8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X


On September 12, 2017, Apple launched yet another iPhone. Introduced as the most innovative Apple phone ever, iPhone X was the flagship product of the launch. Available in India from November 3, this phone will cost Rs. 89,000 for the 64GB variant and an exorbitant Rs. 1,02,000 for the 256GB variant. But is spending a lakh rupees on a phone worth it? When in the same amount you can travel to not just any other destination, but an offbeat, unexplored one where no tourists will bother you? I think travelling always trumps materialism. Because after all, there will be a new iPhone next year as well, but the memories you'll earn will be priceless!

Phuket, Bali, Koh Samui and Langkawi are beautiful islands that offer plentiful activities, amazing beaches and gorgeous resorts to relax in. However, they have become a little too popular! So, we explore something off the beaten path, something that has peace, tranquility and wild beauty. These are the islands that offer you deserted waterfalls, unique treks and thriving diving sites. The islands mentioned below may not exactly be a secret, but they are largely untouched and have so far remained unspoiled by tourism. And if true relaxation is what you want, these islands meet the goal.

A beautiful picturesque island located off the southeast coast of Vietnam, Côn Đảo is a tropical escape. It is popular among locals, but not yet bustling with tourists. The islands have a forested area of over 80%, which serves as a home to exotic wildlife, dugongs (sea cows) and sea turtles. However, Côn Đảo has a dark past. Tens of thousands of political prisoners were held on these islands for over a 100 years making it a hub of rebellion and independent activists. Many prisoners died on the island as a result of mistreatment. Their remains were collected and buried together in Hang Duong Cemetery. The tropical environment is the future of Côn Đảo, but the dark past is a part of the island that has shaped its character.

Best Time To Visit: February to October

How To Reach: Take a flight to Ho Chi Minh City costing around Rs. 18,000 for a return ticket, and then another flight to Côn Đảo which will cost around Rs. 14,000 round trip.

Things To Do: There are several marked treks that enthusiasts can do to explore the mountainous terrains of the island; this island is the best site for diving and snorkelling in Vietnam; people who wish to see the dark past of Vietnam can visit the prisons and cemetery; from June to September you can also see sea turtles laying eggs on various beaches on the island.

Picture Credits: Blue Ocean Travel

Photo of Côn Đảo, Ba Ria - Vung Tau, Vietnam by Aakanksha Magan

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Photo of 8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X by Aakanksha Magan

Discovered only 30 years ago, Gili Trawangan, an island in Indonesia, is a paradise waiting to be explored. The beaches here are still powdery white, the water a beautiful clear blue and you can view the sunrise over Lombok's Mt. Rinjani and the sunset over Bali's Mt Agung. Located off the Northern tip of Indonesia, this island is unique as it is free of cars! This means the only way to get around the island is on foot, by bicycle and in pony carts.

Best Time To Visit: May to October and December and January

How To Reach: Fly to Lombok International from New Delhi, which costs around Rs. 19,000 for a return ticket. From the airport, you can take a taxi to Bangsal Harbour and then a public ferry (takes 30 to 45 mins) or a chartered boat from the harbour (takes 20 mins). Public ferry will cost around Rs. 120 and the chartered boat costs around Rs. 700.

Things To Do: Here you can dive with the turtles or learn to surf. One can also go for horse riding on the beach or snorkel all day long! For all things cheap and tasty, visit the night market square in front of the boat pier on Gili Trawangan; it serves deliciously fresh sea food and different rice and noodle dishes, vegetables, grilled corn on the cob and much more.

Picture Credits: Le Pirate Hotel

Photo of Gili Trawangan, Gili Indah, North Lombok Regency, West Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia by Aakanksha Magan

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Photo of 8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X by Aakanksha Magan

Though Koh Rong is the second largest island in Cambodia, it is not very popular amongst tourists. This is an island that promises you stunning coastlines, dramatic headlands, powder sand beaches and tropical forests, framed by the crystal clears waters of the gulf and the beautiful blue sky. It is an ideal place to relax and enjoy the sea and the sand.

Best Time To Visit: November to April

How To Reach: Fly from Delhi to either Siem Reap for as low as Rs. 15,000 for a return ticket or Phnom Penh for the same price of Rs. 15,000 and then you can take a bus to Sihanoukville. Boats of all kinds – slow boats, passenger ferry, speed boats and chartered boats run from Sihanoukville to Koh Rong.

Things To Do: Laze all day long and if that turns out to be a little boring you can also go snorkelling or diving; for the more adventurous ones there are options of kayaking through the uncharted sea around Koh Rang. Those looking for some hardcore adventure activities can try out mountain biking and jungle trekking. Also, thanks to the tourists coming in from all around the world, there are a multitude of restaurants offering all kinds of cuisines. So, a food walk along the pier and the main central area of the island is a great way to spend a lovely day!

Picture Credits: Koh Rong Islands

Photo of Koh Rong, Krong Preah Sihanouk, Sihanoukville, Cambodia by Aakanksha Magan

PC: Booking.com

Photo of 8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X by Aakanksha Magan

Koh Kood, also known as Ko Kut, is the last of Thailand’s unspoilt island. Around 325km from Bangkok, near the Cambodian border this island is a home to rainforest, coconut and rubber plantations and sleepy fishing villages. It is a sensational destination that has some of the most beautiful beaches in Thailand with a little Maldivian vibe! The waters are perfect for swimming throughout the day and the beaches look like they are custom made for clicking the most gorgeous Instagram pictures.

