Asia boasts some of the most beautiful islands in the world, with swathes of silky white sand, dramatic temples and stunning coral reefs. As the dry season approaches, now is the perfect time to start planning that much-needed island getaway.
Best for diving: The Gili Islands, Indonesia
Indonesia’s coastline is reputed to contain 15% of the world’s coral reefs so is an ideal destination for lovers of the deep blue. The three staggeringly gorgeous Gili Islands feature vast swathes of pure white sand and evian-clear waters. There are a number of Padi certified dive centres on Gili Trawangan, offering courses for all abilities; glimpse sea turtles and reef sharks whilst achieving your Padi certificate for a nominal cost in a stunning location.
Best for culture: Bali, Indonesia
Bali’s interior offers a cultural journey through rolling rice paddies, volcanoes and mountain villages, magnificent temples, local art galleries and museums. Bali is home to one of the world’s largest Hindu communities, with lively processions and a flurry of temples set in dramatic locations, such as the breathtaking temple of Tanah Lot. Those looking to experience traditional Balinese culture, head to the mountain village of Ubud.
Best for nightlife: Ko Samui, Thailand
Ko Samui has become known as Thailand’s party island with its full moon beach parties, packed bars and nightclubs that attract big-name DJs from across the globe. The hub of the action is in Chaweng, a lively resort that offers everything from bustling pubs and nightclubs through to ‘girlie bars’.
Best for beaches: Ko Phi Phi, Thailand
The twin islands of Ko Phi Phi Don and Ko Phi Phi Leh in Thailand’s Andaman Sea are the quintessential tropical island dream, with starched white sands and piercing aquamarine waters. The best beach is Maya Bay on Ko Phi Phi Leh, which provided the spectacular setting for the Hollywood movie ‘The Beach’ in 1999.
Best for relaxation: Langkawi, Malaysia
Langkawi is home to The Datai one of the finest spas in the whole of Asia. The signature treatment is enjoyed in an outdoor pavilion amongst the lush vegetation within earshot of the rolling waves, while two therapists employ five different global massage techniques in a multi-award-winning experience.
Best for adventure: Komodo, Indonesia
Adventure seekers should hop on an organised boat trip to the island of Komodo. Although the journey can take up to a day from either Lombok or the Gili Islands, the trip on a traditional wooden boat is exciting in itself and once there visitors will get the chance to see the mammoth Komodo dragons being fed.