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These 4 Tropical Islands In Asia Are Perfect For A Winter Escape

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Looking to beat the winter blues but you're not exactly thrilled with the prospect of flying to the Mexican Caribbean for yet another year like everyone else is doing?

If long-haul flights are not an impediment, and you're open to embracing new cultures, maybe it's Asia where you should go.

Panoramic View Of A Tropical Island In Palawan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

The continent of a thousand smiles and breathtaking landscapes is open for tourism in 2024, and luckily for sunseekers, these four tropical islands in particular, bounded by waters of the shiniest blue, are eager to welcome sunseekers.

Best pack your sunscreen, then, and we hope you can handle the heat:

Phu Quoc

The largest island in the Southeast Asian country, Phu Quoc has gained a reputation for being the Vietnamese Disneyland in recent years.

Dotted with theme parks, it’s probably the Asian island where Americans will feel most at home due to the high concentration of luxury hotels, entertainment zones, and shopping and leisure centers geared towards Western tourism.

Aerial View Of The Phu Quoc Island, Vietnam, Southeast Asia

The top amusement park on the island is VinWonders, which takes inspiration directly from Walt Disney’s dreamed fantasyland, except tourists enjoy shorter wait times and cheaper prices for food.

The Ancient Rome-modelled Sun World Hon Thom is not to be missed either, with its mountain cable car and water attractions.

Phu Quoc may have developed a reputation for being Vietnam’s kitsch recreational zone, but that’s not to say you can’t sample some culture while visiting, as the coastline is dotted with traditional fishermen villages and historical temples.

View of longest cable car ride in the world, Phu Quoc island, Vietnam, sunset sky. Below is seascape with tropical islands and boats

Four of the best towns for savoring Vietnamese cuisine and getting a taste of the local way of life beyond the tourist-friendly resort zones are Ham Ninh, Hon Thom, Ganh Dau, and Rach Vem.

Sri Lanka

A sovereign island state on the Indian Ocean, Sri Lanka is a homeland for several different ethnicities, with their own defining characteristics and strong dialectal markers, and a sunny paradise Americans have overlooked for far too long.

The pear-shaped country is a cultural melting pot with 1790 miles of pristine coastline begging to be discovered, with a golden-sand coast that is interspersed with quaint small towns, historical forts, and colonial settlements dating back to the period of British rule.

Woman is Relaxing Lying on the Water at the Edge of the Swimming Pool With Fantastic Green Hill in the Background Near Galle City, Sri Lanka

The jungle-dominated inland is yet another major point of interest, with scenic train rides traversing a verdant scenery and offering glimpses of the undisturbed wildlife.

On the other hand, the national capital, Colombo, is a sprawling urban center famous for its vibrant nightlife, cafe culture, and thriving expat scene.

According to Budget Your Trip, you should plan on spending $27 per day on your trip to Sri Lanka, making it one of the cheapest tropical destinations worldwide.

Lombok

View Of Senggigi In Lombok Island, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

Indonesia is best known for being home to Bali, the Island of the Gods and possibly the wellness capital of the world, but as anyone who's been there in the last five years will be able to attest, it is becoming increasingly gentrified and dominated by foreigners.

Though it rarely makes your average hotel travel brochure, Lombok is a much better alternative, as it is home to crystal-clear beaches and surfing spots, especially Kuta, on the South coast, undisturbed nature, crowd-free temples, and it still feels distinctly native Indonesian.

Aerial View Of Senggigi In Lombok Island, Indonesia, Southeast Asia

If you're looking to escape the Instagrammer hordes and surround yourself with nature, you'll be thrilled to learn Lombok receives merely a small fraction of Bali's record-breaking tourism.

On top of that, much of the island is still forest-clad.

Lombok can also be a lot more affordable than increasingly Americanized Bali, as a stay at the five-star beachfront Pullman Lombok Merujani Mandalika Beach Resort in Kuta will only set you back by $263 per night.

Popular activities for tourists in Lombok, which you can book directly with your hotel, are diving and snorkeling in colorful reefs, watching sea turtles hatch, and going on guided hiking tours across the tropical hinterland.

Three Women Having Fun At The Beach During Sunset

Palawan

The fourth and last entry on our list is Palawan, once voted the Best Island in the Philippines.

With its lush-green reserves and UNESCO-listed natural and manmade landmarks, we still find it surprising it isn't as popular as Indonesia's Bali or Thailand's Phuket.

Palawan is somewhere you go to let go of your mundane worries, relax by the seaside, explore expansive marine gardens, and watch dolphins swim offshore, all of this with towering geological formations as a backdrop.

A Male Tourist Sitting On The Tip Of A Long Tail Boat In El Nido, Palawan, Philippines, Southeast Asia

On the cultural front, it is dotted with Spanish-built monuments, particularly Puerto Princesa, the island's compact, charming capital, where a landmark Neo-Gothic cathedral has stood since 1872, and numerous other colonial mansions.

Puerto Princesa's, and perhaps Palawan's most famous attraction, however, is the Subterranean River, an underground, flooded system of caves featuring unique limestone karsts inscribed in UNESCO's World Heritage Site list.

As for the weather, it's currently a balmy 87 degrees in Palawan, perfect for a late-winter escapade.

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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.


CeeCie

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

Love your recommendations. Would love to visit them all someday.

Kashlee Kucheran

Tuesday 13th of February 2024

You will! :)