Asia is a continent that is home to beautiful natural landscapes, unique cultures, ancient architecture, and food. If you are looking for an island getaway, Asia is the perfect choice for you. Here is our list of the Best Islands in Asia.
Top 10 Most Beautiful Islands in Asia
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1. Sipadan Island, Malaysia
Sipadan Island is located on the northeast coast of Malaysia Borneo, Sabah. When you visit Sipadan Island, scuba diving is one of the things that you must not miss. It is described as one of the ideal and top rankings for scuba diving spots. Sipadan Island is well-known for its incredible marine life.
In 1933, this island was declared as a bird sanctuary by the government of North Borneo. You simply should not miss spotting amazing birds, such as Sunbirds, Sea Eagles, colorful Kingfishers, and many other exotic birds. You will find it fun to enjoy a snorkeling experience in the fascinating deep-sea waters of this amazing island.
Best Time To Visit: March to October
Activities: Snorkeling, scuba diving, bird-watching.
2. Similan Islands, Thailand
Similan Islands are also known as Koh Similan is one of the largest archipelago islands in Asia. Similan Islands are made up of 9 granite islands located Northwest of Phuket in the Andaman Sea. The islands were declared as Mu Ko Similan National Park in 1982 and ranked as one of the best scuba diving destinations in Asia.
It is a paradise for scuba divers and beach lovers with its turquoise clear water, fine white sand, breathtaking marine life, and impressive rock formations. You may spot various amazing marine species like small sharks, sea turtles, Nemo fishes, or sea snakes. If you wish to stay longer in Similan Islands, you can book an overnight liveaboard trip.
You can also hike various nature trails that lead you to a stunning view over the island, bay, and sea. Relaxing on the fine white sand beach while observing the wildlife like monkeys, bats, squirrels, and a large variety of birds.
Best time to visit: October to May
Activities: Snorkelling, deep-sea diving, trekking, liveaboard, relaxing on the beach.
3. Cat Ba Island, Vietnam
Cat Ba Island is the largest of the 367 islands of the Cat Ba Archipelago in Hai Phong city. Lan Ha Bay is still less popular among tourists, you can go kayak or hop on the public ferry while enjoying the unspoiled nature and exploring the breathtaking landscape.
Another favorite thing to do is make a stop at the Monkey Island or known as Cat Dua Island. Cat Ba National Park is a must-visit place when traveling to Cat Ba Island, the home to a wide range of flora and fauna. You can also enjoy the beauty of the vast landscapes and seascapes.
If you are interested in Vietnamese history, you should visit the Hospital Cave which is the underground bomb-proof hospital, and as a hideout during the war.
Cannon Fort was built as a naval defense and has now become the best place to witness the view of Lan Ha Bay. Viet Hai fishing village and Cai Beo Floating Village it’s definitely a must-see spot to see around Cat Ba.
Best time to visit: February to April
Activities: Rock climbing, trekking, kayak, visit the national park, explore floating villages, enjoy eating seafood.
4. Siargao Island, the Philippines
Siargao Island is one of the most popular destinations in the Philippines and is well-known for being the Philippiness’ surfing destination. Cloud 9 is the most famous spot and is considered one of the best surf spots in the world.
The boardwalk is the perfect place to watch pro surfers and to watch the sunset. You should not miss out on the island hopping tours to Naked Island, Guyam Island, and Daku Island. Siargao Island is home to many unspoiled islands that has powdery white sand beaches, stunning islands, and crystal clear water.
Sugba Lagoon’s crystal clear water became a popular spot for diving, paddle boarding, snorkeling, and cliff jumping. Magpupungko Rock Pools is another attraction you shouldn’t leave out of your Siargao trip.
Best time to visit: March to May / July and November (surfing season).
Activities: Surfing, island hopping, diving, paddle boarding, snorkeling, cliff jumping.
5. Bangka Belitung Island, Indonesia
Belitung island is located east coast of Sumatra, Indonesia. It’s surrounded by lots of tiny islands and granite rock formations. The islands are blessed with beautiful white sand beaches, crystal clear water, incredible marine life, and colorful coral reefs.
Danau Kaolin is an abandoned kaoline or white clay mine with bright blue water with white sandy dunes that have become a photogenic hotspot for travelers and photographers. Spend your time relaxing on yachts or cruise ships while enjoying local cuisine and drinks at Tanjung Kelayang.
There is an iconic ancient Dutch lighthouse on Lengkuas Island, you can climb up to the tower to enjoy the panoramic view of the island or go for a snorkeling swim alongside all kinds of fish. Hop onto the next island, Batu Berlayar Island known for its granite rocks which can be reached by boat in just 10 minutes from Lengkuas Island.
It is well known for its resembled sailing ship granite rocks. When you visit Belitung, do not miss to try their famous Manggar Coffee that is not only loved by tourists but also locals.
Best time to visit: April to October
Activities: Snorkelling, diving, islands hopping, enjoy local cuisines, hop on yacht or cruise ship, enjoy Manggar Coffee.
