My photograph of a beautiful model strolling along the pristine shores of Pansukian Island — or, as it’s affectionately known, Naked Island — graces the cover (and again across a double-page spread inside) of this month’s special ‘Beaches + Islands’ issue of Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia.

Naked Island — along with Kandolhu Island (Maldives), Negombo Beach (Sri Lanka), Sumba Island (Indonesia), Tanjong Beach (Singapore), Milk Beach (Australia) and Koh Rong (Cambodia) — is featured as one of T+L’s ‘Seven Great Asian Beaches’ this month.

Even in a country with countless postcard coastlines, it is increasingly tough to find one to yourself. Pansukian Island in Surigao del Norte, about 800 kilometres southeast of Manila, however, is unfindable at all half of the time. Which is its saving grace. It’s just a narrow sandbar — a tiny 200-metre sliver of white powder that emerges from the sea at low tide — with nary a resort, or even a palm tree in sight (hence the nickname, Naked Island). A 20-minute outrigger boat-ride from Siargao whisks you to the islet of emptiness. Throw off your sandals and wade through the crystal clear to shore. You’ll find yourself standing in the center of the ocean. Bring your own drinks, snacks and sunscreen. Bathing suits are optional.

‘Beach Bucket List’
Travel + Leisure Southeast Asia
June 2016