The world’s best islands in Asia to visit in 2018

Little finger or Leingking Indonesia

Asia has one of the most amazing islands in the world from the tropical secluded islands in Indonesia, the old Portuguese enclave of Sri Lanka to the entertaining island of Macau that is even supposed to be better than Vegas. For every type of traveler Asia seems to have an island ready.

If you are the type of traveler that is longing for a couple of days relaxing at a white sandy beach with a crystal clear blue sea, but don’t want to be overrun by tourists then this blog post is for you.

I have selected the world’s most stunning islands in Asia for 2018 that are still not receiving mass tourism with some handy tips and recommendations.

Thailand

Phu Lanka , Phayao , ภูลังกา, พะเยา

Thailand has some great beaches, but many of them stagger under the weight of development. I have picked the islands that have retained a sleepy, tropical charm although completely deserted islands you will not find anymore.

Koh Chang

With steep, jungle-covered peaks, picturesque Ko Chang is the third largest island in Thailand. Although it is not secluded it is big enough so that everyone can find what they’re looking for, whether it’s a backpacker haven or quiet white sand beaches.

Klong Koi Beach is a small and quiet beach, right off Bang Bao village. Bang is the last village at the South of Koh Chang and much smaller than the rest. It is laidback with just a few restaurants, houses and a quiet market. Although the beach is not crystal white it is lined with palm trees, it has a clean beach and is overall very relaxed. Another chill out beach is the southern half of Klong Prao. The beach is quiet, never too busy and you can find shops, bars and restaurants.

Where to stay

Oasis is located up a hill and has 14 bungalows spread out in a beautiful garden, bordering the jungle in the village called Lonely beach. The view is absolutely beautiful to wake up to and the food the restaurant serves is divine. Price is 40 EUR a night.

Accommodation Koh Chang
Photo credi Oasis

If you want to have more privacy then Maddekehaoo might be your cup of tea as it is a wonderful and exclusive structure situated in a picturesque jungle, in front of the lovely and romantic lagoon in Klong Prao. The sea is just a 150 meters only.

Best Accommodation Koh Chang
Photo credit Maddekehaoo
Unique Accommodation Koh Chang
Photo credit Maddekehaoo

Indie Beach Beachfront is located at a peaceful exotic hippie beach. They offer a shared kitchen on the beach for all guests to use or you can enjoy amazing food & a relaxed athmosphere at their restaurant. 30 EUR per night.

Cheap accommodation Koh Chang
Photo credit Indie Beach

How to get there

The most convenient and fast transportation option is flying to Trat Airport. There are daily flights from Bangkok. Best is to book tickets online via www.bangkokair.com. From Trat Airport you can take a shared minibus service which you can book in advance.

You can also get to Koh Chang by bus from Ekkamai bus terminal in Bangkok.  The best bus to take is the 999 run by the government ‘Transport Co. Ltd’.  They leave twice daily at 07:45 and 09:00 which will drop you off at one of the ferry piers. These buses also make a stop at Suvaranbhumi Airport Transportation terminal around 08:20 and 09:45. The buses are modern and you’ll also get served a free snack onboard.

Koh Yao Noi

Koh Yao Noi is a haven if you are looking for a quiet stay. It is around 30-60 minutes by boat from Phuket or Krabi. The islands are home to 4000 residents and provides a great option for swimming, kayaking, hiking and snorkeling. It also is a great getaway for exploring the inland nature. This place will take you into a slower, friendlier pace of life.

Where to stay

Best accommodation on Koh Yao Noi
Photo credit Island hideout

The Island Hideout is a cozy sustainable luxury resort tucked into the jungle with amazing views. From 56 USD per night.

 

Stunning accommodation on Koh Yao Noi
Photo credit Lom’Lae Jambee

Lom’Lae Jambee is a lovely bungalow located directly at the sea, on the nicest beach on Koh Yao Noi. The bungalow is beautiful and comfortable, rustic and charming. The staff is very helpful and friendly. The location is perfect, on a secluded beach, simply the best beach on the whole island. Price is

Accommodation on Koh Yao Noi
Photo credit Baan Garden

In the middle and center of Koh Yao Noi, is a cozy little café Baan Garden Café. The rooms are simple, but they have a lovely garden and delicious Thai food. Price per night is 19 EUR.

