Beach Running: Top 10 Beautiful Beaches to Run in Asia
Asia offers some of the most beautiful and serene beaches in the entire world. And while there is no shortage of beach sports, exotic events, and nightlife, many beaches are also great places for you to lace up and run in. Whether you are someone who likes tranquil short runs or marathons that require months of training, Asia offers it all.
If you are looking for the run of a lifetime, grab your passport and your running shoes, and consider checking out any of these top 10 beautiful beaches in Asia!
Kuta Beach, Bali, Indonesia
Bali may be known for partying on their wonderful beaches, but these beaches simply look stunning in the mornings and evenings as well. There is up to 10km of distance for runners to enjoy along the long stretch of Kuta Beach. And if you feel up to the task, you can even take part in the Bali Beach Run every year during the later fall months.
Nearby Kuta Beach, you will also find Petitenget Beach, where you can enjoy beautiful sea breezes that'll keep you cool during your run. Afterwards, you can head into the city that has plenty of modernised amenities blended seamlessly with authentic Indonesian culture.
Bali is known as a tourist hotspot, so you won't have any trouble making friends with people from all over the world while running along the beach.
Estimated Distance: 10km from Kuta Beach to Petitenget Beach
Things To Look Out For: This running trail is pretty calm, considering it plays host to plenty of running competitions. However, be careful for general debris that may build up around trees and other plants in the area.
What to see: Indonesian culture is unlike any other in the world. Be sure to grab a great meal afterwards or just spend a day on the beach meeting new people.
Running Event To Consider: The Bali Beach Run is held yearly in the later fall months. It's certainly one of the top options for running in Asia in the latter half of the year.
Pasir Ris, Changi Beach, Singapore
Changi Beach is located on the northern part of Singapore. Along the beach is Pasir Ris, one of the oldest parks in the entire country. If you are looking for a long run, perhaps as you prepare for a marathon, you can consider the 18km path that runs west from Pasir Ris and down the coast to the National Service Resort and Country Club.
Another option is to head east down the Johor Strait and up towards Serangoon Island. Along this 8km trail, you'll see Ubin Island and Ketam Island; both are scenic wonders if you want to get lost in your thoughts while putting one foot in front of the other.
For those stopping by Singapore for a short getaway, you'll be happy to hear that Changi Beach is right next to Changi Airport, which allows you quick and easy access to the beach. Along with shower facilities , you can also leave your luggage at Changi Airport while you head out to explore.
Estimated Distance: Up to 18km, depending on the distance you want to run.
Things To Look Out For: There are sharp turns that you can see during your run, which will vary depending on the time of day and where the tide is at. Watch out for marine animals and other things that could wash up on the beach.
What to see: There are a variety of national monuments in Singapore that are located close to Changi Beach. Take a look at the National Service Resort and Country Club after your run.
Running Event To Consider: The MetaSprint Series Triathlon starts at Changi Beach Park. It provides participants more challenges with the additional fields of swimming and cycling.
Koh Rong Island, Cambodia
Koh Rong Island might just be one of the most beautiful beaches in all of Southeast Asia. This run may not get you ready for a marathon, nor is it the most difficult of trails. However, you will be amazed by the beauty of the island as you run on the sandy beaches.
With Koh Rong's azure blue waters and white sands, you may even forget that anyone else on the planet exists, as this is a place that is hidden far away from other tourist destinations in Cambodia.
If you want to explore something extra special near Koh Rong, take time to visit Monkey Island. An island with no stores, restaurants or beach vendors, this place is seclusion at its finest.
Estimated Distance: Between 3 to 10km, depending on how far you want to go.
Things To Look Out For: This is quite the serene run, without many concerns to worry about. Keep an eye out for the typical natural wildlife, but it's likely that you won't have any tourists getting in your way.
What to see: There are so many islands as you look past the blue ocean waters surrounding Koh Rong island. This is a scenic wonder, which affords you the opportunity for a tropical vacation after your run on the beach.
Running Event To Consider: The third Sihanoukville-Angkor Beer International Half Marathon starts and finishes at Ochheuteal Beach, which is located in mainland Cambodia. For those who love to race for a cause, this event is great as it support charity that provides fundamental education to poor children in Cambodia.
Pattaya Beach, Thailand
Pattaya Beach is home to the Pattaya Beach Run, an annual race that is about 5.71km in length. The main draw of this run is that it varies in elevation, but it's still good for both intermediate and advanced runners.
