Tourist Cities In Asia – Southeast Asia is a fascinating destination, where lush rainforests and coastal regions dotted with idyllic islands serve as a tropical paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, while rich history, exquisite cuisine and authentic culture attract all types of travelers.
From street food in Singapore and beach hopping in Thailand to historic attractions across Vietnam, Southeast Asia boasts a treasure trove of travel delights. Here are some of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.
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Gardens by the Bay is an iconic natural haven in the middle of the bustling, cosmopolitan city of Singapore. Stretch your legs on the bayfront promenade, then learn about the city’s history through creative displays of flora, fauna and fruit in the heritage gardens.
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Walk through the world’s largest glass greenhouse at the Flower Dome, one of Gardens by the Bay’s star attractions. Admire the rich contents of the conservatories, which boast an incredible collection of exotic flowers, olive groves, succulents and baobab trees.
The Cloud Forest, Supertree Grove and Floral Fantasy will draw you in with their colorful kaleidoscopes of flora. Wander in awe in this garden city concept brought to life in one of Southeast Asia’s top places to visit.
Travel about an hour outside the bustling city of Bangkok to discover one of Thailand’s ultimate traditional market experiences. Located on the country’s longest canal, a trip to the Damnoen Saduak Floating Market is a feast for the senses as well as a photographer’s delight.
Here, you’ll find vendors selling a wide variety of local goods, from authentic crafts to exotic foods, as you cruise the canal.
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Buy and taste some of the colorful fruits and vegetables sold from wooden boats at the floating market. Communicate with the locals and enjoy the atmosphere of this shared shopping tradition. Choose from colorful souvenirs from Thailand to bring home as a memento of your time in the country.
Discover a natural wonder in northern Vietnam at the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Halong Bay. Located less than three hours from the city of Hanoi, this is one of the most popular places to visit in Southeast Asia. Admire the beautiful limestone cliffs and island formations as you float through the picturesque bay.
Channel your inner explorer by visiting one of the many caves hidden in Halong Bay. The most popular cave is Sung Sot (Cave of Surprise), where you can walk among stalactites and stalagmites in two large chambers. Or, discover the mythical Tien Kung Cave which was thought to be an imaginary destination until it was rediscovered in the 1990s.
If you want to get out on the water, you can kayak through the emerald lagoons as island formations tower over you. Relax on a Vietnamese beach to the sound of monkeys on Cat Dua (Monkey Island) and glimpse the underwater world on a diving adventure.
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History buffs will enjoy a visit to Fort Santiago in the capital city of Manila in the Philippines. Explore this historic citadel, located along the Pasig River, which was built by the Spanish government in the late 15th century. Stand in awe at the fort entrance, Fort Santiago’s intricately designed main gate.
Learn about the historical significance as you tour this landmark site used in the Philippine Revolution. A detailed exhibit pays tribute to Dr. Jose Rizal, who was hailed as a hero for his leadership role during this period. Other highlights include the Plaza Moriones, a garden filled with statues of important historical figures, the Plaza de Armas and the dungeon.
Discover the old charm of Hanoi in the old quarter of the city in northern Vietnam. This part of the city offers amazing shopping opportunities, where you will find authentic goods for sale. Browse souvenirs like handbags, handwoven baskets, and custom clothing and shoes.
All that shopping works up an appetite, and luckily, you’ll have delicious Vietnamese cuisine at your fingertips in the Old Quarter. One of the best things to do in Hanoi at night is to enjoy the atmosphere and the array of local goods to choose from at the night market stalls, such as crab rolls,
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Enjoy a tropical paradise in the Gulf of Thailand, next to the island of Koh Samui. Angtong National Marine Park is an idyllic collection of islands perfect for relaxing by the sea, swimming, diving, kayaking and hiking.
The marine park covers most of this protected island area, allowing for exciting encounters with wildlife both on land and at sea. You can see curious monkeys, otters, iguanas, sea turtles and shells of colorful fish.
