Travel Destinations Southeast Asia – Southeast Asia is extremely diverse – from volcanic peaks and rugged markets to mysterious jungle temples and pristine beaches.
That’s what makes it one of the most exciting destinations in the world! But with so much on offer, it can be difficult to choose where to go – especially if you’re on a tight deadline.
Travel Destinations Southeast Asia
To help make your decision a little easier, here are our top 5 must-visit destinations, so you can be ready to explore some of the most amazing places in Southeast Asia when all this nonsense is over!
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Before I went to Thailand, I was only really interested in Bangkok and the southern islands. I never even considered the northern part of the country (I’m a beach lover at heart). But little did I know, I would end up loving Northern Thailand the most! Especially Chiang Mai.
Locals call it the ‘Rose of the North’ and it’s a more than fitting nickname. Completely different from other parts of Thailand, Chiang Mai is charming, carefree and relaxing. The city is known as the gateway to the Northern Hill Tribes, habitat of elephants and primitive villages.
Here you can hike into the lush Doi Suthep and Doi Pui mountains or bamboo raft down a steaming jungle river in the Mae Sa Valley. The picturesque town of Pai is also only a short 3 hour bus ride away and I would definitely recommend a visit – Pai was a real highlight for me in Thailand!
Inside the valley, surrounded by walls of endless mountains, Pai seems to exist in its own time zone. Here, nature is your best friend and relaxing while doing almost nothing is your next best friend – it’s definitely worth a visit!
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Do: Get up close and personal with the gentle giants at an elephant weekend. You can usually book day trips through your hotel. Make sure you do your research beforehand, to ensure you are visiting an ethical elephant sanctuary where the elephants are not ridden and treated well!
Eat: Khao soi – the quintessential Northern Thai dish of crispy and soft egg noodles in a creamy curry-like sauce made from coconut milk and topped with your choice of meat or fish. Yup!
Stay: Aksara Heritage – this beautifully decorated hotel is centrally located to all of Chiang Mai’s main attractions and the staff will make you feel like royalty!
Tip: Chiang Mai is also known for spirituality and healing – visit one of the many wellness centers for a day of pampering. Expect massages, jacuzzis, energy centers and more!
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Baligenuinely is one of my favorite places on earth. There really is nowhere else like it. The perfect beach and jungle paradise you’ve always dreamed of – the coastline has world-famous surf at KutaBeach, Padang-Padang and Uluwatu, and Ubudis spiritual wonderland of lush nature.
The island has so much to offer and I couldn’t think of a better place for your first holiday away after being stuck at home for a while!
Do: Visit the Monkey Forest in Ubud – you will never have been so close to these little places and the photos will be amazing, trust me!
Eat: Nasi Campur – a bed of white rice topped with your choice of toppings. Most warungs will have a variety of delicious vegetable and meat dishes to choose from. Some of my favorites are crispy tofu and tempeh and bean sprouts smothered in a delicious homemade peanut sauce!
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Accommodation: White Palm Hotel at Balangan Beach – an eco-friendly boutique retreat with stunning sea views and in-house wellness facilities.
Tip: Visit Uluwatu Temple to experience the traditional kecak fire dance and unreal view! Be sure to arrive early (around 4pm) to secure your tickets as they sell out every day.
It is the magnificent temples of Angkor Wat that draw the crowds here, and rightly so. If you visit Cambodia, it’s a must do! And it’s really magical. Wake up early for the sunrise view of the beautiful temples and explore the landscape of pilgrimages and rituals.
Witness the saffron-robed monks and long-tailed macaque, then hike to the top of Phnom Bakheng Hill and enjoy the view. Experience the street life of Siem Reap and be sure to get some snapshots – this city looks great on camera.
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Do: Check out Siem Reap’s nightlife – neon lights point the way to a number of great restaurants and clubs. The Angkor Night Market is also well worth checking out!
Eat: Green Mango Salad – Sour green mangoes seasoned with fish sauce, lemon juice, sugar, minced garlic, red pepper and heaps of fresh herbs. You can find this at pretty much any restaurant or street stall.
