Asia – Southeast Asia to be exact – is a favorite tourist destination. If you are planning to explore the region, here are some must-visit destinations.
1) Siem Reap, Cambodia
Although it is mostly famous for its Angkor Wat, the temple you see on Cambodia’s flag, Siem Reap is also a resort town. That is after exploring the ancient ruins in the Angkor region – all 400 temples of them, roam around the town to see the floating villages, museums, silk farms and cultural villages. Some restaurants feature traditional Apsara dance performances that you can indulge too while you eat.
While there, don’t forget to eat luk lak, fried beef with Kampot pepper sauce. It’s best eaten with Sombai, the local’s version of rice wine contained in hand-painted bottles. This makes for nice souvenirs!
2) Bali, Indonesia
In Bali, there are so many places to go to, but its beaches should be the first in your itinerary. If you’ve seen the ‘Eat Pray Love’ movie, you would know how beautiful Padang-Padang Beach is. Then, there are the temples like the Tirta Empul Temple, which is believed to have holy waters, Pura Taman Ayun and Ulun Danu Temple.
Despite the dense population in this island province, further, Bali remains primarily agricultural. It is famous for the local artisans manufacturing handicrafts. In fact, each village proudly produces a single product like wind chime, wooden furniture, batik, silverware, painted arts, etc. You’d surely want to bring home one.
3) Quảng Bình, Vietnam
Quảng Bình is a home to Phong Nha-Kẻ Bàng National Park, a protected area which is basically a karst region. Hence, there are about 300 limestone cave and grotto systems although only 20 of these are accessible to the tourists. After spelunking, visit the hot spring area in Lệ Thủy District or go to Đá Nhảy, Ly Hoa, and Nhật Lệ – these beaches are considered as three of the most beautiful beaches in Vietnam.
While going to the province, you will see a few strikingly green rice paddies (though this largely depends on the time of your visit) and farmers flashing peace signs. What an old-school way of welcoming tourists.
4) Palawan, Philippines
After going to your favorite Tagaytay tourist spot, head down to Palawan. The best beaches in the Philippines such as those found in Coron and El Nido are located in Palawan. Apart from this, parks and sanctuaries proliferate the area including Puerto Princesa Subterranean River National Park and Tubbataha Reef Marine Park, UNESCO world heritage sites.
Palawan is a home to endemic species as well from the Palawan Peacock-pheasant, birdwing, bearded pig, and pangolin. Also, there are about 200 kinds of birds, 600 species of butterflies and 1,500 species of plants. Now that’s rich flora and fauna.
5) Champasak, Laos
A small town in the southern part of Laos, Champasak is the place to visit if you want to embark on a cultural tour. Aside from the temple ruins with Vat Phou, a Khmer Hindu temple ruins complex which is also a UNESCO heritage site, Champasak also features several French colonial architectures and countless waterfalls. This is a place where you can see waterfalls every kilometer. The falls lead to Mekong River and where you can see freshwater dolphins.
Nonetheless, the best time to visit is during the Vat Phou Festival held every February. Celebrations occur at the sites of ruins. You’ll get to watch elephant racing similar to what you’ve seen in the movies!
6) Dili, East Timor
Dili, which is East Timor’s capital and largest city, is a seaside town. Knowing this, a visit to Dili is not complete without strolling along the waterfront. The ultimate destination, however, is the Cristo Rei statue at the farthest end of the peninsula. The statue that stands 27 meters (88.6 feet) is a prominent landmark. It also features the 14 stations of the cross until you reach the statue.
While here, explore the beaches of Av de Portugal (also called Beach Rd) and Areira Branca. Behind the statue is Cape Fatucama, a hidden inverted c-shaped coastline with crystal clear waters. Now, that’s not so hidden anymore!
By now, you are considering a destination to visit for sure. One tip: Why choose one when you can visit them all?