Are you dreaming about an unforgettable trip to Southeast Asia filled with palm-fringed islands, warm sand under your feet and crystal clear water?
Are you thinking about a beach vacation in Asia and feel slightly overwhelmed with a wide choice of options available?
I’ve put together a quick list of the best destinations for a beach holiday in Asia, places where you can relax, soak in as much sun as you wish and leave the stress of everyday life behind.
Redang Island in Malaysia
Redang Island, located off the coast of Terengganu in Malaysia, is a real paradise on earth with the bluest water I’ve ever seen in my life. In fact, soft white sand, turquoise sea and clearly visible marine life seem to be the norm in this part of the world.
The main activities on this calm and relaxing island include sunbathing, swimming and kayaking while I suggest trying snorkeling for anyone who wants to come face to face with some of the most beautiful tropical fish in the world.
When it comes to the accommodation, there aren’t many backpacker options on the island while there are a few 4 and 5 star solutions available. My favorite is certainly the Taaras Beach & Spa Resort I stayed at. I fell in love with its private beach and cute bungalows surrounded by greenery.
The tranquil island of Redang is an ideal destination to unwind and recharge on the Vitamin Sea.
Palawan Island in The Philippines
Palawan Island is located in the Mimaropa region of the Philippines and it’s a paradise filled with stunning bays, incredible beaches and coral reefs swirling with colorful fish.
Lonely paradise beach on Cadlao Island, El Nido
The island is home to not one but two UNESCO World Heritage Sites: The Tubbataha Reefs Natural Park and The Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park. The waters of Palawan Island are rich in beautiful species of tropical fish that you can admire while doing diving or snorkeling.
Make sure to try the delicious local cuisine as well, enjoy the vibrant street food that offers the best bites and the yummiest traditional dishes.
If you’re longing for shimmering white sands, palm trees and nature that ignites the senses, you should definitely consider Palawan Island as one of the best options available in Southeast Asia.
Phuket Island in Thailand
Thailand’s biggest island continues to experience a huge number of visitors from all over the world and is one of the most popular locations in entire Asia.
Located by the Andaman Sea, Phuket offers a wide choice of picturesque beaches and charming bays with idyllic scenery and amazing resorts nearby.
The beaches on the island are simply begging to be explored, my favorite picks include Nai Harn Beach, Kata Beach and Ya Nui Beach – all located in the south-western corner of Phuket – but the list of dreamy spots there is truly endless.
If you want to include some fun activities or a bit of nightlife between one beach day and another, you’re certainly in a perfect place to do so.
Phuket’s array of attractions involves discovering waterfalls, visiting the Big Buddha statue, enjoying a typical market shopping in Phuket Town and experiencing the vibrant Patong nightlife in the Bangla Road.
Of course, being in Thailand, one of the most recommended things to do is to try the mouthwatering typical Thai food. There are many restaurants in Phuket to explore all kinds of dishes such as the famous Pad Thai, the delicious Khao Pad Sapparot, all the regional fish food and also the international cuisine.
The little paradise island Koh Bon is just 15 minutes away from Phuket
Koh Rong in Cambodia
Koh Rong is located off the coast of Sihanoukville in the south of Cambodia and is a real gem characterized by an earthy beauty and serene atmosphere.
Given that for years the islands of Cambodia have been overshadowed by those of the neighboring Thailand. Most of them managed to maintain their natural charm and escape the mass tourism.
Although Koh Rong is becoming more and more popular recently, the island still offers many undeveloped and quiet spots ideal for relaxing and forgetting about the entire world.
Apart from Koh Touch Beach, which is the main party location over there, the island is all about swimming, snorkeling and taking sun on the white soft beaches.
If you’re longing to reconnect with the nature and with your inner self, relax and totally unplug, I think Koh Rong is an absolutely perfect place for you to go.
Bali in Indonesia
The list of the best destinations for a beach holiday in Asia wouldn’t be complete without Bali. The Indonesian island next to Lombok is famed for its numerous temples, breathtaking nature, long beaches and for the kindness and hospitality of its people.
If you’re planning a romantic getaway filled with secluded beaches and tranquility, you should consider Nusa Dua – a lovely and relaxing area of Bali.
If on the other hand you’re party-oriented, the regions of Kuta, Legian and Seminyak are certainly more suitable for you with many great clubs and bars, ideal for a fun night out.
There is no shortage of cultural experiences in Bali too as the island offers some of the most amazing ancient temples I’ve ever came across in Asia. The list of those stunning landmarks includes gems such as Tanah Lot Temple, Garuda Wisnu Kencana and Uluwatu Temple just to name a few.
You wouldn’t want to miss out on Balinese cuisine as well which is an incredible blend of spices, traditions and influences and contributes to making your stay there even more magical and unique.
