Having been lucky enough to travel around a lot of SE Asia now with work I thought it would be a good time to chat about the beaches of the region, as there is so much choice and each one can bring a different plus and minus depending on what you might what out of it. The main thing to note is that many are exceptionally beautiful and ultimately whatever ones works best, you’ll no doubt have a relaxing time and can’t but get swept up in the charm. Note all of them are relatively remote generally, so I won’t go into much detail about this. You’ll probably find a lack of western culture, perhaps ATM’s, banks, supermarkets, but that’s the point! You can easily go to more developed beaches in this region if that’s what you like.
Location:Off the southern coast of Vietnam, accessible via an hour flight from Saigon, or 45 minute flight from Can Tho (so works very nicely after visiting the Mekong Delta). Or a very bumpy sea ferry for a few hours if you want to minimise flying, it’s very easy to get too and works nicely after working your way either overland from northern Vietnam, or eastwards from Cambodia.
What’s it really like? Idyllic, beautiful long stretches of beaches, but pockets of more developed areas. Local fishing villages and friendly locals. Can easily explore with a bicycle or a driver to take you round. Roads can be long and bumpy, and you may just go to your resort and not leave! Has a real low season from May – September and we wouldn’t advise going during this time.
What’s the quality of the accommodation and what am I going to do? A great range of accommodation, from boutique to luxury 5* like La Veranda with lots of colonial charm and snazzy amenities. You can be isolated, or be on long beach where there are many more local options to eat, etc. You probably aren’t going to do much, a bit of snorkelling or cycling and some areas have water sports.
2. Cambodia – Koh Rong islands – Song Saa Private Island
Location: Two beautiful islands off the coast of Sihanoukville, about a 45 minute speedboat ride. It’s a resort made of 2 private islands, but has local inhabited islands around it.
What’s it really like? Ridiculously amazing in 2 words. Super luxury so yes you do need a few bob to stay here. 27 villas all with private pools. All built from reclaimed materials, and award winning responsible travelling. One of the most unique hotels in the world and I had to include as I am partial to a luxury I must admit. One of those really special places.
What am I going to do? Visit local islands, meet the villagers, go paddle boarding, exploratory dives, cook with the local chefs, drink wine in the over water restaurants. You can fill your stay easily, and their ideally will be some element of benefiting the local community.
Location:A 50 minute flight from Yangon, or a few other cities. Not really accessible any other way except flying. Varied coast line, some parts rocky, but swimmable most of the year and so charming it’s hard to believe it hasn’t changed much (but it will unfortunately, Burma is changing at the rate of knots)
What’s it really like? Having just been, I’ve fallen in love. I imagine it’s like Thailand about 20 years ago. Can easily get a beach villa for a reasonable price (no not £5 a night, but more like £100) which compared to Thailand is pretty hard to do these days. All resorts a bit quirky for different reasons but what makes them special in their own way. Easy to stroll along the beach and not the bluest ocean I’ve ever seen but very clear.
What am I going to do and where am I going to stay? Really not much…or stay up late. It’s very quiet. Go somewhere else if you need loads of beach restaurants or bars or evening entertainment. It’s about chilling on the beach, and having a place back to basics. You can stay in cheapy beach villas or rooms as discussed or there are plenty of places opening up. The most charming is Sandoway with a lovely position and pool.
So there you go, nothing too outside the box but all these areas show you can still find lovely beaches in the rapidly developing countries of SE Asia. I appreciate there are many more remote places and islands, but this was to give you a few ideas…..have a look at our website for more inspiration or call me directly on 0203 598 2077. Alternatively, request a call back here, or request a no-obligation quote here