Islands and Beaches

Raja Ampat Indonesia

7 Off the Beaten Track Islands in Indonesia to Visit

With over 17,500 islands in Indonesia, how on earth do you choose where to visit? We’ve all seen the usual recommendations but what if you want to get off the beaten track? Australian expat Cherie reveals her pick of the best islands for your Indonesian adventure.

Padang Padang Beach

12 Beautiful Beaches in Bali (+3 You Should Avoid)!

No trip to Bali is complete without a few beach days. However, not all of the beaches in Bali are of the same standard. In fact, some are pretty overrated! This article will help you weed out the good from the bad!

Maya Bay Koh Phi Phi set to close April 2018

CLOSED TO TOURISTS! Koh Phi Phi & Boracay. Where Next?

For 4 months this summer starting June 1st, Maya Bay, Koh Phi Phi will close to tourists. Authorities in the Philippines are discussing a 6-month closure for Boracay Island. Is a closure necessary to protect these natural beauty spots and where should be next?

Koh Samui Beach

10 Surprises From My First Week in Koh Samui, Thailand

The popular island of Koh Samui is often disregarded by backpackers as a ‘tourist trap’. Artist Kai A. explains why there’s much more to the island than meet the eye, from terracotta temples to Chinese shrines, crystal beaches and the Muslim call to prayer. This island is a hotbed for creative types…

A deserted beach on Pulau Kei

Pulau Kei, Indonesia: The Forgotten Islands…

In the southeastern part of the Maluku Islands in Maluku Province, Indonesia, you can find a particularly enchanting group of islands, Pulau Kei (the Kei Islands). These islands are home to some of the most beautiful beaches imaginable.
The Kei Islands (Kei Besar, Kei Kecil and Kei Dulah are just three of many islands) are known as the forgotten islands. It’s still possible to spend a day walking the beaches without seeing a single other foreigner.

Boats on the grass by the beach on Gili Meno

Gili Meno, Indonesia: The Most Romantic Gili

If you’re looking for desert island vibes, clean white beaches and unspoiled nature, then Gili Meno is the island for you. It’s the smallest of the three Gili Islands, at only 1km wide and 2km long, and has a tiny population of 400 (as well as no cars – travel is strictly by horse and carriage only!). Compared to the backpacker favourite, Gili Trawangan, or the more family-friendly Gili Air, there’s very little nightlife on Gili Trawangan (and only a few restaurants) which is why some people stereotype it as the ‘couples’ island. So whether you’re travelling alone or on a romantic escape with your loved one, here are some tips for you!

The View From The Boat In El Nido

10 Unmissable Places To Visit on Palawan Island, The Philippines

With over 2,000 kilometres of coastline, 1,700 islands containing thousands of pristine beaches, towering limestone karsts, tropical rainforest, amazing wildlife and a chilled out burgeoning backpacker scene – Palawan is a paradisiacal adventure playground waiting to be discovered!

Been There, Don Det | Laos’ Backpacker Paradise

When the mighty Mekong River flooded its banks, it created an archipelago known as Si Phan Don. It is translated as 4,000 Islands and, although the river swallows most of these islands in flood season, some remain above water level, boasting riverside bungalows, guesthouses and a refreshing tranquility away from the chaotic backpacker trail of Southeast Asia…

Full-Moon-Party Koh Phangan, Thailand

An Insider Expat’s View on Koh Phangan, The Full Moon Party Island

Is it still worth visiting Koh Phangan if you’re not interested in the Full Moon Party? We caught up with Israeli expat, Sharon, who runs the popular website, phanganist.com, to find out more about what the island has to offer, from yoga to Muay Thai, and learn about how the reputation of Koh Phangan has changed in recent years…

Shhhh…. Is this the Perfect Southeast Asian Paradise Island ?

Iconic sands like Maya Bay (Koh Phi Phi) and Freedom Beach (Phuket) in Thailand offer a beautiful setting but the experience is marred by swarms of tourists, some of whom have no respect for the natural environment. When we arrived in Southeast Asia, we heard whispers about a largely untouched desert island paradise – but how could we get there? And was the mythical island all that we hoped it would be?

