South-east Asia has some of the most beautiful beaches in the world: with golden sands, crystal-clear waters and lush green plant life, it’s no surprise this region attracts millions of tourists a year.
But its popularity has come at a price, with overcrowding, coral damage and waste becoming increasingly common problems for the region’s coastlines.
A viral video of diver Rich Horner swimming through a sea of plastic pollution off the coast of Bali brought the issue to light once again recently, as did Thai officials’ decision to temporarily close the popular Maya beach (from Danny Boyle’s film The Beach) due to the damage tourism is having on the environment. It’s the second Thai beach to be closed for this reason in less than two years.
But undeveloped havens do still exist; here are 10 eco-friendly beaches found on South-east Asia’s shores.
The beaches of Gili Air, Gili Islands, Indonesia
A two-hour boat trip from the wildly popular island of Bali will bring you to the relaxing paradise of Gili Air, part of an Indonesian archipelago in the Indian Ocean called the Gili Islands.
Motorised transport is forbidden on Gili Air, so you can only get around by foot, bike or horse-drawn carriage, making it the perfect location to while away the hours with no distractions.
Ngapali beach, Thandwe, Myanmar
Ngapali beach has a number of community protection rules in place to safeguard its coastline, including strict bans on horse riding, jet skis and sand mining.
Many of the beach’s restaurants also support sustainable fishing practices, with whistleblowing policies in place to protect marine life.
Read full article at Independent: https://www.independent.co.uk/travel/asia/south-east-asia-best-beaches-eco-friendly-tourists-thailand-vietnam-indonesia-a8247616.html