Everyone loves a good island retreat – kicking off your shoes, strolling along white sandy beaches and lazing around in warm, clear waters.
And South East Asia is spoilt for choice when it comes to amazing backpacker islands – where all the luxury comes without the price tag!
Our team have spent more than their fair share of time with a cocktail in hand and the sun on their back researching some incredible traveller friendly island retreats….it’s a tough job but someone had to do it!
So if you’re heading to Asia anytime soon make sure you pencil these 5 epic islands into your travel plans…
Koh Tao, Thailand
Koh Tao is one of our favourite spots in the whole of Thailand and is the base for one of our most popular open water scuba dive courses. This island is bustling with barefoot backpackers who spend their days under the water and their evenings watching the sunset from the many beach bars along the shoreline.
You’ll find good vibes, good food and budget friendly times!
Koh Rong, Cambodia
Cambodia isn’t as well known for it’s island destinations as Thailand but Koh Rong is on par with all of them. Since it isn’t as well known you’ll find a much quieter island experiences here, but there are still some amazing hostels and beach bars to fill your nights with!
A wander along the sandy shores might find you bumping into a water buffalo and a night swim could well find you in amongst the glow in the dark plankton blooms too – so jump on in!
Gili T, Indonesia
Another one of our favourite places to learn how to scuba dive Gili T is a backpacker hotspot in Indonesia. Less busy than Bali but just a short boat journey away it’s famous for it’s abundance of turtles.
Even if you’re just snorkelling you stand a solid chance of swimming alongside one of these amazing creatures so keep an eye out for them!
If you’re not busy diving hire a bike and cycle around the whole island – it only takes around an hour and you’ll find some empty beaches to top up your tan on.
The Perhentians, Malaysia
Probably some of the clearest waters we’ve ever swum in anywhere in the world!
These shallow warm oceans around the Perhentian Islands are teaming with pristine coral gardens and you’ll spend hours snorkelling around, soaking up the underwater landscape.
It’s an overnight bus journey and a boat from Kuala Lumpur but trust us, it’s well worth putting in the time to get there!
Siargao, The Philippines
With incredible scuba diving and world class surf breaks Siargao is straight in as our favourite of the favourites!
It’s the base for or Philippines surf camps and is well off the main tourist trail – providing you with the perfect island vibe, barefoot living and of course lots of uncrowded surf breaks to enjoy!
It’s like stepping into your own personal surf movie – flying in on a twin propellor plane across the mangroves and bouncing down dirt roads to the ocean!
Have you explored any incredible islands in South East Asia – what would make it into your top 5 list?!