We spent 2 years in India when Daniel was ages 1 – 3 and traveled so much that Daniel needed more passport pages before he turned 3! Though we didn’t curtail our travel because of Daniel, we did choose spots that would be fun and safe for all of us… our love of water led us to some of the most exotic beaches in the world...
Southeast Asia is known for amazing coast lines and islands. In addition to great water and natural beauty, the beaches of southeast Asia have personality and allow us to experience the familiarity of the beach while opening ourselves to the world. Whether it’s the smell of incense in the air or the sight of long tail boats on the horizon, we know we’re immersed in a place that is far from ordinary…
So… if you’re in Asia and looking for a great spot close to home, or are in another part of the world and are looking for a twist on the beach experience, there are a number of spots in Southeast Asia that are warm and sunny February - April… below are some of our favorites…
Goa is a state in western India that includes a beautiful span of coastline on the Arabian Sea (which is a northwestern extension of the Indian Ocean). There are a number of towns and villages along the coast, each with its own vibe… we stayed on Arossim Beach and loved it.
In addition to great beaches, Goa has a rich cultural heritage… Goa was a Portuguese Colony until 1961, and much of the traditional Goan food and architecture reveal unique blends of India and Portugal. The vibe in Goa is very laid back and welcoming.
Langkawi, about 30 KM off the coast of northwestern Malaysia, is one of only four inhabited islands in an archipelago of 99+ islands in the Andaman Sea. We stayed on the beach and loved it… but there’s a lot more to do than just the beach. Langkawi is also known for its rainforest, waterfalls, and plentiful wildlife. It’s the type of place where you can have a relaxing days at the beach and adventurous days exploring.
The Republic of Maldives is an island country in the Indian Ocean. Visiting the Maldives is sort of like being on an episode of Fantasy Island. All of the resorts are on their own islands and are reachable by boat or seaplane from the airport in the capital city of Male. The water is crystal blue and the diving and snorkeling are known to be some of the best in the world.
The Maldives is the lowest country on the earth and hovers just above sea level, so there is much concern that at some point there won’t be land to visit. While living in India we went to the Maldives twice… when we were checking out after our first stay we looked back at the water and couldn’t believe how beautiful it was… we booked another stay.
Something to note about visiting the Maldives… each resort/island has its own vibe. Many do not allow children and are very expensive (think well over $1,000/night). We stayed at the Four Seasons Kuda Huraa both times and it was far more reasonably priced than many of the other resorts! It was also very kid friendly and catered to families. When planning your visit to the Maldives, be sure to check out: "100 Best Things to do in The Maldives" it's filled with tons of valuable information and inspiration.
People often ask us about our favorite countries in the world… Thailand is one of them! We could go on and on about why, but that’s for another post another day… today we’re going to the beach…
Before we dive in, a quick note about the Thai beaches… the northern part of Thailand is landlocked on 3 sides by Myanmar, Laos, and Cambodia. The southern part of Thailand is on the Gulf of Thailand and includes the Malay Peninsula which juts out into the Indian Ocean to the west and the Gulf of Thailand to the east and connects to Malaysia to the south. The beaches we’re talking about and that you’ve likely heard about are on one of the two sides of the Malay Peninsula (Phuket is one of the most well-known).
Thailand is one of the only countries in the world where there’s always a beach somewhere in the country that is in season (the coasts have different rainy seasons). So… any trip to Thailand can include a beach element. Both destinations below happen to be in season this time of year.
Krabi was our first destination in Thailand and got us hooked on this awesome country. Krabi is on the western side of the Malay Peninsula and includes Railay Beach (another well-known destination). When we think about Railay Beach there are a few things that come to mind… beautiful water, huge rock formations that jut out of the water just offshore, and the smell of delicious Thai food from the long tail food boats that come to the beach every day (think food truck but on a long tail boat).
We stayed at a resort on Railay Beach… it’s important to note that Railay Beach is public, so staying there means no secluded beach experience. For us it was great… tons of activity, all kinds of new sights and sounds, and a feel for the people of Thailand. Another bonus… there were monkeys everywhere… one afternoon we watched them for hours swinging from branches and playing with each other.
During two subsequent trips to Thailand we visited Ko Samui, a small Island on the eastern side of the Malay Peninsula. Though Ko Samui is an island, it is very accessible and offers a ton… large grocery stores, 7-Elevens, tons of restaurants, and resorts for all budgets and preferences. Two of the nicest resorts/rooms we’ve ever stayed in were on Ko Samui.
Though the water around Ko Samui is absolutely beautiful, there aren’t big stretches of soft sand… the rest of the island and all there is to do makes up for it! One of the highlights of Ko Samui is the Mu Koh Angthong National Marine Park which is reachable by boat from Ko Samui. We took a day trip snorkeling and it was absolutely beautiful.
Now let’s get to the beach!
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