Koh Lanta in Thailand
Koh Lanta is located in Thailand but is definitely smaller, more peaceful and less developed compared to its bigger sister – Phuket.
The road infrastructure is good however and you can easily go around the island and explore it on a motorbike.
The choice of lovely beaches is really wide, from a tranquil Bamboo Bay Beach and mesmerizing Nui Beach to my personal favorite, the beach of Mu Ko Lanta National Park – just to name a few.
The nightlife and parties are practically nonexistent, but there are other fun things to do in Koh Lanta such as visiting the old town, taking a cooking class, enjoying snorkeling and kayaking or going for a day trip to one of the nearby islands.
If you have a free morning, I recommend you go to the heavenly island of Koh Rok that is located only 40 min away by a speed boat.
When it comes to the accommodation there is something for everyone, from the unpretentious and laid-back bungalows to high-end resorts with infinity pools and fashionable rooms.
About the author
Barbara is the founder of crabintheair.com, a travel blog where she shares her passion for exploring the world. She loves writing about all the hotels visited, the wonderful cities discovered and the unique people met along the way.
Twice a day from my little island I see the fast ferry on its three hours journey between the tourist hot spots of Coron and El Nido, its passengers gazing out at all the beautiful islands they pass by along the way.
But not all tourists want to stay on the main tourist routes and some like to get away from the hustle to explore the quiet and peaceful places. Why not take the slower ferries and explore some of those beautiful islands in between?
Linapacan – Palawan’s untouched paradise
Guests arriving at Araw Beach, Culion Island
About the Linapacan archipelago
Linapacan, about half way between these two, is surrounded by 52, mostly deserted, paradise beach islands. The area has amazing clear water and the snorkeling is amazing. There are the million years old Seniora caves, an old Spanish fortress, cliff diving straight into the ocean, and even jungle trails for avid hikers. There are also two shipwrecks, but the local diving services are not yet fully developed.
On the largest island, Linapacan, there are two small towns of about the same size, roughly 2,000 people each, who have not yet been swamped by tourists and are still very enthusiastic and welcoming. San Miguel is the main one where the slower ferries stop, each leg from El Nido or Coron about the same three hours journey.
For those with a larger budget, they can hire a private custom boat tour and stretch out their travels through this area over several days, to visit many of the islands and amazing snorkeling spots that even the slower ferries miss.
Along the way there are quaint little hotels you can stay at, or camp out on any of the many deserted beaches. Or combine the trip with others to share and reduce costs. A private boat for a four day tour would cost roughly 40,000 pesos total, which could bring the costs down to less than $20 per person per day for a larger group. Travel on your own schedule and where you want to go, unlike the set schedules of the more expensive operators. More details here.
A lonely paradise beach on Iloc Island, Pical
Linapacan and its beautiful neighboring islands
During the 16th century the Spanish sent missionaries to the Philippines, including one to Linapacan. When they landed on shore, they saw footprints, traced them and eventually came to a hut where a beautiful woman resided. She replied that her name was Pacan and they later discovered that she was the wife of the island’s chieftain. They thus named the island Reina Pacan, in honour of the beautiful queen, but which much later was renamed to Linapacan.
As mentioned before, the island has two towns, Kaseledan and San Miguel. A road was built between those two but it is now apparently too overgrown by the jungle and dilapidated to use. But you can rent a motorbike or mountain bike from BRC hotel to venture around or see how far you get.
San Miguel is the main town where the ferries stop, but in both the number of tourists is very few and the people are very friendly and curious. If you walk south from San Miguel along the water, you can get to the beach where the Japanese-Filipino tourist guide lives with his family in a small hut. He is a remnant of WWII and is always very happy to meet tourists. Across the water is Ili Island, home of the area’s million-years-old Seniora caves, where the guide will be happy to take you. If visiting the caves, make sure not to rest your hands on any of the stalagmites, as the salt from it will eventually wear it flat and take away its fine detail.
On the way to this beach you will pass a long stretch with huts propped up out of the mud on stilts, with long wooden sidewalks between them. Quite a fun community to explore and the locals will be tickled pink by your presence.
In the other direction from San Miguel you can follow the road towards two other small communities, with their own beaches. San Miguel itself has about five hotels and a restaurant, more details you can find here.
Across from San Miguel is Patoyo Island. It is a nice island to explore with lots of jungle trails. On the side closest to San Miguel there is a very long stretch of beach with an equally long stretch of beautiful corals to snorkel through. A tent camp was recently built there, but the owner is not very friendly and charges money to use his beach. From there you can hike over the hill to the next beach, heading east, to Henkey’s grocery shop. Great place to stop for lunch and they would be happy to direct you to their local, natural “swimming pool”, where there is also great snorkeling.
