Now that 2020 has arrived it’s high time to add a new destination to your bucket list. For beauty, culture, relaxation, and some awesome food, Southeast Asia has it all. Of course, there are so many different places to visit here, and so it can be hard to make a decision. For a little inspiration, these six will surely leave you amazed.
1 . Bali, Indonesia
Bali is highly regarded as one of the most beautiful destinations in the world, drawing visitors from all over. Here you’ll find an unmatchable paradise of stunning beaches and crystal clear seas; it’s no wonder that Bali is known as ‘Island of the Gods’. Bedugul is where you’ll find the alluring Iun Danu Temple; built in honour of the goddess of Baratan Lake. Marvel at the shrines and take in the beauty of the waters; the serenity will genuinely take your breath away. You can experience Iun Danu as part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site Tour or explore it solo.
When in Ubud, discover the beautiful forests and don’t miss the sights of the Tegenungan Waterfall. You can swim directly under the fall, yet be careful as it’s very powerful! Many prefer to swim in the waters nearby or admire the waterfall from the rocky edges. Beach lovers are really spoilt for choice in Bali. Try the gorgeous Kuta beach (especially if you’re keen to learn surfing). Take in the fantastic sunset and indulge in a little partying in the evening if that’s your thing.
2. Hanoi, Vietnam
One of the most beautiful places in Hanoi is Halong Bay. The bay consists of thousands of islets and gorgeous islands stretching for 1,500 sqm. Explore the caves and the forests, take endless pictures, and sample some delicious local cuisines. One great way to experience Halong Bay is by boat. You’ll find a range of boat cruises available to choose, from inexpensive options to luxury cruisers. Most of these cruises will stop at the charming Cat Ba Island. Here you’ll find quaint floating villages and many lovely places to drink or dine while admiring the mountains in the distance. You might even be lucky enough to spot some endangered animals- perhaps a Cat Ba langur or the Malayan giant squirrel! Traveling in Vietnam really is a once in a lifetime experience.
The Imperial Citadel of Thang Long is a hugely popular attraction in Hanoi, a UNESCO World Heritage site representing the history of Vietnam. This ancient place served as a political centre for 13 centuries as well as previously serving as the capital of Vietnam. For an excellent ten-day tour of Vietnam, including Hanoi, check out On the Go Tours.
Myanmar is an increasingly popular destination for travellers, with much beauty and wonder to sample. If you’re a fan of diving, get yourself to Myeik Archipelago. Here you’ll find beautifully untouched corals and marine life to discover. Don’t forget to check out the temples of Bagan; with hundreds of temples to see, there’s plenty of opportunity for a good old trek and adventure. Take a tour or grab yourself a map and brave it alone. When in Myanmar, you can’t miss the Shwedagon Pagoda, a stunning golden icon, a real pride of the city- Shwedagon Pagoda is famous all over the world. Many choose to take a hot air balloon ride to experience some breathtaking views of the pagoda below.
4. Kampot, Cambodia
Kampot, Cambodia, is a truly stunning place with so much to offer. Be sure to visit Bokor National Park, a gorgeous stretch of thick jungle to explore, along with abandoned churches and a striking Buddha statue to delight your cameras. Discover the Bokor Mountain and be sure to take a peek at the Popokvil waterfall, when travelling in Cambodia, you’ll be blown away by the scenery. Once you’ve had your fun on the mountain, visit Kep for a relaxing day by the ocean and sample some delicious Kampot Pepper Crab. If you’re a fan of kayaking- why not try it out on the Kampot river? There are plenty of kayaking tours that you can book, but you can also simply rent a kayak and have your own river adventure.
5. Chiang Mai, Thailand
The historical centre of the city is home to over 30 gorgeous temples, dating all the way back to the 13th century. Stroll and sightsee to your heart’s content, learning about the history of Chiang Mai as you go. Be sure to take a look at Si Lanna National Park, where you’ll find a lush forests and wildlife spanning over 1,400 square kilometers. Marvel at the beautiful Mon Hin Lai Waterfall or the Mae Ngat Irrigation Reservoir. If you like markets, you won’t be disappointed by Chiang Mai’s Night Bazaar, which runs on a Sunday night. The street food here is amazing, plus there are plenty of stools of Thai- arts, and crafts to grab yourself a souvenir.
6. Kuala Lumpur
For those who love a bustling city, Kuala Lumpur won’t disappoint! One of the top sites here is the Petronas Twin Towers, the tallest twin towers in the world. Check out Kuala Lumpur City Gallery to learn about the city and find out about some great bicycle or walking tours. If you’re looking for something a little bit different- the butterfly park is a charming day out for all the family. At the park, you’ll find both a museum and a garden with an insect greenhouse to admire. For further museum fun, check out the Islamic Arts Museum for some truly gorgeous architecture, print, and handicraft. Here you’ll learn much about the Islamic religion and the consequent impact on Malaysian art.
When you’re planning your trip, ensure that your itinerary is detailed. Time really flies when you are on holiday or traveling, and you’ll want to make the most of all the time that you have. Do your research beforehand to ensure that you’re choosing destinations that appeal to the experience you’re looking for. Whether you’re looking for lively and partyish trip or more of a tranquil getaway, you’ll certainly find what you’re looking for!