Top 12 Reasons to Visit Southeast Asia: What Makes SEA Special
If you are looking for an exotic destination packed with stunning beaches, diverse experiences, and rich cultures, then Southeast Asia is the best choice for you.
Southeast Asia is a vast region where you can not only enjoy a relaxing vacation but also experience things that are vastly different from your native country.
Here are 12 reasons why you should visit Southeast Asia at least once in your lifetime.
1. A Sweeping Variety of Cuisines
Southeast Asian cuisine is famous all over the world. Beyond popular Thai dishes, there are many other delicious options that you can find in each country.
Some specialties that you should try include spring rolls and bone-broth noodle soups in Vietnam, pad Thai and colorful curries in Thailand, bai cha in Cambodia, sticky rice in Laos, adobo in the Philippines, nasi goreng in Indonesia, and laksa in Singapore.
You can also explore many food streets where you can enjoy authentic food at a cheap price. The longer the queue, the better the food. When you travel in this region, make sure you have enough time to sample the diverse food options.
When planning a trip to Southeast Asia, don’t forget to pack your bathing suit and sunscreen lotion. There are over 20,000 islands in Southeast Asia and it is home to some of the best beaches in the world, which are famous for white sand, crystal-clear waters, and a sizzling nightlife.
You will always find some places suited to your tastes — whether you’re looking for a pristine beach to relax, a spot for diving and snorkeling, or a luxury resort with a variety of activities.
Here are some beaches that are popular among visitors from all over the world: Phuket and Krabi in Thailand, Ngapali Beach in Myanmar, Boracay in the Philippines, Bali in Indonesia, and Mui Ne and Phu Quoc in Vietnam.
3.Value for Money
Compared to traveling in Europe or America, it is incredibly affordable to travel in Southeast Asia. No wonder Southeast Asia is a backpacker's paradise. But it is not just for backpackers.
You can find plenty of mid-range hotels to luxury and high-end accommodations at much better prices than what is offered in other countries around the world.
It is easy to find a 4-star hotel for less than $50 a night, delicious food options at $2, and a discount airline for less than $50. You don’t need to save up thousands of dollars for long-term travel in this region.
4.Easy to Travel Around
Even though Southeast Asia is a large region, consisting of 11 countries, it is easy to travel across multiple countries by air, rail, cruise, or bus. If you have time, why not hop between Thailand, Cambodia, Vietnam, Laos, etc.?
It is also easy and interesting to travel around the cities or towns. There is an array of services to help you get from one place to another, such as trains, boats, ferries, buses, taxis, tuk-tuks, and motorbikes.
5.Tons of UNESCO World Heritage Sites
Southeast Asia is packed with ancient forts, historic cities, towering temples, and natural wonders. It is home to 37 wonderful UNESCO World Heritage sites. If you are looking for unique cultural experiences, Southeast Asia will not disappoint you.
You can explore some of the world’s most renowned ancient sites like:
- Angkor Wat, Cambodia: It is the world’s largest single religious complex.
- Luang Prabang, Laos: It is known for its huge collection of Buddhist temples and monasteries.
- Ayutthaya, Thailand: It was the capital of Thailand for over 400 years.
- Halong Bay, Vietnam: It is perfect for cruising and water activities.
Southeast Asia enjoys tropical weather, with sunny and warm days all year around. It provides great weather conditions for any trip. You don’t need to pack too much whenever you visit this region.
There are two distinct seasons in most countries in this region: wet and dry. There are a lot of things you can do in the dry season — from relaxing on the beach to hiking in the mountains.
You will encounter short spells of rain in wet seasons, but you will be rewarded with cool and fresh air, fewer crowds, and lower prices.
See more details in The Best Time to Visit Southeast Asia.
7.Exotic Massages and Spa Treatments
Southeast Asia is the birthplace of the massage and spa culture. It is a great place for relaxation and to enjoy a massage after day-long sightseeing.
You can experience a Thai massage, Vietnamese massage, Balinese massage in Indonesia, or hot stone massage.
Whatever style you prefer, Southeast Asia has it to offer at a reasonable price, about $10 per hour in most countries. Don’t miss it.
Southeast Asia is a region with incredible natural parks and sanctuaries. There are many national parks, which are home to diverse wildlife. Although you are unlikely to see wild animals such as tigers and leopards, you will have a chance to spot wild elephants and monkeys.
You can visit Elephant Nature Park in Thailand, where you can make a day trip to witness the majestic beasts in their natural habitat, see orangutans at the Sepilok Orangutan Rehabilitation Centre in Malaysia, and monkeys in the forest of Padangtegal, Indonesia.
9.Easily Accessible: Direct International Flights, Relaxed Visa Policies
Even though Southeast Asia may be thousands of miles away, it is easily accessible. There are direct international flights that connect major cities around the world with Singapore and Bangkok. You can reach the most popular destinations with one-stop flights.
Most countries in Southeast Asia allow fairly easy visa-free entry, or a visa upon arrival, for stays ranging from 2 weeks to 3 months.
10. Deep History and Rich Culture
No matter where you go in Southeast Asia, you will see places steeped in history.
You can visit the pagodas of Bagan in Myanmar, the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia, thousands of ancient temples and war relics in Vietnam, and more.
11. Unique Festivals
Considering the number of different countries and cultures in Southeast Asia, festivals are plentiful and unique.
You can experience the world’s biggest water fight in Songkran in Thailand (April), see the lantern releasing event in Loi Krathong in Thailand (November), attend Nyepi in Bali (March), or enjoy Tet, or Vietnamese New Year (February).
You will be in luck if your trip to Southeast Asia coincides with a festival.
People are mostly friendly in Southeast Asia. You will be overwhelmed by the hospitality and unrivaled service offered by the local people. Feel free to talk to them when you enjoy your meal in a local restaurant or while riding a tuk-tuk.
Tailor-Made Vacations to Southeast Asia
Can’t wait to explore this incredible region? Contact a local expert here for an authentic experience to enrich your once-in-a-lifetime Southeast Asia tour. Our specialists can help plan your holiday as an individual tailor-made trip to match your preferences.