South East Asia enchants tourists from all over the world with its breathtaking landscapes, historic temples, vibrant marketplaces, and kind people. The natural beauty of this region is breathtaking, from the magnificent beaches of Thailand to the lush jungles of Vietnam. Every country is proud of its distinctive cultures, foods, and traditions, which combine to give travellers an unforgettable experience.
One of the highlights of Southeast Asia is its rich historical and architectural heritage. Exploring the ancient temples of Angkor Wat in Cambodia or the Cu Chi Tunnels in Vietnam allow travellers to step back in time and learn more about each country’s history. Not to forget is the diverse culinary scene you will encounter as you travel through South East Asia. Food enthusiasts are in for a treat from the hot spices of Thai cuisine to the delicious Vietnamese pho and the delicious street food prevalent throughout South East Asia. So, make sure to sign up for at least one cooking class offered by locals so you can take a memory of each country home with you.
What is great about traveling South East Asia is that once you are there, it is relatively easy to get around and discover its different countries. South East Asia offers travellers an unforgettable adventure brimming with discovery and wonder at every corner, whether you explore bustling metropolises, venture into the lush green jungles, or relax on paradise-like islands.
Thailand is without a doubt the perfect country to visit as a first-time solo traveler. For many years, it has been known as a popular backpacking destination as it is very easy to get around and travel across by yourself. On the one hand, Thailand, more specifically the island Kho Phangan, is known for its epic full moon parties you do not want to miss. On the other hand, Thailand offers you a feeling of freedom and wilderness in between limestone mountains, enchanting rainforests, and numerous animals you can encounter, for example, in the Khao Sok National Park. If you are not convinced yet, search ‘Phi Phi Islands’ and get ready to be invited into paradise with some of the whitest beaches you will ever see and a stunning marine life.
Local tip: When you fly to Thailand, the international airport is located in Bangkok. Bangkok feels often very crowded and overwhelming to many first-time solo travelers, which is why we would recommend you to travel up north to Chiang Mai once you get here. Scenic mountain views, a slower pace, and a slightly cooler climate will be greeting you so you can relax for a few days after a long flight.
You can best travel Vietnam from North to South, for example from Hanoi to Ho Chi Minh City – or vice versa. Doing so, will get you to come across a wide variety of postcard-like moments. You will want to visit the Ha Long Bay with an overnight boat – if you have not heard of the stunning Ha Long Bay yet, look it up right now and we guarantee you will add it to your bucket list right away. More impressive nature is awaiting you in the countryside around Ninh Binh, where you will find yourself overlooking rice paddies with limestone mountains framing the background of your picture. Hoi An will greet you with its perfect mix of culture, history, and funky nightlife. From Ho Chi Minh City, you will be able to learn more about the history of the Vietnam war and step into the Cu Chi Tunnels, the networks of tunnels used during the war.
Local tip: If you are a confident motorbike driver, make sure to sign up for a trip to complete the Ha Giang Loop. You will find yourself cruising through some of South East Asia’s most beautiful mountain roads for around 5 days.
From the awe-inspiring sight of Angkor Wat during sunrise to the bustling streets of Phnom Penh, Cambodia offers a wide array of experiences for travelers seeking to dive into the country’s past and discover its spectacular natural wonders. To explore Cambodia’s cities, hopping on a Tuk Tuk is an experience not to be missed. Simultaneously, Cambodia’s rural landscape is outlined by the countless pepper plantations, where the famous Kampot pepper is cultivated, and its floating villages you can visit to learn more about the locals’ everyday life.
The Philippines is a tropical paradise that encompasses bustling cities, like its capital Manila, but also adventures in the wilderness, for example, canyoneering around El Nido. While you are in Manila, make sure to head to the lively street markets where you will be able to try the street food and get a taste of authentic Filipino flavors. While Manila is awaiting you with its fast pace and modern skyscrapers, you will find yourself in the middle of serene escapes as soon as you leave the city. Picture yourself relaxing in the sun on pristine white-sand beaches, after you went snorkeling in the turquoise waters. The Philippines, in fact, offers an underwater wonderland for both first-time snorkelers and seasoned divers. One of the most popular attractions is in Moalboal where you can experience the mesmerizing Sardine Run. As you journey through the Philippines, you’ll encounter not only its natural wonders but also the warmth and hospitality of its people.
