Adventure If there is a place on Earth that shows the Creator’s masterpiece of creation, islands win the competition hands down. Islands are all about the pristine beaches where coral structures and interesting marine life are found in abundance, interesting rocks formed by volcanic eruptions or limestones, intriguing jungles with exotic flora and fauna that take you straight to a scene from Moana.
But today, islands have transformed from being the go-to destinations for a laidback beach holiday to a destination for adrenaline rushing adventure. Most of the islands across the world, be it the popular ones like Bali and Lantau Island Hong Kong or the ones that are still waiting to be explored like Koh Lanta Yai island in Thailand or Con Dao in Vietnam have coastlines that are perfect for water activities in scuba diving, snorkelling, swimming, and fishing and underwater walking.
To spice up your experiences, get involved in a plethora of man-made heart-thumping sports like windsurfing, kayaking, jet-skiing, parasailing, and glass-bottomed banana boating.
Here are some of the 8 best islands in Asia for an adventure-filled vacation:
1. Bali, Indonesia
Coveted as the Island of Gods, adventure tourism in Bali has gained enormous traction in the last decade and the reason is pretty evident. The tropical island boasts of many beguiling water activities from fun-filled dolphin watching to fly fish sport that could make you skip a heartbeat and several other adventurous land-based activities like jungle and mountain trekking, ATV scooter rides, etc. that leaves one spoilt for choices. The mesmerizing volcanic mountains draped with dense forests, lush green rice paddies, sprawling beaches, and thriving coral reefs make this piece of land a perfect launchpad for adventure craving.
2. Lantau Island, Hong Kong
Lantau Island is the largest island in Hong Kong that has a highly mountainous terrain covered with lush greenery. The island is also home to Hong Kong’s second-highest peak, Lantau Peak or Fung Wong Shan and hence the island brims with adventurous activities around this peak. The primary attraction is the 70 kilometres long, hiker-friendly Lantau Trail loop which starts and finishes in Mui Wo. This hiking trail is hiker friendly with directions, warnings and caution signboards and the sunrise and sunset views atop the peak are soul-stirring.
3. Koh Samui Island, Thailand
Koh Samui is the second-largest island in the Gulf of Thailand that lures water sports lovers from far and wide. This picturesque island is popular for its palm-fringed beaches, coconut groves and thick rainforests that make this piece of land a page from the fairytale.
The island has a rich aquatic life which you can explore with a never-ending list of activities like snorkelling, scuba diving, and fishing. From Koh Samui, you can also get on an island hop tour on a luxury catamaran and visit the stunning islands around which includes Ang Thong Marine National Park, Koh Nangyuan, Koh Tao and Koh Phangan. If you would like to take a break from seafront adventure, try your hand at ziplining, go-karting or have fun at the Coco Splash Adventure park.
4. Cebu Island, Philippines
Cebu Island in the Philippines is a wanderlust’s mirth that fascinates one with its white sandy beaches, placid azure waters and exotic coral reefs that thrive along the shoreline. Scuba diving in Cebu Island takes you down the steep waters off the coast that drops from 3m down to 65m and is overloaded with beautiful, colourful fish, turtles, and neon coral gardens.
If you are lucky enough, you can even watch white tip sharks. The thickly wooded rainforests of the island are home to several mighty waterfalls and Kawasan waterfalls top the list and the natural pool here is perfect for waterfall jumping, rappelling, rock climbing, and canyoning. The rugged mountains of Cebu with high peaks like Osmeña Peak in Dalaguete and Mt. Babag has paved for several adventurous trekking and hiking paths through thick jungles that are recommended only for the strong-hearted ones.
5. Koh Lanta Yai Island, Thailand
Koh Lanta Yai island is one of the least explored islands in the world and hence Nature is preserved in its pristine form here. The virgin beauty of this island makes it a great platform for nerve-racking adventure. The clear waters of the beach and an abundance of diverse marine life at the island makes it a great spot for scuba diving. Several scuba diving classes happen at the island where you can get certified as a scuba diver. The Khlong Chak Waterfall looks scenic and the adventurous hiking thrill to the waterfall is a thrill seeker’s delight. If that does not satisfy your adventure quest, trek through the densely wooded trails to reach the Koh Lanta Caves and witness the nocturnal animals like bats hovering above you.