Travel + Leisure Readers' 5 Favorite Islands in Asia of 2024

For the third year in a row, the independent island country of the Maldives aced out other Asian island picks in our "World’s Best Awards" survey for 2024.

<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

When it comes to relaxation, Asian islands deliver, according to readers of Travel + Leisure. In this year’s survey, they acclaimed powdery beaches, turquoise waters, and slow-and-satisfying travel across the region, from Indian Ocean atolls to lesser-known Pacific Ocean idylls.

How Voting Works

Every year for our World's Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Over 186,000 T+L readers completed the 2024 survey. A total of more than 700,000 votes were cast across over 8,700 properties (hotels, cities, cruise lines, etc.).

Islands were specifically rated on the criteria below:

  • Natural attractions/beaches

  • Activities/sights

  • Restaurants/food

  • People/friendliness

  • Value

For each characteristic, respondents could choose a rating of excellent, above average, average, below average, or poor. The final scores are averages of these responses.

What Readers Loved

Perennial favorites Bali (No. 3) and Koh Samui (No. 4) made the list again this year. But T+L readers heaped praise on Vietnamese newcomer Phu Quoc (No. 2), the so-called Pearl Island of white sand beaches that stretch for miles and where fishing still sustains the local economy. “You can feel the genuine smiles of the local people,” said one reader. “It’s a must-visit.” Others championed Palawan (No. 5) in the Philippines, the largest of an entire province of isles beloved by island hoppers, scuba divers, and beachcombers. In addition to “beautiful sea life and corals,” wrote another fan, “the food and accommodations are very affordable.” But it was the remote Maldives once again that generated the most excitement in our annual survey. Read on to find out why.

The Winner


<p>Getty Images</p>

Getty Images

Fan after fan extolled the nearly 1,200-island nation in the Indian Ocean for relaxation and romance, with crystal-clear shallows, teeming reefs, and standard-setting, over-water villas among its many atolls. “The location is just as beautiful as every picture you have ever seen,” wrote one reader. Many travelers loved being on (and in) the water, swimming with vibrant tropical fish, paddling lagoons, and diving with gentle whale sharks and manta rays. No wonder it’s a top pick for the most special occasions. “We went to the Maldives for our honeymoon and it was PERFECT,” said one reviewer. “We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere in the most beautiful place on the earth with the most beautiful sand, water, and wildlife.”

"We felt like we were in the middle of nowhere in the most beautiful place on the earth with the most beautiful sand, water, and wildlife."

T+L Reader

Sakis Papadopoulos/Getty Images
Sakis Papadopoulos/Getty Images

The Full List

1. Maldives

Reader Score: 95.63

2. Phu Quoc, Vietnam

Reader Score: 94.41

3. Bali, Indonesia

WBA Hall of Fame honoree. Reader Score: 93.26

4. Koh Samui, Thailand

Reader Score: 91.03

5. Palawan

Reader Score: 90.59

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