Secluded beach on Patoyo Island
Another paradise beach on Patoyo Island
Continuing along the trail over the mountain ridge, you will find a great viewpoint at the top of it before continuing down to the other side, where there is a string of three beaches with lovely rock formations in between. Eventually you will get to the end of the last beach, where my boatman lives and who would be happy to act as your island’s guide. Such as up the steep hidden trail above his house to the island’s highest mountain.
There is also great snorkeling just offshore from our camp on Dimancal Island. Tao Expeditions often stop here. From our camp you can take a trail to the other side of the island, where there is another small fishing village and a very long stretch of deserted beach, with its own cute, little cemetery. But before you get to the other side, half way there we carved a jungle trail to the top of the island’s largest mountain and from where you can get a fantastic view of the area.
On Dimancal Island
Volunteer working at Karel’s kitesurfing camp
Across from our camp is Mangligad Island, with a little family hut on each side and more long beaches to explore, with an easy path to cross to the other side. Possibly the best snorkeling in the immediate area can be found on the other side, but best to arrange all that with a local boat tour, as it is hard to find.
Continuing further to Inapupan island, the locals are now calling it Turtle Island, because there are many there. Two of them can be occasionally seen floating off our beach as well, where they sometimes lay their eggs.
In the opposite direction from our island of Dimancal there is a small island in the open ocean called Debogso. It is my favorite island for snorkeling and exploring, including a steep climb up a grassy ridge which will take you to a tree jutting horizontally out from the hill and a great place to rest.
There is a very small beach on the end of it which has a small cave you can walk through. Quite a romantic place to camp on overnight. From the beach along the west side of the island, the snorkeling is very interesting because of the rock formations. It feels like you are a bird flying. Around the corner there are two inlets leading into the island, but the second one continues through a cave tunnel which will take you back to an opening at the beach. But be careful, because the rocks are jagged if the waves are too strong. Since the island is out in the open ocean, it can only be gotten to if the waves are calm enough.
Another gem of Linapacan: Cala Cala Island
Araw Beach on Culion Island
How I found this place
Many of my guests ask me how I found this remote little paradise, so here it goes.
Born in Prague, growing up in Canada, I eventually found myself in South East Asia and spent more than two years on the beautiful island of Koh Phangan in Thailand. But that not quite serving my cup of tea, I decided to hit the road on a motorbike and make my way across Asia as part of my life mission to visit a hundred countries before I die. Fortunately, my online job allowed this flexibility.
My 50th birthday was approaching, one which for a decade I planned to make a super party. Some friends suggested El Nido, I fell in love with pictures I found on the internet, but decided on a remote resort east of the town and settled for two months in the lovely archeological village of Sibaltan. It is here that I first thought of starting an island hopping service.
Through ebay I bought three portable, foldable, plastic solar panels handmade by a forest ranger in the U.S. and set out on a journey to hop my way from island to island. Most did not have any electricity, which I needed for my online income, but I was assured that there was a mobile signal for internet almost everywhere. My plan was to collect a database of homestays and fishermen to string together different routes and packages.
First destination, the lovely island of Iloc, in Pical. I stayed at the village captain’s hotel, always buzzing with activity, such as collecting the island’s daily fish catch or peeling cashews to send off to Manila. I asked about a guide to take me to the small community on the other side of the island, but he said it was so small it wasn’t worth it, but offered to take me to San Miguel, since he goes there every Monday to register his island’s fish earnings.
Another lonely beach on Iloc Island, Pical
Peeling cashews at Captain’s House
For two months I stayed in this town, using it as a base to explore the 52 islands in the Linapacan area. Eventually I learned that the owner of the hotel I was staying at owned some property on a nearby island. I worked out a deal with him and henceforth launched my long held dream, on Patoyo Island.
Unfortunately, his property was located on the other side of the island from the mobile signal tower and I had to catch 2G internet from a tower half way to Coron. I got into a routine of climbing over volcanic rock every day with my small motorcycle battery and laptop to get a few hours of high-speed internet, but that and other problems, such as the raging wind which ripped apart all my tents once the trade winds changed, forced me to..
Although we’ve been to Chiang Mai a couple of times, we actually never managed to visit Pai. That changed recently in October this year. Despite the information we’ve read about Pai, the expectations weren’t too high as the town apparently changed a lot during the last years and lots of visitors are coming to Pai nowadays.
But what can I say, Pai surprised us absolutely! It actually reminded us a little bit of Koh Phangan, at least the atmosphere in town. The only difference is that you are surrounded by rice fields and mountains instead of the ocean. Pai is a quite small town, but the vicinity has a lot to offer and it doesn’t get boring so fast as there is much to discover in and around Pai.
Of course we recorded our Pai experiences with our GoPro Hero6 and DJI Mavic Pro drone and created a video from all the footage.
