One advantage of living in Asia is our proximity to some of the best beach destinations in the world. Yes, Asia has some of the best beach destinations in the world that few islands in the west can beat. Coupled with the tropical climate and amazing food choices, beach destinations are places you have to visit once in your lifetime. Among the list of beach destinations in Asia, we think there are four beach destinations that every Singaporean must visit at least once in this lifetime.
1. Palawan, Philippines
Palawan is a scenic archipelago consisting of forty-five islands located within the majestic Bacuit Bay. It boasts of a countless number of beautiful destinations on the island, from beaches to mountain lagoons. You can also find yourself in awe of waterfalls and caves that remind you of how beautiful Mother Earth is. But if you think that Palawan is just a sightseeing destination, then you are dead wrong.
Palawan promises a complete package of breath-taking views, water activities and insta-worthy moments around the island. The island is home to a range of marine biodiversity that few places in the world offer. This is THE place to be if you are interested in water activities such as scuba diving. Not to forget, the whole province of Palawan is a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve. Bet you didn’t know that UNESCO World Heritage site isn’t the only accolade you can receive from UNESCO.
2. Lombok, Indonesia
Mention Indonesia and the first beach destination that comes to mind is Bali. Well, we think that Bali is great, but it is a bit too crowded for our liking. If you are looking for a hidden gem in Indonesia, then you got to check out Lombok.
Unlike Bali, Lombok is still a pristine island that hasn’t been flooded with too many tourists. This means that it still has its virgin beach spots, idyllic coastline, and authentic traditional communities. Given that Lombok is a less touristy destination than Bali, its accommodations and food prices naturally becomes more affordable. For a private villa, you can expect to get it at a fraction of the prices in Bali.
If you think that you are tired of the beach (though unlikely), you can embark on hikes on Mount Rinjani. Don’t blame us if you fall in love with the sight that you can see at the top of Mount Rinjani and never want to return to Singapore.
Note: A recent earthquake has caused widespread destruction on Lombok island, and much of the island is still undergoing reconstruction.
3. Okinawa, Japan
Japan is a favourite holiday destination for Singaporeans. Singaporeans might have visited Japan, but mostly to urban cities in Japan like Tokyo or Osaka. After all, that is where Disneyland and Universal Studios are located. But Japan is not only famous for its beautiful cities, it also has a beautiful beach destination in the form of Okinawa.
Okinawa is located in the southernmost region in Japan. There are multiple beach destinations for you to choose on Okinawa itself. Okuma Beach, Sunayama Beach, Aragusuku Beach, Nirai Beach, Nishi no Hama Beach, Yonaha Maehama Beach, and Kondoi Beach. You take your pick on which beach you want to visit. But it is not just the beaches that make Okinawa such a desirable destination. Okinawa is also home to nine UNESCO World Heritage sites like Sefa-utaki and Zakimijo Castle remains. It also holds one of the world’s largest aquariums in the world with 77 huge tanks and a diverse breed of underwater animals. If you prefer to see them in person, you can dive into the waters with one of the scuba diving packages with the locals.
4. Cebu, Philippines
The Philippines is full of alluring islands that offer the world a slice of paradise. Regardless of how many times you have been to the Philippines, there are always new islands to explore. Cebu is one such island. The island has long been popular among international tourists for its beautiful beaches with crystal clear turquoise waters.
If you are a firm believer of you-only-live-once (YOLO), then you got to try the shark tours in Cebu. No, we are not talking about those Shark Cage diving tours with Great White Sharks in Australia. We are referring to the famous Whale Shark watching tour. If you think that you are a good swimmer, you can even join the Whale Sharks in the water. Swimming amongst sharks is a once-in-a-lifetime kind of activity that is only fit for the YOLO.
Whale Shark isn’t the only type of shark you can see in Cebu. You can also catch a glimpse of other shark species like Thresher Shark, Hammerhead Shark and White-Tip Shark. However, you will need to learn to dive for you to be in close proximity to these majestic sharks.
A word of caution: Sharks are wild animals and there is a risk in such activities. Please exercise caution if you plan on doing them.