Had enough of the high life and sick of socialising with soulless socialites? Be the king of your personal castle and get away to your own secret getaway. How? Buy sun, sea, sand and solitude and own your very own private southeast-asian island paradise.
So, through fair means or foul, you’ve amassed unfeasible amounts of cash and are looking for a new tropical party pad to dump it in. Where do you go? While we all like to think of ourselves as social creatures, rubbing shoulders across cities the world over, there’s no denying our subconscious lemming urges to drop off the face of the earth (figuratively speaking) in a quest for personal nirvana, knee deep on our own Eden.
In fact, with an almost hardwired cranial short-cut, the utterance of two very simple words will send most normal people weak at the knees and their eyes rolling back.
And those two words? “Private. Island.”
With those words, your mind is already filling with helium possibilities, eager to set adrift on memory bliss to escape the reins of this very moment. And who can blame you? It’s a scientific fact* (unchecked*) that while, we are all nurtured carefully from birth to be diligent, reliable types clocking in for our benevolent overlords; deep down, given the opportunity we’d be hightailing it toward white sands never to return. All future communication made solely through Instabrag selfies atop panoramic views from our luxury hideaway. Au revoir, so long suckers, #thanksforallthefish.
So if you’ve got a few million spare and looking to bag yourself a beach or two, few palm trees and maybe the odd volcano, then look no further. What better place to start your daily fantasies than with a list of Asia’s top paradise getaways up for grabs.
Because when a patch of land in the middle of the ocean just won’t do, these island utopias offer you that dictatorial role you’ve been secretly grooming for. And as we’re saving you the time and effort to focus on what you’ll be doing there, remember to post an invite once you’ve settled in. After all, that hammockful of cash is big enough for two of us.
Koh Som (near Koh Samui), Thailand
Price: $3.8 million
Basking in the Gulf of Thailand, (this could apply to you too), just 2000 feet off the shores of Koh Samui Island, this slice of paradise offers incredible sunrise and sunset views. Picture postcard white sand beaches dust the south and east of Koh Som “Orange Island”. One facing the mobs on Koh Samui; the second gazes over open sea to Koh Phangan. Coconut palms confetti the threeacre property ensuring your daily dose of healthy vitamins never run short.
Suitable for an island resort or private residence, this is the tropical canvas to start from. Already on the map, courtesy of its famed neighbor, it offers privacy and seclusion just a boat ride from Tesco Lotus. Because wiping your bum with leaves gets old quick and Wilson’s company might not be enough.
Kum Yai (near Koh Lanta), Thailand
Price: On application
If you’ve aspirations for the full Tom Hanks Castaway experience, then this might be the one for you. A whopping 120 acres in total, with 54 of those being untamed land that you can do whatever you want with (ahem, Supervillains?). The island is only ten minutes from the nearest pier, which means you’re never too far away from a cheeky takeaway if fishing takes longer to master than you’d like. Currently there’s no electricity here so make sure your phone’s charged, but there is a fresh water stream that runs through the middle of the South island. Peaks and troughs and all that.
The beach here is 70 metres long, with shallow waters that are ideal for swimming and a low tide that connects a small beach to the northern side of the island. Head over for the cliffs that Krabi is well known for, the deep waters make it just the spot to park your shiny boat. Diving here is top notch, and being so close to the Taleng- Beng National Park, there is a host of wildlife for your inner-Mowgli.
Dumunpalit, Palawan, Philippines
Price: $3.4 million
The approximately 75-acre red marble and volcanic-rock island, surrounded by coral reefs, is in the Mindoro Strait connecting the South China Sea to the Sulu Sea, about a 40-minute flight southeast of Manila. Dumunpalit is a last frontier of the Philippines, a timeless land of awe, wonder, sea and stars.
In the Cuyonin language, it is, indeed, “the place which never changes,” but it’s also known as Turtle Island because 150-plus-foot-high volcanic towers rise on both ends, which are like fins flipping through the turquoise waters. Now who wouldn’t want to be king of Turtle Island?
West Nalaut Island, Palawan, Philippines
Price: $8 million
Located in the South China Sea, West Nalaut Island is in the Palawan archipelago of 1,780 islands. It has 3km of coastline,
80 meter high cliffs and seven mixed sweet and salty water Kayangan Lakes to bath naked in. Former naval officer and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau described Palawan, as the most beautiful place he ever explored. High praise indeed from one of the world’s greatest underwater explorers.
The island chain’s Apo Reef Natural Underwater Park is listed as a tentative UNESCO World Heritage Site and is the second biggest contiguous coral reef in the world. And if you have a passion for conservation too, you should know that this is a natural breeding place for turtles and dugongs. Once you’ve googled dugongs I’m fairly certain you’ll be on the next flight.
Rangyai Island (nr Phuket), Thailand
Price: A cool $160 million
One of biggest islands currently for sale off the shores of Thailand, if not the most stunning. It takes around 15 minutes from Phuket to get here, and only half an hour extra from the airport. There’s 110 acres, with a km long stunning beach facing back towards Phuket that gets all the sun you could possibly want. Rangyai is named after a local fish (the lang), and the waters surrounding the island are full of beautiful underwater creatures you can take blurry pictures of.
Although the island is mainly jungle, there have been some small developments here, including a handful of eco-friendly bungalows and path clearing to allow you to bicycle through the trees (not literally of course that sounds dangerous.) There’s mobile phone signal, fresh water and a generator for electricity. So with a bit of tweaking all your facebook friends can hate you in no time.
Coral Island, Malaysia
Price: From $245,000+
At the other end of the price scale, you could do a lot worse than setting up sticks on Maliangin Island (Coral Island). Located in the Coral Triangle of the western Pacific Ocean just 30 minutes off the coast of the Malaysian state of Sabah, lies Malaysian Borneo with a Galapagosesque treasure chest of bio-diversity to run away from. How many owners have World Wildlife Fund operated reserve’s as their neighbours through the acclaimed Maliangin Sanctuary? Options to buy range from beachfront villas, to island projects, or even 3 man submarine when boat travel seems blasé.
Una Una Island, Indonesia
Price: On application
At a monster 3000+ acres, this island has been owned by a local family for over 120 years and is remote but accessible enough to create something truly enviable. Surrounded by crystal clear waters and coral reefporn sites ideal for diving, plus rich in coconut trees with ancient woods and an active volcano, you can see out your days exploring/burying your guests, or at least until it pops its lid again. Located just 10 minutes from the nearest island of Wakai, this is the end point from Jakarta and beyond.
Apo Island, Palawan, Philippines
Price: $72 million
Calling all Robinson Crusoe wannabes, this jewel of the Philippines gets its name from the Filipino word for ‘Grandchild’. Another volcanic hotspot, it’s covered in more bushes than you can shake a stick at, and has the requisite island coconut palm trees for shade and sustenance. For the foolhardy, the shoreline has a few rocky cliff jumping spots, but is mostly covered in beautiful white sand you’d be better suited to laying still on.
About an hour and a half’s boat ride from Coron, the island has one of the world’s best known community-organized marine sanctuaries and hundreds of species of fish and coral you’ll never know the name of.