The Southeast Asia region has so much to discover from ancient history, spirited temples, remote hill tribes, smouldering volcanoes, verdant rice paddies, vast lakes, nocturnal hikes through noisy rainforests, slow boats down the Mekong River, night markets, sky bars, street food, elephants, orangutans the list goes on. it’s almost impossible to keep them off anybody’s bucket list. With the onset of winter and colder climates in the west, south-east Asia’s tropical weather and dreamy palm-fringed beaches that hold the most allure. Of course, the ideal escape will combine the region’s most exciting cities, most wondrous wildlife and best cultural attractions with some well-earned flops on the beach. South-east Asia might hold special appeal to the gap-year backpacker but it also offers high-end options for those looking for a more grown-up affair with great deals on hotels book now and pay later. An escorted tour is an excellent way to take in the region’s highlights, stays at beachside resorts and luxury lodges with city tours led by guides who know the area like the back of their hands. So lets get started!
1.Halong Bay – Vietnam
Ha Long Bay consists of a group of islands and limestone karsts that have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site which is one of the must visit tourist attractions in Vietnam. Many of the islands are actually tall monolithic cliffs that cannot be walked on, covered in green, lush jungle. Some of these are hollow and house beautiful caves—Dau Go Cave (Wooden Stake Cave) is a good example, a massive cave with three main chambers, multicolored stalagmites, and rock paintings. Many of the islands also have their own enclosed lakes. Of the almost 2,000 islands here, less than 40 have permanent residents, often in the form of small communities that live in floating houses and fishing villages. Ha Long Bay’s largest island, Cat Ba, is the most common overnight stop for tourists coming to Ha Long Bay for cruises and tours. Some of the popular cruises are fantasea cruise halong bay and athena classic cruise halong bay Kayaking the turquoise green waters of the bay is a popular activity here, as well as cruising the bay in traditional junk boats. When choosing a cruise, always ask what activities are included most offer a combination of kayaking, swimming, cave exploring, onboard cooking classes, and sometimes excursions to floating villages. Hanoi International airport is well connected to fall global major airports. You can Find daily flights to Hanoi all year round.
2. Siem Reap and Angkor Wat – Cambodia
Located in northwestern Cambodia, the city is best known for being the gateway to the Angkor region, but Siem Reap has much to offer on its own. A mix of Chinese and colonial architecture gives the city a unique vibe, where countryside residents and old motorbikes blend with a vibrant café culture. The bubble tea in Siem Reap is popular at Cafe Moi Moi Siem Reap. There are plenty of hotels around, Royal crown hotel is a popular hotel in Siem Reap, the city is buzz with tourists and a modern club scene. Siem Reap is colourful, chaotic and has a famous night market. Even in a city forever associated with the glorious temples of Angkor Wat, it’s impossible to leave without a full day guided tour of Angkor Wat with temple tickets. and snapshots of its street life imprinted in your memory. If ever there was a city that looked great on camera, it’s here. Justifiably though, it’s Angkor Wat and its galleried temples dedicated to gods and demons that draw the crowds. Explore this landscape of pilgrimage and ritual, of saffron-robed monks and long-tailed macaques, then take a sunset shot while savouring the view from Phnom Bakheng hilltop. Siem Reap is home to few important museums: The Cambodia Landmine Museum, War Museum and Relief Center.
3. Bagan – Myanmar
Up until 2011, Myanmar offered only limited access to tourists because of the five-decade-long military dictatorship that commanded the country so now that it’s finally possible to visit, and before it becomes crazy busy with tourists, you definitely should see this fascinating destination. Strikingly beautiful, albeit with a few rough edges, Bagan is bound to a complex history that needs a keen mind to understand its genesis. Founded in the second century near Mandalay, it filled out the Ayeyarwady River plains with more than 10,000 temples, pagodas and monasteries, of which around 2200 survive today. More bamboozling still, there was a time, pre-Aung San Suu Kyi in the late-2000s, when visitors were such a rarity it was possible to explore its greatest stupas – the 50m-high corn-cob Ananda Pahto, the colossal Dhammayangyi Pahto – almost entirely alone. The result of Myanmar’s fresh appeal today is skies filled with bucket list air balloons which is a must do and boutique B&Bs with interiors echoing Victorian poster boys, Rudyard Kipling and George Orwell.
