Singapore’s gradual loosening of restrictions on travel was met with much joy among many travel-starved Singaporeans dying to get out of the crowded, tiny island.
Now with the introduction of the Vaccinated Travel Framework and fewer tests, plus the fact that other countries in the region are also trying to revive their economy, travel is once again back on the cards for more people. Shiok la!
If you’ve been looking to go somewhere for a slower change of pace and just relax, here are a few of the best beaches in Southeast Asia.
Well-known as a honeymoon destination, the resort island in the Gulf of Thailand offers over 40 beaches surrounded by stunning turquoise waters. There are plenty of stunning beaches with Chaweng, Lamai, Taling Ngam, Bophut and Natien beaches some of the popular spots.
These are also where you’d find the most variety of accommodation options as well as a range of activities from diving and snorkeling to kayaking and jet skiing.
While it’s a small island, nature is certainly in abundance here at Koh Samui as you can also visit a number of waterfalls, the elephant sanctuary or take a short boat ride to one of the surrounding islands.
Just south of Bangkok lies Pattaya, also another popular beach holiday spot in Thailand.
There are many reasons why Pattaya is a great beach holiday destination. It has some of the best beaches lining the coast, with white sand, clear blue water and lots of palm trees. There are many hotels and resorts located near these beaches, which make excellent accommodation options for visitors.
The city has plenty to offer when it comes to entertainment as well, with bars, clubs and restaurants lining the streets.
How many of you can’t wait to return to Bali? Kuta is a popular tourist destination in Bali, renowned for its magnificent sunsets and the many activities that you can enjoy on the beach such as surfing, snorkeling and parasailing.
The beach also has a number of restaurants, bars and clubs frequented by the tourist crowds. There are also a variety of local shops, small malls and trendy cafes.
Now might be one of the best times to visit Kuta as travel is just resuming. Other popular beaches include Seminyak, Canggu and Jimbaran.
Yet another famous Thai beach destination, Krabi offers nature at its finest. Less touristy and developed than Phuket, another famous beach holiday spot, Krabi comprises several islands in the Krabi province.
Getting around involves taking island hopping boat trips to see these stunning beaches and turquoise waters surrounded by towering limestone cliffs, untouched by the ravages of tourism. There are also various sea caves that you can explore, a wildlife sanctuary and teeming marine life and coral reefs.
The unassuming island off south Vietnam may not be too popularly known but it is the country’s largest. That’s why it’s got a 150km coastline of white, sandy beaches, along which there are several prominent beach spots such as Long Beach, Bai Sao, Vung Bau, Ong Lang and Bien Ba Keo.
There are a wealth of water activities to do such as snorkeling and jet skiing, feasting at seafood restaurants, as well as luxury resorts and various beach bars for some rest and relaxation.
Located off the northeast coast of Terengganu, Malaysia, Redang island is a popular dive spot as its crystal clear waters are teeming with a variety of marine life and coral. That’s because it lies within a protected marine park in the archipelago.
Famous for its pristine white, sandy beaches, you can also go snorkelling and surfing.
Most people stay at the east side of Pasir Panjang, where there are many beach resorts although you can also choose the beaches on the north side.
Surrounded by breathtaking crystal blue waters and limestone cliffs, the Palawan archipelago of the Philippines is a must visit. It’s less touristy than well-known Boracay and popular among locals who want to escape the tourist crowds.
You’ll want to base yourself in Puerto Princesa, the capital of the province and central base, the El Nido beach, hailed as a beach paradise, or Coron, known for scuba diving, as well as nightlife.
What makes Palawan famous is its teeming biodiversity and lush flora and fauna. There’s the El Nido Marine Reserve Park, Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park with underground rivers, shipwrecks off Coron Bay, Tubbataha Reef National Park and Tabon Caves.
Nyaung Oo Phee Island
Located in the Mergui Archipelago, Nyaung Oo Phee island lies off southern Myanmar and is as far off the tourist trail as you can get. Crystal clear ocean in the brightest shade of aquamarine and untouched white, soft sand beaches, it’s a perfect place to escape and just rest.
Water sports enthusiasts will want to go diving or snorkeling as there’s flourishing coral reefs, a huge variety of tropical fish and even manta rays and whale sharks.
You can visit it through sightseeing tours from Kawthaung (Myanmar) or there may even be more options from Ranong in Thailand.
Another large Indonesian island just beside Bali, Lombok is home to the towering Mount Rinjani volcano standing at 3,726m, making it the second highest mountain in Indonesia.
Lombok is one for nature enthusiasts who prefer the wild, rugged, untouched scenery. Check out the beaches at Senggigi, Kuta, Mawun and Selong Belanak for a fantastic cliffside viewpoint.
Pair your trip to Lombok with a day to the Gili Islands known for its fantastic diving and snorkeling spots, and even a sea turtle hatchery.
Further off the tourist trail is Komodo island famous for, you guessed it, komodo lizards, the world’s largest lizards housed in the Komodo National Park.
As far as beaches go, you’ll get to see one of the most beautiful pink beaches at Pantai Merah. The sand is pink due to the presence of Foraminifera, a microorganism that can be found on the coral reefs. Needless to say, nature here is as pristine as it can get.
Get beach ready with M1’s SIM-only Plans and Data Passport
With most international borders fully open now, many of these beaches are within a short flight away in our neighbouring countries. Before you go, don’t forget to get an M1 plan!
It will allow you to use your local data overseas via the data passport, which is now available in over 70 destinations worldwide, with monthly subscription from $12 per destination. The minimum subscription is one month and will be charged according to the date of activation.
Simply add $12 to your base plan to use your local data in countries like Thailand, Malaysia and Indonesia. Or, if you are going to a few of the above beaches, you can also use the multi-destination ASEAN Data Passport, with $30, you can use your local data in Southeast Asia flexibly without having to queue for a SIM card!
Find out what other destinations are available on M1 Data Passport and how to easily activate it now.
Also, get more local data by signing up for M1’s SIM-only plans. For a limited time only, the 100GB data plan costs $19.95 per month and the 80GB data plan costs only $17.95 per month! Both plans revert to 50 GB after 12 months.
For a limited time, sign up now and get a FREE one-year supply of Nature’s Farm Buffered Vitamin C1000 (worth $358.80)! Simply use the promo code ‘M1VITC’ at checkout to give your data and health a boost! Don’t miss it, sign up now!