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15 Secret paradises to reveal in Asia


You may have visited Ha Long Bay in Vietnam, explored Angkor Wat in Cambodia, gazed at the Taj Mahal in India, or hiked the Great Wall of China. However, Asia is an extraordinary continent that is packed with wonders waiting to be explored. From secret beaches to beautiful towns, here are 11 hidden gems in Asia that will take you off the beaten track.


Koh Rong Island, Cambodia

If you’re looking for hidden beaches in Asia, you can’t miss the island of Koh Rong in Cambodia. Located off the coast of Sihanoukville Province in Cambodia, this island is a paradise of dense jungle, waterfalls, white sandy beaches, crystal-clear ocean, and coral reefs. It is perfect for those who want to disconnect and relax at the beach or join the party at lively beach bars and restaurants.




Yakushima Island, Japan

Set off the coast of Kyushu and Kagoshima Prefecture, this island is a natural oasis. This subtropical island is home to some of the oldest trees in Japan, with some spanning over 7,000 years old. Visitors can go trekking through the mountains or take a peaceful walk through Shiratani Unsuikyo, a lush nature park. The island is also home to a variety of wildlife, including Yakushima deer, monkeys, and other incredible animals. It even served as inspiration for Studio Ghibli’s hit anime movie, Princess Mononoke.



Wuyuan, China

Wuyuan, located northeast of Jiangxi Province, boasts some of the most stunning countryside in China. Wuyuan is home to approximately 50 ancient villages, featuring well-preserved architecture dating back 1,000 years to the Tang Dynasty. The villages are surrounded by bright fields of yellow flowers, forests, mountains, and rivers, making it an ideal destination for exploring natural wonders. Wuyuan is an off-the-beaten-track gem, perfect for escaping the chaos of the cities.



Raja Ampat Islands, Indonesia

Made up of over 1,500 islands, Raja Ampat is one of the most breathtaking places on earth. Located in the province of West Papua in Indonesia, you’ll find jungle-clad cliffs towering over emerald waters. As you sail around the islands, discovering sandy beaches, hidden caves and secret islets, you’ll feel like you’ve stepped onto another planet. The islands form part of the Coral Triangle over the equator, so they’re also home to some of the most diverse marine life in the world. It’s a truly magical place.



Kanchanaburi, Thailand

Kanchanaburi is a hidden gem in Southeast Asia due to its tranquil riverside town surrounded by green jungle, waterfalls, and historic sites. It is located around two hours from bustling Bangkok. You will have the opportunity to visit the famous Bridge on the River Kwai and explore moving museums and memorials that commemorate those who lost their lives here. Once you have learned about the town’s history, you can visit the floating restaurants and shops along the river or immerse yourself in nature by exploring the stunning waterfalls and trails around the town.



Kuang Si Falls, Laos

Made up of a series of cascades and mesmerising blue waters, Kuang Si Falls is one of Southeast Asia’s most extraordinary hidden gems. Take spectacular photos, swim in the lower falls or hike through lush jungle to the top. Or just relax by the babbling streams and enjoy nature’s masterpiece. Just an hour’s drive from Luang Prabang, this is a must-see stop on any trip to Laos.



Ella, Sri Lanka

Ella is a town full of adventure and is considered one of the top hidden gems in Asia. You can enjoy a scenic train ride through the green countryside and relax with a fresh cup of tea from one of the local tea plantations. You can also take a stunning walk up to Little Adam’s Peak or walk along the railway to find the trail to Ella Rock. Additionally, you can watch the sunset through Ella Gap or explore one of the many waterfalls dotted around the region. Ella is guaranteed to become one of your favourite destinations in Sri Lanka.



Con Dao Archipelago, Vietnam

It boasts white sandy beaches, coral reefs, and emerald forests, all in one stunning archipelago. This tranquil beach paradise offers opportunities for diving and snorkelling in the clear waters. Bay Canh Island, a breeding ground for turtles, is also worth a visit. The protected marine park is home to several endangered species, including dolphins, dugongs, hawksbill turtles, and green turtles. Hike through the forest to reach the Bay Canh Lighthouse and enjoy spectacular views.