To take in all that Pattaya Beach has to offer, start at the tip of the beach on Beach Road. As you run west and around the cove, you'll see Ko Lan island in the backdrop. From there, head south down Jomtien 5 Road until you hit Jomtien beach. If you want to go further, you can continue on the beach down to Chumphon Navy School. The total distance will be around 10km, which is great for those training for a marathon.
After you have experienced the beaches of Pattaya, head into the city for some famously delicious Pad Thai, which can be found in any restaurant or from any of the street vendors out during all hours of the day.
Estimated Distance: About 5.7km in distance.
Things To Look Out For: If you visit during the busy winter months, you may run into a lot of tourists. During the slower summer months, enjoy observing a glimpse into the lives of the locals relaxing on the beach.
What to see: Thailand offers a variety of different cities within driving distance. Consider heading to Phuket or Bangkok, to experience something completely different than the beach lifestyle in Pattaya.
Running Event To Consider: The annual Pattaya Marathon is one of the most popular Pattaya events and for this year's 18th iteration, the marathon starts and ends in front of the central festival Pattaya Beach. This annually hosted international event (also known as the King's Cup marathon) is a full-scale marathon, which attracts athletes from all over the world. The Pattaya marathon consists of 4 distances: 5km, 10.55km, 21.1km, and 42.195km, so anyone can choose their preferred distance.
Langkawi Beach, Malaysia
Langkawi Beach in Malaysia does not have much in terms of organized running events, but that could be the reason why this beach is in such pristine condition.
Along the beach are plenty of parks that you can detour through, but it's a straight shot if you stay along the coastline as well. The best place to run on the beach is likely going to be along the southwest tip. It's an easy run without any hazards to consider on the beach itself. Just off the beach is stretch of tourist spots, all of which are very accommodating to foreigners.
Langkawi is a beautiful island in the northern part of Malaysia, and it offers untouched beaches that shouldn't be missed by travelers looking for a calm yet rewarding run.
Estimated Distance: Between 3 to 5km.
Things To Look Out For: It's a quiet beach that is in pristine condition. That said, if you venture into the more touristy spots, keep an eye out for people. There is also a stretch parks that you can detour through, so watch out for trees and wildlife.
What to see: There are countless tourist destinations on the other side of the beach. Grab some amazing Malaysian food to power up from your run as you head back to your hotel to rest your feet.
Running Event To Consider: The Island Ocean Marathon is a full marathon held at Langkawi, Kedah that will bring runners through the coastal lines of the amazing world famous island. The marathon route is in a single loop of 42.195km with only minimal U-turns, thus pampering runners with a fresh new sight with every step they take.
Myanmar offers beaches that just recently became destinations for tourist running. What they lack in western influences, they make up for in pristine beaches. In the Thandwe province there is the beach of Ngapali, and like many other beaches in Myanmar, it is untouched and just begging for someone to dip their feet in the sand and take a run along them.
You won't experience too much in the way of obstacles, aside from the occasional staring child who has never seen a foreigner before. It's an easy run with calm beaches that stretch about 2km in length. Myanmar also doesn't have much in the way of a running culture, so you'll want to be sure to take everything that you need with you.
Estimated Distance: Roughly 5km.
Things To Look Out For: Children and others who have never seen foreigners before!
What to see: Myanmar is a developing country, so there isn't much in the way of Western influence. Don't let this be a detriment, but rather learn to soak up all the rapid changes that are occurring in the country.
Running Event To Consider: The Bagan Temple Marathon packages offer runners a 4-day beach holiday extension to Ngapali, or the magical Inle Lake. For the more adventurous runners, you can even choose a 6-day tour itinerary that offers the best of Yangon and Bagan, or an extra one day itinerary to Mandalay.
Nim Shue Wan, Hong Kong
There aren't many places in Hong Kong that are quiet or serene like some of the other places on this list. However, of noteworthy mention is Nim Shue Wan, a bustling beach that faces the south side of Discovery Bay and Lantau Island.
Unlike the other mostly calm and quiet beaches mentioned here, be prepared to continually pay attention while running through Nim Shue Wan: This is an active pier city that is full of fishermen and workers throughout nearby Discovery Bay. But that certainly doesn't take away from the beauty that it offers!
The best part to run in Nim Shue Wan is directly across from Peng Chau Island. It's roughly a 4km trail, depending on the route that you take. If you are feeling extra adventurous, head north up the beach instead and you'll find yourself at Hong Kong Disneyland. Maybe it won't be something that you do on the day of a run, but it's certainly worth visiting while you are on vacation in Hong Kong.
