Looking for an Island getaway in Asia? From stunning beaches and bluish blue waters to untouched wilderness, Asia is home to some of the incredibly gorgeous islands in the world. With so many beautiful islands in Asia to choose from, it’s tough to decide on one. We’ve rounded up the best islands in Asia for families with the help of travel experts to help you plan a perfect Asian island vacation.
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The Best Islands in Asia for Families
Phu Quoc, Vietnam
Phu Quoc has to be the best island in Southeast Asia. Located in Southeast Vietnam, it boasts pristine white sand beaches. No doubt, Phu Quoc has been voted the ‘cleanest and beautiful beaches in the world’.
It is the best place to visit with families for a relaxing vacation. And the best part is that you don’t even need to worry about the visa. If just visiting Phu Quoc in Vietnam for less than 30 days, then no visa is required.
There are so many things to do in Phu Quoc. Known for its pristine beaches, it is tough to choose the best one among – Bai Dai, Bai San, Khem beach, San beach, and many more. Built sandcastles or just gaze at the magical sunset, Phu Quoc is sure to cast a spell.
Families traveling with kids have no dearth of activities. The Vinpearl Land Amusement Park offers some amazing fun rides and a water park to have a fun-filled day. The amusement park has free shuttles that run in the mornings and evenings through the island making it easy to visit the park. Across the Vinpearl Land is Vinpearl Safari, which is a conservation park with a wide variety of animals including common and exotic animals.
Another famous attraction of the island is the world’s first and longest cable car over water at Hon Thom Cable car. The views from the cable car are magnificent.
Staying in Phu Quoc offers amazing views of the beach and scrumptious food. There are many resorts along the beaches suiting all the budgets. Novotel Phu Quoc Resort and Vinpearl Resort are some of our favorites.
Read More: Best Resorts & Hotels in Phu Quoc
Havelock Island, India
Havelock Island, an untouched beauty, is the largest island in the Andaman Islands to the south of India. Known as the jewel of Andaman, it is known for its natural untouched beauty, white sandy beaches, and scuba diving capital of India.
The Andaman Islands are home to exotic marine life and coral reef. The picturesque coral reef of Havelock Island is a haven for divers exploring the colorful marine life. For enthusiasts, there are scuba diving courses as well that can be taken from some of the best instructors. Snorkeling is also a great option to explore the Nemo and the Dory. Elephant Beach is the snorkeling hotspot with exotic corals near the shore. This makes it a great option even for non-swimmers.
The famous beaches of Havelock are Radhanagar beach and Vijaynagar beach. No doubt, Radhanagar beach has been ranked among the top 10 spectacular beaches of the world. Walk on the sandy beach or just sit and savor the beauty. Watching the sunrise and sunset is just magical and will leave you spellbound. Due to the lack of pollution and open area, Havelock is also perfect for stargazing. Enjoy the sky twinkling with many stars.
Havelock Island is accessible from Port Blair and Neil Island by government-run and private ferries that take around 2.5 hours. We recommend taking the morning ferry to reach early and make full use of the day. The island can be explored by renting bikes.
Silver Sand Beach Resort and Taj Exotica are great resorts to stay in Havelock Island.
Alice, Adventures of Alice
Phuket is a bustling island in Southern Thailand and has been a popular tourist destination for decades. It is the largest island in Thailand and offers outdoor activities like hiking or diving, as well as more cultural experiences including visiting temples. With so much to do in Phuket, it’s easily one of the best islands in Asia and one of the most beautiful places to add to any Thailand itinerary.
The best time to visit is between November to February. This is the driest season and you’re less likely (although it’s still possible) to experience tropical rain showers. Sawaddi Patong Resort is a good place to stay if you want to be local to attractions however, Karon and Kata Noi are much quieter locations.
When it comes to things to do in Phuket, there are so many different things to do. You can opt for the typical touristy activities. This includes going on a scenic bus tour of the island’s highlights, taking a day trip up to Chalong Bay, or visiting one of the many beautiful temples and shrines around Phuket town. For families, the Splash Jungle Water Park or Zipline at Flying Hanuman are great choices.
