Southeast Asia is thought of by many people to be one of the most magical places to see on Earth. The countries that are located here are full of stunning beaches, historic temples, untouched jungles and busy modern cities. With everything that is available there, how do you choose where to go, stay safe and keep healthy? Here you will find just a handful of tips that can make the sightseeing nomad or even the family vacationers jetting off to this area, get a sense of what is in store for them when visiting this place full of hidden natural wonders.
Don’t Over Plan
Depending on your time on the trip, you will want to try to see as much as you can as well as relax. Find a few amazing spots to visit and take time to enjoy them, like, spend time looking for secret beaches. If you haven’t arranged an organized an itinerary before you left, then upon arrival, pick a few countries or cities and stick to them. Don’t start wasting time drooling over all the ‘must sees’ and succumb to the temptation of visiting as many countries and cities; on a single trip to Southeast Asia. It’s extremely worthwhile to slow down and dig into the culture of a single region of a country rather than exhausting yourself by hopping all over the territory. Places like Bali, Indonesia and Hanoi are all located within Southeast Asia, but they are (on average) a seven-hour flight away from each other!
Avoid ‘temple burnout’ by planning a wider range of activities to do. Temple burnout happens when visiting and seeing so many articulate, fabulous temples that they all begin to look the same which might make you lethargic and lose interest in seeing any more, ever. Avoid this by arranging some non-temple-oriented excursions, or simply take a day (or two) off to relax on the beach to rest your eyes. After a break from the same activities, you’ll find you have a whole new appreciation for a region of the globe that has plenty more amazing temples than you could possibly imagine.
If you are planning on having a long trip, like you have plans to rent an apartment short term, then you may decide to take on seeing multiple countries. Without going into too much information about the lovely locations, here is a short list of natural beauties from within this region.
Short List Of Must-See Sights:
- The Natural Scenery In Vang Vieng, Laos
- Inle Lake, Myanmar
- Long Beach, Koh Rong, Cambodia
- Niah Caves, Malaysia
- The Underground River, Palawan, The Philippines
- Si Phan Don – The 4000 Islands, Laos
- Mt Kinabalu – Highest Peak, Sabah, Malaysia
- Mt Bromo – Active Volcano, Java, Indonesia
- Chocolate Hills, Bohol, The Philippines
- Bacuit Archipelago, Palawan, Philippines
- Mt Kelimutu, Flores, Indonesia
- Ha Long Bay, Vietnam
- Komodo National Park, Indonesia
- Kuang Si Falls, Laos
- Lake Toba, Sumatra, Indonesia
And the list continues.
Before You Go
Check Visa Requirements And Be Prepared
Several Southeast Asian Visas may require that your passport has at least six months’ worth of validity left or that it has a minimum number of empty pages, these requirements seem to be constantly changing.
Don’t Overpack. Just Pack Right
Pack light and right when visiting Southeast Asia and do laundry wherever you go rather than trekking around with an overweight backpack or heavy roller suitcase. In most Southeast Asian countries you can find dry cleaners and washing machine outlets to get your clothes washed, dried and ironed in under 24 hours for the equivalent of a couple of dollars. Not to mention the street markets; you can shop inexpensively for any extra clothes and toiletries you need.
Get Travel Insurance
Since a lot of Southeast Asia travels often include adventures and activities like street-food eating, zip-lining, scuba diving, jungle treks and motorcycle rentals, It is wise to have a policy in place. Usually, everything will be fine. And I’m sure it will be. But in the instances that you developed an ear infection from some unforeseen problem, thanks to travel insurance, you will be able to see a doctor’s within a decent amount of time, get any medication which wil be covered and you can continue your trip without the nagging pain from your ear.
Get Any Vaccines You May Need Before You Leave
Malaria levels are often changing and often does because of seasonal change, but it’s still a good idea to be vaccinated and prepared. In order to safeguard your health, before you travel to any individual countries, check their vaccine requirements and recommendations and if needed, get those vaccinations.
Change Currency Once You Arrive
US and European airports and banks often charge excessive fees to exchange money. You can typically get a decent exchange rate if you wanted to wait to change money once you’ve arrived in Southeast Asia. However, note that Southeast Asian hotels also generally offer terrible exchange rates, so stick to banks or currency exchange shops like travel agents or even “Money Exchange” services from supermarkets. Make sure to change plenty of cash, as street-market vendors, taxi drivers and smaller restaurants may not take payment from credit cards.
Many of the hotels and larger restaurants will take credit cards though, but be aware of the banks that charge no foreign transaction fees to save money while you shop, wine and dine.
If you’ve been to any Southeast Asian countries, do you have any advice that would help the new travellers? Please share them in the comments section below.