Travellers and especially backpackers flood to Southeast Asia to save money, travel longer and experience a culture different to that at home. With most of the countries on offer being relatively small you generally wont have to book any internal flights beyond your arrival. This will allow exploring each country to be way more accessible and cheaper than heading to other Asian areas like China or India.
Save on those flights and instead put your money towards experiencing the beauty of Southeast Asia.
So Which Countries Are In Southeast Asia?
There are 11 countries that make up SEA including Brunei, Cambodia, East Timor, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.
Where Have We Been?
We have personally ticked off four of the 11 countries in SEA and even in this small amount you can trust us when we say there is quite a diverse range of landscapes and cultures on offer.
Singapore: If you are looking for a modern Asian country. Here you will find theme parks and amazing city skylines, but no luscious jungles and will more than likely cost you the most to visit.
Indonesia: Out of personal experience we always find Indonesia (specifically Bali) to be a very cheap, but still memorable holiday. There is so much to see and do in Indonesia that you could easily spend your entire trip right here.
Malaysia: Besides heading in to witness the Petronas identical towers, this city island should be explored after Singapore. I personally preferred being off the main island and instead in the warm waters of the island of Penang – just off the coast of Malaysia.
Countries We Cannot Wait To Explore
Cambodia & Vietnam: Both of these two countries are quite high on our Southeast Asia bucket list with Vietnam being the top contender due to several friends returning with incredible stories of their visit. Add the beautiful marine life of Cambodia into the mix and I think Southeast Asia is just beckoning for us to return.
Top Things To See and Do in Southeast Asia
See Angkor Wat: The Angkor Archaeological Park in Cambodia is just about at the top of everyone’s bucket list for SEA. Here you can marvel at one of the greatest man made creations and just the sheer size of the place will take the whole of your day trip to explore.
Attend a Full Moon Party: This one will take you to Ko Phangan in Thailand and is regarded as one of the biggest parties to celebrate the full moon.
Overlook A City in the Worlds Largest Infinity Pool: You don’t just have to head to Asia to see historical buildings there are plenty of modern architecture worth your time. Move aside the Petronas Towers, the Marina Bay Sands in Sngapore is the new giant in town and all because of that incredible infinity pool. This one will set you back quite a penny due to only being able to see the pool if you are a guest of the hotel.
Learn to Scuba Dive / Volunteer With Coastal Conservation: Whilst you are in Thailand why not get Scuba certified and get some personal gain by taking in the incredible marine life whilst volunteering to conserve it.
Climb and Active Volcano: In the quieter part of Bali, Indonesia you can wake up at 2am in the morning to climb Mt Batur, an active volcano near Ubud.
Walk through the Ifugao Rice Terraces in the Philippines. This is where drone photography was created for. The hillside rice terraces are worth getting your hiking shoes dirty for as you trek through the steep slopes.
Halong Bay, Vietnam: This very place is one of the main reasons we want to pack our bags and fly to Vietnam. The “Bay of Descending Dragons” is formed by over 2,000 limestone islets with forrests covering the vertical formations.
Island Hop in Phuket: Here you will see the vast beauty of Phuket as you head to Phi Phi island, James Bond Island and Koh Panyee.
Explore Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam: From crawling through the Cu Chi tunnels of the Viet Cong to seeing depictions of Emperor Jade, you can spend days getting lost in here.
More Temples – this Time Bagan, Myanmar: These Buddhist temples are beckoning you to watch the sunset and take in the spiritual plenitude surrounding the area.
Gardens by the Bay, Singapore: Step into Pandora (from the movie Avatar) as this man made creation includes masterful design made us feel like we were in the Zhangjiajie National Forest in China.
Where To Stay
Backpack through hostels: We wouldn’t be doing this post justice if we didn’t mention that ultimately the best way to explore SEA is by saving your money and heading to hostels with rooms being as little as $2 a day.
If you want a hotel story to share for a lifetime then you simply cannot go past the Marina Bay Sands in Singapore. Once you look over the city from the infinity pool right on top, all pools look meager in comparison.
Heading to Bali? The Kamandalu Resort is right in the heart of Ubud, allowing you to catch the 2am wake up call to climb Mt Batur.
Wanting to see the spiritual and cultural side of Indonesia? The Whiz Hotel in Yogykarta is located right near the royal palace of Kraton.
Where do you want to visit the most in Southeast Asia?
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