Cambodia’s best-known resort is Sihanoukville, located on the Gulf of Thailand. The New York Times dubbed it “Asia’s next trendsetting beach.” Fairly new in the scheme of things, Sihanoukville has modern hotels and white sand beaches. It is actually made up of several resorts such as Victory, Serendipity, and Ochheuteal Beaches. All are public beaches but if a private beach is required, head to Sokha Beach. Assets of staying in Sihanoukville? Excellent seafood restaurants, water sports facilities, and an active nightlife.
China has resorts? Why not, it has a long coastline. My recommendation, on a China vacation, is to head to Hainan Island in the south-east of the country. It has been described as China’s Hawaii, with its tropical climate providing hot summers and mild, pleasant winters. Sanya, a city on the southern end of the island has several bays with large beach resorts. It has a beach that stretches for 20 kilometres/12 miles. Yalong Bay here is known for its upscale hotels. Nearby Wuzhizhou Island and its coral reefs are destinations for scuba diving, surfing and other water sports. Hainan Island offers international-style resorts with various well-known hotel chains providing accommodation.
India’s premier resort, in my opinion, is Goa. You could say Goa is more than beaches; that’s true as it has much to offer culturally and historically on trips to India. It also offers a mixture of Indian and Portuguese influences. However, let’s stick with the beaches. Goa has a whole string of golden sand beaches running along the Arabian Sea coast, each with its own style and personality. You can choose from backpacker Ajuna, lively Baga known for its restaurants and nightlife, lovely, laid-back and serene Mandrem, or perhaps the beautiful and palm-fringed Palolem. And if you should get bored with the beach, you can easily visit some of the temples and churches scattered around the area.
Another resort to consider is Kovalam situated right at the southern tip of India just south of Trivandrum, the nearest airport. There are three beaches separated by rocky promontories along a 17 kilometre/11 mile coastline. The most popular is Lighthouse Beach, which not only has a wonderful sandy beach but also offers seafood restaurants, spas offering Ayurvedic massage, and surfing. Hawah Beach, also known as Eve’s Beach because of its beautiful surroundings, is a beach paradise. Early morning and in the evening, you can watch local fishermen setting off on their daily quest for fish. In the evening, enjoy the sunset. The third is Samudra Beach, which is the quietest and a great place to watch the waves come crashing in against the rocks.
Again, you might not think of Japan as having resorts. In the extreme south of the country, Okinawa is a large island and land mass which is well-known for its warm climate and beaches. However, the best time to be here on Asia tours is between May and October. The rest of the year, it is mild but possibly not warm enough for swimming. Okinawa’s main island has around 130 recognized beaches. However, let’s narrow this down. Manza Beach is amid Okinawa’s most picturesque scenery, offering wonderful soft sand. Nirai Beach has natural crystal-clear waters and a long stretch of shore. You can also enjoy snorkeling and see tropical fish and other sea creatures when the reef appears during low tide. Emerald Beach, home to an aquarium, is a resort suitable for water sports. Mirabu Beach has a 2 kilometre/1 mile long white sandy beach with crystal-clear waters where you can again see tropical fish. Sunset Beach is the place to watch, naturally, the sunset.
Jeju Island is Korea’s largest island, also known as the “Island of the Gods.” It is a popular Korea vacation destination due to its beautiful beaches, lush countryside, and hotels designed for rest and relaxation. For active sightseeing, one can hike up to Korea’s highest mountain, Hallasan, or climb the Seongsan Ilchul-bong volcanic cone which rises straight out of the sea and watch the sunrise from the ridge of the crater. Hyeopjae Beach is probably the most attractive beach on the north coast with its clear turquoise water and beautiful white sand. Hwasun Golden Sand Beach sits in the shadow of Sanbangsan Mountain, one of Jeju’s most beautiful scenic features. Jungmun Beach is Jeju’s best-known beach with many 5-star hotels.
If you are “templed out” after your touring on a Myanmar vacation, the perfect solution is the very good beach resort, Ngapali. It’s a gorgeous place with palm-fringed white sandy beaches and clear waters on the Bay of Bengal. Although it offers upscale hotels and many activities including, if of interest, jet skiing and parasailing among other water sports, it still retains its laid-back fishing village atmosphere. It boasts 12 kilometres/7 miles of excellent beachfront and the sunsets here are wonderful.
