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No one can deny that Bali is a perennial favourite for Australians looking to unwind, but now's the time to break the mould and seek out another slice of paradise for your yearly escape.
Check out our list of hotspots across Asia and the South Pacific that are riddled with attractions like beaches and temples, offer sumptuous cuisine and are, well, just perfect places to kick back and relax.
If you're planning a buck's getaway, hit up Bangkok. Or if culture and history are more your cup of tea, head to Chiang Mai. Then there's the coastal beauty of Koh Samui, Phuket, and any number of other secluded tropical getaways dotted around this small country for those wishing to catch some sun.
While there aren’t too many package deals available, Sri Lanka is perfect for the budget traveller. It’s also largely unspoilt by Western tourists and is often referred to as "how Bali used to be".
While most people may skip the Cambodian coastline for the ancient temples inland, in places like Sihanoukville, you can still find stretches of sand that'll make you feel like you've got the entire place to yourself.
Sitting just north of Indonesia, the Philippines often gets missed for other spots in southeast Asia like Thailand, Bali and Malaysia. But with world-class resorts, friendly locals and cheap-as-chips flights available from Australia (thanks, Cebu Pacific), it's a hotspot anyone who lives Bali is sure to love.
Blending Indian and Portuguese culture, Goa is famous for its secluded beaches, Agonda Beach and Baga Beach being two of the best known. Originally a popular destination for hippies from around the 1960s, Goa is quickly becoming popular with traveller from all over the world however still remains quite unspoilt.
If you love Bali for its combination of beaches and cultural sites, then Myanmar is one to add to your list. With only about a fifth of the number of tourists visiting annually compared to Bali, you're less likely to battle crowds and more likely to feel like you're the only person on the beach.
Glam it up in a luxurious resort in Penang or Langkawi or find beautiful budget accommodation in a beachfront bungalow along the east coast. The weather is great - it rarely drops below 20 degrees, even at night - and it's not overrun by tourists.
Think the amazing rocky islands of Halong Bay, the towering limestone peaks of Ba Be National Park, the mystical ancient temples to the French colonial influence and the horror of the Vietnam War to name a few highlights that should not be missed. Then, there's the food. Fresh, flavoursome and light on the wallet you could spend your whole day following your nose. And you should.
From swimming and snorkelling to hiking, waterfall spotting or relaxing on one of countless deserted stretches of sand, there’s plenty to fill out your itinerary. Throw in a warm Polynesian welcome and you’ll soon forget Bali even exists.
With weather that stays perfect all year round and a pace of life that’s refreshingly relaxed, the best way to enjoy the Cook Islands is with your feet up, cocktail in hand on one of many pristine beaches.
Surfing, swimming, diving and snorkelling are all must-dos in Fiji, but it’s the relaxed pace of island life that will entice you back. The locals are also unbelievably friendly — you’ll get sore cheeks from all the smiling — so say “Bula” to Fiji for your next getaway.
Hawaii is a delicious blend of the laid-back and the not-so-laid-back. If you want to laze by the pool sipping cocktails all day, knock yourself out. But if you want to hire a car and go exploring, go bargain-hunting or treat yourself to all the cheeseburgers, ribs and everything else you can manage, there’s more than enough to do in Hawaii to fill out your travel itinerary.
Just a one-hour flight from Bali, this tourist hub (affectionately known as Yogya) offers a glimpse into the history and spiritual traditions of central Java. Yogyakarta offers a remarkable blend of old and new, from the important archaeological sites of Prambanan and Borobudur to all the bustle and noise of a major urban centre.
Though it wasn't too long ago that it was a laid-back, unspoilt destination dotted with sleepy coastal villages. These days you can now wile away a week or two in a luxury resort, enjoy the impressive nightlife and explore beautiful beaches.
A popular surfing destination, Lombok is the perfect place to bum around on a quiet beach. It's backed by the massive Mount Rinjani volcano that you can climb if you're feeling adventurous.
Food, drink and hotel costs sourced from: Numbeo.com and Hotel Finder. Hotel price based on a per-night price in June 2020 quoted on 5 February 2020. Prices are based on a per-night rate at a 3-star hotel in the above destinations.
Love Bali's scene of beaches, resorts and seaside bars? Then check out these beach-side destinations.
|Destination||Beach||What to expect|
|Bentota, Sri Lanka||Bentota||Luxury resorts set on long sandy beaches|
|Koh Tao, Thailand||Sairee||Beach bungalows and villas and relaxed beach bars|
|Goa, India||Anjuna||Pumping nightlife, beach parties and plenty of markets|
|Sihanoukville, Cambodia||Ochheuteal||Quiet island escapes and beach BBQs with tables in the sand|
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