In the video you can see the following places: Coffee in Love, Memorial Bridge, Wat Phra That Mae Yen, Mor Paeng Waterfall, Bamboo Bridge, Pai Canyon, Wat Mae Hee, Mae She Thai Patthana Chit Chaloem Phra Kiai, Land Split, Santichon (Chinese Village) and the Yun Lai Viewpoint.
Have fun with our latest Thailand video of Pai. We really liked the town and the video shows the diversity of Pai and its surroundings. You can find more videos about Thailand, the Philippines, Malaysia und more on our YouTube channel. Don’t miss out on any of our videos and subscribe to our channel!
Pai - Northern Thailand getaway drone video (GoPro Hero6 + Mavic Pro) - YouTube
Have you ever been to Pai? Did you like our Pai video? Leave us some feedback in the comments below.
Koh Lipe was one of the destinations in Thailand that have been on our bucket list for a long time. But somehow a visit never actually worked out. This has changed in May this year and we finally explored the small island, often referred to as the “Maldives of Thailand”.
In high season Koh Lipe is often associated with mass tourism. But during low season, where we visited the island, the beaches are often empty, quiet and at least as long as the sun is shining, Koh Lipe is a little piece of paradise.
During our stay on Koh Lipe we filmed many scenes with our GoPro’s and this time we also recorded some footage from above with our DJI Mavic Pro drone.
You can see the following places in the video: Sunrise Beach, Pattaya Beach, Sunset Beach, the Walking Street as well as the neighboring island of Koh Adang and its viewpoint.
Have fun with our latest video about the beautiful island of Koh Lipe. If you want to get some more inspiration for your travels and see some more videos, take a look at our YouTube channel. If you don’t want to miss any of our upcoming videos, don’t forget to subscribe!
Koh Lipe - Maldives of Thailand drone video (GoPro Hero5 + Mavic Pro) - YouTube
You can find more information about the highlights of the island like beaches or activities in the Koh Lipe category on our blog.
Did you like our Koh Lipe video? Have you ever been to the island or would you like to go there? We’re looking forward for reading some feedback below.
The Haad Yuan is situated about 3 kilometers north of the famous Haad Rin Full Moon Beach at the east coast of Koh Phangan. As the beach is not so easy to reach, you will find – compared to other beaches on Koh Phangan – just a few visitors.
You can only get there by boat e.g. from Haad Rin Beach or you can hike about 2 hours from Haad Rin town through the jungle on the east coast. The trip to the beach is definitely worthwhile since the Haad Yuan is one of the most beautiful beaches of Koh Phangan!
A day trip to Haad Yuan at the east coast of Koh Phangan
Haad Yuan from above
The Haad Yuan is especially known for its Eden Garden Party, which takes place every Saturday and where people party until the early morning. There are many people who just visit Haad Yuan for this very party as there are only few accommodations at the beach. Hence, the choice is not so large.
How to get to Haad Yuan
You can always find a longtail boat at Haad Rin Beach waiting for customers to take them to the east coast of the island, which is actually pretty hard to reach if you go overland. Depending on the season and demand, prices vary slightly between 200 and 300 baht per person one way.
View from the boat at the Haad Rin Full Moon Beach
During the boat ride you will see a lot of motifs for nice pictures like Haad Rin itself, the Haad Khontee or the rock formations right before arriving at Haad Yuan. By the way, most of the boats don’t have any sun protection, so be sure to not forget some sunblocker and cover your head properly.
The view upon arrival at Haad Yuan is really nice: Beautiful turquoise water in which I wanted to jump immediately and a fine white sand beach, which is not crowded at all. The first impression was more than good.
Haad Yuan – dreamlike beach at the east coast
The first thing we did after arriving at Haad Yuan was looking for a comfortable shady spot. You will also find a few sunbeds and umbrellas in front of some resorts along the beach, if you prefer that. But you have to order at least a drink at the hotel bar to use them.
The quiet bay of Haad Yuan is ideal for paradise-like pictures and the water is really suitable for a good swim. It gets deep pretty fast, so you can swim properly and on top of that, the water is so unbelievably clear. Furthermore, there are no stones whatsoever and the underground is soft everywhere. Absolutely fantastic.
The trip to the remote beach of Koh Phangan has paid off already. There are also a few bars and restaurants at Haad Yuan or on the rocks at the northern end of the beach if you get hungry or thirsty.
Haad Yuan from the air
A new highlight for us is our DJI Mavic since the end of last year. A small drone and our latest toy to make some wonderful shots from the air. There is actually not much to tell – pictures say much more than words.
If you are curious how other places on Koh Phangan might look from above, check out our first Koh Phangan drone video.
From Haad Yuan to Haad Thian
If you visit Haad Yuan, you can also combine it with a visit to the next bay – the Haad Thian Beach. Those two beaches are connected by a short walk of 10 minutes.
Tip: You can tell your boat driver to pick you up at the Haad Thian instead of the Haad Yuan, where he dropped you off. That’s what we did. They drop you off without any problems at one beach and pick you up at the next bay for the same price.
