12 best Asian beaches for that perfect long weekend

12 best Asian beaches for that perfect long weekend

This article was originally published on the flight comparison site Skyscanner.

Life's a beach.

With so many to choose from, and so little time, Skyscanner has picked some of the prettiest beaches for action, relaxation and seclusion.

Join us at these top beach destinations for a stunning tropical getaway!

1. Palawan, Philippines

Get away from it all at the Bacuit Archipelago in Palawan. A short distance away from El Nido in Palawan, its 45 enchanting islands are riddled with karst cliffs, limestone formations, and gorgeous lagoons.

This is beachcomber paradise; charter a boat and go island-hopping!

2. Phi Phi Islands, Thailand

Featured in the movie "The Beach", the Phi Phi Islands are the jewel in Thailand's island crown.

Even with all the hype, you'll be hard-pressed not to be impressed with the glittering turquoise waters and sheer cliffs.

Take it easy and wind down… Phi Phi Don, the largest and only inhabited island, doesn't even have roads!

3. Goa, India

Where to begin with Goa's spectacularly scenic and amazingly diverse beaches?

Depending on where you go, Goa has everything from adrenaline to adventure, solitude to sunbathing.

Our picks are Mandrem Beach for honeymooners, Agonda Beach for relaxing, Baga Beach for parties, nightlife and fantastic seafood, and of course, the former hippie enclave of Anjuna Beach, for its famed trance music and colourful flea markets.

4. Soneva Gili, Maldives

As expensive as it is gorgeous, Soneva Gili (in the Maldives) is the ultimate in luxury retreats.

Rustic-chic rules at this tiny coral atoll set in a sparkling lagoon, complete with spacious villas, fine dining and private butlers.

For a simultaneously serene and sensual experience, indulge yourself at the Six Senses spa, which is located over open water and has glass panels below the massage tables!

5. White Beach, Boracay, Philippines

There's a good reason why Boracay, developed as it is, still makes it on this list. Boracay's White Beach is simply stunning, with extraordinarily pure powder sands that extend forever into shallow azure waters.

From water sports and diving, to spas and shopping, there's something for everybody.

Laze on lounge chairs while sipping cocktails, watch the sunset with dining on great food, and join in the raucous, rocking nightlife for a classic beach holiday. Fly to Caticlan then ride a boat to Boracay.

6. Whitehaven, Whitsunday Islands, Australia

Often voted Australia's best beach, Queensland's iconic Whitehaven Beach is a seven kilometre stretch of crystal clear waters and pristine sands, backed by the verdant rainforests of the Whitsunday Islands.

Explore the colourful cove of Hill Inlet, or hike up to the lookout at Tongue Point for a stunning, much-photographed view.

7. Sipadan, Malaysia

Possibly one of the best dive sites in the world, Sipadan's lush and healthy coral reefs support thriving populations of sea turtles and reef sharks.

Especially around Barracuda Point, divers can swim among huge schools of fish.

However, conservation regulations mean that only 120 diving permits are allowed every day, so do book your dives early.

Otherwise, there's first-rate snorkelling, and pleasant strolls along the sands to spot friendly monitor lizards. Get to Sipadan by domestic transfer to Tawau Airport.

8. Koh Rong, Cambodia

Idyllic and picturesque, this island off the coast of Sihanoukville is an unspoiled tropical paradise.

With over 40 kilometres of white sand beaches and turquoise-green waters, Koh Rong offers the simple pleasures of relaxing with a cold beer and freshly-caught seafood.

Most developments are very new, so get there before everyone else does! Get to Koh Rong by ferry after flying in to Phnom Penh.

9. Haad Rin Beach, Koh Phangan, Thailand

Calling all party animals! For a once-in-a-lifetime experience, few places can beat the hedonism of Koh Phangan's infamous Full Moon parties.

These are wild, all-night affairs of throbbing music, inexpensive drinks, and thousands of fellow party-goers all out to have a fantastic time.

And if you need to recover from that hangover, there are quieter, just-as-pretty beaches, perfect for taking it easy the next day.

Get to Koh Phangan by ferry after flying to Koh Samui or consider alternative airports: Chumphon or Surat Thani.

10. Mui Ne Beach, Vietnam

Adrenaline, here we come! For those who love the heady contrast of excitement and relaxation, Mui Ne Beach is right up your alley.

With strong winds, big waves, and clear skies, Mui Ne is ideal for wind-surfing, kite-surfing and all sorts of physical activities. Still not enough?

Mui Ne has some dramatic and unusual scenery: giant sand dunes, like a piece of desert next to the sea, and perfect for dune-trekking.

Get to Mui Ne Beach from Ho Chi Minh City.

11. Hot Water Beach, Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand

Not far from Auckland is the truly unique Hot Water Beach.

The presence of hot springs along the coast means that hot water bubbles up through the sands, allowing visitors to dig their own personal, steaming spa pool to relax in… at least until the tide comes in.

Arrive about an hour before low tide, and don't forget to bring a spade!

12. La Digue, Seychelles

All right, this beach isn't in Asia, but we at Skyscanner couldn't resist adding to the list.

The exotic, faraway islands of the Seychelles are on many travellers' bucket lists, attracting famous honeymooners like Prince William and Duchess Kate. Their pick?

The exclusive and exquisite island of La Digue, home to L'Anse Source D'Argent, one of the world's top beaches.

Click here for the original article or visit the flight comparison site Skyscanner for more.

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