Best Time To Visit: November to February

How To Reach: Fly to Bangkok for as low as Rs. 12,000 and take a bus to Laem Sok. It’s a full day journey and one must leave Bangkok by 6am to reach in time to catch a boat to the island. From Laem Sok you can take a ferry or a speed boat to reach the island.

Things To Do: Kayaking and snorkelling are the main activities you can do, if you absolutely need to do something. Otherwise, this island is a chill zone and the best thing you can do is nothing.

Picture Credits: Remote Lands Resorts

Photo of Ko Kut Trat Thailand by Aakanksha Magan

El Nido was originally a small town, established as a getaway to the famous Bacuit Archipelago. Populated by various businesses catering to tourists and restaurants and hotels every 100 meters, El Nido in itself is not a quiet island anymore. But there are around 45 islands around El Nido where you can go for a day trip and enjoy the surreal beauty and absolute solitude. You can also camp on these deserted islands but you will have to carry all camping gear and your food with you.

Best Time To Visit: November to April

How To Reach: Fly from Delhi to Manila (Rs. 19,000) and take a domestic flight to El Nido from Manila (Rs. 12,000). Once in El Nido, you can connect with fishermen or even the concierge of your hostel or hotel and get transportation arranged if you wish to camp in one of the adjoining islands.

Things To Do: Diving and snorkelling are the most popular activities to do while at El Nido; you can explore some of the deserted islands nearby; you can also trek to the Taraw Peak and the Makinit Hot Springs. For those who are looking for some mischievous fun, a trip to the Nagkalit-kalit Falls is highly recommended. And for those who want to just relax, there are plenty of masseuse available all over the island!

Picture Credits: El Nido Resorts

Photo of El Nido, MIMAROPA, Philippines by Aakanksha Magan

Dragon, a mythical creature or an actual animal? Well, Komodo National Park answers this question as it is the home to the Komodo Dragon. Located in eastern Indonesia, this part of the national park is like an untamed jungle with the dragon ruling over it. Apart from being home to the Komodo dragon, this national park is also known as a paradise amongst nature lovers with numerous mountains to climb, and amazing diving sites around the stunning coral reefs.

Best Time To Visit: April to December

How To Reach: Fly to Bali (Rs. 15,000) and from Bali take a flight to Labuan Bajo (Rs. 5,000). From there you can charter a boat for a private tour of Komodo island. The charter boat will take you to all the diving sites as well.

Things To Do: The most important and obvious thing to do here would be to see the Komodo dragon; other than that scuba-diving at Batu Balong Reef is a popular activity to see turtles, eels, lion fish and much more. Adventurous travellers can trek the Islands Hills and the Kelimutu Volcano.

Picture Credits: Remote Lands

Photo of Komodo Island, Komodo, West Manggarai Regency, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia by Aakanksha Magan

Best Rated Places To Stay -

Labuan Bajo is the base to stay at while you explore the Komodo Island in length.

1. Angel Island Resort

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Photo of 8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X by Aakanksha Magan

The laid back atmosphere, pristine white sandy beaches and crystal clear ocean makes Boracay, a place as beautiful as the Caribbean, at half the price. Soak in the sun and the sand all day long and just do nothing else. The dreamy white beach is picture perfect beach with luxurious resorts touching shoulders with tin shacks!

Best Time To Visit: November to May

How To Reach: Fly to Manila (Rs. 15,000) and then from Manila you can take a local plane to Caticlan (Rs. 4,000). After landing in Caticlan, it's a 5 min ride to the jetty port and then a 15 min boat ride to Boracay.

Things To Do: You can indulge in water sports such as windsurfing and kiteboarding; horseback riding along the beach is also a fun activity to do; parasailing, cliff diving and snorkelling are activities for the more adventurous ones!

Picture Credits: Boracay Shangri-La

Photo of Boracay, Malay, Western Visayas, Philippines by Aakanksha Magan

An island that has more volcanoes per square mile than any other island on the planet and ivory sandbars in an electric blue sea - Camiguin in Philippines is beautiful and surprisingly still untouched by the hordes of tourists. You can dive and view the submerged cemetery, which slipped into the sea following an earthquake and trekkers can climb up the active volcano - Mount Hibok-Hibok.

Best Time To Visit: This island is perfect to visit all year round. However, if you want to avoid tourist season, visit during the winter months, i.e from September to March.

How To Reach: From Manila (Rs. 15,000), one can either fly to Cagayan de Oro (Rs. 3,000) or Butuan (Rs. 4,000) and then take a bus to Balingoan and then a ferry to the island. All the major Philippine airlines fly to these cities.

Things To Do: Visit the submerged cemetery; have fun at the Katibawasan Falls and Tuasan Falls; trek to the top of the active volcano Hibok-Hibok.

Picture Credits: Camiguin Guides

Photo of Camiguin Island, Camiguin, Northern Mindanao, Philippines by Aakanksha Magan

PC: Booking.com

Photo of 8 Unexplored Islands In South East Asia You Can Visit For The Price Of An iPhone X by Aakanksha Magan

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