The beauty of Asia has long captured our western hearts, the crystal clear turquoise waters, white sandy beaches, delicious food and warm friendly culture is so very enticing for us Brits. Year after year Europeans flock East to explore the likes of Thailand, Vietnam, Cambodia and Malaysia by the thousands.
We travel out to witness the calm serenity of picture perfect beaches and awe-inspiring landscapes but all too often find ourselves disappointed by the reality of the pictures we’ve seen in our guide books.
Nowadays with so many tourist traps and popularly overcrowded destinations it’s difficult to find the places that live up to that idyllic day dream we’ve created but with so much to see and do in Asia there are still a few locations left somewhat untouched, it’s just about knowing where to find them.
Within each of these countries, there are recommended tourist destinations that boast a large range of luxury and affordable resorts, beautiful beaches and a lively night scene. The atmosphere in these particular hotspots is amazing and you will never be short of things to do but if you travelled out for the scenery and serenity of Asia you would find yourself well and truly misplaced.
Thailand is a great example, tourists will flock to Phuket, taking advantage of the low-cost air fares and affordable accommodation. It’s an appealing location as from here you can take some amazing boat trips to discover the beautiful rock formations and famous movie scene islands or venture out to Ko Phi Phi Don, a true paradise gem of Thailand. The problem is, every single one of these listed excursions is shared with hundreds of like-minded tourists. The days of finding a private stretch of sand are long gone in these built up touristic locations. For some holidayers Phuket could be the perfect escape, hustle and bustle, amenities and shops at your doorstep and fellow brits to have a bevvy with but for those of us wanting to see our pinterest wanderlust boards come to life, it’s not quite the ticket!
If you want to see Thailand ‘untouched’ you’ll have to do some ‘off the books’ exploring. Some of the most incredible places in Thailand are just a short internal flight away from Phuket, The
Similan islands, Ko Kradan and Koh kut are all great examples of idyllic quiet beaches that will match that google image description. You can also travel even further south to the Maldives of Thailand, Koh Lipe and witness silica-like sands and beach shack style accommodations.
When it comes to travelling in Asia a lot of the time the best thing you can do is base yourself somewhere touristic, keeping your accommodation and international flight costs low and then spend your money on exploring. Internal flights in Asia are super cheap so you have few restrictions when it comes to seeing as much of the country as possible. If you are staying in Phuket perhaps fly further inland to The Elephant Sanctuary in Chiang Mai for a truly life changing experience or if you’ve opted to base yourself in Koh Samui and hire a private boat charter for the day, Ang Thong National Marine Park or Ko Tao are both within reach and both incredibly stunning!
Malaysia is another Asian hotspot that is fast becoming a popular tourist hub with its beautiful beaches, unique wildlife and mountainous rainforest backdrop. Langkawi here is the densely populated area but again, a short internal flight or a day on a boat will whisk you away from the crowds and into Paradise.
It can be very easy nowadays to book a glossy package deal holiday and complain at the reality that you are faced with on arrival but investing time into your holidays is all you need to ensure your vision and preconceptions of a country are verified.
Asia is vast and the beauty is unmatched but with so many people wanting to share a slice of the paradise it’s down to you to find your own vacation mecca.
Following travel blogs or researching online prior to your arrival is a must when travelling to Asia, it is a treasured destination and hard not to find the beauty on any visit but those secluded breathtaking moments are yours for the taking, only, if you know that they are there.
Photo Credit: Sabrina Chakici
Sabrina Chakici is a TV Host, Travel Expert and blogger at www.clutchandcarryon.com