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TOP 10: The BEST islands in Asia

Last updated on: May 2, 2013 16:27 IST

TOP 10: The BEST islands in Asia

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Courtesy TripAdvisor

Users of TripAdvisor, list the best ten islands in the Asia you absolutely must visit.

From Phuket to Langkawi, Koh Samui and more -- the best islands to visit this summer according to TripAdvisor's Travellers' Choice Awards!

10. Havelock Islands

Premium scuba diving and snorkelling are the highlights of the gorgeous Havelock Island, the most popular of the Andaman Islands. Glass-bottomed boats provide a similar up-close marine life experience. Jungle treks and camping are popular landlubbing activities, though the more delicately dispositioned can choose to retire to one of several luxury resorts. Refuel with fresh coconut milk and succulent, just-caught seafood, which dominates every meal.


Image: Radhanagar Beach, Havelock Island, Andaman
Photographs: Rajesh, Himalayan Trails/Creative Commons

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9. Langkawi

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Forested hills, romantic white-sand beaches and crystal-clear waters greet visitors to tropical Palau Langkawi, the largest of the 99 islands in Langkawi archipelago. Known mysteriously as "Legendary Island" because of myths associated with its ancient geological formations, it drifts serenely alongside Malaysia in the azure Andaman Sea. Sample local cuisine at the night markets, hike to dramatic waterfalls or dive into an underwater marine park to take a guided glimpse at life beneath the sea.


Image: Langkawi
Photographs: RahulV99/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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8. Palawan

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Palawan is a slice of heaven, a sliver of an island that teems with exotic wildlife, quaint fishing villages, and UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Wave hello to endangered animals at the Calauit Game Preserve and Wildlife Sanctuary or explore the Japanese shipwrecks of Coron Island, regarded as one of the best dive sites in the world. A guided boat tour of the Puerto Princesa Underground River will take your breath away.


Image: Palawan
Photographs: Mike Gonzalez/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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7. Koh Samui

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You're on a gorgeous island off the coast of Thailand -- it doesn't get much better than this. Spend the day on a lively, popular beach, or explore the Ang Thong National Marine Park's secluded lagoons. Looking for romance? Choose a luxurious five-star resort, a simple, secluded bungalow or pretty much anything in between.


Image: Lipa Noi Beach on Ko Samui
Photographs: Manfred Werner/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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6. Phuket

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Phuket offers a rainbow spectrum of spectacular holiday sights from blue lagoons and pink sunsets to orange-robed monks. Three wheeled-Tuk Tuks, taxis, buses and long tailed boats transport visitors between these marvels. Phuket's south coast offers its most popular beaches. The north is more tranquil. Koh Phi Phi, Phang Nga Bay and Patong Beach are popular spots. Diving, snorkeling, wind surfing and sailing are just a few active options. Inland, forested hills, mountains and cliffs wait to be explored.


Image: Phuket
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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5. Boracay

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At only 4.5 miles long, Boracay is small enough to navigate by rented bicycle or motorbike. But don't let its small size fool you -- you'll have several excellent beaches to choose from. Yapak Beach is known for beautiful white shells; White Beach has picture-perfect sunsets; and Balinghai Beach is a secluded spot, perfect for honeymooners. As long as you visit during dry season, you'll agree this is one of the best beach destinations in the world.


Image: White Beach at Boracay
Photographs: Angelo Juan Ramos/Wikimedia Creative Commons

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4. Gili Trawangan

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Gili Trawagan is the hub of the Gili Islands dive industry. There are about a dozen dive shops and schools, all eager to show you the stunning underwater scenery. Apres dive, cozy up in a beach bungalow and sip on a tropical drink. Want a teetotaling way to decompress? Twist and pose your way to tranquility in the sacred sanctuary of the Gili Yoga centre.


Image: Gili Trawangan
Photographs: Gili Islands & Gunung Rinjiani, Lombok, Indonesia

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3. Ko Lanta

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Ko Lanta is a gorgeous island where you'll be certain to find an uncrowded beach. Located in the Krabi Province, one of the southern provinces of Thailand, Ko Lanta offers fantastic scuba diving with exotic marine life and grand coral reefs. The sunsets, too, are legendary -- watch one over a glass of wine with someone you love.


Image: Ko Lanta


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2. Nusa Lembongan

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Coastal paths wind lazily around Nusa Lembongan, inviting travellers to explore the island on foot. Mangrove forests, seaweed farms, and tranquil beaches like Jungut Batu and Dream Beach are prime ways to experience Nusa Lembongan's natural beauty. The clear blue waters are perfect for surfing and drift diving. Walk the suspension bridge over to neighbouring island Nusa Ceningan and take in a spectacular sunset from Ceningan Ridge for maximum romance.


Image: An ariel view of Nusa Lembongan
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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1. Koh Tao

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Drifting serenely in the Gulf of Thailand, the palm-fringed island of Ko Tao takes its name from the abundant sea turtles that reside on its shores. White sand beaches sheltered by steep hills -- some only accessible with four-wheel drive vehicles – and 300 days of sun per year invite long afternoons of lounging.


Image: Sai Nuan Beach in Koh Tao
Photographs: Wikimedia Creative Commons

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