But if you’re looking for something more exciting and challenging then why not take part in some adrenaline-inducing adventures like jet ski safaris or deep-sea fishing trips? Alternatively, if those don’t tickle your fancy then maybe try an eco-friendly activity such as exploring mangrove forests by kayak?
Overall, from the beautiful beaches, fresh seafood, and excursions like scuba diving or elephant riding, there are plenty of things to do in Phuket.
Dea Mariano, How She Wanders
Palawan, a dreamy island province in the Philippines, won’t be recognized by travel magazines as the “Best Island in the World” for nothing. It’s one of the most beautiful islands in Southeast Asia. Beautiful natural attractions, pristine beaches and islands, rich culture and history, friendly locals, and exciting activities — you’ll see why people fell in love with the place so easily.
Its capital city, Puerto Princesa, is where you’ll find the Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park which is one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature and a UNESCO World Heritage Site. It’s simply an unmissable site when visiting Palawan. Doing a city tour is also one of the most exciting as you’d be able to witness the place’s rich history, try out a traditional weaving, have a picnic on a hilltop, taste locally made products, and see beautiful wildlife among other things. It’s recommended for families who wish to bond and have quality time together.
If you’re up for some adventure, there is Ugong Rock Adventures where you could experience spelunking and zipline, and Honda Bay where you could do island hopping tours. There are also beautiful waterfalls in Puerto Princesa that are worth chasing such as Estrella Falls, Salakot Falls, and Bonton Falls.
One of the best places to stay in Puerto Princesa is the Astoria Palawan. It is a relaxing place away from the city and the crowd.
And for the backpackers and island-goers, Palawan’s star attractions are the beautiful El Nido, Coron, and Balabac. These three are gorgeous sites and everyone’s dream destinations!
Palawan is indeed a perfect summer destination and is best experienced during the summer months in the Philippines so make sure to visit from March through May.
De Wet & Jin, Museum of Wander
Bali is a tropical paradise in Indonesia, and people from all walks of life have been coming to this island for decades. Bali might be small in size, but it offers an incredible variety of things to do. It caters to young and old, the high flyers and the budget conscious, the active and the lazy, the spiritual and the hedonists and everything in between. Value for money is perhaps the island’s strongest point.
Families looking for a relaxing holiday will love Amed in eastern Bali. Amed has a very laid-back atmosphere, and some of the best snorkeling on the island. Those looking for something more than just snorkeling, relaxing or eating can get their diving license at one of the many dive schools or attend regular yoga lessons.
Life in Amed is the perfect place for your family holiday in Amed. With a sparkling pool, garden cottages, excellent restaurant, and beachfront setting, you’ll never want to leave.
Bali’s unique Hindu culture is best experienced in Ubud, located in the center of the island. Ubud is also known as the island’s cultural heart. Attending the Kecak fire dance at night is a must-do when in Ubud. The area surrounding Ubud offers idyllic scenes filled with rice terraces, holy temples, and a sacred monkey forest which can easily be visited on a day trip.
Bali can be visited throughout the year, but May to September is the dry season, which is considered the best time.
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Don Khone in Laos’ 4,000 Islands
Sarah, A Social Nomad
Just north of the border with Cambodia are the 4,000 islands of Laos – also known as Si Phan Don. And there truly are 4,000 islands here, mostly uninhabited. The 3 largest islands are the most visited and while one of them, Don Det is firmly backpacker party central, Don Khone is the place to go for relaxing and enjoying the natural beauty of the area.
This island is lovely and quiet, but with the tourist facilities that you’ll want. You’ll find places to stay with rooms with hammocks swinging on balconies onto the Mekong River, a variety of places to eat and have fresh fruit juice, coffee, or Beer Lao.
