Whether it is for a quick escape from your chaotic work schedule or a laidback holiday with your family, these secret islands are your best pick. Before they become the next Bali or Phuket, take the next flight out and venture into these unknown waters for the perfect relaxing vacation.

Palawan Island, Philippines

palawan island philipines
Image Credit: palawanisland.org

Dubbed as one of the most beautiful islands in the world, Palawan Island is a true gem hidden in the Philippines. Crystal clear waters, scenic mountains and quiet sea breeze, Palawan Island is the new Maldives and not to mention far more affordable, too!

puerto princesa palawan island
Image Credit: palawanisland.org

For hotel options in Palawan Island, check out Hotels.com for a wide selection of resorts – both budget and luxurious. We recommend Cadlao Resort & Restaurant for a spectacular view of the island (RM 788 with free breakfast before cashback). Don’t forget to book with ShopBack to enjoy 6.0% cashback!

Gili Trawangan Island, Indonesia

Gili Trawangan beach
Image Credit: naver.com

While it may be quickly gaining fame as the latest beach hot spot, Gili Trawangan still remains a tranquil island getaway. The best part of Gili Trawangan is probably the lack of motor vehicles – cars and motorcycles alike – utilising traditional transportations like horse carriages (cidomo) and bicycle.

Gili Trawangan Ombak Sunset Hotel
Image Credit: Ombak Sunset Hotel | Agoda

For your stay, we recommend Hotel Ombak Sunset on Agoda.com (RM 196 before 6% cashback) for one of the best hospitality and views of Gili Trawangan. You can find yourself lounging on the beach sipping cocktails or swinging on the ocean swing for a romantic sunset experience – whatever it is, it is paradise. Enjoy 6% cashback if you book via ShopBack for more savings!

Lankayan Island, Malaysia

Lankayan Island, Malaysia
Image Credits: Agoda

Malaysia is home to many idyllic tropical islands but this one is a treasure few have talked about. Most people come here for diving excursions, but an island as serene as this is the ideal place for a quick hideaway from the bustling city lifestyle without exchanging currency.


Located off of Sandakan and in the Sulu Sea, Lankayan Island is a small island known for their marine conservation, and also as a hawksbill turtle breeding ground. This island is a paradise for divers but there are plans to boost eco-tourism underway. If you want to be the few to explore this untouched island, we recommend Lankanyan Island Dive Resort for the best way to experience and enjoy the turquoise waters and clear skies of Lankayan.

Read More About Islands In Malaysia: 14 Malaysian Islands for Your Next Island Getaway

Ko Phangan, Thailand

ko phangan island
Image Credits: panvimanresortkohphangan.com

Sun, sand, sea and Thai food are some of the best combinations for ultimate relaxation. While Thailand itself is one of the more popular tourist spots, they are also home to many smaller, quieter islands. Ko Phangan is mostly visited by backpackers across the globe and is made famous by their Full Moon party on Haad Rin Beach. Sounds like a great place to both unwind and party, doesn’t it?

Ko Phangan interior
Image Credits: panvimanresortkohphangan.com

If you are planning a family vacation to rest and relax together, we recommend staying in Panviman Resort (RM 533 before cashback) for a luxurious yet affordable experience. Click here to book your stay today with Hotels.com and receive 6.0% cashback!

Cat Ba Island, Vietnam

cat ba island
Image Credits: huquocvietnam.net

Located near Ha Long Bay, Vietnam, Cat Ba Island is a secret hideout away from the hustle and bustle of Hanoi City. Because it isn’t a commercialized beach, there is little to do there except to unwind and to catch up on your catnaps. However, if you would like a touch of adventure in your holiday, you can take in the sights and sound in Ha Long Bay, Monkey Island and Lan Ha Bay with a boat tour.

Cat Ba Island boat
Image Credit: Agoda

To experience Vietnam in its purest form, we recommend CatBa Sandy Beach Resort (RM 259 before 6% cashback), a water chalet type hotel. It leans towards traditional wooden architecture but the idea of being so close to nature is enough to invigorate your spirits and gear yourself towards total relaxation. If this is captivating for you, start booking your stay here with Agoda through ShopBack!

Bookmark our Travel Deals page (just click on the banner above) if you’re always on the hunt for new places to visit and new adventures to go on! Do you know any secret islands to visit?

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*First Published 28 July 2015, Last Updated 9 Jan 2018