A lot of travelers today are switching their planned European tour to a South East Asian tour. Starting from Singapore to Malaysia before going to parts of Indo-China, South East Asia is a gem waiting to be explored for all types of travelers.
South East Asia is composed of Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Malaysia, Philippines, Myanmar, Cambodia, Laos, Brunei and Timor Leste. It is the perfect destination for travelers looking to make the most out of their adventure. You can also expect different cultural experiences in the region, from the Spanish-influenced sites in the Philippines to the Buddhist communities in different parts of Indo-China.
The good news is that travelers can opt to use land or air transportation to reach different South East Asian countries. If you are wondering about activities and places that you can explore in the region, here are 15 of the most beautiful locations that you must see in South East Asia.
- Batu Caves in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Batu Caves, located in Gombak District in Kuala Lumpur, is a must-see destination for anyone who just visited Malaysia. Batu Caves is considered as one of the most popular Hindu shrines outside India. This site is dedicated to the Lord Thaipusam.
The limestone found in Batu Caves is said to be 400 million years old. Some of its entrances were even used by the Temuan People. One of the things that you’ll see in this spot is the world’s tallest statue of Murugan measuring 42.7 meters (140 feet).
Getting to Batu Caves is quite straightforward. From KL Sentral station in Kuala Lumpur, it just takes a 20-minute train ride to reach the location.
- Petronas Towers in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
Petronas Towers was the tallest building in the world from 1998 to 2004. Though no longer the tallest skyscraper, it offers a great view of Kuala Lumpur. It is also a landmark of the city that you don’t want to miss. It is a great experience for anyone visiting Kuala Lumpur to visit the Petronas Towers since it gives you the best vantage point of the city.
Once you reached the top, you will be able to see not only the other tower but also the KL Tower situated a few blocks away from the Petronas Twin Towers.
- Langkawi Permata Kedah
If there is something that South East Asia offers, that would have to be the beautiful beaches. If you ever get tired of the city life in Kuala Lumpur, it is a good idea that you explore its beaches. Langkawi Permata Kedah or simply Langkawi is located 30 kilometers off mainland Malaysia.
There are two main island areas in Langkawi. The Southern Islands is where most tourists go. The islands located northeast are more secluded and have minimal tourist traffic.
If it is your ideal location to experience Malaysia’s tropical island with minimal tourist amenities, you will be able to find rural Malaysian villages in Langkawi Permata Kedah.
- Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam
If you are a fan of history, it is a must that you visit the Ho Chi Minh Mausoleum in Hanoi, Vietnam. Located in the Northern Part of Vietnam, it is the final resting place of the Vietminh leader, Ho Chi Minh. Located in Bi Dinh Square, Ho Chi Minh’s Mausoleum was inspired by Lenin’s Mausoleum in Moscow.
However, before you even visit the mausoleum, you need to make sure that you know its rules. Remember that you are visiting the tomb of one of the greatest leaders of Vietnam. For instance, you will be requested to stay in two single file lines with no sunglasses, and no hands in your pocket.
However, keep in mind that in some months, the body displayed is actually a wax figure since Ho Chi Minh is flown to Russia for annual restoration. It is also a good idea that you line-up in the morning. This prevents you from being baked under the sun during noon time.
- Explore the Ha Long Bay in Hanoi, Vietnam
Its name means “descending dragon”. According to Legends, Gods sent dragons to Vietnam in order to fight invaders. The dragons started spitting jewel and jade which eventually became the islets found in the area.
Ha Long Bay is a UNESCO World Heritage site that a lot of people don’t want to miss when traveling in Vietnam. It offers a good number of limestone formations. It is composed of 1,600 limestone monolithic islands.
- Ho Chi Minh City’s Cu Chi Tunnels
During the Vietnam-American war, Viet Cong guerillas used its intricate network of tunnels to supply food, weapon, and even communicate with other North Vietnamese fighters. It played a great role during the Tet Offensive in 1968.
