Credit: TripZilla
August 2017

Are you craving an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life? Then a trip to the beach is just what you need! You definitely want somewhere that looks and feels like paradise, but not oversaturated with tourists, noisy infants and a horde of beach umbrellas that get in the way of a perfect tan! 

Well then, fret not, because we’ve got just the list for you! Here are some underrated beaches around Southeast Asia, where you can enjoy your own little slice of paradise!

1. Koh Kood: Thailand 

Image credit: Norsez Oh


If you are looking to have a relaxing beach vacation in Thailand away from the touristy beach areas like Krabi or Phuket, look no further than Koh Kood beach! At Koh Kood, wide spans of immaculate sand and unspoilt beaches stretch as far as your eyes can see, and the gorgeous crystal clear waters are in different shades of blue! Although getting to Koh Kood requires an internal flight or train journey from Bangkok, Koh Kood Island’s remoteness promises to be the perfect place where one can just lay back, unwind and disconnect from the world.



Image credit: Momo


While you are here, don’t miss the opportunity take a short paddle around the Island on a kayak which can easily be rented from one of the beach resorts. You could also go on a speedboat tour out to explore and snorkel around the neighbouring islands of Koh Chang and Koh Mak! If you’re feeling adventurous, you can even go diving for clams which you can then cook for dinner!


2. Malapascua Island: Cebu, Philippines

Image credit: Faith Mari


For a world class diving experience, Malapascua Island sure is a tough one to beat! Apart from having its very own Monad Shoal listed as 11 in the top 101 dive sites around the world, Malapascua Island is also famed for its giant manta ray and Thresher shark sightings! How amazing is that? Since thresher sharks are deep water sharks and are rarely spotted, its daily sightings on this island surely makes for another reason to visit!



Image credit: Faith Mari


If diving isn’t your thing, fret not! Go for a swim or snorkel around the shallow parts of the sea, where you will be able to spot colourful fish and coral! After your swim, have a drink or a snack under the palm trees on the gorgeous white-sand shores. After all, what could be better than having the wind in your hair and sand between your toes, while you sip on some refreshing coconut juice?


3. Padang Padang Beach: Bali, Indonesia

Image credit: Lavinia Elysia


Padang Padang Beach is located in the sunny, tropical island of Bali, which is a favourite getaway spot for beach vacations. Although Bali is home to many famous beaches such as Kuta and Seminyak, Padang Padang Beach is definitely one hidden gem that is worth visiting. With great waves that are ideal for surfers and a smooth, white shore, this beach is just perfect for an idyllic afternoon out in the sun and the sea. 


Image credit: whiz-ka


Besides getting to swim in the natural tide pools, be prepared to also take in spectacular views at low tide. You can get a closer look at the reefs and different marine creatures such as hermit crabs, or even bird-watch from the shore! 


4. Alona Beach: Panglao Islands, Philippines


Image credit: Marcelino Rapayla Jr.


Thinking of a tropical paradise where fine, brilliant sand seems to stretch out forever before meeting the cerulean blue sea? Alona Beach is just the place! Situated right at the southwestern tip of Bohol in the Philippines, Alona Beach is a small and peaceful slice of tropical heaven, that is ideal for beach activities, from building an endless fort of sandcastles to sprawling out and getting a nice tan. There are also plenty of restaurants and eateries along the beach where you can easily get a snack or a cold beer for your picnic under the palm trees!



Image credit: yeowhatzup


Alona Beach is also a favourite spot for diving and snorkelling. One can easily spot boats that will take you out to sea for your next underwater adventure! So grab your gear and get ready for a splashing good time!


5. Koh Mai Phai: Thailand


Image credit: Mark Fischer


Also known as Bamboo Island, Koh Mai Phai is one of the many hidden gems in Thailand, located between Krabi and the Phi Phi Islands. However, unlike its more popular neighbours, be rest assured that you will have your peace and quiet on this tiny island, which invites its visitors to enjoy a slice of paradise. Although it is named “Bamboo Island”, no bamboo grows on it. In fact, the landscape and vegetation here is not exceptionally diverse, but the gorgeous waters definitely make up for it — they are superb for a swim at anytime of the day.


Image credit: Shan Ambrose


But if you aren’t keen on a dip, why not take a long stroll along the shore of Koh Mai Phai beach? Sink your feet into the soft, fine sand and wiggle your toes in the frothy waves as they roll in lazily onto the shore. A relaxing trip to Koh Mai Phai is definitely the perfect opportunity to find some zen! Also, with absolutely no resorts on this island, visitors are invited to pitch a tent and experience the true blue beach wilderness experience! How exciting!


6. Pulau Kapas: Marang, Malaysia


Image credit: Dave Anderson


Roughly 6km off the coast of Marang, Malaysia, lies Pulau Kapas, a quiet, idyllic little island renowned for its clear waters, perfect beaches and swaying palms. Since it takes a 20-minute boat ride to get here, this island is far off from the mainland, where you can enjoy a peaceful and undisturbed getaway. The island is also a beautiful place where you can get up close and personal with wild animals. While you’re here, be sure to visit the caves where you can see swallows’ nests! One can also see a plethora of marine creatures from colourful coral to even turtles when you snorkel!



Images credit: Dave Anderson


Did you know that Kapas means “cotton” in Malay? This is not surprising as the island was named so for its gorgeous white sand shores! For a relaxing afternoon out, pick seashells along the seashore, take a nap on a hammock or have a picnic under the palm trees! Children can build a whole fort of sandcastles or frolic in the calm shallow waters. A vacation here truly makes for an awesome seaside experience!  


7. White Beach: Boracay, Philippines


Image credit: Deortiz


Famous for its powdery sand beaches and crystal clear waters, Boracay is a wonderful option for a beach vacation. Consisting of a long stretch of coast fringed with numerous palm trees that lend instant shade to beachgoers, White Beach is an amazing venue for a game of beach volleyball or frisbee due to its spaciousness and leveled ground. 



Image credit: Deortiz


As the day draws to an end, White Beach also offers a dramatic view of the sunset. Sit back and marvel at the theatrical splendour of orange and pink streaked skies as you watch the sun slowly dip over the horizon — we can’t think of a better way to end the day!


8. Lombok Island, Indonesia


Image credit: Anne-Mette Jensen


For a beach vacation that features crystal, turquoise waters and foamy waves lapping onto a long ribbon of pearly sand beach, Lombok island is the place to be! Set in an isolated bay, Lombok’s lovely stretch of coastline is largely unknown and remote. Most visitors are surfers who come for the waves as opposed to the more popular and crowded neighbouring beaches such as Gerupuk Beach. If you don’t surf, the waters here are also ideal for swimming and snorkelling enthusiasts!



Image credit: Anne-Mette Jensen


If you have the time, climb up the adjacent cliffs for a spectacular vantage point where you can take in the breathtaking panoramic views of the surroundings and take lots of photos as well! Apart from the beaches, there are many other natural beauties to see at Lombok including waterfalls and crater lakes which you can trek to!


Well, there you have it, 8 beaches to choose from for your next getaway to paradise! Are you ready to soak up some sun with that dose of vitamin sea? Take the first step to that dream vacation by booking your trip with your UOB card today! 


Select country :