The pink sands of Indonesia or the dramatic cliffs of Thailand? Beautiful beaches can find every corner of the far East.
While it can be a headache deciding which one to visit, we have a list of the 15 best beaches in Southeast Asia to help you to make up your mind.
Our travel experts have inspected beaches in this region for years and chosen the most beautiful ones based on untouched beauty and the quality of sand and water.
Scroll down to see stunning beaches which likely be your next Southeast Asia vacation in the summer.
Traveling to Koh Kood sounds like an expedition in your Thailand vacation. It requires one hour flight from Bangkok, followed by a car ride through lush green countryside and temples to the ferry pier, then another hour boat ride to the island. Slow and calm and tranquil, Koh Kood mostly makes for a place for little things. You rest in the deckchairs beneath the palm trees. You take a quiet boat ride. You swim in the warm turquoise sea. You read a book. You gently unwind your mind to the sound of birdsong and the hush of the waves. Koh Kood exudes a beauty so elegant that it’s nearly impossible to leave.
A trip to Krabi will be incomplete without a 15-minute longtail boat to the exquisite Railay. This beach attracts tourists who want to conquer challenging cliffs and be stunned at the beautiful deep blue water. Because of its remoteness, Railay Beach can only be accessed by boat which makes it less crowded than other nearby coastlines. If you are still hesitant, it has an average of 272 days of sun a year: a perfect place to take off your shoes, walk barefoot on the white soft sand, and soak under the sun for half of a day.
Located in the Gulf of Thailand with the two famous Koh Phangan and Koh Samui, but Khanom is definitely different. Pristine, idyllic, peaceful, and hardly see a person in sight, Khanom beach is a gem for someone who wants to stay away from the noise. It’s also a great chance to see the beautiful rare pink dolphins - a symbol of the beach.
Choeng Mon Beach steals our travel experts’ hearts with its sheer untouched beauty. The beach is everything you could dream of in a tropical beach: sugary white sand, crystal clear safe water, and picturesque views. This is an ideal destination for families looking to fully settle into the laid-back or couples looking for a romantic beach stroll and a ‘tucked away’ feeling.
Located on Con Dao Island, Dam Trau is one of the top 10 best beaches in Vietnam. Dam Trau is famed for its sheer untouched beauty, and warm crystal blue water backed by lush jungles. The powdery sand and shallow beach make it perfect and safe for kids. It’s interesting to see planes flying just meters above your head as they come into the land as the beach is only 12 kilometers from Co Ong Airport.
After driving 40 minutes from Quy Nhon, through sand dunes and beautiful sceneries, you will reach an oasis lying in a little calm bay. Simply stunning, Ky Co boasts an unspoiled nature, crystal clear water, and rugged rocks. It’s something out of a dream, a beach that you want to keep secret from others.
Few tourists skip Hoi An - the most charming old town in Vietnam. But just 20 minutes of biking from the UNESCO World Heritage town, An Bang beach is another world away. Although some people blamed it for being overcrowded, a further walk to the left from the pathway will lead you to peace and stillness. There are loads of sunbeds and beanbags where you can spend the day reading a book and relaxing under the shade of parasols. With Dam Trau, An Bang is one of the beaches you must visit once in Vietnam.
Nested in the pristine jungles of Nui Chua National Park, Vinh Hy provides heart-stopping views of beautiful soft sand, a sloping secluded beach, rugged coast, and protected wilderness embracing 32 kilometers of coastline. Wake early in the morning to watch the fishermen sorting their catch, visit the national park to see its massive rock formations, and don’t forget to satisfy your palate with a feast of lobster - the local specialty. The laid-back vibe combined with clear blue water makes it one of the best destinations for a beach vacation.
“Incredible!” “Stunning!” are what travelers use to praise Kelingking, the most Instagram-ed icon of Bali. The beach itself is a secluded, white sandy haven surrounded by turquoise water, but what holds tourists’ breath is the T-Rex-shaped headland. Once you reach the headland, there is a difficult path leading down to the beautiful beach. Even if you don’t get the chance to trek down, the view from above is just mind-blowing.
This list will be incomplete without the Pink Beach of Indonesia, one of the only seven pink beaches in the world. It might seem like a trick of the light but its unique striking color in fact caused by a micro-organism called Foraminifera, which produces a red pigment on the coral reefs. When the red pigment combines with the white sand, it produces a lovely pink color along the shoreline. Whether you have a lovely walk on the sand, soak in the sun, or discover the beautiful marine life under the deep blue water, it’s just perfect.
In contrast to other sandy beaches on this list, Tulamben coastline consists of smooth pebbles and rocky volcanic stones. Being one of the most popular dive sites in Bali, it draws up to 100 divers each day during high season to descend into the crystal clear water for beautiful coral reefs and the WWII wreck of the US cargo ship.
The Mergui Archipelago, in far southern Myanmar, consists of more than 800 islands varying in size from very small to hundreds of square kilometers. Like the rest of Myanmar, the Mergui remains a virgin and untouched as if it is kept away from the changing of the whole world. Many of the islands haven’t been shown up on Google Maps. The picture you take will be the original. Sailing on the Mergui likes an adventure into the last paradise of the world where you discover a new thing every new day.
Located on the remote island in the western Philippines Palawan, El Nido attracts visitors with its dramatic limestone formations, lush palm trees, blindingly blue water, and the finest and whitest sand you’ll ever see. El Nido itself is home to 100 species of corals, 813 species of fish, and 45 islands and islets, each has its own beaches which are gorgeous beyond imagination. And the sunset? Well, it’ll be with you for life once you see it.
Paradise is closer than you think on Apo Island. With over 650 documented species of fish, 400 species of corals, and deep blue clear water, this small volcanic island never fails to amaze divers who flock from all over the world to explore its rich protected marine life. Swimming with turtles can be a memorable experience in your life as sea hawksbill turtles are found everywhere under the water of Apo Island.
It’s easy to see why Ngapali has always been voted as one of the best beaches in Southeast Asia. The 12-kilometer-long beach features an idyllic stretch of white powdery sand and palm tree-lined coast, perfect for all that want to get away from the hustle and bustle. Formerly a quaint fishing village, local fishermen still go out to sea daily on their boats while their women are drying the fish under the sun.