Have you already finalized your travel plans for next year? Or do you need some more inspiration and recommendations on where to go? This article features seven international travel bloggers based in the eastern hemisphere who introduce their favourite beaches in the Asia Pacific region:
Marion (aka Red Nomad OZ) from redzaustralia.com:
7 Mile Beach (Lennox Head, New South Wales, Australia)
Sunshine? Sand?? Surf??? Yep, that's what you expect, and that's what you'll get along Australia's east coast. So how do you choose just one?
If sharing a sub-tropical paradise with a gazillion other people isn't quite your thing, take a tip from me and head for my favourite – Lennox Head's superb Seven Mile Beach in Northern New South Wales, and just a few kilometers south of the much more well-known Byron Bay.
The beach is really only 5.3 miles long, but with its spectacular coastal scenery, water-based activities and laidback lifestyle in the Lennox Head township right alongside, I guarantee you won't notice the missing mileage. Just check out my 7 favourite things to do on 7 Mile Beach and see for yourself!
1 Surfing, Swimming and Water Sports
I've never surfed in my life, but that doesn't stop me from admiring the skill of the surfers on the famous right-hand point break at Lennox Point – one of Australia's top 10 surfing spots. Go swimming, boogie-boarding, windsurfing or kitesurfing on the main beach, patrolled between September and Easter.
2 Pat Morton Lookout
Walk or cycle the 1 km track from the beach to the lookout - the views over the township and up the coast to Cape Byron are magnificent, and it's the best place to check out surfing and hang-gliding action.
3 Whale (and other Wildlife) Watching
From June to October, humpback whales migrate up the coast, and the lookout makes a great vantage point to watch them. Down closer to the beach there's other wildlife to watch!
4 Lake Ainsworth
Had enough of salt water? Cross the road at the beach's northern end for Lake Ainsworth's tea-tree infused fresh waters. Go kayaking and swimming; have a picnic or barbecue; or just chill in the shade.
5 Walk the Beach
Walking the whole 5.3 mile length of the beach might be overkill, but even a short walk is a great way to soak up the vibe and check out what's happening.
6 Markets and Cafes
Cross the road and settle down in one of the many cafes on Lennox Head's main street. Be there on the 2nd or 5th Sunday of the month for market day – find a local souvenir or something amazing to eat before heading back to the beach.
Hanging out at the beach isn't complete without something cold in a cone and luckily, there's a shop across the road from the beach selling awesome hand made artisan gelato.
Which actually goes well with almost ALL the other activities above!
Ballina Byron Gateway Airport is about 10 minutes drive (15 km) from Lennox Head and has daily direct flights from Sydney and Melbourne. Buses depart regularly from the airport to Lennox. Alternatively, drive south from the Gold Coast Airport (domestic and international flights) for about an hour (85 km) to Lennox Head. Shuttle buses to Lennox Head are also available.
I'm Marion Halliday aka Red Nomad OZ - an Aussie author, blogger and traveller.
I write about Australia's awesome natural attractions, (mostly) outdoor activities and holiday destinations off the tourist trail on my blog
Australia by Red Nomad OZ at https://www.redzaustralia.com.
When I'm not travelling, I'm playing farm girl on my small property home base.
Shelley from travel-stained.com:
The Beaches of Koh Lipe, Thailand
Thailand is one of my favourite countries on earth. I love the country - and its beaches - so much that I've visited 8 separate times. I even got married at The Library Hotel on Chaweng Beach in Koh Samui! And though that experience was as incredible as you'd imagine it would be, it isn't enough to take the top spot for my favourite beach in Asia.
No, for that, we have to head south to the collection of beaches that are found on the tiny island of Koh Lipe, Thailand.
Taken individually, each of the 3 main beaches on Koh Lipe would make any number of top 10 lists, but taken as a collection, they're more special because of how unique each of them is. There's a beach to fit every single one of your moods on an island that's just 2.5 x 3.5km in size!
On the East Coast, Sunrise Beach tempts with incredible crystal clear water, powdery soft white sand and a laid-back vibe. For an incredible view, have a drink or meal at Serendipity Resort's On the Rocks restaurant.
Sunset Beach on the West Coast has a rockier beach, rugged feeling, and you guessed it, an ideal spot from which to watch the island's breathtaking sunsets. Get there from any other point on the island by taking a motorcycle taxi for just 50 baht/person.
Pattaya, on the south coast of the island, could be called the most "touristy" of the beaches because of its plethora of beach bars, restaurants and resort hotels. It's definitely the place to head to if you want to get your groove on.
Located about 60 kilometres off the Thai border in the Andaman Sea, the closest pier in Thailand is Pak Bara. Check Air Asia or Nok Air for convenient all in one fly, bus, and ferry tickets.
