Southeast Asian countries are a paradise for backpackers and budget travelers, having a rich ancient past perfectly amalgamated with the modernities of the present. With vast stretches of golden beaches, dense tropical rainforests, lush green mountains, fertile delta regions, ruins of ancient architecture and floating markets, buzzing nightlife and dazzling skyscrapers, luxurious islands, and little riverside villages – Southeast Asia has too much to offer to the travelers.
I remember watching Leonardo De Caprio’s movie ‘The Beach’ about a decade ago, and was completely thrilled to see him travel across the oceans to land in Bangkok and kickstart his backpacking adventures! Well, needless to say, backpacking now is a trend that has gained popularity in the recent past as more and more people from all across the world are ditching the idea of luxury trips.
Here are a few things that you must do while traveling across the gorgeous Southeast Asian nations.
Explore the dazzling life in Bangkok: Thailand, preferably, should be the first stop from where you start your tour. Bangkok, the capital, is a buzzing town and one of the most popular destinations among tourists. One can never miss the nightlife while in Bangkok! The floating markets with locals selling delicious Thai food as well as other souvenirs. Not just that, but the floating markets also provide for the daily essentials. Take a tuk-tuk ride and visit the Wats. Bangkok, undoubtedly, will surprise you with its charm!
Attend the Full Moon Party at Koh Phangan: Hosting one of the world’s biggest party scenes, the Full Moon nights at Koh Phangan sometimes have as many as 30,000 people going crazy and staying up till dawn! It’s going to be a lifetime experience and you have to tap your feet along with the music, while you are here on this island! However, Koh Phangan has a lot more to offer its visitors apart from the parties, and if you visit the island around new moon time, you will surely get some cheaper deals.
Experience the amazing underwater world: Considering the fact that the majority of the Southeast Asian countries have extensive stretches of beaches and provisions for water sports, you can never miss out on snorkeling or scuba diving here! There are some great diving spots in this region and the best part is that they are extremely affordable and won’t make a hole in your pockets! Some of the best places are Ko Tao (Thailand), Sipadan (Malaysia), as well as Indonesia, and the Philippines. In Malaysia, you can also get a chance to see sharks – go that extra mile and make your way off the tourist trail a bit. You’ll surely not regret it, ever.
Admire the beauty of the ruins at Angkor: Cambodia, surely, forms an integral part of the itinerary while exploring Southeast Asia. And one can never miss out on the ruins of Angkor Wat – the ancient temple complex that dates back to the times of the Khmer Dynasty. Even if you aren’t fond of visiting temples, this place will leave you in awe of its grandeur and architectural brilliance. Considered to be one of the greatest human creations in history, you should take the time to see and absorb all that the place has to offer.
Experience the thrill of jungle trekking: The entire stretch is covered with patches of tropical rainforests and has several trekking trails through these forests, where you can also get a chance to spot a few animals. Experience the thrill of walking through the jungles where the sound of your footsteps will break the eerie silence of the surroundings! No matter where you do it, jungle trekking is a must while exploring Southeast Asian nations. Some of the best treks are offered in Laos and Borneo, however, one can choose to trek in Thailand or Cambodia as well.
Feel empathetic in Ho Chi Minh City: The capital of Vietnam, this city is a tad bit different from that of Bangkok, Kuala Lumpur, or Singapore. Unlike any other Southeast Asian capital city, Ho Chi Minh city is still recovering from the loss of the past and you can easily spot little children strolling and begging on the streets, and pickpockets trying to keep an eye on the unguarded wallets. Most of the things here are overpriced and the local sellers will often try to mug you and extract a hefty amount – but if you are careful and good at negotiating, things won’t really be difficult. If you wish to stay for a little longer, you can join a volunteering project in Vietnam and serve the society that still struggles to come out from the devastations of history.
Watch the sunrise over an Indonesian volcano: A country comprising nearly 17,000 islands, Indonesia has more volcanoes than any other country in the world. If you are crossing Java, then make sure to watch the spectacular sunrise at Mount Bromo, which is one of the most popular volcano sites. There are several other volcanic regions that are worth visiting and you’ll be absolutely enthralled by the formations of this natural disaster.
Savor the street food: Almost all Southeast Asian countries have different varieties of cuisines to offer to visitors, and it can be rightly called a food lover’s paradise! Be it the Pad Thai Noodles at the roadside shacks in Thailand or the assorted fried insects, the fish soup in Malaysia, grilled bananas in Cambodia, or dumplings in Singapore – the food scene will drive you crazy and the tastes will linger even after you return back home.
If you are planning to explore these nations, then there can be no better option than going for a backpacking trip. It’ll be affordable and also give you a chance to stay and know the natives in the best possible manner. Immerse yourself in the deep cultural heritage of the land, and experience the richness that it has to offer you.