6. Orchid Island, Taiwan
Orchid Island is also known as Lanyu is located off the southeastern coast of the main island of Taiwan. The island is the home of the Yami people which are also known as Tao indigenous tribes. For those interested in seeing the indigenous tribes’ culture of Taiwan, there’s no better place than Orchid Island where the Tao has lived for hundreds of years.
If you visit at the right time, you can witness the Flying Fish Festival, the Millet Harvest Festival, or the Boat Launching Festival. The underwater beauty of corals and marine life have made Orchid Island the best scuba diving spot.
If you are lucky, you will encounter humpback whales and green sea turtles. You can rent and ride a scooter around the island to check out the amazing rock formations sights and caves along the coast. It definitely offers a unique experience in Taiwan.
Best time to visit: April to October
Activities: Snorkelling, diving, riding around the island, admiring rock formations and caves, exploring caves, enjoying local cuisines, seeing and experiencing the indigenous tribe culture.
7. Jeju Island, South Korea
Jeju Island, Korea’s favorite domestic holiday destination for local and international travelers. Jeju is a place full of stunning nature, scenic landscapes, museums, parks, and great food. A trip to Jeju isn’t complete without hiking up to Seongsan Ilchulbong or “Sunrise Peak” to watch the sunrise over the sea. Hiking Hallasan Mountain is an experience that adventure lovers won’t regret.
The UNESCO-listed Manjanggul Lava-Tube Cave is one of the most visited landmarks. You can watch the Haeneyo (female free-diver who mostly are over 60) that make a living by catching abalone, sea urchin, sea cucumber, or octopus.
Jeju Loveland is a sex-themed sculpture outdoor park that provides a proper approach to sex culture and it is decorated with a lot of beautiful artworks. You are recommended to visit the park when the weather is good. Jeju Natural Stone Art Museum is one of the must-visit museums in Jeju Island. If you are a foodie, you must try the authentic food and local specialties when you visit Jeju Island.
Best time to visit: November to May
Activities: Snorkelling, diving, trekking, watching sunrise or sunset, exploring caves, enjoying local cuisines, visiting museums and parks, enjoying local food.
8. Havelock Island, India
White sands, crystal clear waters, serene mangroves – these are words that one would often associate with beaches in Havelock Island. Havelock Island or Swaraj Dweep is located about 70 km north of the capital city, Port Blair.
The rich and diverse marine life of Havelock Island has always been one of the major factors to attract people who love snorkeling, scuba diving, and beach lovers. Paddle through a mangrove forest in a kayak to observe local flora and fauna.
You can hop on a seaplane or ferry to witness the only active volcano in India at Barren Island. For those who are looking for rest and relaxation, the trip must not miss visiting Neil Island which is known as the “Vegetable Bowl” of Andamans because the rich ecosystem has numerous species of fishes, sea creatures, and coral reefs, and pristine beaches.
Long Island is a perfect destination for nature lovers who might love to do forest camping, beach camping, trekking, and exploring the local art and culture. Visit the beaches on Havelock Island to watch the magnificent sunrise or sunset views be an ideal choice for newlyweds or couples.
Best time to visit: March to May
Activities: Snorkelling, scuba diving, kayak, witnessing the active volcano, exploring and relaxing on beaches, watching sunrise or sunset, camping, trekking.
Places you MUST visit in Southeast Asia
9. Ubin Island, Singapore
Ubin Island or Pulau Ubin is a hotspot for those who want to escape from the bustle of urban life in Singapore. Pulau Ubin is one of the last remaining villages or kampung and an abandoned quarry that offer lush greenery and abundant wildlife.
You will spot some wild animals like monkeys, hornbills, bats, owls, wild boars when going on a bike tour around the island. If you love kayaking, go on a kayak tour to explore the mangrove forest. If you are lucky, you will get to spot some wild animals such as otters, monitor lizards, kingfishers, and even dolphins.
Chek Jawa is one of Singapore’s richest natural ecosystems, filled with all kinds of flora and fauna across six different habitats. You can walk through the boardwalk and explore the marine wildlife along the trails. Climb up the 20-meter tall Jejawi Tower for panoramic views. There’re plenty of other things to do in the area as well
Best time to visit: January to October
Activities: Kayak, go for a bike tour, explore the marine animals, camping, trekking.
10. Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Koh Rong Island is the largest in Ream National Park, Cambodia. The national park is a biodiversity hotspot, there are thousands of species of flora and fauna. The iconic Koh Rong is home to many species of marine life making it an ideal destination for all marine lovers.
You can go to the Koh Rong Dive Center where you can either learn fun dives or PADI training courses. Kayaking over to the Koh Toch is another highlight on the island. Those adventure lovers can go jungle trekking, wildlife spotting, and test their nerves at the High Point Rope Park.
In Koh Rong, you can see the amazing natural phenomenon is the bioluminescent plankton on the beach at night. You can either relax on the beach while enjoying the sea breeze and views or try on the Blob Jump at the Tree House Bungalow. Koh Rong Island also offers an exciting nightlife scene that will enhance your night-outs when here.
Best time to visit: May to November
Activities: Snorkeling, scuba diving, kayak, jungle trekking, exploring the marine life, camping, trekking, nightlife.