The way is really easy to find. You just have to walk to the northern end of the Haad Yuan and follow the wooden path on the rocks to the Eden Garden Bar, until you reach a staircase made of stone. On the way you will have some nice views at Haad Yuan and a couple of great photo motifs.
The restaurant of the Bamboo Huts also offers a terrific view and if you are hungry, it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some food with a view. We just bought some cool drinks and kept on walking the short distance passing some of the bungalows to Haad Thian.
Choosing the right destination for a vacation can be overwhelming. There are so many wonderful options offering different experiences. Romantic cities like Paris or Rome make great choices to vacation. Traveling to Asia can bring new insights and tastes you might have only read about.
Why you should visit Tokyo
Japan is one of the most popular travel destinations for the region. Japan maintains a strong sense of traditional and cultural history while also being a world leader in innovative technology and fashion. Tokyo, in particular, is an exciting and bustling city that boasts a wide range of activities. Here are eight reasons why you should pick Tokyo for your next vacation.
For those with a strong interest in tech gear or geeky hobbies, Akihabara is the place to go. The area has many shops carrying everything from toy models to the latest digital devices. Beyond the gadget stores, there are large department stores you can visit.
Make sure you have control of your budget, as this is a higher-end district with prices to match. Shopping is a major pastime in this city. You can find the latest boutique fashions as well as tons of vintage shops and everything else in between. When you’re out, be sure to have your passport. You won’t be able to haggle at most places but there are some shop owners who might give you additional discounts.
2. Kabuki Theater
If you want to have a historical experience while in Tokyo, you can attend a Kabuki show. Kabuki is a type of drama with very elaborate makeup, involving bright white paint on actors’ faces as well as detailed masks. There is miming, music and dancing that depends largely on the actors’ skills. And despite the multitude of female characters in the plays, all the actors are men.
You can either buy tickets on site or beforehand online to be sure to not miss any performance.
3. Cherry Blossom (Sakura) viewing
One of the most picturesque scenes that are popular from Japan is the rows of cherry and plum blossom trees. The petals float through the air and look like snow, giving a great backdrop for photos. The only downside is that these blossoms are at their fullest during the spring and they only last about a week.
Sakura at the Imperial Palace of Tokyo
4. Harajuku fashion
Outrageous fashion trends aren’t left to magazines in Tokyo. On a daily basis, you can see Japanese citizens wearing styles like Harajuku. Harajuku fashion involves bright colors, platform shoes and teased hair, sometimes also very colorful.
5. Shrines and Temples
A hallmark of Japanese scenery is the brightly painted shrines that are located around the city. The shrines are used for Buddhist or Shinto practices but are open to the public.
The oldest shrine in Tokyo is the Sensoji Shrine, which offers a quiet spot while being located in an active city. At the temples, you can even buy charms that are meant to bring you good luck, improve your love life or increase your wealth. Depending on when you go, you might even be able to see a traditional music ceremony performed by the shrine workers.
The Sensoji Temple in Asakusa
There are many more temples and shrines in the Asakusa neighborhood like the Bentendo Hall, a part of Tokyo’s oldest temple, or the Shrine of the Three Gods, the Asakusa Temple. By the way: An exciting way to explore the area would be a Tokyo Asakusa rickshaw tour.
There is an otherworldly quality to the section of Tokyo known as Odaiba. Located next to the city center, Odaiba is its own floating island offering restaurants, gorgeous architecture and various entertainment. The National Museum of Emerging Science and Innovation is located there, as well as the enormous car showroom called the Toyota Mega Web.
If you’re wondering where to stay in Tokyo with kids, consider staying in Odaiba as it will surely keep your children occupied with activities.
Gundam statue in Odaiba
7. The Food
When people think of Japanese food, usually their first thought is sushi. Sushi in Tokyo is a delicious option but not the only one. You’ll find restaurants offering traditional Japanese staples like Ramen but also more western influenced eateries like fast food chains.
There are also dessert-only cafes and maid cafes, which offer different themed foods. Definitely try Japanese curry, as it’s very different from the Indian and Caribbean versions of this dish. A great way to explore the Japanese cuisine is to take a guided Tokyo food tour.
8. Studio Ghibli Museum
Studio Ghibli is an animation house that has released several movies that have achieved worldwide popularity. The work within the museum focuses on director Miyazaki Hayao’s works, spanning the entirety of his career. This is an awesome choice for those who enjoy animated movies or have young members in their travel party.
Staying in Tokyo can be a rich cultural experience and give you a host of new memories. Having an open mind as you move through the city can lead you to interesting shops, restaurants and just sights found off the beaten path. You can enjoy a traditional cultural experience or try something innovative.