Beauty is something that is in the eye of the beholder. So for those that find beauty in bustling cities and modern culture, this is a great place to visit.
Estimated Distance: 4 to 10km, with extended stretches depending on how far you want to run around the city.
Things To Look Out For: There are tons of people in Hong Kong, especially on the beaches. If you are near Discovery Cove, keep an eye out for tourists and wildlife alike. As you make your way to the backside of the beach, there are also rocky stretches that require extra attention.
What to see: Hong Kong has a variety of tourist attractions, from Discovery Cove to Hong Kong Disneyland.
Running Event To Consider: Hong Kong has organized runs throughout the year. One of the most popular is the Panasonic Pacers Charity Run.
Sentosa Beach, Singapore
At the very southern tip of Singapore is Sentosa Island and a variety of beaches that circle roughly 5km of land. You can run the entire island in a day, or even twice if you are training for a marathon. Note that the southern tip of Sentosa is where you'll likely find serenity and peaceful beaches. However, as you make your way north to the Sentosa Gateway, around Universal Studios Singapore, it'll be full of traffic and proffer a much more diverse experience.
Being located near the equator, Sentosa also offers beautiful warm running weather throughout the entire year.
Estimated Distance: 5km
Things To Look Out For: Minimal obstacles on the southern tip, but lots of traffic and tourists on the north.
What to see: A visit to Universal Studios Singapore would be the great way to highlight your vacation after a run.
Running Event To Consider: The 5K Foam Run had its inaugural run in 2014, meeting the demand for a growing fun running culture. Keep an eye out for other events as athletes expand their desires.
Haeundae Beach, Busan, South Korea
Much like Nim Shue Wan in Hong Kong, Busan isn't necessarily paradise if you are looking to be left alone. However, that doesn't mean that Haeundae Beach isn't a spectacle that is worth seeing. Haeundae is one of the most popular beaches in all of Asia, bringing thousands of tourists to the area each day. If you are someone who loves city running, this beach is for you.
On one side is a beautiful beach that has views of islands in the distance. However, on the opposite side is the skyline of Busan, the second largest city in South Korea. After you've finished up your run, load up on some kimchi or Korean BBQ, the two food staples of the country.
Haeundae is also easy to reach, as Busan has its own airport. If you have a bit of extra time, take the KTX up to Seoul, as it's only a three-hour ride.
Estimated Distance: 1.7m to 5km
Things To Look Out For: Tons of tourists line the beach at Haeundae. Be careful not to run into anyone else who might be out for a stroll along the beach.
What to see: On one side is a beautiful beach full of people, while the other side features a skyline of one of the busiest cities in South Korea. It's a visual pleasure for those who like variety.
Running Event To Consider: Step aside from running for a moment, and runners are sure to be in awe of the Haeundae Sand Festival, which is full of interesting events inspired by the beach's beautiful white sand. The previous event included a marathon race too.
Ko Pha Ngan, Thailand
We thought we'd include Ko Pha Ngan, as this beach in Thailand is perfect for young runners and backpackers. Ko Pha Ngan is known for its full moon parties, which bring in countless of tourists from around the world.
But just because things get wild at night, don't let that confuse you with the beauty that surrounds the islands during the day. If you find your way to Ko Pha Ngan for the full moon party, don't leave without first taking a jog down the beautiful beaches.
Estimated Distance: 2 to 6km
Things To Look Out For: If you are a night runner, you won't be able to avoid wild tourists at the full moon party. But if you head out during the day, your biggest obstacle will be beer bottles and party favors left over from the night before.
What to see: The full moon party happening at night time is a great way to cap off your run.
Running Event To Consider: Ko Pha Ngan is known for its wild nightlife more than running. But runners can take part in Koh Phangan Full Moon Marathon, which starts at Koh Phangan pier and is held on a full moon. Runners from all walks of life can enjoy a full marathon, ¼ marathon, or a fun run (3km), starting at midnight when the temperature is at its coolest.
Where Will Be Your Next Beach Run?
The world is literally your oyster when it comes to simply tying your shoes and going for a run.
Remember to apply sunblock generously as beaches tend to have little cover from the sun. Also, run during the morning or evenings to avoid the equatorial heat!
If you are looking for experiences that are full of sand, untouched pathways, and once-in-a-lifetime views, consider any of the beaches in Asia that are on this list! Have you been to any of these beaches or plan to soon? Tell us about them in the comments below!