4. Koh Samui – Thailand
Once a favorite of backpackers, Koh Samui has undergone a remarkable transformation—it now boasts high-end resorts, posh spas, and some of the whitest palm-fringed beaches in Thailand. Chaweng and Lamai beaches attract the bulk of the travelers and are well developed, clean, and full of activities, including opportunities to sail, scuba dive, and swim. While most visitors come here for the beach, there’s much more to see and do in Koh Samui. Hire a jeep or rent a moped in koh samui and the explore the mangroves and hidden lakes of Ang Thong Marine National Park; the 12-meter-tall golden Buddha at the hilltop Big Buddha shrine; and the Na Muang waterfalls, reached after a trek uphill through thick tropical forest. Try a southern curry served in a blow-it-down wooden shack at Fisherman’s Village, or take the slow boat to the limestone karsts of Ang Thong National Marine Park, a wistful archipelago of 42 islands straight from the pages of Alex Garland’s bestseller The Beach. Koh Samui has an international airport with nonstop flights to Koh samui from most airports in the region. Some popular hotels in the region include anantara bophut resort & spa koh samui and baan samui resort koh samui
5. Luang Prabang – Laos
This northern city in Laos is surrounded by a number of villages that together form the UNESCO Town Of Luang Prabang World Heritage Site. Recognized for its mix of rural, French colonial, and religious architecture and heritage, the city is one of Laos’ most visited and certainly most beautiful. More than that it’s a hipster river town overlooking the confluence of the Khan River as it curls into the mighty Mekong. There are plenty of boat tours you can take from luang prabang to nong khiaw and Huay Xai. Luang prabang is overloaded with a juxtaposition of bamboo huts and cocktail lounges, teak-blanketed slopes and coffee roasters, and hotels. A popular hotel in the area is le parasol blanc hotel luang prabang . Many tourists visit Luang Prabang from nearby Chiang Mai. There are many luxury boats from Chiang Mai to Luang Prabang, Also the mekong river cruise luang prabang to vientiane is popular. Just outside the city, you could take the white elephant tour in Luang Prabang also the Bear Rescue Centre (which specializes in helping sun bears rescued from poachers) and the multi-tiered Kuang Si Falls are both worth a visit. If you’re up for some trekking, head out to the Pak Ou Caves, famous for their hundreds of miniature Buddha sculptures.
6. Bali – Indonesia
Say “Bali” and people think soft white beaches, corals, and snorkeling—and while it’s true that Bali has plenty of beautiful destinations on the sand (including the Nusa Penida beach, with cliffs that resemble the head of the T-Rex), that’s not all you can see here. In fact, the lush, green, terraced rice fields in the province of Ubud are just as stunning. It’s a layer cake of a proposition with cutting-edge five-star hotels, cafés and bars that go above and beyond the realms of convention Some popular hotels in Kuta are kuta seaview boutique resort and also Best Western Kutta Villa. But it’s also the clichéd beach and jungle paradise you hope for. While the coastline has world-famous surf barrels at Kuta beach, Padang Padang and Uluwatu, The best beaches for swimming in Uluwatu are Dreamland Beach, Bingin Beach and Padang Padang. Well above the others the real balm is Ubud, a spiritual wonderland of heritage canals, stilted gazebos and pool villas located at the heart of island life. There are plenty of options to enjoy a cruise book now and pay later and just soak in some beautiful scenery and coastline. Bali has a major international airport with great conncetivity. You can find plenty of low cost flights to Bali all year round.
7. Boracay – Philippines
The tiny island of Boracay is just across the water from Panay Island, one of the Philippines’ largest islands. Despite being only 10 square kilometers in size, Boracay attracts thousands of visitors a year, who come here for the four-kilometer-long beach and its powdery white sands that wash right into the turquoise waters and the sailboats rocking away on the waves. Women tourist must get a Boracay photography package besides there are many freelance photographers in Boracay. There are plenty of cafes, bars and hotels for backpackers book for a day. Boracay also has some reasonably priced great hotels viz; Boracay uptown Hotel and The tides hotel Boracay, most of all there are plenty of activities to enjoy. In addition to scuba diving and snorkeling, Boracay is well-known for its parasailing, kiteboarding, and swimming, and perhaps more unexpectedly, its cliff diving. There are many diving courses in Boracay for serious divers. Diving boards ranging from three to 15 meters high over the water are placed on certain parts of the island, with lifeguards waiting and watching as divers fly up in the air over the mirror-like waters below. There are plenty of low cost flights to Manila every day which is also the capital city of Philippines.