Shelley calls Seoul home, but has stepped foot on the soil of 61 countries so far, writing about it all the way. Some of her favourite travel experiences include dogsledding in Norway, flying high above the fairy tale landscapes of Cappadocia, Turkey, releasing baby turtles into the wild in Borneo, and seeing a cheetah kill in the Serengeti. Read her travel insights and more at www.travel-stained.com.
Gina from Gina Bears Blog:
Ikei Beach (Okinawa, Japan)
Have you ever heard of Okinawa? Most people have but they have no idea where it is. Okinawa used to be its own country called the Ryukyu Kingdom before it became part of Japan. It’s actually closer to Taiwan than mainland Japan and the name means rope in the ocean for the string of islands scattered around. There is no shortage of beautiful beaches and it’s really hard to just choose one, but my favourite beach is Ikei Beach.
The beach is located on a string of three islands on the east side of Okinawa. Before the bridge was built you had to take a ferry over but now you can enjoy a drive over the most stunning scenery on the island.
Why is this beach my favourite beach?
Well let me tell ya, the water is much cleaner the farther out you get from mainland Okinawa. The water is so clear you can see down to the bottom and even though you have to pay to get on, it’s worth it. The beach is so well maintained. You can rent a barbecue grill and food already prepared for you, lounge at the picnic tables and have an overall amazing time. I find it really easy to swim there since it’s not overcrowded like some of the other more popular beaches.
There’s not much to do, but if you bring some good friends, you’re always bound for a good time. If you really feel like getting away from everything and everyone, there’s also options to rent beach penthouses to wake up to the stunning scenery. I’ve had my best memories there like the JET Farewell Party and having girl’s beach days.
Gina Bear has been an expat since 2012. She’s a half Mexican Italian from the Windy City and loves to discover new places. She’s been to 14 countries and hopes to travel many more. Her blog, Gina Bear gives destination guides, expat advice, and chronicles her life abroad.
Neha from Revolving Compass:
Mahabalipuram Beach (Tamil Nadu, South India)
Mahabalipuram is a small town located in Tamil Nadu, South India, with a coastline running all the way from one end of the town to another. The beach of Mahabalipuram has rocky as well as sandy spots. The waves are pretty strong, so, can't call it a really calm beach. But what I like the most about this beach is the beautiful sunrise and sunset views, that also along the Shore Temple that lies on the beach.
Besides, a little further from the beach in the sea lies a submerged temple. Most of the best hotels and resorts of Mahabalipuram are located along this beach. And they offer ferry rides in the sea to have a look at the submerged temple. Although we discover the underwater world of sea creatures all the time, it's an altogether different experience to see a submerged temple.
Dolphin watching is another main activity to do when on Mahabalipuram beach. The town of Mahabalipuram houses many ancient UNESCO world heritage sites . One that stands tall amongst them is the ancient light house that guards the beach. One can climb on top of the light house and get an amazing view of the sea from here.
Neha & Abhishek are a couple travel blogger by passion and software engineers by profession. Along with their little daughter they travel far and wide and love to share their travel experience through their travelogue
Linda from Linda goes East:
White Beach (Boracay, Philippines)
It’s no secret that the Philippines are home to some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. For our honeymoon this year, my husband and I decided to head to Boracay, the world’s most beautiful island according to Condé Nast Traveler.
We stayed at a wonderful 5-star resort on White Beach, the island’s most scenic and popular beach. Stretching for about four kilometers on the west coast of the island, White Beach seems to have it all: resorts, hotels, B&Bs, restaurants, cool bars, shopping and loads of water sports. While the middle of White Beach, also referred to as Station 2 or D’Mall, can get crowded and crazy, the northern section of the beach is where you should spend most of your time.
The water is crystal clear and filled with colorful fish and coral reefs only several meters away from the coast. White Beach is also great for action-packed activities, such as windsurfing, kite boarding, parasailing and scuba-diving. In fact, it is here where we came up close with a family of clownfish living in an anemone – a moment we’ll never forget.
Facing west, White Beach is the best place to watch the sun paint the most beautiful shades of red, orange and purple onto the sky during sunset. This makes White Beach also the perfect place to rent out a sailboat and go on a sunset cruise. What could be more romantic than that? A vacation at White Beach also won’t eat a hole in your pocket, as prices at accommodations, restaurants and shops in general are quite cheap.
If you are based in Asia, getting to Boracay is fairly easy. There are two airports you can choose from: Kalibo and Caticlan. The former is around 2 hours from the island, while the latter is a mere 6 km away. It’s worth noting, however, that most budget airlines only fly out to Kalibo. However, airport transfers are widely available and most hotels will offer to pick you up from either airport.
To sum it up, White Beach in Boracay is my favourite beach in Asia because of the crystal clear, turquoise water, plentiful corals, action-packed activities to choose from and the many memories made, that my husband and I will forever remember.
Linda (@lindagoeseast) is a multilingual world explorer based in South Korea. Having grown up in Europe and speaking different languages made her receptive to new cultures and curious to explore new countries. She has lived in Germany, USA, China and South Korea, where she lives happily with her husband Jeongsu and their cat Bingsu (@bingsuthebengal).