There are tons of signs in English, so navigating the city can be both fun and not too difficult. Engaging with the locals is also a great way to find more memorable attractions and not just those printed in a guidebook.
Have you ever been to Tokyo? What did you personally like most? Let us know in the comments now!
Koh Samui is the third largest island of Thailand and a popular holiday destination. With its own airport the tropical island is really easy to reach by flight. Whether you want to explore Koh Samui with an organized tour or on your own with a scooter, it certainly has the right activity for you.
Of course you need to find the right hotel for your stay on the island. That’s why we are often asked by our readers to recommend them some nice accommodations for a dream vacation.
Therefore, we have compiled our hotel recommendations for Koh Samui in this article. From dreamlike 5 star hotels to cheaper alternatives, you can find countless accommodations on the island.
Bophut is located at the north coast of Koh Samui between the town of Maenam and the famous landmark of the island, the Big Buddha. Bophut is especially popular for its beautiful Fisherman’s Village in the middle of the beach. The old Chinese town houses with the many boutiques and restaurants with a sea view are quite charming.
In addition, there is a weekly walking street at the modern Fisherman’s Wharf shopping complex in Bophut, which attracts many visitors. A great place for your holiday with many possible activities. Nevertheless, you can still enjoy the tranquility of Bophut.
The Ibis Samui Bophut is located at the western end of the beach in a peaceful environment. The hotel area with a big swimming pool directly at the beach looks very inviting from the start. Furthermore, you can enjoy the nice view at Koh Phangan from the beach or swimming pool.
The rooms of the Ibis are spread across several buildings, each with three floors. There are 209 rooms in total, all with balcony and partly with a nice ocean view. The “Taste” Restaurant provides a nice breakfast as well as lunch or dinner, which you can enjoy on site. The beautiful Fisherman’s Village is only a short walk away.
Eden Beach Bungalows – from € 48 per night BookBook
Chaweng is the most lively part of Koh Samui and is situated at the east coast of the island. The town of Chaweng offers a long and beautiful beach, where many of the best hotels of Koh Samui are located. You will also find plenty of bars, restaurants, markets and other shops along the Chaweng Beach Road so you won’t miss anything. If you like the hustle and bustle, Chaweng is the place to be.
The town of Chaweng is also the center of Koh Samui’s nightlife. You can find pubs, cocktail bars, beach clubs and discos. There is everything to spend a great night out in Thailand. You see, Chaweng is also the right place if you’re looking to go out at night.
The Anantara Lawana is located in a somewhat more quiet part at the northern end of Chaweng. The beautiful complex is situated at a small private beach and offers 122 villas for guests. From deluxe rooms to the Royal Lawana Pool Villa you will find a wide variety of accommodations.
There is also an infinity pool by the beach as well as a pool bar and restaurant, where you can enjoy your breakfast with a view at the Gulf of Thailand in the morning. Furthermore, there is the “Tree Tops” Restaurant, where you can dine in a tree house. A really unique experience.
You can find more information about the Anantara Lawana Resort & Spa on Agoda or Booking.com.
Lamai is the second largest holiday resort on Koh Samui after Chaweng. A little bit smaller and more relaxed, but there is still plenty of entertainment, restaurants, bars and a nice beach. The town of Lamai is somewhat more peaceful and therefore popular with a bit older tourists since the majority of the party scene is located in Chaweng.
Of course you can still do a lot in Lamai. For instance, every Sunday the largest walking street of the island takes place in the heart of Lamai. There are also many famous sights like the Grandfather and Grandmother Rock nearby and the Lamai Beach Road has also many shopping opportunities.
The Banyan Tree Samui is situated just outside the town of Lamai in a secluded bay with a private beach. The 88 villas of the hotel are built on a hillside with a fantastic location and a private swimming pool. The Banyan Tree offers everything you could wish for – spa and wellness, restaurants, bars, entertainment and more.
The complex is designed in a classical Thai style. The high-quality hotel is actually suited more for luxury travelers, but it will surely make your stay on Koh Samui unforgettable. The Banyan Tree is also a perfect hotel to spend your honeymoon at.
You can find more information about the Banyan Tree Samui on Agoda or Booking.com.
More hotel tips for Koh Samui in Lamai:
Rocky’s Boutique Resort – from € 111 per night BookBook
Lamai Coconut Beach Resort – from € 52 per night BookBook
Crystal Lamai Hotel – from € 33 per night BookBook
The town of Maenam is located at the north coast of Koh Samui. The almost 5 kilometers long beach and the fantastic view at the neighboring island Koh Phangan make Maenam an amazing holiday resort. Although it’s less busy than Chaweng or Lamai, it’s not too far to the lively part of Koh Samui.
Maenam Beach is a quiet place, which still attracts visitors due to this fact. There are many accommodations directly at the beach from low budget to luxury hotels and plenty restaurants inside the town. Maenam is a great spot for a peaceful and quiet holiday and yet it is still not too boring.
