Water so precious to our existence that recent research has shown surprising health benefits to even being in its presence. So it should come as no surprise that some 40% of the world’s population lives within 100km of the coast. Simply put, humans are hardwired to love water.
As places with gorgeous water go, Asia is perhaps the world’s greatest treasure. Within its crystalline seas and sandy shores are some of the earth’s most dramatically beautiful and biologically diverse places. Don’t believe us? Feast your eyes on a selection of Asia’s most incredible and little-known places to be enchanted by water.
Malaysia: Bohey Dulang Island, Sabah, Borneo
Unfairly, Malaysia is often overlooked by travellers looking for great beach or island getaways in Asia. For those who aren’t aware, there is a dazzling array of islands dotting the coasts of Peninsular Malaysia and Malaysian Borneo.
For sheer gorgeousness, it’s hard to beat Bohey Dulang Island in Tun Sakaran Marine Park, just off the coast of Semporna in Sabah, Malaysian Borneo. Not only is the island absolutely stunning, but it has some rather unique attributes that make it one of the more attractive options in Asia for travellers looking for a unique island or beach getaway.
The part of the Sulu Sea the island occupies is shared by the Bajau Laut, a unique ethnic group known as `sea gypsies’ who spend their entire lives at sea. A major reason they inhabit this part of Malaysia is the incredible richness of marine life found there -which also means that Bohey Dulang Island offers incredible snorkelling and diving opportunities.
Want to know how to get clients there? Let us know, and we’d be happy to arrange a tailormade tour.
Thailand: Khao Sok National Park
As beach destinations go, Thailand is an old friend to travellers from around the world. Its warm waters, stunning landscapes and tropical ambience have become a standard by which tropical destinations around the world are judged. Between the lengthy coasts of the Andaman Sea and Gulf of Thailand, there are innumerable places to enjoy stunning beaches.
As such, we’ve decided to go with a wild card on this one and recommend Khao Sok National Park as an offbeat place to send clients. Its focal point, Cheow Lan Lake, is like something out of a science-fiction novel. Clear emerald green waters are surrounded by some of Thailand’s most dramatic karst mountains and virgin rainforests.
A visit here, including a magical stay on floating rafts in the middle of the lake, promises not just one of the most incredible places to soak up aquatic natural scenery, but also chances to see some of Southeast Asia’s most iconic critters such as wild elephants, hornbills and gibbons.
Quite simply, if clients are looking to relax on the water somewhere off the beaten path, Khao Sok is one of the most stunning, memorable and unique places to do it.
Cambodia: Koh Rong
While the vast majority of visitors to Cambodia come to see the temples of Angkor and then leave, a collection of islands off the Gulf Coast very happily remain in almost complete seclusion. Among these, Cambodia’s most must-visit island is Koh Rong. This drop-dead gorgeous tropical island is one of Southeast Asia’s most under-appreciated gems.
With 43 kilometres of beach, this island has numerous places such as Southwestern Beach and Long Set Beach that could easily be placed in any top 25 list of beaches in Asia. To sweeten the deal, most of these beaches are also almost completely deserted.
So the next time you or a client considers travelling to Cambodia, be sure to consider paying a visit to Cambodia’s lonely coast, where an incredible paradise is just waiting to be discovered.
Vietnam: Nha Trang
There are many stunning places in Vietnam to get dosed up on `vitamin sea.’ The most iconic of these is probably Halong Bay which, for all its splendour, is a fairly welltrodden path for visitors and tourists to this fascinating country.
For travellers looking for something a bit more unique, Nha Trang offers options in spades. The city itself offers all the amenities of a Vietnamstyle metropolis, with resorts, nightlife and attractions aplenty. In fact, even the beach just off the main strip in Nha Trang City is quite pleasant.
Venture just a short distance away from the city by boat, though, and Nha Trang reveals its true colours: crystal clear waters, thriving coral reefs, and gorgeous secluded islands.