Forget your flippers, walk to these Asia-Pacific islands when the tide goes out

Aerial view of the Kalanggaman Island sandbar at Malapascua Island in Cebu, Philippines. Source: Shutterstock.

THE MOON is essentially a magnet which pulls water around the Earth.

The moon helps to control the tides as its gravitational pull is twice as high as the sun’s.

Its gravitational pull dictates high and low tides. So, if you’ve ever been by the coast with a full moon overhead, you can bet your bottom dollar there’s a high tide.

But as high tides slink away to become low tides, the magic of beaches, pathways, and lost treasures reveal themselves, providing explorers with a new adventure.

Here are five islands in Asia-Pacific which are only accessible if you wait for the tide to recede – it’s worth it.

Haji Ali Dargah, Mumbai, India

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On a tiny islet in south Mumbai, the Haji Ali Dargah mosque and tomb sits on a small island in Worli Bay.

The mosque is continuously applauded for its indo-Islamic architecture, but that’s only one of the features that draws thousands of visitors to the site each month.

It’s only accessible via a humanmade causeway which has the ocean on both sides and no railing to cling onto.

The path is only five hundred meters long so most people can make it to the mosque in around five minutes, which is quicker than the tide comes in.

Legend has it that the mosque was built for a wealthy Muslim merchant who washed up on the nearby shore.

Jindo, South Korea

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Jindo Island is the third biggest Korean island and once a year the tide gets so low that people can walk from the mainland to the island.

However, because the extreme low tides here are such a rarity, the government has made it an official event, known as the “Jindo Miracle Sea Road Festival.”

More than 500,000 people turn up to the annual event each year, but the two-mile-long path only stays clear for about an hour, so a brisk walk is recommended.

Locals believe the waters part every year to remember a young girl who was separated from her family when tigers invaded Jindo Island. She prayed to Yongwang – a deity of water – to be reunited with them.

Her prayers were answered and Yongwang is said to have parted the sea for her.

Ko Nang Yuan, Thailand

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Close to the popular Thai island of Koh Tao are the three islands that form Koh Nang Yuan.

One of these islands is only accessible when the tide goes out and reveals a sandbar.

There is always the option of putting on your flippers and snorkeling over to it too, but there’s something enticing about waiting for the tide to reveal the way.

Curio Bay, The Caitlins, New Zealand

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Curio Bay is possibly the coolest place on this list.

On the southern tip of New Zealand’s South Island is this bay, home to an ancient petrified forest and some of the world’s rarest penguins.

While it’s not an island, the tide still plays a significant role in discovering the treeless forest and spotting a yellow-eyed penguin.

At first, the tree stumps look like jagged rocks, but as the sea goes further out, the remains of the 160-million-year-old forest are clear to see.

Naaz islands, Iran

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These two islands can be discovered when the tide ebbs from the Persian Gulf. They are connected to Qeshm Island by a sandbar, but this is often submerged.

When the tide goes out, travelers can walk to the islands on the connector.

Although the islands are flat and uninhabited, the water that surrounds them is full of healthy reefs and beautiful fish.

Remember to bring your snorkel.

With the rapid rate of rising sea levels, there’s no time like the present to tie those shoe laces tight and ramble across a causeway to explore a slice of hidden beauty.

Very soon, the walkways might be hidden under the ocean forever.