Southeast Asia is home to amazing food, affordable lodging, and yes – some of the most beautiful islands in the world. It’s no wonder that so many North American tourists flock to Vietnam, Thailand, and The Philippines every year. But there’s more to Southeast Asia than just Phuket and Bali. Take a look at these 8 islands you may not have heard about – and book your trip before they get too busy!

8. Phú Quốc

This tiny Vietnamese island off the coast of Cambodia is located right in the Gulf of Thailand – confusing, we know. The island is home to 5-star hotel accommodations that you can book for less than $200 USD per night, where you’ll be given the royal treatment. White sand beaches, dense tropical jungles, and night markets await.

7. Tioman Island

Malaysia has multiple islands on our list, and Tioman Island is a tiny one that we just couldn’t leave off. It lies off the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia in the South China Sea, and really leaves you with endless options. Snorkel, scuba dive, kayak, ATV, visit Paya Beach, explore the rainforest, visit Asah Waterfall, bike the island, see the Genting or Juara villages, take a fishing trip….we could go on.

6. Flores and Komodo Island

We’re giving you a two-for-one special here because they’re just so darn close in proximately to one another. Komodo Island lays just west off the coast of Flores, an Indonesian island packed with caves, beaches, and marine parks to visit. Komodo Island itself is home to you guessed it, Komodo Dragons, and also features brilliant scuba diving.

5. Koh Rong

If you’re visiting Cambodia, be sure to book a few days in Koh Rong at the end of your trip. It’s a fantastic place to unwind after you’ve taken in the hustle and bustle of Phnom Penh and explored the largest religious site in the world at Angkor Wat (which is one of our top tourist sites that lives up to the hype, by the way). Bring cash, turn your phone off, and relax.

4. Lombok

East of Bali and west of Sumbawa, Lombok is known for its beaches and surfing location at Kuta and Banko Banko. Be sure to visit the Tiu Kelep Waterfall, trek up Mount Rinjani to Air Kalak Hot Springs and relax in Senggigi.

3. Langkawi

Located close to the Thailand border in Northwestern Malaysia, the Island of Langkawi is home to amazing beaches, an incredible mangrove tour, eagle viewing, and even a lagoon that promises to get you pregnant should you swim in its waters. It’s a great vacation getaway.

2. Boracay

While you may not have heard of Boracay, it’s one of the most popular tourist destinations in The Philippines. The beach actually shut down recently as it was being overrun with visitors. Recently they’ve reopened their doors for tourism, and it’s as beautiful as ever.

1. Borneo

Yes, this is probably one of the islands on the list you’ve heard of, and it’s for good reason. Borneo is home to some of the most amazing wildlife on the planet, including clouded leopards and orangutans. The island is shared by Malaysia, Indonesia, and Brunei, and is home to one of the oldest rainforests in the world. If you love animals and vegetation, you need to see Borneo.


Venturing into Southeast Asia, we've uncovered eight hidden island gems that may not be on your travel radar yet. Beyond the well-trodden paths of Phuket and Bali, these lesser-known havens offer breathtaking beauty, unique experiences, and a chance to escape the tourist crowds. If you're seeking an island getaway that's off the beaten track, these destinations are your next must-explore spots.