- Koh Lanta, Thailand
If you and the family are looking to escape the buzz of mainland Thailand, head south to Koh Lanta, a quiet and serene island off the coast of Krabi. Either relax on some of its pretty beaches, such as Kantiang Bay and Klong Dao, or go diving. Top spots include Hin Daeng and Hin Muang.
- Ngapali Beach, Myanmar
Lush palm trees, clear turquoise waters and some of the whitest sand you’ll see in all of Southeast Asia … Myanmar’s Ngapali Beach is a blissful retreat, perfect for families looking to unwind and indulge. Do, however, make time for fishing – it’s a huge part of everyday life here.
- Currumbin Beach, Australia
Located on the southern end of the Gold Coast in Queensland, Currumbin is a vibrant and friendly destination that offers plenty by way of activities. Highlights include its eponymous beach – home to a plethora of watersports like surfing or kayaking – the nearby Currumbin Wildlife Sanctuary and, surprisingly, charming parks like Len Wort Park and Kropp Park.
- Piha Beach, New Zealand
West of Auckland, and just beyond the enchanting Waitakere Ranges Regional Park, you’ll land on the amazing black sands of Piha Beach. While it’s a popular and iconic spot for local surfers, it’s still somewhat under the radar when it comes to tourists. As you wander around, taking in the view of the Tasmanian Sea and the captivating Lion Rock, it’ll feel like you’re in on a secret that few people know about.
- Big Wave Bay, Hong Kong
Sat on the eastern end of Hong Kong Island, Big Wave Bay might only be a short 30 minute or so drive from the bright lights and skyscrapers of Hong Kong but it’s worlds apart in terms of ambiance. Markedly more tranquil – with noticeably few tourists, too – it’s ideal if you’re keen on either sunbathing or riding some rather epic waves … it’s not called Big Wave for nothing.
- Con Dao Islands, Vietnam
Floating in the South Chinese Sea, southeast of mainland Vietnam, are the breathtakingly beautiful Con Dao Islands, a pristine place of refuge that feels almost like a faraway destination. So, if you’re looking for seclusion and a sense of idyllic, untouched wonder, the Con Dao Islands and its unspoiled beaches – check out Nhat Beach and Bai An Hai on the main island Con Son– are just what you’re looking for.
- Lazy Beach, Cambodia
Located west of the Cambodian city of Sihanoukville, in the Gulf of Thailand, the island of Koh Rong Samloem welcomes you to a tropical sanctuary. Head west to the sublime Lazy Beach, where you can enjoy golden sands and emerald waters. While it’s all very photogenic here, do take some pictures of the delightful wooden huts – with thatched roofs – and the surrounding verdant jungle.
- El Nido, Philippines
El Nido, found on the northern tip of the Philippine island of Palawan, is a picture perfect destination characterised by vivid green limestone cliffs, powdery white sand and bright blue waters. If you’re looking to capture stunning photography, you’ll have no trouble here – its beaches, including the famous Secret Beach, are consistently voted as some of the best in the world.
- Nusa Penida, Bali
Think Bali, think wonderland – the Indonesian island is among a select few destinations around the world that are as close to paradise as they come. The same can be said of the nearby Nusa Penida, a gorgeous, unspoilt island that dazzles. Take memorable snaps of the view high above Kelingking Beach and of the lovely sunset from Crystal Beach.
- Cha-Am Beach, Thailand
A popular destination for Bangkok locals to escape to, particularly over the weekend, Cham-Am District feels uniquely Thai – you’ll find plenty of authentic experiences here, as well as few tourists. Head to its namesake beach for laidback living and check out attractions like Mrigadayavan Palace. You’re also close to Hua Hin, another popular beach resort.
- Pranburi Beach, Thailand
In central Thailand, on the eastern shores of the country – and around a three-hour drive from Bangkok – sits the quietly composed Pranburi Beach. If you’re after a peaceful and unassuming destination, and eager to do very little, this is the spot for you. If, however, you’re inclined to explore, Pranburi Forest Park, north of the Pranburi River, is a must.
- Ko Samet, Thailand
If you want to temporarily escape the bustle of Bangkok for a few days, make a beeline to nearby Ko Samet, an enchanting haven with numerous beaches to choose from. Those clustered on the northern fringes of the island, like Ao Noi Na and Hat Sai Kaew, offer plenty by way of entertainment and energy, while those in the south, including Ao Kiu Na Nok, are ideal for unwinding.