Southeast Asia has become one of the hot travel destinations over the past years and it’s pretty easy to understand why. A wide variety of cultures, beautiful landscapes, historic cities, amazing food and unique wildlife mean you can get a little bit of everything when heading that way.
Located at the center of the Southeast Asian Indochinese peninsula, Thailand is the most visited country in the Asia-Pacific. The country is filled with everything from a bustling metropolis to picturesque waterfalls and villages.
Many travelers fly into Bangkok to spend a few days in the capital before scurrying off to see what else the country has to offer. If you head north, you’ll be greeted by lush mountains, forests and waterfalls. Heading down south, you’ll feel like you’re in a different country with the tall cliffs.
You’ll also have to make sure you stop in one of Thailand’s many Buddhist temples. They can be found in villages, cities and even remote places making your trip well worth it.
If you’re looking for a place to relax after, head to any beach along Thailand’s coastline. The favorites among travelers and locals are Pa Tong, Phuket and Ko Samui which all offer snorkeling and a great nightlife scene.
Vietnam is filled with immense natural beauty and expansive cities. You should start your vacation off in Ho Chi Minh, especially if you’re a coffee lover. Vietnam is the world’s second largest coffee exporter and Ho Chi Minh has the cafe and coffee scene to back it up.
Throughout the city are various monuments and amazing attractions, from pre-war history up until present. The city is easily walkable and if you want to add a little flavor, take a trip in a Tuk Tuk. These three-wheeled vehicles are faster and cheaper than taxis and are much easier to get around in.
One of the country’s most beautiful spots is Halong Bay. Here, you can find many historical sites, small hidden islands, resorts, snorkeling and much more.
In case you’ve never heard about Brunei, don’t be alarmed, you’re not alone. Smallest among the countries in the region, Brunei is on the island of Borneo which is also shared by Malaysia and Indonesia. It’s often recognized as a great place to travel solo thanks to the tranquil lifestyle and laid back people.
Brunei is definitely a quieter destination, with no real party scene nor alcohol sales. It’s a place to go if you’re looking to escape the crowds and overall touristy feel. It’s definitely a place off the beaten path.
Even though it’s a small island, its capital Bandar Seri Begawan is quite impressive and has the largest water village in the world on the outskirts. You can wander the streets and pick up some street food as well as browsing the local goods.
You should definitely head into nature and explore the other parts of the island to see an amazing amount of biodiversity and one of the world’s (sadly) most poached animals, the pangolin.
Home to one of the world’s most recognizable structures, the Angkor Wat, Cambodia is a must for all history and nature lovers. With immense jungles and lots of different museums and tours, you’re not going to run out of things to do during your time there.
You should also check out the Bayon, a unique temple with over 200 smiling faces carved into it. The nearly 1000 year old temple may creep you out a bit, but it’s definitely worth a visit.
There are tons of other palaces, temples, museums and buildings you should visit, so be sure and do some research to see what past travelers are saying. You may have to hike to many of these places, but the view and structures will quickly make you forget about your sweaty forehead or aching legs.
Another great place to visit is the Tonle Sap, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. You can see a large variety of wildlife on the lake and even participate in fishing if you want. The best time to go is during monsoon season, as boats can be stuck in the mud.