Beautiful Places in Southeast Asia
I am SO pleased to announce that I will be going back to Southeast Asia next year. As some of you might know, I spent a year living in Manila. Southeast Asia is a pretty popular place for vacationers and travel buffs right now, not only because the living there is cheap, but also because it is one of the most beautiful regions of the world; a place brimming with vibrant colors, tastes and so much history that you could spend your whole life studying it and never really scratch the surface. Although I had some great adventures throughout the islands of the Philippines when I was there, I did not venture out to other places in the region. Right now I’m booked to fly into Singapore and fly out of Taiwan. My trip will be about two and a half weeks total so I’m planning to hit up 1-2 more countries in between. I started doing some research for my upcoming trip and I thought I’d share. Here are some of the places that I’m considering.
The Temples at Bagan, Myanmar
Myanmar has been in the news a lot for pretty awful reasons lately, but if you’re in the area, or when times are looking up for the people there, you’re going to want to visit the country simply so you can see the stunning Buddhist temples that are all around the city of Bagan, In fact, there are no less than 2000 of them in the capital, which is nothing compared to the 13,000 that stood there in ancient times! They truly are a sight to behold!
There’s no particular place in Singapore that I’d recommend – the whole island country is worth exploring to it’s fullest. I Would, however, recommend that you stay in a minimalist house for rent in Singapore that is as centrally located as possible. That way, you’ll have no trouble visiting the many attractions on the Island, from the rather unusual Buddha Tooth Relic Museum to Gardens by the Bay – wonderful public gardens that are completely magical after dark, in particular. There’s even a Universal Studios on the island for family fun, too!
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is one of those places that everyone should visit before they die. It is a stunning example of what us humans can do when we put our minds to it. Beautiful on a breathtaking scale, the ancient city and its beautiful temples will completely blow you away.
As well as visiting Angkor Wat, while you’re in Cambodia, it’s always worth paying a visit to the Angkor Archaeological Park too. This unique attraction is home to some of the most jaw-dropping ancient architecture you’re ever likely to see, and it tends to be less crowded than Angkor Wat, which makes it a little easier to explore, too.
Why should you visit Penang? Why? to taste it’s amazing food of course. Due to the fact that is located close to Malaysia, China and India, it’s food is a mish-mash of all of the flavors you’d expect to find in those three countries. It’s spicy, savory and somehow delicate all at the same time. If you have time, between scouring the best restaurants and sampling the delightful street food, do head to Georgetown- the capital of Penang – which is a UNESCO World heritage Site and home to some very interesting mosques and temples, some dating back as far as 2000 years.
Krabi Province, Thailand
Thailand is probably the most popular destination for travelers to Southeast Asia, which is isn’t surprising – it’s a beautiful country with great food, great people and great beaches, and it’s in the country’s Krabi Province where you will find the most pristine beaches, not only in Thailand but quite possibly in the whole world! That’s why you should make a bee-line for this area as soon as you step off the plane. I’d advise the Ko Lanta beach specifically because it’s less crowded than the equally beautiful Ko Phi Phi Beach due to the fact that Ko Phi Phi gained fame as the location for Hollywood Movie The Beach.
Halong Bay, Vietnam
Vietnam is such an underrated part of the world. Not only are the people very hospitable, but the landscapes are nothing short of breathtaking, and if you’re a sun-worshipper, well you won’t be disappointed!
One of the best places to visit if you’re in Vietnam is Halong Bay, also known as the Bay of descending Dragons. It’s a rather unique piece of land made up of around 2,000 separate limestone islets, which jut out of the water like a Dragon’s tail! Not only is it worth visiting for that reason only, but it’s also a great hub for cruising and rock climbing. You just need to time your trip right so that you avoid Monsoon season, which generally runs from July through September when it is less safe to explore Halong Bay.
Beach lovers simply must take the time to visit Sihanoukville, which is one of the most popular beach destinations in the whole of Cambodia. If the name Sihanoukville is familiar to you, that’s probably because you heard about it in history class, or if you’re a little older, on the news. You see, Sihanoukville was the location where the final battle of the United States’ war against Vietnam was fought! While you’re in the area, you simply must stay in a beach hut, rather than a hotel, to make the most of the beautiful white beaches and warm, soothing waters that you’ll be surrounded by. You’ definitely want to get your snorkel on too – the tropical fish in the area are absolutely, mind-blowingly stunning.
Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, Indonesia
Indonesia is a pretty impressive country all round, largely due to its wonderful volcanic belt, which is home to some of the most amazing landscapes you’re ever likely to see in your life-time. That is why, if you’re ever in Indonesia, you are, without a doubt, going to want to take a trip to Bromo-Tengger-Semeru National Park, where you can witness the ‘outhere’ landscapes, that would look more at home on the moon or another planet, than here on earth, up close.
While we’re on the subject of Indonesia, that old backpacker favorite Bali is also a must-see. Yes, it can get pretty crowded at times, but Bali is home to so many great attractions, including the Tanah Lot island temple and an amazing monkey Forest that you’d regret not stopping off there if you happened to be in the area. It’s a seriously beautiful place!
Vientiane is the capital city of Laos, and it sits on the majestic Mekong River, where it borders Thailand. Once owned by the French, the city is now a thriving economic center and a great place to visit if you’re interested in Buddhism, There are lots of beautiful temples to be explored, and a stupa that dates back to the late 1500s, as well as a beautiful Riverside park, which all make it a worthwhile place to see. It’s a lot less touristy than many of the other places in Vientiane too.
Ifugao Rice Terraces, Philippines
The rice terraces that you’ll see in Ifugao in the Philippines are truly a sight to behold. They were originally created around 2000 years ago when migrants from China brought the technology to create rice terraces to the Philippines. It is said that 6the terraces were built completely by hand, which makes them a real feat of human endeavor. They are also a beautiful sight to behold, especially if you visit in the springtime when they’re in full bloom. Spend some time walking around them, and you’ll appreciate the humble kitchen staple that is rice a whole lot more!
Visit any of these wonderful Southeast Asian destinations, and you surely won’t be disappointed. Each and every one is unique, interesting and exciting in its own way! But remember, there are many more amazing locations in this region, just waiting for you to find them. I hope you find a hidden gem or two of your own!