The high-class Santiburi Samui Beach Resort & Spa is situated directly at the Maenam Beach within a tropical garden. The 77 villas in a quiet location are equipped with everything you wish for and partly have a private swimming pool and direct access to the beach.
The well-maintained complex of the Santiburi Samui is completed by two restaurants, a lounge, a huge swimming pool, an excellent spa and a great golf course on the tropical island of Koh Samui. You can find some more restaurants and bars nearby, too. It’s also not far to get to Chaweng, the lively part of the island.
You can find more information about the Santiburi Samui Beach Resort & Spa on Agoda or Booking.com.
More hotel tips for Koh Samui in Maenam:
Khwan Beach Resort – from € 138 per night BookBook
These 4 towns are just a small insight into the popular holiday island of Koh Samui. Around the island you can book many more quiet and beautiful hotels. Here you will find another overview for hotel tips on Koh Samui at Agoda or Booking.com.
At the end of our last Malaysia trip we visited Malaysia’s holiday island Redang. The island is especially popular with locals as a weekend getaway. We went there during low season and it was relatively quiet there – so we had 3 wonderful days with perfect weather.
Of course we tried to see as much as possible of the island and its surroundings and captured everything with our GoPros.
He hope you enjoy our video and it whets your appetite! More videos you can find on our YouTube channel. If you enjoyed our video, we would be very happy about your like or subscription.
Koh Nang Yuan is located in the Gulf of Thailand and is the smallest of the neighboring islands of Koh Tao. Actually, Koh Nang Yuan consists of three islands which are connected with a sandbank. Koh Nang Yuan, Koh Nang Yuan Lek and Koh Hang Tao.
While you can also stay the night at Koh Nang Yuan, most of the visitors come with day trips from Koh Tao or the nearby islands of Koh Phangan and Koh Samui.
Day trip to Koh Nang Yuan
The beautiful and famous viewpoint itself is worth the trip, but also the dreamlike water and powdery white beach. But you have to come at the right time. How to get to Koh Nang Yuan, what’s the best time and what to do on site, can be found here.
Getting from Koh Tao to Koh Nang Yuan
From Koh Tao there are several options to get to Koh Nang Yuan. You can either do organized snorkeling trips, take the Lomprayah speedboat or hire a longtail boat.
Most of the visitors are doing one of the first two options. We decided to use the longtail boat and therefore we will feature this opportunity.
A longtail boat can be rented either on the beach of Mae Haad, the main town of Koh Tao, or at the Sairee Beach. From Mae Haad a round trip costs 400 baht per person, from the Sairee Beach it’s only 300 baht per person. Providers can be found directly at the beach.
The trip takes about 15-20 minutes and takes you past the coast of Koh Tao with terrific views at the island. You can arrange a pick-up time with your driver during the trip. The driver will then wait at the pier of Koh Nang Yuan at the arranged time to get you back to Koh Tao.
Note: There are also trips available if you are not staying on Koh Tao, but want to visit Koh Nang Yuan from Koh Phangan or Koh Samui. One of the operators is Lomlahk Khirin High Speed Ferries. Prices for a full-day trip are about 2200 baht per person including lunch, snorkeling equipment etc.
Arrival at Koh Nang Yuan
As you make your way with the longtail boat, you can see the dreamlike island as it gets closer. And the closer the island comes, the more it looks like a paradise with turquoise water. The longtail boat driver or your tour operator will leave you at the jetty of Koh Nang Yuan Lek.
Upon arrival on Koh Nang Yuan you will have to pay an entrance fee at the pay booth at the end of the jetty. The fee is 100 baht per person and you can’t take any plastic bottles with you. They are not allowed on Koh Nang Yuan and you will have to buy some drinks directly on site.
From the jetty you can take the first pictures of beautiful Koh Nang Yuan and the sandbank, before you go to explore the island.
Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint
The Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint is one of the views that you’ve probably seen on many postcards or Instagram pictures and when you visit the island, you want to see the fantastic view over the three small islands and the sandbank with your own eyes.
From the jetty on Koh Nang Yuan you will have to walk left across the sandbank. After that, a wooden walkway leads past the rocks and reveals some beautiful views for some pictures of the island.
You can follow the wooden path until you see the sign to the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint on the right hand side. From there a path leads over several stairs up to the viewpoint.
Most likely you will meet some other visitors on the way. But if you’re going in the early morning to the Koh Nang Yuan Viewpoint, it should not be too crowded.
After the 10 minutes climb up you will arrive at the top where you have to climb another few rocks. But it’s not that difficult and you will be rewarded with a breathtaking view over Koh Nang Yuan. If some people are already up there, you will maybe have to wait a few minutes to get a good spot.
