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South East Asia beach holiday guide: 7 things you must do

Published August 1st, 2018

Bali, Thailand, Vietnam, Malaysia, the Philippines… who could resist rolling out a beach towel on these exotic (and cheap!) shores? Where the sun is hot. The water is blue. And the sand? Oh so fine.

Throw in a cocktail, some #adventures and awesome side-kicks to go with and, well, why not?!

While you’re at it, don’t miss these top things to do that make any beach holiday to South East Asia legit complete.

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See sunrise 

You know the feeling when you stop for a sec, actually be in the moment and see the sun poke it’s bright, yellow head over the watery horizon in the wee hours of the morning? They’re next level special. Sure, sunsets are spectacular. But a sunrise brings all the #feels of seeing a new day dawn LITERALLY before your eyes. And besides, what better way to end an epic night out? Perfect.

Eat all the snacks

And by that we mean all the street foods! Think pad thai hot off the wok in Thailand, crackly bahn mi in Vietnam, and babi guling (suckling pig) in a beachside warung in Bali. You can count on Asian street food to be cheap, tasty and fresh, fresh, fresh. It’s also the least likely to give you belly rumbles (of the bad kind), because anything you can watch cooked in front of you is generally a safe bet.

Get cultured

Hit up South East Asia’s amazing shrines and temples for a dose of local culture. It’s pretty mind-blowing to experience epic feats like the giant 25-metre-wide Big Buddha in Phuket. In. The. Flesh. Cultural insights also come thick and fast at the local markets – also perfect if you’re looking for some, errr, curious souvenirs to take home.

Go sailing

Sailing is where it’s at. Whether you’re booked on a sweet island-hopping itinerary that takes in paradise after paradise for days on end, or it’s just a day trip sailing to some fancy nearby shores for fun, you’ll love every moment. Wind in your hair. Sun shining. A new beach every day. Now that’s an Asian beach escape that’s to die for.

BTW, Busabout, Topdeck and Contiki have dropped some epic island-hopping itineraries!

Hit the beach clubs

Need nightlife? Don’t sweat. Some of Asia’s best beach hotspots are pumping with beach bars, parties and epic clubs. We’re talking Koh Phi Phi, Koh Tao and Phuket in Thailand, Pulau Perhentian in Malaysia, Boracay in the Philippines and trusty ol’ Bali. Plus so many more! You and your crew will have plenty of places to rehydrate after a day spent sunbaking and exploring. Who are we kidding? Make that lunch time.

Diving and snorkelling

Pop on a mask and pretty much wherever you go, you can spot colourful reef fish in the clear seas. Want more? Depending on where you dive in, you can also get your thrills up close with hammerheads, sharks and manta rays, as well as turtles, barracudas and in some spots, dolphins. It’s a whole new world down there. Our top three underwater beauties? Malapascua in the Philippines, the Similan Islands in Thailand and spots like Menjangan and Nusa Lembongan in Bali.

Do a full moon party

Koh Phangan is the Ibiza of South-East Asia and home to Asia’s most famous beach party: the full moon party. No doubt you already know about it. Just in case you’re wondering: yep, it’s as good as it’s cracked up to be! The FOMO is real. This is a beach party experience you have to do it at least once in your life!

tijanaaaaaa

Tijana Jaksic

After some hardcore scrimping and saving, Tijana’s first backpacking trip confirmed she was onto something good. She hasn’t stopped since. Fave memories to date include dancing with locals in the streets of Havana, bartering for too many scarves in the markets of India, getting lost in the bustle of Hong Kong, sipping cocktails in the Greek Islands and jumping off waterfalls in Croatia. Now she gets to write about travel for a living – the best way to satiate the wanderlust between adventures.