Whether you’re joining the gap year backpacker craze or planning a round-the-region trip, here’s the lowdown on where to go in Southeast Asia.
From buzzy Bangkok to the tourist favourite of Phuket and the many paradise islands (try Koh Samui and Koh Phi Phi), Thailand has so much to offer every traveller. Exciting cities, tropical beaches, elephant sanctuaries… and let’s not forget the exceptional flavours that make tasting Thai food a feast you want to enjoy again and again.
Of course, any trip to Cambodia would be incomplete without a visit to Angkor Wat, the iconic temple, but there are other temples to discover too. Why not hire a guide and hike through the jungle, passing rivers, waterfalls and lush landscapes as you go, for a bird’s eye view across the forest of the temple tops? These ancient masterpieces are just as breathtaking from afar as they are up close. It’s a perspective not every traveller in Southeast Asia will get.
This is where every history buff should go when they travel around Southeast Asia. Ho Chi Minh City is a hit for many tourists, but try to avoid the most touristy attractions when a cruise ship has just docked if you don’t fancy crowds.
Alongside this city, also known as Saigon, Hanoi should also be on your list of where to go. Both cities were significant during the Vietnam War and, as such, you’ll find a wealth of museums, buildings and artefacts to uncover. As you travel between the two, you’ll also take in the rice paddy fields, a landscape iconic of Southeast Asia. These are just a few of the reasons Vietnam makes it onto my travel bucket list – you can see the rest here.
Extremely well connected, you’ll almost undoubtedly end up travelling through Singapore as you explore Southeast Asia. It deserves so much more than a cursory glance, though. Thriving and at the cutting edge in many ways, it’s a fascinating place to spend a few days. The term urban jungle gets a whole new meaning in Singapore too. Head to Supertree Grove to witness the wonder of towering man-made trees, overflowing with lush planting, yourself
While blissful Bali, a hotspot for honeymoons, is one of the most popular places to go in Indonesia, it’s not the only option. Thousands of islands make up the Indonesian archipelago, so there’s plenty of opportunity to head off the beaten track if you’d like. That being said, if you do stay in Bali while you’re in Southeast Asia, Ubud and Seminyak are sought-after for good reason. If it’s a wellness escape you’re after to rejuvenate mid-trip, then you’ll love these Bali yoga retreats.
Planning your Southeast Asia trip of a lifetime? Have a nosy at these 11 things you only know if you’ve been travelling there. You might just be surprised by how many you experience…
And if you’ve been sitting on the fence about jetting off, now is the time to do it! Find out why with these eight reasons to book your flight to Southeast Asia today!