Asia has some of the best islands the world has to offer. With vast white sand beaches, crystal clear water, lush green forests, and great wildlife, these islands are great for relaxing getaways and absolutely worth adding to your itineraries. Islands are so different from the touristy, hustle and bustle of cities. The culture, dialects and nature makes it feel as if you could be in a different state of mind. If you like great food, breath taking views, and exploring, check out the following best island holidays in Asia!
Phú Quốc, Vietnam
Phú Quốc is getting popular amongst both domestic and foreigner visitors. The island is a quick flight from Ho Chi Minh City and is loved for its beaches, fishing villages, and it’s many outdoor activities. First, since the water is so blue, many love to relax by the shore or go snorkelling. Go explore the Ham Ninh fishing village with its outdoor restaurants. It’s perfect for an affordable night out. Here you can see colorful boats and floating restaurants all while eating some fresh food. The island is home to Phú Quốc National Park with tons of walking trails open for the public to explore.
Jeju- do, South Korea
Off the coast of South Korea lays Jeju- do, the island popular amongst vacationers and honeymooners. The island is home to a dormant volcano, good food, and fun attractions. The volcano is popular and open for hikers to climb and many prefer to go early in the morning to watch the sunrise. However, if you would rather walk and explore the rural side of the island, take a stroll on the Olle trails. Olle stems from the local dialect meaning “winding path to the front door.” Olle now refers to the 26 hiking trails that spiders around the island. And of course the downtown area is a hit for great food and drinks, try some tangerines, it’s all local farmed and is all fresh.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
Raja Ampat, also known as “the Four Kings,” is a range of islands located in eastern Indonesia. This island getaway is perfect for water enthusiasts with some of the best diving spots the world can offer. Raja Ampat is home to over 500 types of coral reefs and thousands of fishes. The island claims the title of the most extensive and diverse marine life, by the The Nature Conservancy and Conservation International, where 75% of the world’s species can be found.
Ishigaki Island, Japan
Ishigaki Island is the main island of the Yaeyama Islands and is a transport hub of the region. The island is filled with white sand beaches and luscious forests, it is almost otherworldly compared to other parts of Japan, resulting as a great vacation spot. The island has its own specialities like other Japanese regions. For example, Yaeyama soba is the signature dish here, where the noodles are flour based, unlike the typical buckwheat soba. And try the umi budo, or the sea grapes, a type of seaweed with crunchy, salty pop meant to be a beer snack. And as a bonus, the island is relatively affordable place compared to other tourist attractions.
Palawan is an island off the Philippines filled with lush greenery and pristine beaches that attracts all kinds of visitors. El Nido, a village in Palawan, is known for its amazingly breathtaking seascapes. The waters surrounding El Nido is an established turtle sanctuary, so keep an eye out and a respectable distances for the turtles! And while you’re there, explore the Cabayugan River, the longest underground river. The river is a whopping five miles long but only about half is navigable by boat. The limestone cliffs to the white sand beaches, the islands has it all for a relaxing getaway.
Naoshima Island, Japan
If you love art, Naoshima Island is a must. The island carries art from all over the world and is displayed all over the island. For example, a giant polka- dotted pumpkin by Yayoi Kusama sits on an old concrete pier, more from her and others are plastered on the island. The island was remote and had a declining population before all the exhibits and galleries opened. Since then tourism has been on the rise, especially around the time of their arts festival showcasing world class modern art. The island is quaint and friendly. To get to the island there are trains covered by the JR rail pass going to Uno. From there you must take a ferry to the island, perfect for a one or two day trip in Japan.
Green Island, Taiwan
Green Island, or Lyudao, is a small island located off the eastern coast of Taiwan. The island is accessible by ferry and plane, though ferry seems to be preferred though it can be a choppy ride. The best way to get around the island is definitely by scooter, and there are many rental options there! Visit Xiao Chang Cheng, which directly translate to Little Great Wall. It is an easy climb with an amazing scenic view of the sea. You could even bring some snacks and food for a small picnic!
And while you’re there visit the Hai Sheng Ping bay and get a glimpse of a rock formation of Sleeping Beauty Rock and the Pekinese Dog Rock. The island also offers the Zhaori Hot Springs, a saltwater hot spring which is not offered in many places, and is one of the best places to watch the sunrise on the island. You can also go snorkeling and scuba diving to play and explore the waters for a bit.
We hope you love these island holidays in Asia – perfect for nature, adventure or simply an idyll to unwind and relax.