Most tourists head to Asia for some culture and for the beach and there are so many fabulous climes to choose from that it’s worth spending time to research all options. Much of Asia is sub-tropical, meaning almost perfect weather, warm waters and great snorkeling. World class beaches and popular islands on the Asian continent include the Philippines’ beautiful Boracay Island, Thailand’s numerous busy beaches, Indonesia’s surfing shores and India’s colorful Goa.

Boracay, Philippines Boracay is one of the world’s most desirable islands let alone of the Philippines. It features many fine beaches of which White Beach and Bulabog Beach are the two primary tourism beaches. Most people head for White Beach which is around four kilometers long and has all types of sporting activities available and numerous resorts, restaurants, and bars.

Koh Samui, Thailand Koh Samui is now officially Thailand’s main tourist hotspot after the Indian Ocean tsunami scared many returning visitors from Phuket’s shores. Samui has fine beaches for all types of tourists from the busy nightlife-oriented beaches of Chaweng and Lamai in the east coast to much quieter beaches such as Buddha beach in the north of the island.

Bali, Indonesia The island of Bali epitomizes Southeast Asian culture with its dazzling beaches, gorgeous hinterland, deep-rooted culture and smiling locals. The most popular beaches here are Kuta and Sanur, and although a little touristy they are very beautiful.

Kuta beach, Bali Kuta beach is easily Bali’s most thronging beach and the most popular in Indonesia for those into water sports and drinking. Kuta also boasts some pretty good surf in season and although relatively expensive for Indonesia, is still a good deal.

Phuket, Thailand Still one of Asia’s most popular holiday islands and fully recovered from the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Phuket is popular with all types and has some world class hotels and restaurants. The place has gotten quite expensive of late around the Patong area, which is the busiest part of the island. Those looking for quieter climes need to head to the beaches in the south and north.

Goa, India Lying on India’s west coast, Goa is India’s foremost beachside tourist destination with its 75kms of coastline on the sparkling Arabian Sea. Goa is always warm, has a tropical setting, has friendly people, plenty of culture and is cheap to boot.

Maldives This fascinating group of atolls and islands in the Indian Ocean, lying about 700kms southwest of Sri Lanka, features some of the most dazzling and idyllic retreats of anywhere. The beaches here are of the soft coral sand variety and the sea aquamarine in color, while its mixture of originating cultures and Muslim presence give it a ‘miles from anywhere’ feel.

Langkawi, Malaysia Malaysia’s Langkawi island has mostly gone upmarket and tends to work out much more expensive than the islands of Thailand, yet if you are in northern Malaysia, Langkawi is a must see. The island is located on the Andaman side of peninsular Malaysia and comes with popular beach resorts, ancient fishing villages and the number one beach Tanjung Rhu.

Mui Ne beach - Phan Thiet, Vietnam Vietnam’s most popular beach has much going for it. It has fine white sands, lovely warm waters, plenty of quality hotels and resorts and many seafood restaurants. There is also some good snorkeling here as well as golf, while the interesting town Phan Thiet is also within easy reach.

Cheju Island, South Korea Cheju Island is a lush, semi-tropical island 70kms off the southern coast of the Korea peninsular and is South Korea’s biggest highlight for beach lovers. Famously known as the ‘Honeymoon Capital of Korea’ owing to the number of newlyweds that spend their honeymoons here, Cheju also offers a myriad of activities besides the beach and sprouts an array of colors in spring.