Before I proceed in revealing the best islands in Asia, there is one thing you should know about me. I am 100% without a doubt, a beach person. While others constantly have a need to fill their holidays with activities like biking, ziplining, and whatever action packed activity you can think of, I am perfectly happy lounging around a beautiful beach.
While others dream of conquering mountains and dangerous ravines, I dream of beautiful powder white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. With that being said, you should know you’re in good hands as I take my islands seriously. So without further ado, here are the best islands in Asia.
Karimunjawa Islands, Java, Indonesia
The Karimunjawa islands is a group of 27 islands off the coast of central Java, Indonesia. With pristine sandy beaches and turquoise blue waters, these islands are the perfect picture of paradise. The best part about this place is that it isn’t swarming with tourists in comparison to some of the islands off of Bali. The diving and snorkeling here is also worth traveling for as you have untouched reefs as you go island hopping.
Amanpulo, Palawan, Philippines
While the entire of Palawan holds a special place in my heart, the exclusive resort island of Amanpulo has to top it all. With nothing but a 5km long white sandy beach and the bluest waters imaginable, Amanpulo has to be the epitome of paradise on earth. Popular movie stars like Tom Cruise, Mariah Carey, and Robert De Niro have all visited this island paradise. Go island hopping and find yourself surrounded by the clear turquoise colored waters and lots of uninhabited islands. Now all that’s left is to win the lottery to be able to afford the $1000-7000 villas.
Komodo National Park, Indonesia
Being that Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world, there is definitely no shortage of stunning islands. The islands of Rinca, Komodo, and Padar, along with other small islands make up this National Park which people flock to every year. Take the time to climb a few of the view points in the islands and be rewarded with some of the most beautiful seaside views.
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Naturally, the beautiful island of Boracay makes it to this list. After all, I lived here for 3 years! Although the island is slowly becoming very touristy, spots like Puka Beach and other little hidden gems are still worth seeing. With its powder white sand, warm tropical waters, and jaw dropping sunsets, this island is a must see when in the Philippines.
The beautiful islands of the Maldives is made up of 26 coral atolls with over 1,192 islands spread out in the Indian Ocean. The Maldives is the epitome of picture perfect beaches and islands as the whole place looks like it popped out of a travel magazine. Private villas located on stilts dot the shallow turquoise blue waters. Aside from lounging around and jumping in the ocean from your room, you can also enjoy loads of island activities like island hopping, kayaking, surfing, and diving. We purposely didn’t choose a specific island as we just think each island here has its own endearing quality. Bottom line, they are all stunning so better head to the Maldives before it sinks!
Koh Lipe, Thailand
While Thailand has loads of beautiful islands, Koh Lipe tops our books. Dubbed as the Maldives of Thailand, this unassuming island is the perfect place to find a hammock, grab a cold beer and stare out into the vast sea filled with various shades of blue. Apart from the fact that its super affordable (think $25 for two people for food, transport, and accommodation),you can practice the art of doing nothing as you lounge around from one spot to the next.
Mergui Archipelago, Myanmar
These 800 islands spread across the Andaman Sea is now open for tourists and travelers to explore. Although the accommodations are not at par to other Southeast Asian destinations, you can now cruise through these stunning waters where you can feast your eyes on uninhabited islands, exotic marine life, and picture perfect views. The island is incredibly laid back and is the perfect place to do absolutely nothing. Oh, and the diving here is incredible as you have sites overflowing with turtles, sharks, stingrays, and seahorses.
Gili Islands, Indonesia
Although the Gilis (especially Gili T) is now very touristy, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t beautiful. Boasting of many white sandy beaches and crystal blue waters, these islands are frequented by both beach lovers and dive enthusiasts. If you want some secluded beaches, Gili Meno is definitely our pick! Laze around in their many quiet beaches and serene waters.
Related: What to Eat in Indonesia
Togean Islands, Sulawesi, Indonesia
The Togean Islands located in the Tomini Sea, although difficult to reach is one of the best island destinations to visit in Indonesia. Apart from a few beach bungalows, a handful of dive schools, and homestays, there is absolutely nothing in this place. But that’s part of the beauty of it! Tour around the many uninhabited islands, swim in a jellyfish lake, and enjoy the peace and quiet that very few beaches now have.
Havelock Island, India
When you think of India, you don’t often associate it with white sandy beaches. Haveloc Island though is the exception as you find many palm tree studded secluded beaches and picturesque villages. Home to fantastic diving, delicious seafood, and laid back island bungalows, this island is the perfect place to relax and unwind as you stare out into the warm tropical waters.
Looking for some awesome island adventures? Read some of our other articles
- What’s in the Bag? Island Hopping Essentials
- Snorkeling and Diving Spots in Asia that Will Blow You Away
- Beginner’s Guide to Snorkeling: How Not to Look Like an Idiot