Note: If you arrive late at Koh Nang Yuan, the queue in front of the viewpoint can be quite long. When I went back down, there were lots of people already waiting. I was really glad that I came early. Half of the last staircase was filled with people and I guess it would be an additional waiting time at least of 30 minutes.
Swimming and snorkeling on Koh Nang Yuan
Besides the viewpoint, the visitors like to spend time at the beach which is why there are plenty sunbeds and umbrellas available to rent. At noon the beach is pretty crowded, but the fine white sand and the crystal clear water make up for that a bit.
By the way, it’s not allowed to place your towel directly in the sand on Koh Nang Yuan. Accordingly, there are signs on the beach to indicate that, since every year several tons of sand are being removed from the island.
The water is very shallow at the beginning with fine sand. After that it will be unfortunately a little bit stony because the underground is full of dead corals. That’s why the water color is so beautiful, but you can sadly see how many corals are dead already.
Anyway, you can still watch some fish in the water near the rocks. I have to admit that I expected a far more diverse and larger underwater world on Koh Nang Yuan. But the underwater world suffered a bit with all those daily visitors. So please be careful and do not stand on living corals!
Nevertheless, you can spend a couple of hours at the beach. However, be careful because there are not so many shady spots and you will easily get a sunburn from the heat of Thailand. Sunblocker is absolutely required!
Accommodations and restaurants on Koh Nang Yuan
If you want to stay overnight on Koh Nang Yuan, there is also a resort on the small island which offers accommodations. The Nangyuan Island Dive Resort has some bungalows on the island. I’m sure you won’t be ever able to experience Koh Nang Yuan quieter than staying there overnight.
Since you are not allowed to bring plastic bottles to Koh Nang Yuan, there is of course a restaurant as well as a bar right on the beach. The water is still affordable, but with a price of 30 baht more expensive than on Koh Tao.
If you are hungry you can also order some food in the restaurant. It will be also much more expensive than you are used to in Thailand. It’s certainly not wrong to pack some snacks for your trip to Koh Nang Yuan.
Frequently we’ve been asked what is the best time to visit Bali or Lombok. This question can’t be answered easily because it depends on many variables. However, we will try to give you some advice in this very article.
Particularly, I want to answer this question for Lombok (including the Gili Islands) because I lived on the island a long period and therefore experienced all of the seasons. Since Bali is right next to Lombok, most of the information applies to Bali as well.
Best travel time for Bali, Lombok & the Gili Islands: When should I go?
Clouds over rice fields on Bali
Basically, you can travel the islands at any time. However, the best time of the year (high season) starts at the end of May/beginning of June and lasts until the end of September.
You will have by far the least rainy days during the dry season from July to September. Here you can almost be sure that the sun is shining every day. Good weather is nearly inevitable and you don’t need to worry about raining when planing some nice day trips. At most, a few clouds can occasionally wind up.
Please note that in this so-called peak season the hotel and flight prices are the highest. Often rooms (especially on the Gili Islands) are sold out or only very expensive.
Another small disadvantage during the dry season is that the islands don’t have their lush green color as usual. If you visit Lombok during that season of the year for the first time you will still be very impressed. But I have to say it is more beautiful when the mountains and landscapes are in a bright green.
Otherwise, don’t be afraid of the rainy season!
This season takes place from November to February (partly even March). Most of the time it’s raining on a daily basis and the showers are quite powerful, but the rain stops often after one or two hours. However, sometimes a shower of rain can last half a day or continue until the night falls – something like that is rarely predictable and luck of the draw. If you are lucky, you can also experience hot and sunny days without any rain during that season.
Usually there is a daily routine during the rainy season. This means: early in the morning the sun is shining and the sky is clear, at noon the first clouds start to show and in the afternoon the rain will start.
If you decide to visit Lombok during the low season/rainy season, you should plan your day trips in the early morning if possible. You will note this daily routine especially on the Gili Islands, which have their kind of own microclimate. While the clouds get stuck over the mountains of Lombok, they pass the Gilis much faster.
A small shower of rain in front of Gili Kedis near Lombok
During the rainy season on the islands the air is really hot and humid and the average temperatures are slightly higher than in the dry season. In that season the heat is really bearable and at night the temperature can drop to 20° (in the mountain regions like Tetebatu oder Senaru even below that). Sometimes it’s a pleasant cool down for a change.
The months of April and May are often unpredictable, but it’s still a very good time to visit Lombok or Bali. There can still be some rainy days, but they are quite limited.
Before: Lombok during the “green season” (Nipah Beach)
After: Lombok during the dry season
My personal recommendation for the best time to visit would be the months after the rainy season and before the high season, in other words from April to May (and beginning of June). The islands are still in a lush green and not so dry, there are just a few rainy days and the hotels are still available and not too expensive.
What is in your opinion the best time to visit Bali & Lombok? When did you visit the islands and how was the weather during your trip?
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