The Sengahloune Resort, just a 2-minute walk to the Old French Railway Bridge is a fabulous place to stay. Life is slow here, and it’s one of the main reasons to come here – to relax, but there’s one trip you should take when visiting Don Khone and that’s to see the Irrawaddy Dolphins.
There are less than 80 of these critically endangered dolphins alive in the wild and the best time to see them is in the early morning or early evening. Another must-see is the old French Steam Engine – the railway here was built to avoid the Khone Phapheng falls – which are also worth a trip – and this 4.3-mile track was built by the French so that they could create a trade route up the Mekong from Cambodia to Laos and then China. Overall though, come here and chill out, it’s a fabulous place for relaxing and doing a lot of nothing!
Sarah Steiner, Away with the Steiners
The beautiful Maldivian island of Maalhos may be small but packs a punch. In contrast to the iconic resorts and touristic villas, this beautiful island showcases a totally different side to the Maldives. Maalhos is a small, local island in the Baa Atoll with a population of only 600 residents.
Aside from the stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters, the beauty of Maalhos also shines in the people and the contradictory absence of tourists.
There are no vehicles on the island, no resorts, and only a small selection of guesthouses that can tailor a stay to suit you and your family exactly.
Dhonfulhafi Inn is a fantastic guesthouse hosted by Haneef and Aslam who will make sure your stay is as perfect as it looks. Enjoy snorkeling tours, day trips to the nearby sandbars and outer islands, swim with the turtles, and just generally make the most of life on a beautiful and peaceful Asian island.
Getting to Maalhos requires a little planning and coordination with your hosts on the island. Book a domestic flight from Velana International Airport in Malé to Dharavandhoo Domestic Airport. From there it’s a short but beautiful ride by water taxi.
If you are looking to holiday at one of the best islands in Asia but after something a little bit different, Maalhos is magical.
Caroline, C K Travels
The island of Penang located off the north western coast of Malaysia is one of the most exciting destinations in south east Asia, with a mix of beach, rainforest and city, and a reputation for some of the finest street food in the world.
The island is home to the bustling multicultural city of Georgetown, its colonial-era capital which is also a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site. Georgetown is a melting pot of Chinese, Indian and Malay culture and you’ll find many British colonial buildings sat alongside Chinese shophouses, mosques, and temples!
One of the best things to do in Georgetown Penang for the family is to explore the streets in search of the famous street art and creative murals by Lithuanian artist Ernest Zacharevic. Many are interactive and have objects stuck to walls or things you can sit on such as bikes and swings!
Visiting Little India and Chinatown is also a must-do to sample delicious local Penang cuisine. There are multiple food courts and outdoor hawker stalls where you can try famous dishes such as char koay teow (flat fried noodles). We would recommend booking onto a food tour to experience some of the island’s best cuisine – it is a great family-friendly activity.
Penang has several amazing accommodation options with many beachside resorts and city hotels. In terms of location, the Hotel Chulia Mansion in Georgetown is great as it is located right in the heart of the old town with several restaurants, bars, and street food options on your doorstep.
Koh Rong Samloem, Cambodia
Cecilie, Worldwide Walkers
Koh Rong Samloem is without a doubt one of Asia’s best islands. With its white sandy beaches, turquoise-colored waters, and a green lush jungle, Koh Rong Samloem is rightfully a popular travel destination in Cambodia.
There are so many things to do in Koh Rong Samloem. Apart from enjoying the beautiful beaches, you can go snorkeling, kayaking, jungle trekking, or see the incredible bioluminescent plankton at night. The best way to experience the plankton is to take a guided boat tour after it gets dark.
There are several places you can stay in Koh Rong Samloem. Saracen Bay is the most popular place on the island because of its long, beautiful beach strip. Therefore, you will find more options for restaurants and accommodation here. On the other hand, M’Pai Bay is known for its more laid-back vibe where you can connect with the local people living on the island, which also makes a great place to stay.
