Winter’s fully upon us now and if the holidays stormed through your life like a typhoon of ribbon and lights, you may be looking for someplace warm and exotic to escape to. There’s really nothing like wonders of Southeast Asia to make you feel like you’re definitely not home anymore. Rediscover your calm and balance by relaxing on one of the warm sandy beaches that are scattered across the region. To help you pick a destination, we have pulled together a list of the most popular, and some of the lesser well-known beaches in the western Pacific.
Hua Hin Beach, Thailand
Named for the head stone-like rock formations found there, Hua Hin is a three mile beach stretching from the town of the same name, south until it ends at Kao Takiap. If you wake up early, or stay up really late, this white sand paradise is the perfect place to watch the sunrise over the Gulf of Thailand. During the rest of the day, this long, wide beach offers plenty of room for sport activities like horseback riding and wind surfing, and there is always a quiet place to sit back and relax.
White Beach, Philippines
The powder-fine sand of this beach, located on Boracay Island, is often compared to beaches in the Caribbean, and indeed its warm waves and casual locals echo that atmosphere. There are many facilities nearby that make this beach a favorite for guests of all ages and budgets. It is only two miles long however, and does draw crowds, so come early to stake out your place in the sun.
Patong Beach, Thailand
This lively beach is one of the most popular attractions on Thailand’s most popular tourist island, Phuket. Visitors can spend their days participating in a variety of water sports from surfing to jet skiing and then party on into the night at one of the clubs or go-go bars just across the street. If you prefer a more leisurely pace, Patong Beach also offers inexpensive shopping and Thai massage.
Pantai Chenang, Malaysia
Long a European tourist favorite, this stunning beach is located on Langkawi Island. It has a more rustic feel and less frantic commercialism. Spas offering massage and yoga are plentiful as are sailing and boat tours. There are, however, a few clubs offering live music and dancing until late in the evenings if you know where to look.
Sanur Beach, Indonesia
This beach is has been the favorite of quiet romantics for years. It is one of the oldest resort beaches on Bali Island and offers plenty of activities for lovers of all ages. Wondrous sunrises in the morning, lush flowers all day, and leisurely afternoons spent on the northern golf courses make this the perfect destination for a peaceful getaway.
Whichever beach you choose will no doubt be the perfect escape from the hectic holiday season. Once you’ve arrived, drink in the sun, soak up the exotic atmosphere and try to regain a bit of your inner calm.
Photo credits: Hua Hin Beach by Greg Walters/flickr; White sand beach by bortescristian/flickr; Patong Beach by Emily TT Sullivan/flickr; Pantai Cenang, Langkawi by kaeru.my/flickr; Sanur beach, Bali by TheCreativePen/flickr