Unique Accommodation on Koh Yao Noi
Photo credit Lair Lay house

Lair Lay house has stunning views on the sea facing an amazing sunset. It is located in a nice fisher neighborhood. The owner is very helpful and can show you the island and suggest best places to go. Price is 105 EUR per night for the whole bungalow.

Where to stay on Koh Yao Noi
Photo credit Lair Lay house

How to get there

There are regular daily longtail and speedboat ferry services. Travel time varies depending on the boat used. Trips to and from the Phang Nga mainland take 90 minutes. Boats depart Phuket (Bang Rong pier), Krabi two piers) and Phang Nga (Tha Dan Pier) for Ko Yao Noi.

Koh Bulon Lae

Best Thai islands
Photo credit Milos Prevelic

If you want to go back in time and maybe even unplug yourself from modern world (twenty-four-hour electricity is limited), this is the place to be. Koh Bulon Lae is a magical spot in the Andaman Sea. Tiny Koh Bulon has one stunning beach along the east coast, and some options to unwind with a beer or cocktail. Explore the small jungle, go on a fishing trip with a local and enjoy immaculately fresh catches, the seafood is delicious!

Where to stay

Pansand resort has an idyllic location with white sands and turquoise sea. Bulone is unspoilt and has fabulously clear water.

How to get there

To get to Koh Bulon Lae you can book a combined minibus and ferry transfer via Pakbara Pier from Trang or Hat Yai. In both cities they are departing at 09:00 for 600 baht in high season. You can also take a public minibus from Hat Yai’s Talad Kaset Station to Pakbara and buy a boat ticket there. There are no public boats in low season. A private longtail boat to Pakbara will cost around 1,500 baht for the boat.

Vietnam

Jungle beach in Vietnam
Photo credit Jungle Beach

Vietnam is not perse famous for its islands. Nevertheless, it has some beautiful islands ready to be explored. I have already covered two beautiful ones in one of my previous blog post South Vietnam: the 5 best things to see. Another secluded place I will share with you below.

Jungle Beach

Best beach in Vietnam
Photo credit Jungle beach

Jungle Beach is an isolated, still wild part of the coast surrounded by rocky hills a tropical vegetation. If you need an off-the-beaten-track experience, this is where you need to go. The beach itself is excellent and fairly deserted. There is beach volleyball, and hammocks galore!

Where to stay

Best accommodation Jungle Beach Vietnam
Photo credit Jungle Beach

You can stay at Jungle Beach. It’s not luxurious and pretty basic, but it’s the perfect getaway and extremely relaxing. You can relax on the beach or in one of the hammocks, hike through the jungle, rent a bicycle and drive along the 12km coastline road that runs behind Jungle Beach. It offers spectacular views and a picturesque little fishing village at the end.

Jungle beach Vietnam
Photo credit Jungle beach

How to get there

Jungle beach is 60km from Nha Trang. If you are coming by bus from Hoi An, get off at the Doc Let stop and ask motorbike drivers to take you to Jungle beach for about VND 50,000 per bike. Jungle Beach can help to arrange transport as well at very reasonable prices from Nha Trang Airport. From Nha Trang city, cars and mini vans will take you here for around 280,000 to 350 000 VND. Motorbike riders will cost anywhere between 100,000 & 150,000 VND.

Cambodia

Although you might not know it, but also Cambodia has over 60 islands to choose from. Cambodia’s islands have remained relatively untouched. They are all famous for their jungle-clad interior, and the nightly magic of bioluminescent plankton.

Koh Rong Samloem

Koh Rong Samloem is situated eighteen kilometers west of Sihanoukville in southern Cambodia. It is much more quiet and relaxed than its larger brother Koh Rong. For a more secluded getaway feel, head to the island’s west.

Where to stay

Best accommodation Koh Rong Samloem
Photo credit Samloem Laguna

Saracen Bay has some of the most beautiful private beach bungalows and chalets. A beautiful place to stay is Samloem Laguna. You can already stay from 45 USD a night.

Unique accommodation Koh Rong Samloem
Photo credit Samloem Laguna
Cheap accommodation Koh Rong Samloem
Photo credit Mpai Bay

Another great place to stay is M’Pai bay. The beach house is uniquely designed and hand-crafted to blend traditional Cambodian home-style with modern comforts. If a relaxed vibe of a small village is what your after then I can’t recommend the beach house enough. It has a community vibe, with family dinners and you will feel home right away.

