You’re on a sun-kissed beach with shimmering sand trailing down into the vibrant blue waters. This is the scene that we often compose in our dreams. Here are five Asian beach destinations where fantasies become real. Welcome to paradise.
China, often overshadowed by its towering skyscrapers and famous attractions, leaves the country’s enormous coastline and outlying islands oft forgotten. Yalong Bay on Hainan Island is quickly changing that. People are starting to take note of this spectacular destination, with its consistent balmy weather and unparalleled beauty. The uncrowded, crescent-shaped beach allows for a private beachside experience. An ideal snorkeling locale, the clear waters provide a perfect viewing of the tropical fish and well-preserved coral reefs. Adjacent to the expansive beach are undulating hills and lush coconut groves begging to be explored.
Bali is blessed with an extensive amount of beaches, both internationally renowned tourist haunts and hidden marvels. Guarded by ancient temples built centuries ago, the popular Sanur Beach is optimal for tanning, sun worshippers or for those cycling along the beachfront promenade at various Bali hotels at sunrise. Away from the vacationer area, you’ll have to embark on a mini-hike down a rocky path to arrive at the tucked away Bias Tugal Beach.. Often deserted, the fine silvery sands give away to intense azure waters, reminiscent of the Mediterranean. One of the best-kept secrets of Bali, it’s definitely worth the exerted effort.
With cloudless skies overarching crystal clear waters, Phuket holidays are always an exemplary option. Windy roads trace the coastline, charting easy paths to some of the finest beaches in the world. For those who enjoy a more frenetic pace, Patong has enough clubs and bars to keep the streets steamy throughout the night. For those wanting more of a low-key atmosphere, Kata Beach is a favorite choice, especially for families. Above the beach, a perfect sundowner experience awaits at Tiffin Mama, an exquisitely designed restaurant that showcases stunning vistas of the Andaman Sea.
In Okinawa, the vibe is laid-back and the pace slow. It’s no wonder that the locals tend to lead long, fulfilling lives. While visiting any of the idyllic and secluded Yaeyama Islands of South Japan is a certain treat, Ishigaki may be one of the most captivating. About an hour away from the city center, Sunset Beach, with its golden sands lapped by teal waters, comprises one of the most striking coastlines in all of Okinawa. For snorkelers, the pristine corals and rare blue reef is sure to delight. At some point, grab some authentic chanpuru, an Okinawan stirfry, and watch dusk descend across the waves.
Nha Trang, located on Vietnam’s central coast, is the country’s premier beachside destination. A rich variety of aquatic activities such as scuba diving, kite boarding, and wind surfing will quench any desire. Out of the area’s six prominent beaches, Nha Trang Bay is widely regarded as the most stunning. The beach buzzes with action as people frolic and lounge around under the shining sun. A swath of verdant trees separate the beach from the numerous hotels and dining options on the landmark Tran Phu Street. For those needing a break from the sea and sand, climb up the steep stairs at the Long Son Pagoda leading up to the immense white Buddha that silently watches over the surroundings.