If sea, sand and surf are your idea of the perfect holiday, then check out the Top 10 islands in Asia and the world, as announced by travel planning and booking site, TripAdvisor, in their recent Travellers’ Choice Awards for Islands.
Malaysia’s very own Langkawi makes it into Asia’s Top 10 list, at number eight! Bali is the top island in Asia and fifth in the world and Phuket second in Asia and eighth in the world.
Award winners were determined using a process taking into account the quantity and quality of reviews and ratings for hotels, restaurants and attractions on islands worldwide, gathered over a 12-month period, as well as traveller booking interest on TripAdvisor.
TripAdvisor Asia-Pacific communications director Janice Lee Fang said that savings of around 24% can be achieved if holidays are booked during the shoulder season. This is the least expensive season either right before, or right after the peak or most expensive season, which might differ for different destinations.
Top 10 Islands in Asia:
1. Bali, Indonesia
Known for its beautiful beaches, dense jungles and exotic temples, Bali offers something for all types of travellers – surfers, adventurers and even those seeking a cultural experience or rejuvenating respite.
Upcoming events: Bali International Dragon Boat Race and Festival on Batur Lake: May 26-29
2. Phuket, Thailand
Beachgoers can enjoy panoramic beaches boasting clear blue waters like Kata Noi beach and Nai Harn beach.
Upcoming events: Baba Wedding Festival in Phuket Old Town: June 2016
3. Ko Samui, Thailand
Unwind and rejuvenate at Ko Samui’s picturesque beaches and award-winning resorts that offer incredible spas and amenities. Nature lovers can easily spend a whole day exploring the Angthong National Marine Park that provides a breathtaking view of the lagoon and marine life.
Upcoming events: Samui Regatta, located at Chaweng Beach: May 21-28
4. Koh Tao, Thailand
With plenty of stunning beaches offering kilometres of soft sand and crystal waters such as Ao Tanot beach, travellers can look forward to a vacation relaxing under the sun in an idyllic paradise.
Upcoming events: Save Koh Tao Festival, located at the Sairee: June 18-19
5. Lombok, Indonesia
Tranquil diving spots, picture-perfect waterfalls and rugged hiking trails leading up to volcanoes with crater lakes are just some of the attractions Lombok offers. One of the highly recommended activities is trekking towards the magnificent Sendang Gile and Tiu Kelep Waterfall to enjoy a refreshing dip.
Upcoming events: Senggigi Festival: July 5-8
6. Gili Trawangan, Indonesia
The largest of the three Gili islands, Gili Trawangan is a paradise for travellers looking for ideal snorkelling or diving spots. The tropical retreat offers both luxury hotels and fancy restaurants, as well as trendy guesthouses and local warungs (food stalls selling local delicacies).
Upcoming events: Festival Gili Indah (Beautiful Gili Festival): Sept 24-27
7. Boracay, Philippines
Boracay earns its fame through its vibrant tourist hotspots and pulsating nightlife. Escape the hustle and bustle of the “city” and head to Yapak beach for some tranquil relaxation, complete with a spectacular view and also food outlets.
Upcoming events: Boracay Food Festival: May 11-13
8. Langkawi, Malaysia
Langkawi’s sun-kissed beaches and lush, forested hills make it the ideal destination for nature lovers. Take a ride on the Langkawi Cable Car to get a panoramic view of the island.
Upcoming events: Langkawi International Laksa (spicy noodles) Carnival: last week of May
9. Havelock, India
Dotted with beautiful white sand beaches, Havelock in the Bay of Bengal, is also home to Radhanagar Beach, a consistent winner of the Travellers’ Choice Award for Beaches. The island is popular for scuba diving and snorkelling, and also jungle trekking and camping.
Upcoming events: Music Festival, together with Monsoon festival: August
10. Taketomicho Iriomote-jima, Japan
With its beautiful rows of traditional houses and shops, Taketomicho Iriomote-jima is reminiscent of ancient Japan. Travellers can rent a bicycle to get to the island’s natural wonders such as the stunning Pinaisara Falls.
Upcoming events: Honen-sai festival, end July
The World’s Top 10 Islands are Maui, Hawaii; Santorini, Greece; Jamaica, Caribbean; Providenciales, Turks and Caicos; Bali, Indonesia; Majorca, Spain; Mauritius, Africa; Phuket, Thailand; Bora Bora, French Polynesia; and Fernando de Noronha, Brazil.
Check out the complete list of winners here.