If you’re looking to make the most of your vacation by visiting not just one but a bunch of islands clubbed together at one spot, then welcome to the colorful world of island hopping in Asia. These tours are the perfect opportunity to see and do as much as possible in a short time – which will leave you with plenty of free time to also enjoy your resort or the beach.
1. El Nido, Palawan
Cliffs, forests, corals, birds, dolphin, and 50 white sand beaches! Can you imagine just one island town having so many delights on offer? El Nido is one of the most beautiful spots in the Philippines, and it has been rated so by top notch travel media platforms such as Conde Nast Travelers and CNNGo. Easily accessible by land, water and air, this heavenly bit of land has is mainly known for its pristine beaches and stunning lagoons. Any worthy island hopping tour in El Nido has such a vast variety of attractions to offer to lovers of water, nature, and general flora & fauna in a clean atmosphere.
2. Carabao Island
Another splendid island located in the Philippines, in the province of Romblon. Amongst several of the under-explored beaches that add to the Philippines attraction for tourists, this too is not very crowded and people can enjoy relaxing on the white sand before dipping into the sparkling, blue ocean. Those interested in getting adventurous also have the option of going on a trek, snorkeling, or on boat rides easily on this island.
Carabao island can be visited as a day tour out of Boracay – which is the most popular tourist destination in the country. Boracay is famous for having one of the best beaches in the world, so naturally it is quite crowded most of the year. Taking a day off to visit Carabao can be the perfect respite away from the crowds.
3. Wakatobi Regency
Much like El Nido, this place in Indonesia is also a collection of islands in one place. It is known for its stunning underwater life, especially coral reefs that are easily visible through its clear, blue-green waters. Also known for its white beaches, people can enjoy diving, snorkeling, kayaking, surfing, wind sailing, simply soak in the colorful traditions that are followed by the natives, especially their sea gypsies known as ‘Bajo People’, such as their dances, and interesting cuisines. Although getting to Wakatobi is not straightforward, the beauty of the place makes it all worth it.
4. Tioman Island
Located in Malaysia, people are excited to visit this place for its thriving marine life as well as the lore of storms hundreds of years ago which led to a number of shipwrecks. Those who are interested in exploring some exotic wildlife such as monkeys and lizards in rainforests, or just sit back and sip on some chilled cocktail on a beach should head here because this island has it all.
In addition to the forest wildlife, visitors can also spend some time learning about the sea turtles who have an entire reserved area on the island. Finally, if shopping is one your priority list when you go island hopping, then Tioman is the perfect spot to indulge because it is known to have duty-free products available easily.
5. Con Dao Islands
Known to be the perfect retreat for people looking to get away from crowds and everyday frenzied madness, Con Dao islands in Vietnam are idyllic, serene, and abundant with natural beauty. While the islands themselves are categorized as National Parks, you don’t have to worry about any major restrictions because like most island destinations, it is extremely tourist-friendly and rich with activities to do and beautiful spots to explore.
With pale sands and lush green forests to welcome you, the Con Dao Islands, which have seen illustrious celebrity vacationers such as Brad Pitt & Angeline Jolie in 2011, also have a colorful market with wonderful varieties of seafood at easy distances from tourist accommodations, organized forest hikes, underwater activities, and much more.
6. Koh Tonsay
Next in the list is an island destination in mystical Cambodia. If you’re interested in getting away from modern inventions and technologies, noisy vehicles and a hectic lifestyle, then you should head to this place that has good bungalows and restaurants around its edge, as well as many beaches with pale brown sand.
This place is especially popular amongst people who want to go to unknown island on a low budget, yet have a wonderful time doing water activities that you would do in any other high-priced vacation spot, such as diving and snorkeling. The beach may be narrow and you may find an occasional domestic animal like a chicken darting across it, but it is perfect if you’re looking to unwind in a low-key manner without burning a hole in your pocket.
7. Similan Islands
A marvelous collection of nine stunning islands, the Similan Islands located in Thailand is a wonderful vacation place for all the right reasons. Chock full of beautiful spots and scenic boulders, the islands are also heavily protected by the Thai government, making it extremely safe for tourists and natives alike. Clear waters open a world of reefs and colorful tropical fish to be admired and photographed with to create memories for a lifetime.
If you’re looking for an archipelago of islands that has both scenic beauty and a rich heritage, then Indian union territory Lakshadweep should be on your must visit list. Consisting of 36 islands of varying sizes, tourists with permits can travel to 10 of them as the rest are not inhabited by humans. Easily accessible from major cities in India, it is closest from Kerala, and is home to crystal blue waters, coral reefs, and plenty of water sports. Lakshadweep is also known to be a lively spot for a mix of cultures, such as Oriental, Indian, and of other Asian countries.
9. Cebu Island
Another wondrous offering from the Philippines, this island are known for their beaches and neighboring water bodies of course, but also for the mountains and a view of 167 islets from here. The islands are typically narrow but long, making them quite private than most other beaches.
Cebu is one the biggest and most central islands in the country, making it the gateway to many smaller islands nearby. Day trips to virtually hundreds of small islands are available, and you can easily choose the one who suits you the most. Hiking, spelunking, volcano-hunting, snorkeling or diving are all on the menu here.
10. Jeju Islands
South Korea is increasingly becoming a holiday and travel destination for people all around the world. Especially favored by honeymooners, the island is a perfectly safe spot for you to relax and enjoy some quality time on clean beaches. In addition to the common beach side attractions such as water sports, visitors can also enjoy a visit to the volcanic island and Lava Tubes, which are also deemed as UNESCO World Heritage Sites.