Must-see attractions in Southeast Asia - 2018
Southeast Asia is always an ideal area for curious travelers. It is not easy to find somewhere own the mysterious beauty like this part of the world. In 2018, Southeast Asia is still a hot trend for travelers with many destinations become the dreamed place for travel-lovers.
Known as “The Northern rose” in Thailand, Chiang Mai looks like a flower of nature and culture. Staying 700km far from Bangkok, Chiang Mai owns slower lifestyle than the Capital and it is also the most peaceful city among Thailand’s main tourism destinations at present.
So what to do in Chiang Mai? Forget all the crowded street and bustling atmosphere in Bangkok or Pattaya, Chiang Mai offers you a wide range of religious and historical sites, and the shining stars are Doi Suthep – the highest mountain where you can see the overview of Chiang Mai from here and also the ancient religious attractions with about 700 years old; the other are the Old City Temples which include the variety of historical and religious sites had hundreds years old and are considered as the living museum here.
If you love nature, you should know that around Chiang Mai are 07 national parks, some of them are laying just a few driving-hour far from the city. As a nature lover, you can join a trekking tour there, have a camping night or join some X-Centre nearby for thrilling activities such as bungee jump, zipline, trail bikes, paint ball, drifter karts, etc.
Thrilling Activities in Chiang Mai
You want some interesting activities? With people who love animals, you can visit the Elephant Nature Park and The Tiger Kingdom where you can safely touch, hold and feed these wild animals. Another choice for activities in Chiang Mai is that you can go visit the tribes nearby Chiang Mai and experience the locals’ life. Besides, Chiang Mai also has crowded night market packed with street foods and souvenirs for people who do not want to only rest in the hotel at night.
And do you know what is the most beautiful scene in Chiang Mai? Once a year, Yi Peng (or Yee Peng) festival – a lantern festival is organized in Chiang Mai in November and this month becomes the busiest time for tourism in Chiang Mai as not only the locals and domestic tourists but also many international tourists all gather here to admire the stunning scenery of thousands floating lantern lighting the dark sky at the same time.
Floating Lantern in Yi Peng Festival
Silence seekers, welcome to Bagan! This is a truly ancient city in Myanmar where the time seems totally forget about it. It is said that Bagan had thousands temples in the past and still can keep hundreds of them up until now.
Ancient Temples in Bagan
There is no such thing like building or skyscraper in Bagan, only religious temples spreading all over Bagan. The ages of these monuments here is from hundreds to thousands year. And as the visiting area is so huge, normally people will choose to hire a bike or motorbike or even a carthorse to travelling throughout Bagan. However, the most amazing way to enjoy the ancient Bagan is from the hot air-balloon. Many tourists who enjoyed Bagan from above told that it is the most magnificent experience in their lifetime.
Bagan's Hot Air Balloon
The most special things in Bagan is its sunset scene as many travelers come here just because of its famous wonderful twilight picture where they can be a part of the ancient dusk. The final sunlight of the day is perfectly suitable with the color and architecture of temples in Bagan which even make in become a check-in trend on the social network all around the world.
Sunset in Bagan
As Halong Bay becomes world-known, millions tourists have come and created bustle in the bay. Halong Bay now packed with tourists and hundreds of cruises work there. On the other hand, after many years being exploited for tourism, a lot of tourists cannot bear with the noise of Halong Bay and this is the time for Lan Ha Bay.
Lan Ha Bay
Staying right next to Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay looks even more beautiful with the same geographical structure but most of the islands here have abundant flora and fauna with clearer sea and of course more peaceful. Although Lan Ha Bay has less cruises than Halong Bay, the cruises here are all new and modern than the others in Halong Bay. Besides, many new travel routes were built to amaze any tourists come to the Bay for not only the first time but may be the second time or third time, just change the different cruise each time you come to Lan Ha Bay, you will see another beautiful side of the Bay; in addition, some cruises even give you the chance to visit all 03 stunning bays in the Gulf of Tonkin: Halong Bay, Lan Ha Bay and Bai Tu Long Bay.
Cruise in Lan Ha Bay
There are only about 400 islands in Lan Ha Bay (while Halong Bay has more than 1000 islands) but the tourist attractions here are diverse. Tourists can come to the biggest island in Lan Ha Bay – Cat Ba Island, visit the National Park or cycling around the island, arrive Monkey island and enjoy swimming here with some little monkeys, come to Cua Van fishing village and learn how to survive on the sea for generations, have interesting kayaking experience at Dark & Light Cave area, etc. In general, no one could be bored when they come to Lan Ha Bay.
Kayaking in Lan Ha Bay
Si Phan Don or in Lao language it means “4000 islands” – an amazing new trend for travelling in Laos. This destination stays near the border with Cambodia and is a special part of Mekong river which has thousands islands from big to small and some just looks like a big rock.
Si Phan Don - Four thousands Islands
Tourists come to Si Phan Don not only to see themselves the unique landscape there but also to experience the peaceful lifestyle of the communities living on Mekong River. The modern life seems still has not touched this place, the locals here still lives base on nature and of course there is no such things like high-end accommodation, restaurant and entertainment here. However, travelers keep coming here for a homemade meal and a fresh beautiful morning or afternoon biking around one of the biggest islands here – Don Khone or Don Let.
Houses in Don Khone Island
Another reason for Si Phan Don has become the new tourism trend in Laos is that it owns about 50 Irrawaddy dolphins – the endangered species with only few hundreds still exist at present. It costs so much time travelling by boat to find an Irrawaddy dolphin in Si Phan Don. If you are lucky, it may just cost about 30 minutes, but if you are not, it can become a half-day boat tour only to find and see an Irrawaddy dolphin. However, it seems like most of travelers are persistent enough to meet this rare and lovely species at least once time.
This destination sounds very familiar with travelers around the world as it has been the top travel place in Cambodia. Since 2001, when the film “Lara Croft: Tomb Raider 1” was successful, the scene of Angkor Wat keeps attracting the tourists from many countries come to Siem Reap. Surprisingly, after almost 02 decades, the tourism in this city still develops fast and the is no clue that it will no longer be hot.
Angkor Wat from above
So what is the secret of Siem Reap’s success? Siem Reap has Angkor Complex – that is the fact that everyone knows, but only Angkor cannot help Siem Reap keep being the hot trend among travelers. This city has been changing every year. Few years ago, there was no night market, few accommodations and restaurants, almost no spa & massage and transportation hiring services, limited electricity and absolutely no Wi-Fi. Siem Reap today is totally changed with a crowded night market, many luxury accommodations and restaurants, wide range of tourism services, stronger electricity although Wi-Fi is quite weak. There is no doubt that the available of tourism services and convenience is the important factor for the increase of tourists in Siem Reap. And this city has not stop, it has been continuing to upgrade more its services and kept it position in the world’s travel map for decades.
Angkor Night Market in Siem Reap
(Image source: Internet)