Admire the dramatic scenery interspersed with limestone cliffs, white sand, clear azure water and lush forest. Sea kayak through lagoons and mazes of towering cliffs and discover hidden caves like Bua Bok Cave.
Hike to an amazing view to the Wua Talap Viewpoint, where the challenging route will reward you with a panorama over the marine park and islands. As a bonus, explore a saltwater lake on the Mother Island, Ko Mae Ko.
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Stretching nearly 30 feet tall, this half-lion, half-fish statue located in Merlion Park is a mythical symbol said to be Singapore’s mascot. Originally placed by the mouth of the Singapore River, the statue was originally meant to welcome visitors to the city. Today, it is one of the most popular landmarks in Singapore.
Take a photo of her next to the water-spewing creature with the body of a fish and the head of a lion. The monument represents the city’s origins as a fishing village, as well as Singapore’s first name, Singapore, which means “city of lions” in the native language. For a different perspective on this popular spot, visit at night and admire the unique light display that adorns the creature.
Also known as the Temple of Dawn, Wat Arun is one of the most beautiful temples Thailand is known for. Located on the banks of the Chao Phraya River, this picturesque landmark is a popular destination for visitors to Bangkok. Appreciate the beautiful architecture and fine attention to detail in the temple complex as you tour the grounds.
One of the most iconic pieces is the impressively large spire, which rises over 220 feet into the air. Admire the Chinese porcelain, vibrant glass pieces and seashells that are made into a beautiful patterned decor that adorns the exterior. Climb to the top for sweeping views of the river, the adjacent temple, Wat Pho and the Grand Palace.
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Travel back in time and experience the Spanish colonial period in the historic city of Vigan on the island of Luzon in the Philippines. This UNESCO World Heritage Site is a well-preserved metropolitan area that mixes Filipino and Spanish colonial architecture dating back to the 16th century.
Admire the interesting designs as you stroll the charming cobbled streets of Calle Crisologo, the main street lined with antique shops, cafes and ancestral houses. Watch the horse-drawn carriages go by while browsing souvenirs or try local cuisine like Vigan
Vigan’s highlights include the Kema House, which is built in the traditional Bahai style of Bato architecture, and the Arche Castle, one of the oldest buildings in the area. Be sure to stop at St. Paul’s Metropolitan Cathedral, an 18th-century building designed in the unique Earthquake Baroque style.
Located approximately 40 minutes north of the coastal city of Nha Trang in Vietnam, a visit to Ba Ho Falls is an adventure not to be missed. Meaning ‘three pools’, Ba Ho has a total of three watering holes to discover where you can take a refreshing dip to cool off from the heat.
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Explore one of the most beautiful places to visit in Vietnam as you hike in the rainforest along a challenging path through the river cliffs. Your efforts will lead you to an idyllic pool of water and a waterfall. The first row of waterfalls is the most popular and picturesque, as well as the most accessible. Swim in the cold river under the sound of waterfalls and enjoy a picnic in a natural setting.
Located in the center of Ho Chi Minh City, the Reunification Palace is a history lesson and a very popular architectural landmark. Built in 1962, the former Norodom Palace stood on the same site before protesters managed to demolish the structure in the 1950s.
Also known as the Independence Palace, you will explore a site that housed the President of South Vietnam during the Vietnam War and has seen major changes in Vietnam’s largest city. View abundant historical artifacts, including paintings and photographs, as you learn about the historical significance of this landmark building within the palace’s evolution exhibit.
Explore the basement of the palace, where you will be intrigued by the huge number of tunnels and the telecommunications center with old radio transmitters and other interesting objects from this turbulent time period. Step outside and stroll the extensive landscaped grounds, complete with ponds and gardens.
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Admire one of Thailand’s most famous temples while visiting the beautiful island of Koh Samui. Be dazzled by the rich shades of gold and intricate designs throughout the complex.
The star attraction is the Big Buddha at Wat Phra Yai, which is almost 40 meters tall. Take the steps between a large green