8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia

88

From remote sunny paradises to lively beachside clubs, there is no shortage of beaches in Southeast Asia to cater to your needs. 

Grab your beachwear and get ready to swim, surf, lounge, soak up the sun and people-watch – your best beach days await.

Here are eight Southeast Asian beaches to check out for your next beach adventure.

1. Naithon Beach, Phuket, Thailand

While it’s one of the lesser-known beaches in Phuket, Naithon Beach is still as much of a gem as its sister beaches Patong and Kata.

Embracing a slower pace than its sisters, Naithon Beach is the perfect spot for a restful and relaxing beach experience. This bucolic seaside village feels remote, but has all your modern necessities for a great Thai beach holiday.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Naithon Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Photo: @joeysantiniphotography / Instagram

For a break from the beach, head to the nearby Phuket Elephant Care, a sanctuary for retired working elephants. Be sure to check out the Naithon Wooden Bridge and Banana Beach too.

2. Nai Yang Beach, Phuket, Thailand

Nai Yang Beach is an excellent spot for kitesurfing and sunbathing on the sands. After all the beach activities, check out the nearby Nai Yang market to mingle with the community or visit Wat Mongkol Wararam, an ancient temple that is walking distance from the beach.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Nai Yang Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Photo: Rockongkoy / Shutterstock

You’ll also be able to find plenty of food options up and down the stretch of Nai Yang Beach. This is where even the most seasoned of Phuket trekkers go for a slice of peace. So take it easy, grab some beach grub and do some people-watching as you while the day away.

3. Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand

If you prefer a little bit more action, the area around Patong Beach is where you can be closer to the hustle and bustle of town. As popular a destination as Phuket itself, Patong Beach is known for its neon-soaked nightlife and its amazing street food.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Photo: lemaret pierrick / Shutterstock

Folks looking to tap into the spirituality of the area can take a pilgrimage to Wat Chalong, the largest Buddhist temple in Phuket.

Shopaholics can make a different kind of pilgrimage to the Phuket Weekend Market for all their souvenirs and retail needs or even to the shopping complexes for a multi-story, air-conditioned retail therapy.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Patong Beach, Phuket, Thailand
Photo: daphnusia images / Shutterstock

4. Bai Dai Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Known for its powder-white beaches, Bai Dai Beach (aka Long Beach) is the jewel of Phu Quoc, Vietnam’s largest island. Located west of Phu Quoc, the beach is where the Gulf of Thailand and Vietnam meet.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Bai Dai Beach, Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Photo: DreamArchitect / Shutterstock

From the colourful culture to the fantastic food options everywhere you look, Bai Dai Beach offers something for everyone. You can buy the catch of the day fresh off the fisherman’s boat or the local seafood market. Enjoy a BBQ party right on the shoreline and feast on the freshest and finest catches of the sea.

Be sure to sample local specialities like sim wine at the Sim Garden Bay Gao or fish sauce from the Quoc Hai fish sauce factory. Craving something on the sweeter side? Try the grilled bananas wrapped in sticky rice from Phu Quoc Night Market.

5. My Khe Beach, Danang, Vietnam

With over 50km of picturesque white sand and turquoise waters, My Khe Beach is ranked as one of Vietnam’s most beautiful beaches. Take time to discover hole-in-the-wall restaurants that make their mark right next to high-end resorts on the coastline.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - My Khe Beach, Danang, Vietnam
Photo: dotmiller1986 / Shutterstock

My Khe Beach offers plenty of water activities including snorkelling, jet-skiing, surfing, sunbathing and fishing.

Be sure to plan a trip to the nearby UNESCO World Heritage Site of Hoi An Ancient Town, a well-preserved traditional Southeast Asian trading port and commercial centre.

6. An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam

Located about 3km from the heart of Hoi An Ancient Town, An Bang Beach has been consistently voted as one of Asia’s top 10 beaches, thanks to its powder-white sand, blue skies and stunning views. 

Visit An Bang Beach between March and September when little rain is expected for the best beach experience.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - An Bang Beach, Hoi An, Vietnam
Photo: Chris Howey / Shutterstock

Popular water activities at the beach include diving and snorkelling in crystal-clear waters to discover the world beneath the waves – from coral formations to colourful tropical fish. There’s also no shortage of sandcastle-building opportunities on the beach or exciting water activities like paddle boarding or kayaking for intrepid adventurers.

7. Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia

Bordering Legian to the north and Tuban to the south, Kuta Beach is a hotspot for beach lovers and surf enthusiasts.

A fabulous marriage of sun, sand and surf, the beach is best visited early in the day. Join the legions of surfers who religiously catch a wave on the ocean swells.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Photo: Travel__Photography / Shutterstock

Besides being a great spot for people-watching, Kuta Beach is also where you’ll also experience plenty of encounters with beach vendors and masseuses hawking their wares and services like beach sarongs, massages and cold drinks.

When the sun goes down, the beach takes on a different personality! Chill out with a bottle of ice-cold Bintang beer, chat with the locals or other tourists, and keep an eye out for fire dancers who light up the night with their artistic performances.

8. Lepang Beach, Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia

Get a glimpse of rural Bali as you make your way to Lepang Beach as you’ll pass by paddy fields and plantations. An emerging tourist spot, Lepang Beach is known for its sparkling black and soft sand, as well as its coastline which is ideal for swimming, sunbathing, cycling and catching captivating sunsets.

8 Best Beach Destinations in Southeast Asia - Lepang Beach, Klungkung, Bali, Indonesia
Photo: Love Bali

Enjoy authentic, local delicacies whipped up by the charming warungs (eateries) that pop up along its coastline. Lepang Beach is still a sleepy wonder of a place that is worth a visit if you’re looking to take a step back and reconnect with nature.

*This article has been edited and adapted from Now Boarding by Changi Airport’s “8 best beach destinations in Southeast Asia (Phuket, Phu Quoc, Bali and more)