Oh boy, this is gonna be a hard choice! Traveling around Southeast Asia has been an incredible adventure for us. The geographical convenience and diversity of cultures bundled together in such a small area makes it a very interesting and easy travel destination. Although we did not see every single country in the region (not yet ;)) we still were able to see quite a few of them and want to present you with a small list of our favorite spots. There are so many beautiful places to visit that it is incredibly difficult to chose. We could name you A LOT of places, but we do think that these are definitely up there. We selected our 5 top spots which we can, without hesitating, truly recommend to anyone planning to visit this part of Asia. Here we go:
Best Southeast Asia Destinations
1. Bagan, Myanmar
A place full of history and amazing energy! Best known for its incredible archeological zone consisting of hundreds of different temples spread across the dusty plains of northern Myanmar. What we loved the most is that you can rent a bicycle or scooter (e-bike) and drive around, exploring the ruins and incredible views by yourself. Majestic are also the sunsets and sunrises that can best be seen from the top of one of the many temples. Although officially Myanmar’s most visited touristic site you can still find secluded and lonely places and enjoy the beautiful sights of this ancient city.
2. El Nido, Philippines
Located on the island of Palawan this truly is one of Philippine’s most beautiful spots! It is here that we saw some insanely stunning and beautiful beaches and incredible sea landscapes in all of Southeast Asia. Crystal clear waters, powdery white sands, hidden beaches and lagoons and majestic rock formations make this a very worthy place to visit. We had a great time discovering the islands during our amazing island hopping tours and would love to return here again one day. Definitely one of our best Southeast Asia destinations for anyone interested in beaches and snorkeling/diving.
Been there, don det! Our first stop in Laos and one of our favorites spots in the country. What you find here? A set of islands nestled in the middle of the great Mekong river, beautiful sunsets and -rises and a very laid-back and chilled atmosphere. You will spend your day biking around the islands, swimming, discovering waterfalls on neighboring islands and enjoying a nice sunset drink by the river in your hammock. Life is very easy here, no worries, no hassles – just going with the flow. People seem very happy, even the pizzas :). Truly a great place to relax and calm-down.
4. Koh Lanta Island, Thailand
Thailand is made up of a large number of islands, many of them more stunning than the other. We have picked the island of Koh Lanta as we had a very nice stay here. Declared as a “blissful serenity” by Lonely Planet this island offers a great choice of cultural diversity, great food and some beautiful beaches. Not as crowded as some other islands in the Andaman Sea Koh Lanta still offers unpolluted, long-stretched beaches and untouched places. Rent a scooter and discover all the great spots on the island – we loved it! Highly recommendable is also to take the 4-island (one of our best Southeast Asia destinations for beaches!) tour where you can find some truly fascinating beaches that lay a bit further outside. Check our post on what to do on Koh Lanta for further information.
5. Hoi An, Vietnam
One of the most beautiful and atmospheric towns of Vietnam is Hanoi, one of our favorites in Southeast Asia! What we loved about Hoi An is its nice mixture of old-town character, culinary offerings, its harmonious architecture and beautiful surrounding area. Famous for its picturesque lanterns and tailor-made suits, shirts and shoes this town really surprised us with its diversity. We enjoyed some nice bike rides in and around town and absolutely enjoyed our stay here.