Cu Chi is best known for its 75-mile complex of tunnels that have been preserved by the Vietnamese government after the war. It is now a popular destination in Ho Chi Minh City. Here, you’ll be able what it is like to live as a Viet Cong soldier during the late 60s. You will be invited to even crawl on these historic tunnels. However, these tunnels were reconstructed in order to become more tourist friendly and accommodate larger-sized tourists.
Within the area, you’ll be able to see a number of attractions including a shooting range where visitors can fire assault rifles such as an M16 rifle and even an M60. You’ll also see a number of vendors selling souvenir items within the area.
- Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Angkor Wat is probably the most popular attraction in Siem Reap. It is the largest religious monument built in the world. It measures more than 162 hectares. Originally, it was constructed as a Hindu Temple for Vishnu. It later transitioned to become a Buddhist temple in the 12th century.
It is possible for you to have an unforgettable experience in Angkor Wat. For instance, be sure you’re your feet are ready. As mentioned, it is a large complex with a number of temples that are apart from each other. Also, make sure that you reach the Angkor Wat before sunrise. Angkor Wat offers a majestic sunrise that tourists love to take photos of. Make sure that you pick the best spot before all the tourists flock. And lastly, if you are visiting during the hot season, be sure to visit before 11 am.
- Bayon Temple in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Bayon is a Khmer temple in Cambodia located in Angkor Thom. Bayon’s distinct features include the smiling stone faces placed on its towers. In contrast to the classical style of Angkor Wat, Bayon is known for its baroque style of Khmer architecture. Just like Angkor Wat, it is a good idea that you visit the Bayon Temple during sunrise. Going early, you also avoid the herds of tourists that go to the site.
- Seminyak in Bali, Indonesia
Seminyak is the place that you want to visit if you are after the best beach resorts of Bali, Indonesia. Seminyak offers an opportunity for tourists to take Instagram-worthy photos. It is the place where you can stay in luxury hotels, villas, spas, and even do some shopping. If you are a foodie, Seminyak is the best place where you can experience themed cafes and restaurants.
- Uluwatu Temple in Bali, Indonesia
This Balinese sea temple is a Hindu temple that was built at the edge of a 70-meter high rock facing the sea. The name of the Uluwatu Temple originated from the words “ulu” means top and “watu” means rock in Balinese.
According to its legend, the rock is said to be part of Dewi Danu’s petrified barque. It is also believed by Balinese Hindus that Brahma, Vishnu, and Shiva’s divine powers became one in this temple. According to folklore, it is was made to protect Bali from all the evil sea spirits.
However, if you ever plan on visiting the temple, make sure that you keep your belongings close since a lot of monkeys are living in the temple, known for stealing items from tourists.
It is one of the best spots for sunset if you decide to stay in Bali. You have a great view of the Indian Ocean while you enjoy the traditional architecture of Bali.
- Sagada in Mountain Province, Philippines
The Philippines is a great addition to your South East Asian trip. This archipelago is known for its diverse cultures and history. One of the best places to visit in the Philippines is Sagada. Located North of Manila, you’ll be able to enjoy magnificent views and a different culture from that of the country’s capital.
Among the best places to visit in Sagada is the Kiltepan Viewpoint. It is located around half a kilometer away from Sagada’s town proper, it provides you with a sea of clouds and the best view of sunrise.
If you are into nature, the Sumaguing cave provides magnificent rock formation. And lastly, if you are after history and culture of people in the Mountain Province, you don’t want to miss out on the Hanging Coffins. The Hanging Coffins is fascinating since it offers stacks of coffins of their ancestors. This practice is also known in parts of China and in Fuji.
- El Nido in Palawan, Philippines
If you find yourself in Palawan, Philippines, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to visit El Nido. Considered by a lot of travel websites as one of the world’s best beaches, El Nido offers pristine waters Limestone formations, small and big lagoons, and rich diving spots for divers.
To get to El Nido, one of the most efficient ways to do it is by going to Puerto Princesa. You will then have to travel to El Nido by land for eight hours. If you have the time, this is something worth it.
Contact us if you’d like to book any of the above locations and we’ll quote you a personal travel package that best suits your requirements.