Accommodation: Memoire d’ Angkor Boutique Hotel – Strategically located in the heart of the city, this modern hotel is an ideal location in Siem Reap.
Tip: If you have your eye on a night market bargain, don’t be afraid to haggle!
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Our Hue Instagram Tour will take you to the most Instagrammable and adventurous places in Hue all in one day. If you are looking to combine culture, lots of adventure and lots of great pictures then this is the trip for you! Hue is full of history and also a great place to enjoy daily life in Vie
In a nutshell, Borneo is a wild place stocked with abundant wildlife and playful adventure – not for the faint of heart but an incredible place for self-discovery. Cast down the Kinabatangan River in a puttering speedboat and explore the tangled jungle.
Greeted by ginger-haired orangutans, the waterway ahead leads to the great riverlands of the legendary bounty hunters. It will be better than you can even imagine!
Do: Hike Mount Kinabalu, the highest mountain in Southeast Asia. Now this is a two-day badge of honor for keen hikers, so don’t take it lightly. To see the dawn split the sky, overnight at Laban Rata before starting to climb the red eyes of the morning to reach 4095m high Low’s Peak.
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Eat: Hinava – freshly caught mackerel seasoned with sliced chili, ginger, diced red onion, grated bambangan seed, salt and served with a few teaspoons of lime juice. Fish is the mainstay of the local diet!
Stay: Gayana Marine Resort – the epitome of tropical luxury! Enjoy 5-star accommodation in an overwater villa boasting incredible views of aqua, mangrove and tropical jungle.
It might not be the first place you think of when you go on holiday to Vietnam, but if it’s Southeast Asian scenery that changes your heart, then Sa Pa is for you. France was established in the 1920s as a summer escape from the blasting heat of the north. Its popularity has increased greatly in recent years, but the adventures are still as good as ever.
Hike a hilly rice terrace in the steep Muong Hoa Valley, overnight in the mist-shrouded hills, or climb Mount Fan Si Pan, Indochina’s highest peak, an unparalleled experience in the smoky light of dawn.
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Do: Sip Vietnamese coffee at Cafe In The Clouds – enjoy lush views of mist rolling over the mountain peaks and the emerald green valley below.
Eat: Bamboo glutinous rice – seasoned rice is stuffed into cleaned and chopped pieces of bamboo that are grilled over an open fire. Simple yet so tasty!
Stay: Sapa Stunning View Hotel – does what it says on the tin! Wake up to the best view in Sa Pa here.
Tip: Sleep well! If you’re coming to Sa Pa, you’re likely to do a lot of walking – make sure you’re well rested to enjoy it as much as you can! Southeast Asia is a fascinating destination, where lush rainforests and coastal regions dotted with tranquil islands serve as a tropical paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, while rich history, exceptional cuisine and authentic culture appeal to all travelers.
The 7 Most Beautiful Places In Southeast Asia
From street food in Singapore and beach hopping in Thailand to historical attractions throughout Vietnam, Southeast Asia boasts a treasure trove of tourists. Here are some of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.
Gardens by the Bay is an iconic natural oasis in the bustling cosmopolitan city of Singapore. Stretch your legs on the waterfront promenade by the bay, then learn about the city’s history through a creative display of flora, fauna and fruit in the Heritage Gardens.
Stroll through the world’s largest glass greenhouse at the Flower Dome, one of the signature features of Gardens by the Bay. Admire the rich contents of the garden rooms, which boast an incredible collection of exotic flowers, olive groves, succulents and baobab trees.
Cloud Forest, Supertree Grove and Floral Fantasy will entice you with colorful kaleidoscopes of flora. Wander in awe of this city-in-a-garden concept brought to life in one of the best places to visit in Southeast Asia.
Travel Destinations In Southeast Asia Totally Off The Beaten Path
Travel an hour outside the bustling city of Bangkok to discover one of Thailand’s premier 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