Will the Real Koh Phangan Please Stand Up! Beyond The Full Moon Party

Home to the notorious monthly Full Moon Party, it’s no shock that Koh Phangan has somewhat of a dodgy reputation. The truth however, is that this island is special and offers far more than it is given credit for. It’s creative, eclectic, underground, spiritual, artistic; it’s got a great, free-flowing vibe; a tight community that integrates both expats, locals, and travellers who keep coming back. We introduce you to the often overlooked dynamism of Koh Phangan.

Castaway Island, Philippines

Surviving on a Deserted Island Paradise in the Philippines!

Could you survive on a deserted paradise island? Make your own shelter? Find your own fresh water and fish for your own dinner? In today’s society we have become so comfortable that we have forgotten about the basic skills needed to exist in a sustainable way. But what if you could go back to this simple way of life? Would you be happier? Feel more freedom? Travel writer and blogger, Martin decided to find out!

Phuket's Atmospheric Old Quarter is worth exploring.

Exploring Phuket’s Little-Seen Old Quarter

Sip milky iced tea while listening to melodic jazz from a street café. Haggle over homemade batik at a Malay fabric shop. Just a few reasons, says travel journalist Leigh-Anne Hunter, to ditch the beach for a day and wander through Phuket’s fascinating, but little-seen Old Quarter…

Interview: Swami Vivekananda Saraswati, Founder of Agama Yoga

The island of Koh Phangan in southern Thailand is notorious for the Full Moon Party and a hedonistic destination for young backpackers! However, there’s so much more to the island than meets the eye. In recent years, it has become a hub for yoga and spirituality and draws thousands of ‘soul-searching’ travellers who are looking for more than just buckets and beaches. After the New Year’s Eve celebrations died down this year, we made our way to Agama Yoga on the beautiful West coast of the island to meet the founder of Agama Yoga School, Swami Vivekananda Saraswati. We discuss yin and yang, the laws of karma, tantric sex, God and reincarnation!

A Deserted Beach on Koh Phayam

Koh Phayam, Thailand, A Deserted Island Paradise with No 7-11’s!

A while ago we heard a whisper about a beautiful little island. It’s the ubiquitous backpacker-trail search for the beach that everyone seems to be drawn to. Do deserted white sandy beaches still exist? We decided to check out this hidden isle called Koh Phayam for ourselves.

A Day in the Life of a Dive Instructor Vs A Day in the Life of an Office Worker

Waking up to bright blue skies, turquoise waters and a day of teaching wide-eyed backpackers to discover a whole new world… is this the job of dreams? So what is it really like getting paid to live in paradise? Here, we compare a regular day in the life of a Western office worker alongside a regular day in the life of Ludo, a dive instructor at Big Blue Diving, Koh Tao, Thailand…

Play with Fire and You’re Gonna Get Burned!

Writer, blogger and lover of all things ‘travel’, Neil Barnes retells a fiery tale of adventure, nightlife and drunken decisions… Whilst enjoying the splendours of the beautiful island of Koh Phangan in South Thailand and sampling the delights of cheap Sam Song rum served in a sandcastle bucket, Neil made potentially the stupidest decision he’s ever made. Whether it was the Red Bull or just the buzz of travelling he’ll never know… Would you make the same mistake?

Backpacking? It’s a dog’s life! Volunteering with Lanta Animal Welfare in Koh Lanta, Thailand

Would you like to give something back whilst you travel? Sometimes it is not all about seeing the Top 10 sights in a country, but about staying put for a while and finding out more about how your visit can help the local community. Jessica Simmonds from Scotland decided to take time out of her gap year to volunteer for three months in Thailand. She chose Lanta Animal Welfare, (LAW) a non-profit organisation based on Koh Lanta, Thailand, which takes care of the large population of stray dogs and cats on the island. Her experience was fun, rewarding and most of all valuable to the local area…

Why The 7,107 Islands of The Philippines Should Not Be Overlooked!

New Zealand-born Anna Cleal is the Director of a brand new, pioneering company ‘Flip Flop Tours,’ which aims to give backpackers their first taste of the Philippines! She talks about how some backpackers may be put off visiting the 7,107 islands due to fears of safety, lack of travel information or general laziness to leave the landlocked circular South East Asian trail of Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and Cambodia! Here she tells us about the amazing travel opportunities for backpackers in the Philippines and dispels any doubts people may have about visiting the country…

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