What Are the Best Things to Experience in Southeast Asia?

Southeast Asia (SEA) is a treasure mine of attractions, from old ruins to lush scenery. You will be spoiled for choice with everything from spirituality to stunning beaches, lush tropical rainforests and inviting cuisine to savor. There is something for everyone in this part of the world. Whatever your heart is set on, here is a list of the top 8 things to do in 8 different Southeast Asian nations that should absolutely be included in your Asia trip itinerary!


1. Ride a Hot Air Balloon in Bagan, Myanmar

Bagan, Myanmar’s former royal city is home to thousands of pagodas, temples, and ruins. Around 10,000 pagodas and Buddhist temples were built here and 3,500 of them are still standing in the Bagan Archaeological Zone. In this remarkable UNESCO World Heritage site, you get to enjoy the breathtaking panorama while riding in a hot air balloon.

Bagan’s ballooning season extends from early October through the middle of April. Many trips are available at sunrise when the cooler morning temperatures allow balloons to float closer to the ancient stupas for a better view. However, it can get hot in the afternoon, so wear light clothes and bring your crossbody bag to store your belongings.


2. Learn History in Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Angkor Wat is the most stunning temple complex in Southeast Asia’s Angkor region. Lies less than six kilometers north of Siem Reap, the destroyed city, is a testimony to the amazing Khmer civilization and should be on everyone’s bucket list.

The remains comprise over 162 hectares and include hundreds of sandstone-block buildings. You can visit the Angkor archaeological park on your own with numerous guidebooks available, but you should also consider going to Angkor Wat with a local expert. There’s simply too much to take in around the sites that you might miss the significant sites and historical information.

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3. Relaxing in Ha Long Bay, Vietnam

Another UNESCO World Heritage Site you should visit is Ha Long Bay located in Vietnam. This site is made up of a series of islands and limestone karsts. Many of the islands are tall monolithic cliffs covered in green flora. Some of them are hollow and have stunning large caves as well as their own enclosed lakes. The largest island in Ha Long Bay, Cat Ba is the most famous overnight destination for cruise and tour passengers. Kayaking in the sea’s turquoise-green waters is a favorite activity here, as is exploring the bay aboard traditional junk boats.


4. Eating Street food in Bangkok, Thailand

As one of the top travel destinations for travelers, Thailand has many to offers including its capital city. Bangkok is the country’s main entrance to all the country’s major cities. It is one of the most visited cities in the world, with over 24 million tourists per year. It is often regarded as one of the world’s top gastronomic cities. While the popular Khao San Road attracts a lot of travelers, take your time digging further into Bangkok’s many streets food options. Don’t miss the papaya salad, pad kra pao (Thai basil stir-fry), khao kha moo (pork leg rice), and mango sticky rice, a traditional Thai dessert.


5. Encounter Orangutans in Sarawak, Malaysia

Orangutans in Borneo are among the world’s smartest primates due to their ability to learn sign language and even build tools. It’s awful that they’re fighting for survival as a result of widespread deforestation. At the moment, there are five spots where you can see orangutans.

The Semenggoh Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, located barely 12 miles from Kuching, Sarawak, is one of them. Unlike zoos, where orangutans are only used as attractions, orangutans roam freely throughout a huge area. Visitors can go on a forest trip with a ranger in hopes of seeing wild orangutans in the treetops. Alternatively, two daily feeding sessions almost always result in a sighting of the shy primates.

6. Have fun in Sentosa Island, Singapore

Singapore is a terrific destination for both the young and the young at heart, with its world-class theme parks and varied assortment of family-friendly attractions. Open in 2010, Universal Studio Singapore (USS) is Southeast Asia’s first Hollywood movie theme park, with seven movie-themed zones. The theme park’s attractions and rides are not just for adult thrill-seekers; families with children should also visit.

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Furthermore, there is the Wild Wild Wet, a lively playground with a variety of rides for you and your companions. If you have fear of thrills and heights, worry not because there is also some ground-level fun you can enjoy all day long. It will be a long day at the park, so pack everything you’ll need, including extra clothes, power bank and cash to avoid any unwanted hassle that prevents you from having a blast.


7. Diving in Raja Ampat, Indonesia

Raja Ampat is one of Indonesia’s tropical paradises with small islands scattered across a clear ocean. Approximately 75% of the world’s coral species, fish, plants, and birds, make their home deep between the crystal blue seas and the scenic jungles.

Pianemo Island provides unrestricted views of the sea and gets you on your feet to jump into the turquoise lagoon between the little islands. Other than that, you can take diving courses with some of the well-known scuba diving certification companies in Raja Ampat like PADI and SSI. This once-in-a-lifetime opportunity will allow you to train in Raja Ampat’s breathtaking underwater landscape and provide you with a valid certificate.


8. Hiking in Mayon Volcano, Philippines

With over 7,000 islands in the Pacific Ocean, the Philippines is a natural playground for your inner explorer. The tropical paradise is home to a diverse range of natural attractions, including the Mayon volcano. The Mayon Volcano is must-see in the Philippines. Located in the province of Albay on the island of Luzon, it is an active stratovolcano with a height of almost 2,400 meters. It is famous for its precisely conical shape, and its natural beauty has inspired many legends and works of art. The natural park provides a variety of ecotourism activities such as camping, all-terrain vehicles (ATV) riding and hiking. It might be a grueling walk through the jungle, but extreme hikers can get a permit to climb the volcano. March through May are the best months to visit, as the weather is ideal for hiking.

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Komodo National Park Aerial View