For people in Southeast Asia, the ideal travelling spots are countries with four seasons. Where we can see and touch the snow, wear fashionable thick clothes, and take pictures in places that are iconic. Yes, the four seasons countries are indeed tempting for us to come, but did you know that our neighbouring countries are also a tourist destination that is not less cool?
Spirited cities, atmospheric temples, remote hill tribes, smouldering volcanoes, verdant rice paddies, vast lakes, nocturnal hikes through noisy rainforests, slow boats down the Mekong River – night markets, sky bars, street food, elephants, orangutans – there’s a lifetime of adventure to be found in south-east Asia. Especially for you who like backpacker-style travelling, Southeast Asia is the perfect place for you and your adventurous spirit.
Here are the reasons why Southeast Asia should be included in your list of tourist destinations.
1. Super Cheap
For backpackers, this is one important thing. And countries in Southeast Asia have a mostly similar price range. Even if you do research carefully beforehand, you can reduce your vacation costs even cheaper than a vacation in your own country. You should be smart to do research and be aware of the various schemes that exist there. Do not book a hotel that does not actually exist, or follow a travel agent but you're not really guided while you're there.
Based on goatsontheroad.com, while travelling Southeast Asia, you should be able to live on an average daily budget of about $50-$60/day for two people (around $35-$40/day for solo travellers). This is including everything while on the road, apart from travel insurance and flights to and from your home country.
2. Tasty Food
Because of various spices and herbs in Southeast Asia, food in various countries in Southeast Asia will be like super delicious. Cuisine in these countries tends to be similar in taste. Even if you are very sensitive and picky about food, do not worry because you will always be able to find the menu 'Kampong fried rice' in various places. But it must be admitted, roadside food or street food in Southeast Asian countries is very delicious. Even foreign tourists from the country of four seasons also recognize the deliciousness.
3. Culture and Heritage
Not only Indonesia, most countries in Southeast Asia have such diverse cultural and historical treasures. Just look at Angkor Wat ancient buildings located in Cambodia, or pagodas located in Myanmar, The Ancient City Ayutthaya in Thailand. These majestic buildings store many historical stories and are part of UNESCO-protected sites. Not only that, Southeast Asia also has many cultural festivals held every year.
4. Easy to Access Everywhere
Although not a developed country, but access to various places in Southeast Asia is quite easy. There are many transportation mode options that we can use. Transportation costs are also not too expensive so we can visit many places at once. In addition, internet access is also available in various places. Almost all lodgings, cafes, and restaurants provide wifi access. So do not be afraid you will be hard to update during the holidays.
5. Tourist Friendly
Friendliness is a defining characteristic that is easy to notice in Southeast Asians. Many tourists mention locals’ friendliness as one of their favourite things about this region. From a simple smile or greetings toward strangers to asking foreign tourists to take a selfie together, their warmth and sociable nature will make you feel at home.
6. Exotic Cities
Not only beautiful nature, you can enjoy the exotic big cities in Southeast Asia. One of them is Bangkok and Ho Chi Minh City. These big cities will spoil you with its many amenities and hustle and bustle. If you are a party lover, you must go to big cities in Southeast Asia that have various places to party. Besides, is not there always a feeling of happiness in being in a totally foreign city and learning the unique character of its society? Southeast Asia has it all.
7. Spiritual Ambience
In addition to the big cities filled with hustle and bustle, Southeast Asia also has quiet corners filled with spiritual atmosphere. If your goal to travel is to get to know yourself, then Southeast Asia is the perfect place for you because you can be alone and get acquainted with yourself in those quiet corners.
8. Beaches and Mountains
This one is unquestionable. Countries in Southeast Asia, including Indonesia, are endowed with unparalleled nature. Beaches, mountains, beautiful hills are found in all countries in Southeast Asia. Nature is what makes tourists continuously return to Southeast Asia.
9. Amazing Underwater
Southeast Asia is a paradise for Divers. There’s a lot of unique creatures. A clown fish, no stranger around the Similan Islands, is familiar to younger divers as "Nemo." The white sandy beaches, dramatic boulders and sparkling waters of the Similan Islands in the Andaman Sea are perfect for relaxing. Their remote location and marine life -- including manta rays, whale sharks, turtles and a myriad of other fish species -- also make them a world-class diving destination.
The 11 islands of the archipelago became a protected National Park of Thailand in 1982 and are protected by strict laws.
Stingless jellyfish are some of the more unusual creatures to be found in the seas around the Derawan Islands, which consist of four inhabited islands and two uninhabited islands off the east coast of Borneo. The jellyfish pictured here are foraging for food in Kakaban Lake on Kakaban Island. Free from natural predators, the jellyfish lost their defence systems over thousands of years of evolution.
Consisting of some 800 islands, the Mergui Archipelago is a largely desolate area, tucked away from the rest of the world. Popular with exploratory divers, it offers huge boulders, caverns, tunnels and drop-offs. As well as sharks and manta rays, a diver might encounter red lionfish. Their spectacular frills conceal venomous spines on their backs. The spines are used for defence only. When predating, lionfish rely on their quick reflexes to swallow prey whole.
Off the northwestern tip of Indonesia's West Papua province, the Raja Ampat Islands have the highest recorded diversity of fish and coral on earth -- an amazing 537 coral species and 1,074 fish species can be found here, according to The Nature Conservancy. With that kind of underwater beauty, and relatively cheap, no wonder people love to come.
10. Good Weather
Got bored with the snow and cold? Looking for some places to escape?
Of course, the ideal escape will combine the region’s most exciting cities, most wondrous wildlife and best cultural attractions with some well-earned flops on the beach. Southeast Asia might hold special appeal to the gap-year backpacker. So where to begin? Weather-wise, the best time to visit Thailand, Burma, Vietnam and Cambodia is during the slightly cooler, dry months from December to March, when temperatures hover around the 30ºC, rainfall is minimal and humidity levels mercifully low. Further south, Singapore, Malaysia, Borneo and Indonesia are generally at their most appealing during the April to November dry season. Skip the Philippines during the tempestuous typhoon season from May to October. With no snow, no extreme weather, Southeast Asia become a perfect place to escape.