Addu Atoll, Maldives

Addu Atoll, the southernmost point of the Maldives archipelago, is often overlooked in favour of the famous overwater bungalows and immaculate beaches. Addu Atoll, the southernmost point of the Maldives archipelago, is often overlooked in favour of the famous overwater bungalows and immaculate beaches. However, it is a secret paradise waiting to be discovered, offering a more genuine and relaxed experience. Addu Atoll, the southernmost point of the Maldives archipelago, is often overlooked in favour of the famous overwater bungalows and immaculate beaches. It is possible to immerse yourself in the local way of life and explore historical landmarks such as the British Loyalty Shipwreck, as well as enjoy water sports in the pristine lagoons.



Koh Lipe, Thailand

If you are searching for the most stunning secluded beaches in Asia, Koh Lipe is an island paradise that should not be missed. It is surrounded by sugary white beaches and turquoise waters and is located in the South Andaman Sea in the Tarutao National Marine Park. Koh Lipe offers excellent snorkelling and diving opportunities, with nearby coral reefs teeming with tropical fish and marine life. Additionally, there is even a shipwreck to explore. There are sandy beaches where you can soak up the sun and trails through the jungle-clad hills where you can hike to find spectacular views over the island.



Kerala Backwaters, India

The Kerala Backwaters in southern India are characterised by tall palm trees and lush coconut plantations that surround a labyrinth of canals, rivers, lagoons and lakes. With 900 kilometres of tranquil waterways to explore, you can spend your days floating on a houseboat or soaking up the natural wonders on land. When travelling to Kerala with Trafalgar, you will board a traditional houseboat to cruise the iconic backwaters. The experience includes a morning yoga session.



Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, Vietnam

The UNESCO-listed Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park in north-central Vietnam  is a breathtaking region that is home to winding rivers, jungle-clad mountains, and some of the world’s oldest karst mountains and caves, formed over 400 million years ago.It even boasts Son Doong Cave, the largest cave in the world. Explore ancient caves, kayak along rivers, cycle through country lanes, hike through the mountains, or meet the locals in the nearby town.



Pulau Ubin, Singapore

Pulau Ubin provides a window into Singapore’s rural past, despite the city-state’s reputation for its sleek skyline and sophisticated urban environment in Asia. This small island, only a short boat ride from the mainland, is home to numerous wildlife species, dense mangrove forests, and traditional kampongs. Explore the island’s trails, Chek Jawa Wetlands, and a slower pace of life with a bicycle rental. Singapore is an ideal destination for family vacations during the summer.



Battambang, Cambodia

While most travellers to Cambodia visit Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, Battambang offers a charming and lesser-known alternative. This small town boasts the famous bamboo train, lively markets, and French colonial architecture. Furthermore, visitors have the opportunity to discover the picturesque countryside, which boasts the magnificent Phnom Sampeau mountain, ancient temples, and authentic Khmer villages.



Phobjikha Valley, Bhutan

The Phobjikha Valley in Bhutan is famous for its enduring customs and ethereal charm. Bhutan, a country nestled in Asia deep within the Himalayas, is known as the “Valley of the Black Necked Cranes.” Phobjikha Valley is not only a marvel of nature but also an essential home for these threatened birds. Visiting the Gangtey Monastery and experiencing the unique local culture is a wonderful way for travellers to immerse themselves in the tranquillity of Bhutan.



If you are interested in exploring lesser-known destinations in Asia and discovering its hidden gems, these unexplored treasures offer a glimpse into the rich cultural diversity that characterises the continent, from the stunning landscapes of Thailand’s Khao Sok National Park to the cultural richness of Indonesia’s Tana Toraja. Would you like to experience them yourself? Please speak with our expert travel consultant at Expats Holidays.