Nobody likes a soggy beach: The best times to go to Asia’s top 11 beaches

Don’t rock up to a long-awaited beach holiday only to find that you’ve just landed right smack in the middle of rainy season. Source: Shutterstock.

BEFORE booking a beach vacay, there are always a couple of things to consider.

Who are you going with? How will you get there? Where would you stay (hotel, chalet, villa)? What’s the cost of living like? The list goes on.

But don’t overthink it – the most important things to consider are, “Which beach should I go to?” and “When is the best time to go?”

Of course, you wouldn’t want to rock up to a beach only to discover that it’s rainy season, complete with strong monsoon winds, and everything is closed. You’d also want to avoid places that are way too crowded or are too overdeveloped.

Well, you’re in luck. Grab your flip-flops and your sunnies because here are our picks for the top 11 beaches in Asia and the best time to go.

Agonda, India: Agonda Beach

Located in the South Goa district of India, Agonda is a large village famous for its beach and one of the only four beaches designated as turtle nesting sites in India.

Visitors love it for its tranquility and seemingly endless coastline that’s far from the frenzy of holidaymakers. In fact, the beach is only lined with simple beach shacks as hawkers aren’t allowed.

The perfect beach for while the day away reading, meditating, or stretching your limbs during a relaxing yoga session.

Best time to go: November – April.

Ngapali, Myanmar: Ngapali Beach

Ngapali is so peaceful, you may have to whisper when you talk or risk stirring the birds and the bees from their nap.

Located on the Bay of Bengal coast in Myanmar, Ngapali (pronounce Napally) is said to be named after the Italian city of Naples. The beach boasts beautiful resorts dotted along an idyllic stretch of white sand coast lined with palm trees.

Enjoy long, undisturbed walks along the beach or check out the traditional fishing villages.

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Best time to go: November – March.

Havelock Island, Andaman and Nicobar Islands: Radhanagar Beach

The largest of the islands to the east of Great Andaman in the Andaman Islands, Havelock Island is home to an astounding beach named Radhanagar Beach. Said to be the best beach for swimming in India, the beach is a picturesque paradise surrounded by turquoise waters, white sand, and lush green forest.

Havelock is a picturesque natural paradise with beautiful white sandy beaches, rich coral reefs, and lush green forest.

Find your nook, hide in the shade, and sip on some fresh coconut juice while staring out at the endless blue.

Best time to go: November – April.

Ao Nang, Thailand: Phra Nang Cave Beach

A place of many mysteries, Phra Nang Cave Beach is as its name promises because there’s a cave right on the water.

It is believed that the cave was named after a princess goddess named Phra Nang. However, in another legend, Phra Nang was the wife of a fisherman who was lost at sea, who lived out the rest of her days in the cave while waiting for her husband’s return.

You’d need to hire a boat to get to Phra Nang Cave Beach. Hop on one from Krabi. It takes about 10 minutes and will cost you only THB100 (USD3.21). Then kick back on the beach and the remarkable view against a stunning backdrop.

Best time to go: Year-round.

Bentota, Sri Lanka: Bentota Beach

Travelers who really want to just “get away from it all” will really love Bentota beach.

Said to be the best-known destination for water sports in Sri Lanka, feel free to hop on a surfboard or board a catamaran while you’re there. If water adventures aren’t your thing, then pick a spot on the beach and laze like the beach bum you intended to be.

The sunsets are not to be missed so do stay out long enough to witness it with your own eyes and remember to whip out your camera to take some snaps.

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Best time to go: October – April.

El Nido, the Philippines: Nacpan Beach

An untouched territory and a hidden gem at its best, El Nido’s Nacpan Beach in the Philippines has been said to be unexpectedly unforgettable.

The long coastline is clean and well-maintained, with golden sand and beautiful crystal waters. Unlike its friendly rival island Boracay, Nacpan is not a party beach. In fact, it prides itself on being a place of total rest and relaxation.

You may find it hard to leave after spending a couple of days there.

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Best time to go: December – March.

Veligandu, Maldives: Veligandu Island Beach

The Maldives is not the easiest place to get to, but the journey is worth it.

Get your sunny side on at Veligandu island beach, the paradise where no flip-flops are needed. Slather on some sunscreen (or tanning oil, whichever floats your boat) and get some sand in your toes as you walk along the paths that lead to you the bars.

If you enjoy swimming, jump into the azure waters for a soak in the sun then swim out a bit to marvel at the coral reefs.

Best time to go: Year-round.

Selong Belanak, Indonesia: Selong Belanak Beach

Located in a largely uninhabited part of Lombok in Indonesia, Selong Belanak Beach is the ideal place to flaunt your beach hair.

One of the most prestigious beaches on the Indonesian island, it has powdery white sand and a sprawling beach. Surfers often flock to the area to ride the gentle, rolling waves. If you’re curious, check out one of the many surfing camps such as Hary Surf or sign up for an evening yoga lesson. Or both.

When you’ve tired yourself out proper, head to one of the restaurants to sample some local fare, such as grilled squid or tenggiri (fish).

Best time to go: May – October.

Busan, South Korea: Haeundae Beach

Perfect for a Sunday morning stroll while sipping a hot mug of Americano or a chill out night with a bottle of soju in hand, Haeundae beach is often considered one of South Korea’s most famous and beautiful beaches.

The beach’s 1.5km stretch of white sand creates a beautiful coastline before a shallow bay, making it perfect for people watching or frolicking in the water. Don’t be surprised to find sand sculptures come summer, random art installations, or street performers entertaining visitors until late into the night.

There are many restaurants in the area so be sure to chow down on some Korean chimaek (fried chicken and beer).

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Best time to go: June – August.

Hoi An, Vietnam: An Bang Beach

About 1km from the UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site of Hoi An and 22km south of Da Nang is the breathtaking An Bang beach.

Still relatively unspoiled by development, An Bang beach boasts a large space and smooth sandy beach under swaying palm trees. Known to the locals for being a great swimming spot, visitors can sign up for activities such as paddle-surfing and surfing if they want. Alternatively, they can also take a stroll along the fishing villages.

Don’t feel like getting wet? Hit up one of the many street food stalls, then find a nice, big beach umbrella and settle down with a bite to eat.

Best time to go: May – September.

Sihanoukville, Cambodia: Otres Beach

Craving a leisurely and relaxing getaway in Cambodia? Look no further than Sihanoukville’s Otres beach.

Charming and relatively quiet, Otres is widely regarded as one of Cambodia’s most unspoiled beaches. Although it has been marked for development, the beach is still very well maintained, with dozens of small-scale independent resorts and beach bungalows in the area. Wildly popular among locals and tourists alike, Otres has warm, clear waters and a 5km-long sand bank shaded by seemingly endless casuarina trees.

So sit around and enjoy the magical view, particularly at sunset, and don’t forget to exhale.

Best time to go: November – March.