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You’ve committed to a 30 day trip in Southeast Asia and now it’s time to plan. Where to go? You want to see it all, and while 30 days seems like a lot, time will fly and it’s time to start prioritizing. So what are the spots that you absolutely have to see? We’re here with a list of the top Southeast Asia travel destinations to help you make all 30 days count. And if you have less than 30 days, many of these destinations make an awesome two-week vacation too. 

Bali, Indonesia

The island options in Indonesia are almost endless, but Bali is the undisputed king. Whether it’s surfing, scuba diving or exploring the inland jungles, Bali will keep your jaw on the floor and demands at least a few days. Bali is one of the more expensive destinations in Indonesia, thanks to its luxury style accommodation. Opt for a villa with an infinity pool overlooking the lush jungle for an experience that you’ll never forget.

Top things to do in Bali include exploring its vibrant green rice paddies, kicking back on a tropical beach, visiting some of its elegant temples and religious sites such as the cliffside Uluwatu Temple, and heading to a meditation workshop or yoga class.

By Lucija Ros

Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Walking the streets of Malaysia’s capital city is an unguided modern architecture tour by itself. The iconic Petronas Towers lead the way as the city’s most iconic attraction. The Kuala Lumpur Bird Park is also the world’s largest walk-in aviary, hosting over 200 species of mostly local birds. 

Kuala Lumpur is also known for its excellent street food scene. Be sure to dig in at roadside market Jalan Alor where you can taste some of Malaysia’s best street food!

By Sadie Teper

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Komodo National Park, Lesser Sunda Islands, Indonesia

This national park is the only place in the world where people can find Komodo Dragons in the wild and feels like visiting Jurassic Park Island. But don’t get too close. These guys aren’t always friendly to visitors. They can be 9 feet long and weigh around 200 lbs, so play it safe. It’s an unforgettable destination and should definitely be on your South East Asia bucket list.

By Christine Wehrmeier

Bagan, Myanmar

The Bagan Buddhist Temples are otherworldly. Some of have been standing for more than 1,200 years and visitors are free to explore them inside and out. Each temple has its own story so bring your imagination. The area is home to over 2,000 Buddhist temples spread out over lush green plains. The temples are best seen by a bird’s eye view from a hot air balloon. It’s a sight you’ll never forget. 

By Isabel Retamales

Halong Bay, Quảng Ninh Province, Vietnam

Emerald water and rainforest-topped limestone rock islands make Halong Bay unforgettable. A boat cruise lets you explore the islands and hidden inlets. It shouldn’t surprise you that the James Bond film Tomorrow Never Dies chose the bay as a shooting location.

By Robby McCullough

Bangkok, Thailand

Thailand’s capital city is an assault on your senses. From colorful tuk-tuks to elegant temples and the aroma of street food, you won’t be short of things to see and do. Head to the majestic temples of Wat Pho and Wat Wrun and marvel at Thai architecture, visit the famous floating market, where you can buy exotic fruits and hot bowls of noodles from boats on the water, or embrace the city’s large backpacker scene and kick back with some beers. Here’s what to do with 48-hours in Bangkok.

By Evan Krause / Unsplash

Luang Prabang, Laos

Luang Prabang is the ancient capital city of Laos’ Luang Prabang Province. It’s a stunning city that sits at the base of the famous Mekong River. It’s best known for its abundance of Buddhist temples, many of which date back several hundreds of years. It’s home to elegant colonial French architecture from the 19th century.
By Yosi Bitran / Unsplash

Hoi An, Vietnam

Hoi An is a stunning city decorated with colorful lanterns, narrow, winding streets, and a wonderful melting pot of different cultures and influences. It’s known for its well-preserved old city, with buildings from a mix of eras and influences, ranging from Chinese architecture through to pastel-colored French colonial buildings and historic Vietnamese structures. You can explore pagodas, temples, historic houses, and tea rooms. There’s also a nearby white sand beach! Many visit Hoi An with the intention to stay for a day or two but they often end up extending their time in the city.
By Frank Mckenna

Ko Tao, Thailand

If you like the idea of kicking back on a white sand beach in front of emerald waters, look no further than the island of Ko Tao, located in southern Thailand. It’s known as one of the best places in the world to go snorkeling or scuba diving — and it’s one of the cheapest places in the world to study for the PADI open water diving certificate. It’s home to stunning beaches and a tropical coral reef, where you can spot whale sharks, rays, and stripey triggerfish. The island has an awesome backpacker scene, with tons of hostels and bars.
By Robin Noguier / Unsplash

Ko Phi Phi, Thailand

Another Thai island, Ko Phi Phi is most famously known as the filming location for Leonardo DiCaprio classic film The Beach. Its beaches are a pure slice of tropical paradise, with turquoise waters and white sands. It’s also home to a fun backpacker scene, with plenty of bars, hostels, and breakfast cafes. Ko Phi Phi is an island located to the southwest of Thailand, close to Phuket.
By Kevin Bosc / Unsplash

 

Top Southeast Asia Travel Destinations
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