You can visit Koh Rong Samloem all year round. However, the rainy season goes from May to October. You should avoid visiting during this time of the year if you are limited on time and crave some sunny beautiful beach days with blue skies. You can easily get to Koh Rong Samloem with ferry from Sihanoukville.
If you are looking for a quiet island in Cambodia that offers both relaxing beach days and exciting activities, then Koh Rong Samloem is just right for you!
Read More: 40+ Best Places to Visit in Asia
Cat Ba, Vietnam
Cat Ba is one of the most popular and picturesque islands to visit in Southeast Asia. Located off the coast of northern Vietnam, many travelers transit through this area when traveling to Halong Bay from Hanoi.
Cat Ba and the surrounding Bai Tu Long Bay are a terrific alternative to Halong, with similar karst rock formations but fewer boats. Half and full-day tours of the bay from the dock at Cat Ba can be organized once you arrive on the island, and usually involve kayaking and lunch on the water.
One of the things that makes Cat Ba so unique is the blend of water and land activities. Cat Ba National Park occupies the interior of the island and is one of Vietnam’s premier nature reserves. Hiking trails and cycling paths lead visitors between small villages and forested areas. Kids will love the after-dark tours that take you in search of the park’s wildlife, including the elusive and endangered Cat Ba langur, a monkey that’s only found on the island.
Cat Ba has an interesting war history and there are many historical sites you can visit as well, including caves that were used as hospitals. There are lookout points all over the island for picture-perfect views of the bay, a couple of sandy beaches, and floating villages as well.
For the best chance of good weather and clear skies, the best time to visit Cat Ba is in summer, between late April and late October. Avoid traveling on national holidays as the island gets very crowded with visitors from Hanoi.
Cat Ba Oasis Bungalows offer clean, simple rooms with an outdoor pool and a generous breakfast.
Koh Samui, Thailand
Adriana Plotzerová, Czech the World
Koh Samui is a beautiful island in Thailand, full of nice beaches, viewpoints, waterfalls, as well as numerous temples. It is an ideal destination for an adventurous journey around the island as well as relaxing on the beach.
The best way to explore the island is by hiring a scooter. It is easy and cheap. On your way around the island visit Hin Ta and Hin Yai Rocks, Secret Buddha Garden, Na Mueg Waterfall and don’t forget to enjoy local night markets. Night markets are full of delicious food, where you can try everything from fish, seafood, rice, noodles to awesome coconut ice cream.
There are also beautiful temples in Koh Samui. The largest and most impressive is Wat Plai Laem which is a must-see. Another important one is the Big Buddha (Wat Phra Yai). If you have more time, visit also Laem Sor Pagoda, Wat Sarmet, Wat Sawang Arom Chaweng, or Wat Khunaram with a mummified monk. Check also other great things to do in Koh Samui.
If you are looking for beautiful beaches, be sure to visit Lamai Beach (calm beach with deep water), Chaweng Beach (full of bars, restaurants, and clubs), Bo Phut Beach, Maenam Beach (popular among backpackers), or calm Lipa Noi Beach. A popular place to stay is Crystal Bay Yacht Club Beach Resort. A perfect tour from Koh Samui is a day trip to the Ang Thong National Park.
Bradley, Dream Big, Travel Far Blog
Siargao is one of the most popular destinations in The Philippines for a reason. Located southeast of Tacloban, it’s a truly magnificent island with crystal clear waters and pristine beaches.
This teardrop-shaped island is the “Surfing Capital of the Philippines” and a must for any surfer visiting the country. The waves here are incredible and there are a lot of surf spots for beginners and experts alike.
Other than surfing, there are other things you can do in Siargao, like seeing the infamous Sugba Lagoon. Take a tour from the island, or feel free to get to Playa Del Carmen port. You can hop on a boat that will take you to this beautiful area.
This lagoon boasts a picturesque view and has a lot of activities. You can jump from tall diving boards into the ocean, paddleboard, kayak, or snorkel around. Consider taking a mangrove tour as part of your Sugba Lagoon experience. This place is actually one of the nation’s largest Mangrove forests!