My favourite resort on Malaysia vacations is Langkawi. It is a stunningly beautiful archipelago made up of 99 islands and surrounded by a turquoise sea. The beautiful interior is a mixture of rice paddies and jungle-clad hills. The main island of Langkawi is recognized as having excellent snorkeling and scuba diving facilities. Its best-known beaches offer something for everyone on Asia tours. Pantai Cenang is the most popular beach where you can find a diverse mixture of cafes and restaurants as well as souvenir shops and duty-free outlets along its picturesque beach. Its nightlife is the liveliest in Langkawi. Another is Tanjung Rhu which has one of Langkawi’s best shorelines. The waters are as clear as crystal. It is relatively quiet with a background of dense jungle. There are many other beaches to choose from in Langkawi.
The Philippines are made up of around 7,000 islands so it isn’t surprising that it has an abundance of beach resorts. The island of Boracay is probably the country’s best-known resort which caters to every kind of visitor on a Philippine vacation, from the active to the passive. It offers secluded strips of sand, coves, caves and cliffs. The large waves are perfect for windsurfers. Accommodation ranges from budget to ultra deluxe. The nightlife with pubs, bars, and restaurants is there for the taking on Asia tours.
El Nido in Palawan has won many accolades as one of the most beautiful resorts in the world. This is probably because it has around 50 beaches of white sand and also because it is a large marine reserve where the sea is rich in wildlife due to the coral, and where you can view dolphins and lots of tropical fish. The island has something for everyone, from water sports, scuba diving, and snorkeling, to enjoying a relaxing and tranquil environment.
Bohol is similar to Boracay with fine white sand and crystal-clear blue waters. The diving around the island is among the best in the Philippines and marine species are abundant. You can explore the underground lagoon at Hinagdanan Cave or visit the famous Chocolate Hills in Carmen, which are covered in green grass that turns brown like chocolate during the dry season.
If you are looking for fairly commercial resorts with everything you could wish for on Asia tours in the way of beaches, nightlife, restaurants, bars, shopping etc., then you will probably head to the world-famous resorts of Phuket and Koh Samui while on a Thailand vacation. They both have lots to recommend them, certainly, but if you prefer somewhere quieter and more peaceful, try the following. Not too far from Phuket is the resort of Krabi, in many ways a smaller version. What it does have is stunning scenery with mile after mile of white sand beach. Ao Nang Beach is the best known and most developed beach in the area. It is not crowded and has a peaceful atmosphere. You have views of the majestic looking limestone cliffs that rise straight out of the clear waters of the sea. Also, in the evening, experience the magnificent sunsets. For a relaxing time, head to Railay Beach with its limestone cliffs and cut-off location. There are many other activities in which to indulge yourself in Krabi, including visits to hot springs, a cave temple, and a national park.
Beautiful Phi Phi Island is usually reached by boat from Phuket. Actually, it is an archipelago consisting of 6 islands with coral reefs and surrounded by limestone karsts. The largest island is Ko Phi Phi Don which offers white sand beaches and has a tranquil laid-back atmosphere. Ko Phi Phi Leh is the second largest island and was made famous by the filming of the film, The Beach.
If you want something lush and tropical, go to Koh Pha Ngan. This island consists of more than half rainforest, making it a natural paradise. Apart from beaches ideal for swimming and water sports, you can enjoy the national park with its spectacular scenery including waterfalls and its many panoramic viewpoints, or visit an elephant camp.
While on a Vietnam vacation, there are a number of attractive and pleasant resorts to choose from. Phu Quoc Island, the largest island in the country located in the Gulf of Thailand, is known for its idyllic beaches, fabulous sunsets, and tranquil atmosphere. The north of the island is made up of a UNESCO World Heritage-recognized national park. The south is where to find the beaches, some luxury resorts, as well as beachside activities. Inland, you can explore traditional villages, nature parks, and Buddhist pagodas.
Nha Trang is located on the east coast surrounded by majestic mountains. This former fishing village is well-known for its beaches and seafood. Known as the “Riviera of the South China Sea,” it boasts miles of uncrowded beaches, offshore islands, and coral reefs. You can enjoy boat rides to the untouched small outer islands.
There are many more attractive resorts to enjoy on Asia tours, which time doesn’t allow to be written about here. The message is that Asia definitely offers the ability to combine cultural activity very handily with the opportunity to enjoy some rest and relaxation before heading home.
Get the latest travel trends & hear about the best deals on vacations around the world.
If you’re a Globetrotter, these are the newsletters for you!