Local tip: Make sure to go on an overnight trip to go island hopping while you are in the Philippines as you will get to go to deserted paradise-like islands.
The best 21 day Vietnam and Cambodia tour, exploring Ha Long Bay, Hoi An, Koh Rong and Ankor Wat. Our most popular guided group tour in South East Asia.
The best value 27 Day tour of Thailand and Vietnam with Intro Travel. Visit Bangkok, Phi Phi, Ha Long Bay and Hoi An on this epic group tour.
The most popular Philippines group tour for adventure backpackers. The best activities and accommodation in the Philippines plus informative guides.
Explore Cambodia for 10 days with the best Cambodia Group Tour. Meet amazing people & immerse yourself in Cambodian culture on this popular adventure. Visit all of the highlights with an expert guide and fun group.
The most popular Vietnam group tour takes you to the best highlights in Vietnam for 12 days and 11 nights. Visit the busy and vibrant Ho Chi Minh, Hanoi, Ha Long Bay + more.
See the best places to visit in Thailand with this guided 18 day Thailand intro tour. Visit Chiang Mai, Bangkok, Phi Phi, Koh Phangan & much more.
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The best 38 day South East Asia tour, exploring Thailand, Vietnam and Cambodia. Our most popular guided group tour in South East Asia.
The best value 29 Day tour of Thailand and Vietnam with Intro Travel. Visit Bangkok, Phi Phi, Ha Long Bay and Hoi An on this epic group tour.
Visit beautiful Vietnam and experience the culture, food and friendly locals with our popular 9 day guided Vietnam group tour.
Explore Thailand with our amazing 9 Day Thailand Group Trip. This package is perfect for first travellers and is suited to solo travellers or small groups.
Traveling South East Asia is generally considered to be budget-friendly which makes it a popular destination for travellers from all over the world. The cost of traveling, of course, depends on your personal preferences. You can choose between a variety of accommodation options but if you opt for hostels and guesthouses you are able to keep these costs on the lower end. Moreover, South East Asia is filled with local street food and affordable restaurant options which allow you to try mouthwatering local dishes without spending too much. Overall, the costs also depend on which countries you visit as less-touristy regions will potentially be slightly cheaper than major tourist hubs and popular islands.
The best time of year to visit South East Asia depends on the countries you are wanting to visit. Generally, you will find a dry and a wet season in South East Asia. The benefit of the dry season is the warmer weather, blue skies, and less humidity. That is also why usually the dry season attracts most travellers. While this means that the wet season does attract less tourists and, thus, possibly prices might be lower, we strongly advise to think about what you want to do while you are traveling a specific country. If you are wanting to explore beaches and do outdoor activities, traveling during the dry season will be a much more pleasant experience.
One of the many things that makes South East Asia such an attractive area to travel is that it allows for quite a bit of spontaneity. Especially during the wet season, you can generally make plans with just a few days’ notice. However, during the rest of the year it can get very busy depending on where you go to, giving you less options for lodging and possibly preventing you from participating in all the activities you’d like to do. For example, if you are wanting to go on epic trips like an overnight boat to the famous Ha Long Bay, we strongly recommend to pre-book these to make sure you don’t miss out.
While you are traveling South East Asia the easiest way to meet people is in your hostel! Especially in South East Asia, you will find plenty of solo travellers looking for a travel buddy or someone to explore the city with. Group tours are also a great way to meet people. In fact, travellers in South East Asia are so social that it is not uncommon that travellers say that it is rather difficult to not meet anyone. If you are looking to meet people in specific countries or cities, social media is your best friend as you will be able to find plenty of groups and meet-ups, for example, for solo travellers in Bangkok.
Overall, South East Asia is generally seen as a safe destination for travellers. However, like anywhere else in the world, we always recommend traveling smart wherever you go. Stay informed on the latest travel advisories for the specific countries you are traveling to, be vigilant with personal belongings, and use reliable transportation. Always trust your instincts and seek help from local authorities or fellow travellers if any concerns arise. Last but not least, we place great emphasis on the importance of showing respect to locals and their cultures throughout your travels in South East Asia.