Top seven hidden beaches of Asia
Asia is famous for its stunning beaches, but there is nothing worse than being in paradise but having to battle through crowds of other holidaymakers. We’ve put our specialists to the test and asked them to pick out their top seven hidden beaches across the continent, where you can relax in luxury and escape the masses.
Myeik Archipelago, Burma
With the rising popularity of Burma, it is not surprising to find that people are wanting to combine the country’s fantastic culture with some time on the beach. Most people head to the better known beaches around Ngapali, but if you head away from the well-trodden path you will find some stunning islands and fantastic beaches. This is where Myeik Archipelago comes in! A visit to the sea nomads is a must in this wonderful region and really opens your eyes, but the real star attraction has to be the amazing beaches and tranquil turquoise waters. The best way to explore this untouched part of the world is by boat, and our specialists can recommend you some spectacular luxurious yachts, offering different length trips and different sailing options but all stunning!
El Nido, Philippines
When planning a trip to the Philippines, people tend to flock to the paradise islands of Boracay or Cebu in the Visayas – the best known of the Philippine islands. But if you want something a bit more low key then El Nido is for you. Composed of 45 islands and islets, the Municipality of El Nido is perfect for island hopping. There are a few options for places to stay, but the El Nido Resorts are in a league of their own. The El Nido Lagen Island is our favourite – perfect for honeymooners, settle into your own overwater chalet, from which you can snorkel or kayak out to amazing coral. If you want even more seclusion, go on an island hopping trip and find your own hidden beach.
Tunku Abdul Rahman Islands, Malaysia
The islands off of Kota Kinabalu have become known for their beaches. One of Imagine’s all-time favourite places is Gaya Island Resort – an idyllic paradise which is testimony to the fact you can take a stunning setting, keep its natural beauty, but add in stunning luxury villas with access to the beautiful beach. Accessible only by boat and surrounded by pure golden sands, unspoiled coral reefs and virgin rainforest of Sabah’s idyllic Tunku Abdul Rahman Islands, Gaya Island Resort is a stylish spa retreat offering relaxing luxury for couples and families alike. The very definition of a tropical island escape, this luxury resort is totally conducive to relaxation.
Koh Rong, Cambodia
A small island chain off the coast of Cambodia, the Koh Rong archipelago is an absolute hidden gem. For those who enjoy five star luxury you can’t look past the amazing private island resort of Song Saa. With a choice of stunning overwater or jungle villas, you really can’t go wrong here. Straddling two private islands adrift in the turquoise seas of the Gulf of Thailand, the resort offers one island for relaxing on and the other for exploring. A stay here means that you’ll be among a handful of lucky adventurers to experience this beautiful, untouched paradise, where nothing disturbs the peace other than the sound of lapping waves. You can spend time walking among old-growth rainforest, watch exotic reef fish swim under your overwater villa or see rare hornbills land on your balcony. Song Saa is a stylish and romantic barefoot paradise where you can live out your Robinson Crusoe fantasies in blissful seclusion.
Panglao Island, Philippines
Away from Cebu, the second city of the Philippines, lies the lovely island of Panglao, just off Bohol. Not only a great place to escape to for some time on the beach, but it also has some lovely wildlife spots such as the Western Tarsier and the locally famous Coco Hills. There are a few places to stay in this island paradise; an Imagine favourite is the lovely Amorita Resort. The location is the real winner here – set on a clifftop garden with stunning ocean view villas with private plunge pools. It’s difficult to tear yourself away from your villa at Amorita, but if you are a dive enthusiast it’s worth getting out onto the roof – you have a good chance of seeing hammerhead sharks and some amazing black coral forest.
Koh Samet, Thailand
Only two hours away from bustling Bangkok, Koh Samet is surprisingly a real hidden gem and its handy location means it fits perfectly with any of our cultural tours, letting you add some relaxing beach time on to the end of your holiday. Stay at the Paradee Resort – an intimate and languid barefoot luxury escape that is hard to fault. With its stunning villas set on a private white sand beach, this is the perfect hidden escape with a chic rustic feel. We would recommend villa 104, which has its own pool that runs sideways onto the beach. At the end of a day on the beach, sit by your villa with a cocktail and enjoy the stunning views out onto the beach and sea, without getting your feet sandy!
This is our wild card entry! Not a beach as such, but the River Resort in Champasak is a stunning resort hidden amongst a beautiful delta, and offering sand and great sunset views over the water… so we’ve decided to count it amongst our hidden beaches! This is the perfect place to head for some relaxation and is a world away from Asia’s crowded touristy beaches. Spend a day cycling through the delta, explore Wat Phou and Wat Luang, or head out to Tad Fane waterfall and walk the bridge spanning the top. An elephant ride on the Bolaven Plateau is sure to be a highlight here... and at the end of a day exploring, relax in your villa overlooking the mighty Mekong and you’ll find the sunset views rival the beach! While you might not have the sound of the sea to lull you to sleep, we are sure you will agree this is an absolute hidden gem.
Check out our Laos Family Adventure which takes you to the River Resort in Champasak. Get in touch with our specialists on 020 3141 2850 to tailor this into your perfect trip.