On her blog Linda Goes East, she shares her experiences of living and traveling in Asia and the world.
Thais from World Trip Diaries:
Goza Shirahama (Mie Prefecture, Japan)
I lived in Japan for 2 years, and even though it's a country made out of Islands, the beaches there aren't very nice. It took us a long time to find one we liked, and even though it was 2 hours away by car, we still visited it every single time we could - nearly every weekend during summers.
Goza Shirahama Kaisuiyokujo is a beautiful beach, with crystal blue waters and fluffy sands. It can get very crowded in the summertime, especially during weekends. It's still worth a visit, though. It's beautiful and during weekdays (and out of the summer holidays in August) it's relatively empty. The waves and currents aren't strong, making it a perfect place for families with kids. Nearby the beach, there are many small restaurants and stalls - most are only open for business during summer months - with cheap and easy to please Japanese style fast food (skewers, yakisoba, and the likes).
We once decided to spend the whole weekend there and rented one of the tiny cabins there. It was cheap, but it doesn't have anything except for the sheltered place to sleep. We had to bring everything, from mattresses to towels and fans. The toilets, sinks, and showers were all outside, very basic, and they are the public ones used by everyone and cleaned... I don't know, by the state of it, maybe once a month. It wasn't the most pleasant experience but it was worth for having the beach right in front of us.
It's located in Ise city, in Mie-ken, and it's close to one of the most important shrines in Japan, the stunning Ise Jingu-Ji. We never visited both on the same trip, though, because the beach only would take us a whole day and the kids would never want to leave. OK, I wouldn't want to leave either.
The best way to get there is by car - the roads in Japan are narrow, but they are well kept and easy to drive (plus the drivers are very well mannered and patient, so it's fine).
And trust me, it's one amazing beach.
Thais Saito, from World Trip Diaries, traveling the world full time for almost 2 years with my husband and four kids.
We've traveled through New Zealand, Japan, the Americas, and going on to the UK this year!
Dennis from allacrossasia:
The beaches of Sai Kung, Hong Kong
Usually, people who come to visit Hong Kong for the first time have a clear picture in their minds: skyscraper forests and masses of people jammed together in the tightest of spaces. Luckily, that’s not the entire truth. Everyone who is willing to look beyond the concrete jungle of Central and Kowloon can easily explore the beautiful countryside of Hong Kong. More than 70% of the territory is actually green, the largest part of which being conserved in national parks.
And there are beaches, too. Okay, it’s not as if the world’s luxury hotel resort chains would line up alongside Hong Kong’s beaches, but there are decent beaches, which are a good option to enjoy a refreshing dip into the water on a hot Hong Kong summer day. It is probably true that nobody would travel to Hong Kong for a beach holiday only, but perhaps this is even the main advantage of the territory’s beaches: they are usually not overcrowded, but well maintained and mostly equipped with changing rooms and showers.
My favourite beaches are the “deserted” beaches of Sai Kung in the northeastern new territories, one of the most remote places in Hong Kong. Getting there might take some time, but it’s well worth it, as these beaches can really compete with the by far more popular beaches of Thailand or Indonesia. You can get there by speedboat from Sai Kung Town (for 150 HKD per person either way) or by hiking. Section 2 of the MacLehose Trail will lead you to these beaches or you can end tgere after a strenuous hike up to Sharp Peak as described in a previous post on allacrossasia. Hiking is definitely the more rewarding option, whereas the speedboat helps you to save time.
At the beach of Sai Wan, you can hire boards for Stand-Up paddling while Ham Tim is the most popular stretch which features two simple local restaurants. In the north, there is Tai Wan, which is accessible via a short trail from Ham Tin and usually less crowded. The scenery is spectacular and you will definitely forget about the hustle and bustle of the city out there. I recommend to stay as long as possible and to take the last speedboat (at 5 or 6pm) back to Sai Kung Town. The ride will take you along the rocky shores of Sai Kung’s Global Geopark, an UNESCO heritage site. But be careful: the waters can be rough and the bouncy trip is nothing for a weak stomach!
Dennis has been based in Hong Kong since January 2016 and – after a short phase of initial scepsis – eventually fell in love with the city during his first hike to the beaches of Sai Kung described above. On his blog, he gives travel advice on Hong Kong and writes stories about his trips that take him All Across Asia.
How do you like these recommendations? Is your favourite beach in Asia among the ones described above? Or is it missing? If so, please let me know and write a comment below telling me which beach you think should definitely be on this list! This article is actually part of a three-part round up post with the other two versions featuring German travel bloggers (therefore in German language only). However, maybe they have covered your favourite beach, so you might as well have a look here:
All pictures are published with kind permission of the respective authors. Cover picture: Sai Kung Beaches, Hong Kong (by dennisallacross)