Cheap stay Koh Rong Samloem
Photo credit Mpai Bay

How to get there

Return boat fares from Sihanoukville cost around between $ 10.00 – $ 30.00 depending on the type of boat. You can purchase your ticket from one of the booking offices by Serendipity Beach Pier in Sihanoukville.

Malaysia

There are hundreds of beautiful islands within Malaysia, that cover the western peninsula, the eastern peninsula and the islands around Borneo. For every type of traveler there is a suitable island to relax and unwind whether you are a scuba diver, a food lover, a backpacker or a honeymooner.

Tioman Island

Best beaches Asia
Photo credit The Nipah

On the southeastern side of the Island of Malaysia there is a group of 64 islands, of which Tioman Island is the largest one. If deserted beaches with turquoise waters, stunning waterfalls surrounded by a lush green jungle and a laidback life is your thing, this is your place to be.

Where to stay

Unique accommodation Togian Islands
Photo credit The Nipah

The Nipah is a wonderful place to stay right at the beach with the jungle just behind, cozy and clean beach chalets. It is a real little paradise and delicious food. The price is 32 EUR a night.

Best accommodation Tioman Island
Photo credit Lanting rainforest retreat

Lanting Rainforest Retreat is set amidst a tropical rainforest. It is stunning and everything is taking care of. You can stay in sea chalets, jungle sarangs and wooden houses. While the resort’s main concern is to preserve nature, you don’t have to worry about missing out on any of your luxuries.

How to get there

You can reach Tioman via a 2-hour ferry ride from Mersing Jetty. You can find more information about Tioman here.

Indonesia

Indonesia consists of over 17000 islands of which Bali, Java and Sumatra are the most well-known. There are too many hidden gems that still need to be discovered. I have picked a few worth a visit.

Mentawai island

Mentawai island Indonesia
Photo credit Pexels

Just off West Sumatra in Indonesia, you can find the Mentawai Islands. It is a chain of around 70 islands. The islands are home to an ethnic group that is struggling to keep their culture. The people are masters in body art and heavily spiritual. Spend a few nights in the jungle with the Mentawai tribe, learn about their culture, join the shamans and try new food.

The islands are also famous for its great surfing and have some unique flora and fauna.

Where to stay

Surfing villa Mentawai Island
Photo credit Surfing villa

If your budget allows or if you are traveling with a group then this surfing villa is very nice. It is nicely decorated, quiet and you have private access to the boat. Price is 211 EUR per night.

Best accommodation Mentawai island
Photo credit Surfing villa

How to get there

The Mentawai Islands have become much easier to reach with the introduction of a 200-seater speedboat, the Mentawai Fast. Mentawai Fast conveniently runs from the dock in central Padang. The total journey time to Siberut is six hours.

Poki Poki

The Togian Islands is and archipelago with about 56 islands, in Central Sulawesi. Poki Poki is located on the south tip of the Togian Islands. The Togian islands are amazing for diving with an abundance of underwater life.

Where to stay

An amazing place to stay is Poki Poki. They understand themselves as a playground for body and soul with the perfect mix of good food, good people and good vibes with a focus on sustainability.

How to get there

The Togian Islands are a true treasure, but as with all treasures not the easiest to get to.

There are two main hubs which will bring you to the Togian Islands, Ampana and Gorontalo. Amapana would be the best to fly to as from here it is easy to get to Poki Poki as there are several daily boat connections.

Gorontalo is well connected by flight, but there is only one ferry that connects it with the rest of the island and that one only goes twice a week. Have a look at this information to get a more detailed insight how to get to Poki Poki.

What are your Asian island gems that are still relatively untouched?

 

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3 Comments

  1. Pardon me. Please include Jeju island (South Korea), also known as “island of the gods”to locals. My family enjoyed stunning natural landscapes.
    To name a few, …Waterfall, Folk Village Museum, Yeomiji Botanical Gardens, Mini World and Miniature Theme Park, Manjanggul Lava-Tube Cave, Jeongwol Daeboreum Fire Festival (early February), Jeju Teddy Bear Museum, Green Tea Museum, etc

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