There are fewer regions in the world more traveled today by backpackers than Southeast Asia. However, deciding where to go and what to do over such an expansive territory can be a daunting task. Hence, this guide. The following 10 things to do in SE Asia is an attractions travel guide that highlights the best of the best in the region:
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1) Visit Temples
No trip to SE Asia – and Cambodia for that matter – should be taken without firmly penciling in a visit to Angkor Wat. Built to honor Hindu God Vishnu, Angkor Wat is the largest religious complex in the world.
2) Island Hop
Few islands in SE Asia can offer as much as Bali, Indonesia. Paradise for beach dwellers? Check. Into surfing? Check. Culture vulture? Ubud will surely tickle your fancy. Backpacker? Kuta beach is calling. Feel like climbing an active volcano? Mount Batur is calling your name. Love monkeys? Try to avoid getting bitten at Ubud Monkey Forest.
If you’re seeking a place to volunteer that supports a great cause, look no further than Elephant Nature Park. Nestled nearby Chiang Mai, this elephant sanctuary and rescue center protects elephants from abuse in stark contrast with the Thai government which turns a blind eye.
4) Linger for a while in Cultural Hubs
Luang Prabang is a cultural hub in northern Laos that is a little slice of paradise. A charming city oozing with character it is different from other cities in Southeast Asia in the sense that is not overcrowded. Whether you go shopping, explore the rural countryside or enjoy riverside dining you’ll surely remember your time here fondly. I highly recommend taking a cooking class.
5) Marvel at modern architecture
When you first lay your eyes upon the Petronas Towers it is like being in front of a futuristic space towers. These amazing towers are the main landmark of Kuala Lumpur and are easily the most impressive towers in SE Asia.
6) Indulge in Street Food
I can’t think of a single nation in SE Asia where you can’t devour amazing street food. In our travel video guide we showcase the Saturday Night Market in Chaing Mai where you can eat Thai and International street food delights without shelling out too much Baht.
7) Explore a Mega Alpha City
There are many mega cities in SE Asia worth exploring from Kuala Lumpur to Saigon and Bangkok to Hanoi; however, no city in Southeast really compares with Singapore. Clean. Impossibly sterile. Maybe to some; however it is a beacon of light in terms of development and prosperity with many impressive attractions and landmarks.
8) Get off the beaten track
When possible try to visit some smaller gems. Although the road from Chiang Mai to Pai is as serpentine as you’ll ever experience, the rewards once arriving are plentiful. Stunning scenery and a slower pace of life await you. Swing on a hammock to your heart’s content.
9) Boat Trip
Choosing either a two or three day Ha Long Bay boat cruise is one of the top things I recommend to do while traveling in Vietnam. Stunning Karsts, adventure sports (kayaking) and plenty of relaxing are what keep tourists coming in droves.
10) Go Hiking and visit Hill Tribes
Sapa, Vietnam is one of your best bets in SE Asia for adventure hiking. You can go on two or three day adventures where you’ll be treated to breathtaking scenery, rice terraces, rural life and plenty of hospitality.
This is part of our Travel in Southeast Asia series. We’re making a series of videos showcasing Asian culture, Asian arts, Asian foods, Asian religion and Asian people.
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All photos and video taken by Samuel Jeffery (Nomadic Samuel) and Audrey Bergner (That Backpacker).
This video features the songs and music available under a Creative Commons Attribution-Commercial license.