Southeast Asia’s top 5 remote beaches

Any sun-loving traveller’s dream is to stumble across a secret beach. Ideally, we’re thinking somewhere you can get a sense of escapism, but can still access your creature comforts. Here’s a run-down of the top five beaches of Southeast Asia that offer that feeling of blissful remoteness, with a few luxury perks thrown in as well.

1.Koh Kradan, Thailand

Location: Island off the southwest coast of Thailand. Approximately 1 hr 20 min by longtail boat from Pak Meng Pier or Khuan Tung Ku Pier on the mainland.

Koh Kradan is a stunning white-sand island amidst the crystal clear blue waters of the Andaman Sea. By contrast to most of Thailand, Koh Kradan is extremely undeveloped: there are no villages on the island and only a handful of hotels, making it a true hideaway. Snorkelling and diving are particularly good off Koh Kradan and the ocean is home to a whole host of marine life, including moray eels, brightly coloured clown fishes, lobsters, lion fish, turtles, coral, sea urchins and starfish.

2. Khanom, Thailand 

Location: Mainland southeast coast near Koh Samui.

Khanom has a similarly untouched feel. Though it’s very close to popular tourist spots like Koh Samui, very few people come to Khanom. It caters to a huge variety of interests. With its laidback atmosphere, it’s a yogi paradise and the resort offers various types of yoga retreats. Wildlife lovers can spot the rare pink dolphins, and those after adventure can go snorkelling, kayaking and explore caves.

3. Lombok, Indonesia

Location: Island directly east of Bali. Accessible from other islands by speedboat or plane.

Lombok is a beautiful island has many of Bali’s appealing features, but with far fewer tourists. A more low-key island, Lombok is less developed: there’s much less traffic and less of a divide between tourist sites and Indonesian life. It offers the same stunning, postcard-perfect scenery and world-class beaches. A great spot to swim, snorkel, walk and cycle.

4. Koh Rong archipelago

Location: Islands off Cambodia’s south-west coast, 45 minutes off the coast of Sihanoukville by speedboat.

Koh Rong Archipelago is a cluster of beautiful islands, one of which is the second largest in Cambodia. They’re really quiet, with no cars, roads or traffic; ideal for those looking to completely relax. There is a huge range of activities on offer: you can visit local islands, meet the villagers, go paddle boarding, take exploratory dives, cook with the local chefs or drink wine in the overwater restaurants.

5. Ngapali Beach, Myanmar

Location: A 50-minute flight from Yangon, or a few other cities.

Beautiful and full of charm, Ngapali Beach feels like a far less developed version of Thailand. It’s very quiet and ideal if you’re looking to truly unwind. The coastline is varied with rocky areas, but still swimmable for the majority of the year. Ngapali Beach is also home to a number of quirky accommodation options.

Sam Clark is CEO at Experience Travel Group.

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Comments (5)

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  1. Laurie Mills says:

    It’s a pity I live close to Whitsunday islands and Great Barrier Reef which have some of the best places to visit in the world. I went to Kph Rong off Cambodia and left disappointed. No coral or fish to be seen on a snorkelling trip despite the promotions. Maybe great for those who do not live in the paradise of north Queensland though.

  2. Lucinda says:

    I often think that these sorts of places are incredibly hard to get to – but this highlights that these are accessible, even though that’s sometimes by a small flight or boat trip. I think it’s worth going off the beaten track to get away from the tourists and to see a more natural glimpse of the countries we visit. Lombok sounds ideal for me, somewhere you can really get to know local culture whilst surrounded by amazing scenery. Worth an extra plane trip!

  3. Tarek says:

    I’ve recently been to Lombok, and I was sad to see the beaches are really full of garbage and plastic waste. Obviosuly this is a problem is several places in the world, however there seems to be a cultural problem there (at least as I’ve experienced it) where people really do not care about the preservation of their beaches ..

  4. really nice article and very informative, your selection is really good, however, there are a lot more beautiful beaches in Indonesia to explore

  5. Lia says:

    Remoteness is indeed blissful! There’s nothing more wonderful than having a beach to yourself, it’s so relaxing and gives you so much time to reflect and really appreciate the earth. Koh Kradan sounds like an ideal spot to explore, I absolutely love snorkelling and diving – would love to do it all over the world

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