30 beaches in Asia to put on your summer travel bucket list

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Editor’s Note: This article has been updated to correct the location of Yalong Bay. It is in Sanya, People’s Republic of China (mainland China), not Republic of China (Taiwan).

As the world recovers from years of a deadly and excruciating pandemic, more and more people are beginning to travel again. This time of the year, beaches in Asia may be your best destination for the summer!

Below are 30 breathtaking beaches to visit around the continent: some are well-known, others are less explored. This is far from an exhaustive list (as Asia is, of course, blessed with literal paradises on Earth), but it should help get you started with planning.

Check them out:

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1. Alegria Beach — Siargao, Philippines

The relatively untouched Alegria Beach is easily one of the best beaches in one of the Philippines’ most stunning islands, Siargao. This secluded, 3-mile-long white-sand beach has also been described to be quiet, making it perfect for a relaxing getaway.

2. Bang Tao Beach — Phuket, Thailand

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At around 3.7 kilometers, Bang Tao Beach is one of Phuket’s longest beaches. It is known for housing some of the region’s best beach clubs, as well as its finest hotels and restaurants.

3. Bophut Beach — Koh Samui, Thailand

Known for its beautiful sunsets, Bophut Beach exudes peace and calm while offering multiple water sports on the side. At its center is its famous Fisherman’s Village, which holds an exciting night market twice a week.

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4. Cenang Beach — Langkawi, Malaysia

Cenang Beach is a 1.2-mile stretch of white sand that makes a great spot for al fresco dining. It is said to be Langkawi’s most tourist-friendly beach.

5. Emerald Beach — Okinawa, Japan

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Okinawa’s Emerald Beach is known for its unique Y-shape, coral sands and cobalt blue waters. This immaculately clean beach sits at the northern end of the Ocean Expo Park.

6. Goyambokka Beach — Tangalle, Sri Lanka

Clear blue waters ideal for swimming and diving draw tourists from all over the world to Goyambokka Beach. Surrounded by palm trees, this beach is a tropical paradise that will help you make the most of an unforgettable summer.

7. Haeundae Beach — Busan, South Korea

If you like the vibe of a beach close to the city, Haeundae Beach is the perfect destination. This South Korean beach is lined with entertaining facilities and is a five-minute walk away from Haeundae Market.

8. Hamdeok Beach — Jeju, South Korea

This breathtaking beach can be found in the northeast of South Korea’s famous Jeju Island. Its clear, shallow water is a family favourite, and there are also plenty of amenities in the area.

9. Jodogahama Beach — Miyako, Japan

Stunning rock formations distinguish the scenic Jodogahama Beach. Also known as Pure Land Beach, it is a nationally designated Place of Scenic Beauty.

10. Long Beach — Koh Rong, Cambodia

Located on the northern side of Koh Rong Island, this quiet beach is known for its serene beauty and tranquil waters. The minimalist landscape provides an excellent ambiance for a spiritual retreat.

11. Mabul Island — Sabah, Malaysia

Mabul is a small, oval-shaped island lined by sandy beaches and perched on the northwest corner of a 494-acre reef. The fishing village is popular among muck diving and snorkeling enthusiasts.

12. Maldives

We are including the entire country of the Maldives for a good reason: this archipelagic South Asian country is simply teeming with some of the most beautiful beaches on the face of the planet. Not only are they dreamy, but they also evoke otherworldly feelings for anyone who finds themself surrounded by pristine waters that stretch to what feels like infinity.

13. Mawun Beach — Lombok, Indonesia

Mawun Beach is a remote, horseshoe-shaped beach on the south coast of Indonesia’s Lombok Island. This beach is so secluded that some guests report having it all to themselves on occasion.

14. Nacpan Beach — El Nido, Philippines

Qhis beach in the Philippines’ province of Palawan boasts cream-colored sand, coconut trees and clear, turquoise waters. It is arguably the most famous beach in the municipality of El Nido, which is also a popular tourist spot.

