Tourist Destinations In South East Asia – Southeast Asia is an incredibly diverse group of countries between the Indian and Pacific oceans, featuring a rich tapestry of different cultures and religions. A favorite corner of the world for many travelers, it is known for its perfect beaches, tasty cuisine and very affordable prices!
There really is something for everyone in this tropical paradise, whether it’s action-packed adventures traversing steamy jungles and diving some of the world’s most beautiful coral reefs or relaxing days visiting temples and hanging out on the beach you’re after. But with so much on offer, it can be hard to choose where to go!
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I’ve compiled a list of my favorite Southeast Asian attractions that will make your trip a memorable experience and look great on your Instagram feed.
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Is there anything more exciting than seeing dolphins in the wild? Our Lovina Dolphin Watching and Snorkeling Adventure is simply magical. Your private Bali tour guide will pick you up and take you to Lovina to see the dolphins playing at sunrise. This early dawn tour means you’ll be able to spend time snorkeling in the beautiful clear waters without the crowds. Add in lunch and a visit to a stunning temple and this Bali tour is perfect for any type of traveler.
Angkor Wat is the prized temple and part of what is now known as the Angkor Archaeological Park. I’m sure you’ve seen the many amazing photos of temples floating around social media, they’re truly breathtaking! Angkor Wat is an ancient city in Cambodia that was the center of the Khmer empire that ruled most of Southeast Asia.
This civilization died out, but not before building amazing temples and buildings that were reclaimed from the jungle over hundreds of years and eventually converted into Buddhist temples that are still in use today.
How to get there: The best option is to take a day trip from the nearest town, Siem Reap. The nearest temples are only 15-20 minutes from the center though, it’s a big attraction and there are lots of different temples to see so keep that in mind! You can easily get a taxi or tuk tuk for around $20-30.
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Expenses: To visit the temples, you need to buy a temple pass. These are sold in 1, 3 or 7 day variations. A 3-day ticket costs $62.
How long should I spend there: While you can see a lot in one day, you won’t be able to see everything. Three days is a great way to experience the popular temples that are close to Siem Reap as well as some of the more distant temples.
Best photo opportunity: Set that early alarm and arrive before sunrise to get the iconic sunrise shot of Angkor Wat in all its glory.
Ha Long Bay in northeastern Vietnam is known as one of the natural wonders of the world due to its emerald waters dotted with 1,600 limestone islands, each covered with its own rainforest. It’s truly stunning, and waking up to that view is something I’ll never forget.
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Explore the area by snorkeling and diving, hop on a canoe, or simply take in the view from the top deck of your cruise ship, cocktail in hand.
How to get there: The most convenient way to visit Ha Long Bay is to join one of the many boat tours from Hanoi.
Expenses: Most boat tours will include everything: transfer from Hanoi, food, accommodation (if you opt for a longer tour) and park entrance fees. Starting prices for a 2-day/1-night tour are around $155.
How long should I spend there: I would recommend at least a 2 day/1 night tour as waking up on a boat in Ha Long Bay and pulling back the curtains to one of the most stunning views I have ever seen is priceless.
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Best Photo Opportunity: The view from the top of Cat Ba National Park is definitely one to capture.
If you are in Bangkok, a visit to the Grand Palace is a must. As the name suggests, it is one of the largest and most impressive temples in Thailand. Now, there are many temples you can visit in Thailand, but if you’re only going to visit one (to avoid the temple burn), then this should be it!
The palace holds a very important place in the hearts of the Thai people and is considered the holiest Buddhist site in Thailand.
How to get there: The temples are easily accessible from anywhere in Bangkok. Just hop on a train, boat, tuk tuk or taxi. Public transportation is quite easy to use and affordable in Bangkok.
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Costs: Entrance to the palace costs 500 baht per person (about $15), and tickets can be purchased online or at ticket offices on the palace grounds. Ticket offices are open from 8:30am to 3:30pm and the ticket also includes entry to the Vimanmek Palace and the Abhisek Dusit Throne Hall within 7 days of your visit to the Palace.
How long should I spend there: The grounds are open from 8:30am and I would suggest arriving a little earlier so you can experience the grounds when they are a little less busy and a little cooler. It will take at least a few hours to walk through all the temples.
Best photo opportunity: Take your picture outside Wat Phra Kaew, home of the famous Emerald Buddha. Widely regarded as the most important Buddhist temple in Thailand, the building is absolutely beautiful!
Located 60 kilometers from Ho Chi Minh City, the Cu Chi Tunnels Network is an extensive maze of underground tunnels that stretch all the way to the Cambodian border. They were built by the Viet Minh during the war against the war between the United States and Vietnam.
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Back then, the tunnels were a means of communication between villages and also helped the Vietnamese evade soldiers scouting the area.
How to get there: The tunnels are easily accessible from Ho Chi Minh City. Simply take a taxi (about $60 round trip) or hop on one of the many tour buses that run daily. The trip is approximately 1 hour and a half.
How long should I spend there: It will take you a few hours to see the whole attraction. You can also go to the shooting range for a small additional fee.
Best photo opportunity: You will have the opportunity to enter one of the small tunnels; make sure you capture this moment.
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The Monkey Forest in Ubud should be on your list of things to do in Bali. When else will you get the chance to meet cute baby monkeys up close? The forest is not only a point of interest to see monkeys.
This sacred monkey forest has spiritual, economic, educational and conservation significance for the villagers of Padang Tegal. Plus, it’s super cute!
How to get there: If you are in Ubud, the forest is easily accessible by foot, scooter or taxi.
How long should I spend there: It will take about 2 hours to see the whole forest and take some photos with the monkeys.
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Kanchanaburi is surrounded by luscious mountains and even has a river winding its way around the city. It was a temporary base for the Japanese during World War II, who used Allied POWs in the construction of a railroad known as the “Death Railroad.”
This dark but important history makes it a really interesting place to visit and the falls are breathtaking.
How to get there: Kanchanaburi is only 4 hours from Bangkok, but I wouldn’t suggest trying the trip in one day. Spend at least one night in Kanchanaburi to have a full day to explore the falls with no time limit.
How long should I spend here: To see all the multi-level waterfalls, you will need to spend the whole day here.
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It was made famous by a 2008 episode of Top Gear, in which presenter Jeremy Clarkson described the road as “a desert ribbon of perfection”. A walk through Hai Van Pass is simply a must. It is one of Vietnam’s quintessential roads, winding its way through stunning mountains overlooking a stunning coastline.
How to get there: Hai Van Pass is easily accessible from Da Nang or Hoi An (it’s about 1 hour by car or bike from both). You can rent your own bike and drive there if you’re up for an adventure or book one of the many tours.
Expenses: You can rent a motorbike for about 80,000 VND, which is equivalent to $3.50. Tours start at around $60.
How much time should I spend here: I would allow a full day to get the most out of this experience.
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Best Photo Opportunity: The views from the top of Hai Van Pass make for an amazing Instagram post.
Nusa Penida is one of the most beautiful islands in Bali. And the best part? Here you can experience a close encounter with the majestic creature that is the manta ray. This is definitely one for the bucket list! Manta Bay is a relatively shallow area where manta rays are common