Southeast Asia Bucket List

A bucket list experience in Indonesia is hopping the Nusa islands. In order of size, these are Nusa Penida, Nusa Lembongan and Nusa Ceningan. Here you can go snorkelling or diving with enormous manta rays.

  • Your leader will coordinate this and give further information on the trip.
  • From Phu Quoc, take the ferry back to the mainland and then travel by bus to the Mekong Delta.
  • Thailand is definitely heaven for street food aficionados, as well as those people who pride themselves on being thrifty.
  • After crossing into Laos and for the duration of our time in the country we will be joined by additional Laos guides – a government requirement.

With a little common sense, a solo traveler won’t have to worry much about safety here. There is a well-worn backpacker trail, so you’ll never be far from other travelers. That means it’s easy to meet people in case you decide you’d rather travel in a group for some of your trip.

Visit The Colourful Village Of Malang, Java

Also, if you also want to explore some rural areas of Myanmar, I recommend planning a trip to Hpa An from Yangon. One thing that surprised me about this country was how welcoming and generous the locals are. Apart from being a super budget-friendly destination, Myanmar is one of the most beautiful countries in Southeast Asia. A night at a guesthouse will cost you around $20 while a meal at a local restaurant costs around $5-$7. To get around the island, you’ll need to rent a motorbike which will cost you $5.

Kyaiktiyo Pagoda is a temple like no other, built on top of an enormous gold rock. Buddhists travel from far and wide due to an ancient legend proclaiming that it’s balanced upon a hair from the Buddha. Exploring Bagan is one of the best things to do in Southeast Asia Myanmar’s answer to Angkor Wat is Old Bagan, the former royal capital of Burma. This UNESCO World Heritage Site boasts more than 3,500 temples dating back 1,000 years. Hire an e-bike and explore the archaeological site, stopping at popular temples like Ananda, Thatbyinnyu and Shwesandaw. The visual mix of gold domes and red stone temples was like nothing I’d seen before.

Bangkok is a great first destination to start your trip as it has tons of international connections. It’s also the perfect city to get a nice first taste of Thailand as it’s packed with tons of incredible experiences. Starting this South East Asia Multi-Destination trip with Thailand, and I would recommend seeing Bangkok and then heading south to some of the Islands. I’ve been to the islands on the west coast and also on the east coast. Both are incredibly scenic and have fantastic beaches, lots of water activities such as diving and snorkelling, and other things to do.

If you’re wondering how to string these experiences together, check out my 3 month Southeast Asia itinerary. On our Tailor-made trips, we give you the flexibility and choice to do things just the way you want, all alongside the great service we’re famous for. On a Signature holiday, you’ll be escorted throughout your trip by our qualified English-speaking local guides who’ll show you all the must-see attractions and even the lesser-known sights.

what to visit in South and East Asia

The Cambodian capital is chaotic but charming, physically carrying the scars of the past, but looking towards a brighter future. Also make time for the sobering experience of the Choeung Ek killing fields and Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum – an essential step towards understanding modern Cambodia. Although this Hindu island in the heart of the Indonesian archipelago is firmly on the traveller radar, its unique culture and epic surf breaks make it an essential stop on the Asia circuit. There’s more to Bali than Kuta Beach, but most visitors swing by Kuta for at least a day or two to catch a wave and party before retreating to more peaceful parts of the island.

Multi Destination Trip

Although the country is visited by millions of tourists each year, many parts remain untouched and unexplored by tourists. Despite being the obvious choice, the Angkor tourist site in Siem Reap is a site not to miss, the epitome of Khmer architecture with over a thousand temples including the popular Angkor Wat. Night markets are a feature of Southeast Asia, and the one in Singapore’s Chinatown is always worth visiting. With over 200 stalls selling both traditional Chinese goods like calligraphy, masks and lanterns as well as contemporary items such as jewellery and accessories, the market deserves a leisurely trawl. During the day, teahouses and medicinal emporia are full of delights, too.

This hippie paradise on the banks of the Pai River is known for its natural sights like Pai Canyon, Tha Pai Hot Spring and Mo Paeng Waterfall. In the heart of Pai town, there are hippie cafes, a delectable night market serving everything from Thai street food to sushi, and some unusual backpacker hostels like Pai Circus School. Check out this Airbnb experience Muay Thai class with Thai feast afterwards. It may be busy and touristy but Bangkok’s Grand Palace should be on every traveller’s Southeast Asia bucket list.

You can hire a bicycle or a tuk-tuk to explore the ruins, which are too vast to explore on foot. Find hidden temples off the beaten track on this one-day cycle tour run by local student guides. Siem Reap, Cambodia is one of the most amazing spots to visit in Southeast Asia.

Situated on the Nam Song River, Vang Vieng is surrounded by towering limestone karsts and is a great place to enjoy being out in and surrounded by nature. After checking in to the hotel, use tonight to plan out your next few days with your group and leader. Following elephants through the jungle is a once in a lifetime experience, however it can be messy! Be prepared to wear clothes that you don’t mind getting wet and muddy.

what to visit in South and East Asia

It may take a day or two to adjust to the time change, depending on where you are coming from. I did change a few things, just to make it easier to get visas or to add time in spots that we really enjoyed. Use this itinerary as the basic building block for planning your travels through Southeast Asia or follow it exactly as it is if you like to have things planned out.

Take a Street Food Hanoi Gastronomy tour to experience it fully. Craggy cliffs in Ninh BinhIf you don’t get your fill of mountainous islands in Ha Long Bay, a second fantastic destination for your Southeast Asia bucket list is Ninh Binh. This gorgeous natural region just a couple of hours south of Hanoi is most famous for Tam Coc, a series of striking limestone cliffs that can be cruised through by small rowing boat. You can spend around 3 days in Sapa, staying in homestays and taking guided treks with the locals. It’s also a fantastic place to meet and learn about Hmong people, an ethnic group with their own languages and style of dress. A fun sport to add to your Southeast Asia bucket list is sandboarding in Mũi Né.

The lower cave, known as Tham Ting, is entered from the river by a series of steps and can easily be seen in daylight. The higher cave, Tham Phum, is deeper and requires a torch for viewing. This atmospheric World Heritage-listed city is a favourite of many travellers. Nestled in the hills of northern Laos on the confluence of the Mekong and Khan rivers, the city is claimed to be ‘the best preserved city in South East Asia’ by UNESCO.

Lee and Kelly have no plans to stop their “Gap Decade” anytime soon. This was a hard one to admit coming from a relatively low income working class background. When I see the living wage in some places here and the amount of poverty I soon realised everything I took for granted. I am very rich, I am fortunate to have grown up with what I did. Yes, there will always be people worth more and less money than me but I now feel pretty high on that scale.