Get ready for a feast and memorable assault on your senses! Beautifully chaotic and vibrant, Southeast Asia will appease your wanderlust with its pungent markets, tangy cuisines, and thundering motorbikes. Famed for marvelously diverse scenery, this beloved destination wows travelers with picture-perfect rolling hills, unbelievably beautiful islands, squeaky-clean sands and fiery volcanic peaks. Of course, it is home to countless of man-made wonders and stunning places of worship, from seething jungle temples and pagodas that overlook lily-topped lotus ponds to baroque churches. Trust me, Southeast Asia has all the ingredients of an epic and fun-filled vacation.
Visiting it soon, but don’t know where to go in Southeast Asia? Guess what? Here’s a rundown of some of the best and most exciting places to visit in this dynamic, kaleidoscopic and wondrous part of Asia.
There’s definitely no better place to start an adventure in Southeast Asia than Thailand’s energetic capital. After all, it’s a city that offers easy access to a number of wondrous destinations in Asia, such as Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, Siem Reap and even Burma. Like most of the top destinations in Southeast Asia, there’s no shortage of awesome things to do in Bangkok, Thailand. Here, you can explore a bunch of fine, gleaming and fascinatingly elaborate temples, like Wat Pho, Wat Saket and Wat Arun. As for its cuisine, the city brims with tasty treats, from mouthwatering exotic street food to world-class restaurants.
With a unique blend of Malay, Chinese and Indian influences, Penang is a one-of-a-kind Asian marvel that should be savored and enjoyed in the most literal sense. Savory soups, delicious laksas and spicy curies are all on Penang’s eclectic menu. And, the best part is, most of the restaurant food in Penang is surprisingly cheap, meaning it’s a must-visit destination for bona fide foods. And, when you’ve finally had enough tasty treats, the capital of Penang – Georgetown – is a UNESCO World Heritage site, home to an array of colonial buildings, mosques and 200-year-old temples.
Want to see something really spectacular? There’s no place in Southeast Asia quite like Bagan, Myanmar. Even with some rough edges, Bagan remains strikingly beautiful dotted with over 2,000 monasteries, pagodas and temples. For a memorable bucket-list-worthy experience, take a hot air balloon ride and see the fabulous cluster of pagodas on the plains of Bagan.
Nestled in Vietnam’s remote northwest, Sapa is a serene town known for its hill tribes, traditional villages, and photogenic rice paddies. For years, countless of hikers have been flocking to Sapa, to hike its gorgeous landscapes and indulge on its mesmerizing sights. To make things even better, the town has eye-catching French colonial sites and stores selling a string of fabulous handicrafts and souvenirs.
Palawan is truly every traveler’s dream. Often voted as the world’s best island, Palawan dazzles and lures travelers with its diverse collection of attractions. As you explore Palawan, you’ll get to see dramatic sunsets, impressive rolling hills, breathtaking lagoons, towering limestone cliffs, and fine white sandy beaches. What’s more, the island has rice and thriving underwater world full of beautiful corals and sprightly marine life. And, did we mention that it is home to the world-famous underground river?
They don’t call Bali as the “Island of the Gods” for nothing. Billed as a quintessential island paradise, Bali will sweep you away with its picturesque natural backdrop, lush terraces as well as colorful reefs. Furthermore, it boasts a deeply spiritual Hindu culture as well as some intriguing and performing arts. On top of it all, it’s a backpacker’s heaven with plenty of affordable options for accommodations, food, and entertainment.
Luang Prabang, Laos
Luang Prabang, even with its rich culture and history, is pretty underrated compared to the other places to visit in Southeast Asia. Beguiling and picture-perfect, the city will appease your wanderlust with its colonial-era guesthouses and dozens of incredible UNESCO-protected temples. Not to mention, it’s a lively hipster river town with a mixture of cocktail lounges, coffee roasters, teak-blanketed slopes, and bamboo huts.
There’s no city in Southeast Asia quite like Singapore. Modern, clean and amazingly safe, it is, hands down, one of the most beguiling and exciting urban destinations in Southeast Asia. Price-wise, it’s a little expensive, as compared to its Southeast Asian neighbors. Thankfully, though, there are plenty of attractions in Singapore that won’t cost you a cent, from the iconic Merlion statue to the breathtaking supertree groves. To make things even better, Singapore’s cuisine is simply fantastic and mouth-watering.
Cebu, voted as one of the world’s best islands, will leave you exhilarated in so many ways. From verdant and rocky peaks to a colorful underworld, the island has no shortage of wonders and fun activities to offer to all types of travelers. Furthermore, it’s dotted with intriguing historic sites and boasts the best-tasting pork dish in the world – lechon.
Did we miss anything? Got any suggestion that you’d like to add? Feel free to share your thoughts to us via the comment section!