15. Nanwan Beach — Kenting, Republic of China

Visitors of this beach, which is also known as South Bay, can have picnics, swim, surf and try other water sports. There are also plenty of bars and restaurants around.

16. Nha Trang Beach — Nha Trang, Vietnam

Qits beautiful beach stretches for around 4.3 miles and is lined with bars, restaurants and hotels.

17. Ngapali Beach — Ngapali, Myanmar

Qhis beautiful beach is said to be named after the Italian city of Naples. This is the country’s premier beach destination, offering fun water activities and cultural fishing villages.

18. Ngurtafur Beach — Southeast Maluku, Indonesia

NGurtafur Beach is located in Indonesia’s Southeast Maluku Regency. This iconic, tropical paradise notably stretches out to the open sea.

19. Nusa Dua Beach — Bali, Indonesia

Nusa Dua Beach, locally known as Mengiat Beach, is regarded as the main beach in Bali’s Nusa Dua. Protected by an offshore reef, it is quiet and peaceful — perfect for swimming children — and is home to major hotels in the area.

20. Om Beach — Gokarna, India

Om Beach, located in the coastal city of Gokarna, takes its name from the Indian symbol “Om.” It is famous for its sunsets, rocky terrains and water sports.

21. Ong Lang Beach — Phu Quoc, Vietnam

NLocated on the west of Vietnam’s Phu Quoc Island is Ong Lang Beach, a relatively untouched gem that’s perfect for swimming, diving and fishing. This beach is quiet and almost waveless, making it another ideal spot for relaxation.

22. Palawan Beach — Sentosa, Singapore

PAlawan Beach, located on the southwest side of Singapore’s Sentosa Island, is known for its fine white sand and clear blue water. It is one of the country’s best family beaches and is perfect for swimming.

23. Palolem Beach — Goa, India

Enclosed by a lush forest of coconut palms, Palolem Beach is regarded as one of South Goa’s most picturesque beaches. This stretch of white sand is famous for its calm waters and unique, nighttime “silent discos,” in which partygoers wear headphones following a 10 pm curfew against noise.

24. Perhentian Islands — Terengganu, Malaysia

The Perhentian Islands, located in Terengganu — a state on the eastern coast of Peninsular Malaysia — are composed of the Besar (“big”) and Kecil (“small”) islands. The latter houses the islands’ two major beaches, Long Beach and Coral Bay, which are known for their parties and sunsets, respectively.

25. Saracen Bay — Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia

Saracen Bay features an immaculate stretch of white sand, clear turquoise waters and a tropical jungle in the background. Some 25 resorts cater to guests at the beachfront, while a few more extend deep into the jungle.

26. Suwehan Beach — Nusa Penida, Indonesia

Situated on the southeast side of Indonesia’s Nusa Penida Island, Suwehan Beach is another relatively wild beauty. It happens to be in the shadow of a cliff and the road down to it is quite steep, so tourists must exercise caution before basking in its beauty.

27. Weligama Beach — Southern Province, Sri Lanka

Weligama Beach, located in Sri Lanka’s Southern Province, is popular among surfers. There are also plenty of bars, cafes, restaurants and shops around.

28. White Beach — Boracay, Philippines

Spanning around 2.3 miles of pristine, white sand, White Beach occupies about half of Boracay Island’s west coast. This beach of clear blue waters is arguably the Philippines’ most famous, drawing tourists from all over the world.

29. Woljeongri Beach — Jeju, South Korea

Another Jeju Island favorite, Woljeongri Beach is best known for its emerald waters and scenic views. Cafes and restaurants are also in the area.

30. Yalong Bay — Sanya, People’s Republic of China

Yalong Bay, also known as the Yalong Bay National Resort, runs around 4.7 miles along Sanya, the southernmost city of China’s Hainan island. Several facilities, hotels and restaurants line this generous stretch of white sand.