Island holidays provide the ultimate escape from the reality of life. They take us away from the big cities, towns and countries and leave us in the middle of nowhere to relax and unwind without a care in the world.
The trouble is that in the 21st century, technology means there aren’t many secrets anymore. The internet and how well connected the world is means that islands that were previously unknown to all but a few seasoned travelers are now open to the world.
You might think that makes the unheard of island holiday a thing of the past, but that isn’t the case. Here are five island destinations you’ve probably never heard of.
Pulau Ubin, Singapore
Singapore might be the third most densely populated place on earth, but that doesn’t mean you can’t go there to find undiscovered paradises. It’s actually made up of 63 separate islands, the majority of which are the polar opposite of the highly urbanized counterpart. Take Pulua Ubin for example. This tiny, jungle covered island is found in the northeast of the country and is famous for its bike trails, rural pigs and its kampong villages which were native to Singapore before mass development.
You can walk around Mabul, located off the coast of Borneo, in one hour. It’s got a couple of famous island neighbors – Kapalai is known for having completely sunk into the sea with only a high-end resort visibly poking out through the crystal clear waters and Sipadan hit the news in 2000 when 20 tourists were kidnapped by Philippine rebels. None of those sorts of dramas effect Mabul which is one of the world’s premier diving destinations with plenty of undiscovered, coconut strewn beaches.
Ok, so Boracay does have over 300 hotels on an island that you can walk around in six hours, so it isn’t as secret as the title of this article would have you believe. Having said that, a disproportionate number of those travel from China, South Korea and Japan which means it is largely unheard of by the western world. It’s almost like going on a Dominican Republic Vacations – it has green rolling hills and sandy beaches that stretch for mile, all at a fraction of the price of visiting the Caribbean.
Koh Mak, Thailand
Plenty of Thailand’s islands have been overtaken by thumping discos and bright neon lights, but not Koh Mak. It features two white sand beaches that sink into clear waters and if relaxation is the aim of your island break, then this is the ultimate destination – there is quite literally nothing to do other than lie underneath a coconut tree and watch the world go by, save for a bicycle trail that encompasses the tiny island.
Pulau Bintan, Indonesia
There are two parts to Pulau Bintain. The first is the holiday resort, a gated community called Bintan Resorts which has its own immigration center, ferry terminal, shuttle bus and luxurious accommodation separated from the rest of the island by a huge fence and guarded checkpoints. Then there is the second part, which features beautiful untouched locations such as Tikora Beach which is only ever touched by the locals. Which part would you prefer to visit?