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10 Unmissable Beaches and Islands

October 30, 2014


We can all agree: Asia's remote atolls and busy beaches are photogenic. So T+L asked some of our professional shutterbugs to share their favorite shores to take a swim—and a snap.

Published on Oct 30, 2014


1. THE DAY TRIPPER
KOH TACHAI, THAILAND

"This small, beautiful Similan island an hour from Khao Lak has no hotels, bungalows or noisy tourists. It's quiet, great for diving and full of chicken crabs. A day trip is enough to burn it into your memory."—THARATHORN SITTHITHAM

Koh Tachai, Thailand

2. THE CASTAWAY
NORTH ARI ATOLL, MALDIVES

"The Maldives is so spectacular that it's hard to pick one island that's the most special. But I love the blues surrounding this one, and the perspective gives the impression of kayaking up to a perfect little uninhabited spot."—SEBASTIAN POSINGIS/THREEBLINDMEN

North Ari Atoll, Maldives

3. THE TRENDSETTER
SHIMODA, JAPAN

"Every summer, all the young Tokyoites take the train here, the closest beach, which is open July 15 to August 15. This bunch of gyarus (girls) are as stylish as they would be if they were hanging out in Shibuya. Their suntans were probably obtained in a salon prior to arriving."—MORGAN OMNER

Shimoda, Japan

4. THE IDEALIST
MENTAWAI ISLANDS, INDONESIA

"Aside from photography, surfing is my big passion. I go to Mentawai every year to restore my energy and spirit—the incredible waves make me feel grateful to be alive."—SHINSUKE MATSUKAWA

Mentawai Islands, Indonesia

5. THE WAVE RIDER
SHIKOKU, JAPAN

"A typhoon had passed through in the night and I got up really early the following morning to head to the beach. You learn to read the weather, and I knew that after the rains there would be an incredibly beautiful sunrise."—S.M.

Shikoku, Japan

6. THE SUNDOWNER
LANGKAWI

"I love how the rays give the scene a sense of magic. This is Bon Ton Resort and, at the end of a hectic day, it was great to be able to enjoy such a peaceful moment."—LAURYN ISHAK

Langkawi

7. THE CULTURE VULTURE
VARKALA, INDIA

"This long beach in Kerala is sheltered by a tall, rocky backdrop of cliffs where brahminy kites nest. On an early morning stroll away from the crowds, you can see the eagles come in flocks and dive down to capture fish—a moment of true natural beauty."—KIT CHAN

Varkala, India

8. THE ANIMAL LOVER
HOPKINS ISLAND, AUSTRALIA

"I had just been cage-diving among great white sharks and, though it was one of the most incredible experiences of my life, it was in stark contrast to follow it up with a swim with these friendly critters. Australian sea lions are known as the labradors of the ocean for the way they love playing with humans."—IAN LLOYD NEUBAUER

Hopkins Island, Australia

9. THE PERFECTIONIST
DIMAKYA ISLAND, PHILIPPINES

"It's almost the perfect prototype of an island paradise. You can walk around the whole island in about 30 minutes. From this beach you can step into crystal-clear water and find yourself swimming among a school of resident jacks and turtles with the backdrop of a beautiful coral reef."—FRANCISCO GUERRERO

Dimakya Island, Philippines

10. THE INTREPID EXPLORER
ULITHI ATOLL, MICRONESIA

"One of the most beautiful spots in the archipelago, Ulithi still has no electricity or running water. Because of its sand beach and secure reef, maisu (Polynesian canoes) can pull right up on the shore and tie down at coconut trees. When this happens, or any boat arrives, it's such a big event that the kids do not have to go to school."—PHILIPP ENGELHORN

Ulithi Atoli, Micronesia

 

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