Siargao is without a doubt a family-friendly destination. Take the little ones to the rock pools, which are best visited at high tide, or explore the Tayangban Cave Pool.
For accommodation, General Luna is a great choice as it’s home to plenty of restaurants and shops. Siargao Bleu Resort and Spa is popular for its strategic location, world-class amenities, and breathtaking views.
Meanwhile, the best time to visit Siargao would be the dry season between March to September. This is when there are the least rainfalls.
Koh Lanta, Thailand
Veronika Primm, Travel Geekery
Koh Lanta belongs to one of a few paradise islands in Thailand’s South. It’s wonderfully laid back and offers just the right mix of activities, beach vibes and only a few parties.
There are many different things to do in Koh Lanta. Obviously, you can enjoy plenty of beach time to your heart’s content. Beaches range from easily accessible long ones – such as the Long Beach (Phra Ae) to more intimate smaller beaches that are slightly harder to get to – those can be found mainly in the South of the island (on the western side).
Restaurants are plentiful in Koh Lanta. You can find a good mix of everything, and the small shacks near the beach often have the freshest ingredients. There are many street food options too, especially in the port of Ban Saladan.
Hiking is another fun activity to do in Koh Lanta. The island’s southernmost tip is occupied by a National Park with a few hiking trails and a lovely lighthouse.
When looking for a place to stay in Koh Lanta, I can highly recommend the Escape Cabins. The lovely bungalows are within a walking distance to the beach yet in a quiet spot.
For the best full-on adventure day, you need to take a boat trip to nearby islands. The most popular options include a 4-island tour with a visit to the Emerald cave and a boat tour to Koh Rok Island.
Penghu Islands, Taiwan
Chloe, Chloe’s Travelogue
Penghu is an archipelago of 90 islands in the west of the Taiwan Strait. You may or may not have heard of its name. If you haven’t, you are not alone. And that’s the best part. It is a hidden gem not many people outside of Taiwan know about.
Forget about rowdy partiers. No worries on the overcrowded beach. No traffic jams. No overpriced restaurants. Just imagine white sandy beaches, fresh seafood, and pristine nature.
While it may not be known to international travelers yet, Penghu offers typical activities you can expect from an island destination, including swimming, island hopping, fishing, and snorkeling. Water sports enthusiasts might also be delighted to know that the island’s notoriously strong wind makes it a great surfing and windsurfing destination.
Besides water activities, the Penghu islands are a great outdoor classroom. Its unique geological landscape showcases majestic basalt columns, whale-like cave, and other rare sights created by volcanic eruptions.
Also, many historic sites on the islands tell colorful stories to visitors. From the oldest Matzu (Chinese goddess of the ocean) temple to the early settlements in Penghu to the military village and ancient military fort, you will have an opportunity to learn about traditional Penghu culture and history.
Does Penghu sound like a dreamy destination for your next vacation?
Before heading to Penghu, be aware that the island is still developing as a tourist destination. If you imagine lying on the cabana with a cocktail in your hand at a luxury beachfront resort, Penghu is not it. (You can still find modern lodging options near Makong, the central location with easy access to everything.)
But if you would like to get away from the crowd and appreciate a slow vacation surrounded by nature, Penghu is for you.
Jeju Island, South Korea
Located just south of the mainland of the Korean Peninsula, Jeju Island is the largest island in South Korea and the country’s number one holiday destination, popular with school classes and honeymooners alike. This comes as no surprise because the island’s unique climate, geography, culture, and cuisine make it the perfect getaway from the Korean mainland at any time of the year.
While most of South Korea falls into the temperate climate zone, with hot and humid summers and cold, harsh winters, Jeju Island has a sub-tropical climate, meaning that it does not usually get too cold in winter and when it gets hot in summer, there is plenty of places to cool off: natural waterfalls, crystal-clear sandy beaches, lush green forests, vast tangerine fields. But the one landmark that stands out the most is Mount Ha